Granville Sharp(1735-1813), Scholar and philanthropist
Sitter in 7 portraits
Sharp is best remembered for his efforts for the abolition of slavery. A clerk in the government Ordnance Department, his life was changed as the result of a chance meeting at his brother's house in 1765. Sharp's brother William was a doctor who gave free treatment to London's poor. A slave, Jonathan Strong, was seeking treatment after being beaten by his owner. Sharp took up his case. He became involved in litigation in which it was decided that a slave remained the property of his master even on English soil. Sharp campaigned against slavery and in 1772 a celebrated judgement in the case of another slave, James Somerset, stated that any slave setting foot in England immediately became free.
Watch a film clip on the sitter from the BBC Archive in the Media section below