The missing Sharp of Grantham
It is now almost two hundred years since James Sharp “a horse dealer” and farmer of Grantham and Hannah Hill, married in Scotland. In 1822 with their daughter, Jane, they emigrated to Tasmania, Australia on the ship “Thalia”. A further child, George Henry was born on the voyage.
The age difference is cause for conjecture. Was James already married? Did he already have children? Are there Sharp(e)s in Grantham today who trace back to James? Possibly to his family in the early 1800s? Did they go to Scotland to have a “legal” marriage according to Scottish law? James is recorded as being the son of the Reverend Henry Sharp? Is this correct? What is the background of Hannah Hill? Was Hannah enamoured by the wealth of her suitor?
Are there Sharp(e)s in Grantham today who trace back to James’s possible first family? Are there descendants who trace back to James’s brothers or sisters?
Yes, to my mind, James was wealthy. On 12 October 1822 in a letter to the Under-Secretary of State for the Colonies he applied for a land Grant of 500 acres in Van Dieman’s Land (Tasmania), Australia. The letter was accompanied by a reference from his friend, Mr. A. G. Chester of London. Chester noted Mr. James Sharp, of Grantham, in the county of Lincoln, late horse dealer but now a farmer, had capital of about fifteen hundred pounds.
The application was successful and after arrival in Hobart Sharp was given a grant of 1,000 acres in the county of Forbes. In 1825, Sharp “since found a Tract of Land” situated on the Break of Day plains and was able to change. Sharp also lived on the Derwent at Sandy Bay where he had a farm of about 90 acres. By 1833 the Sharps had a family of 9 children.
In 1836 James and Hannah remarried. A possible reason for the remarriage is that marriages under Scottish law were not necessarily recognised in the colony. James and Hannah may have done this so that James’s property could be legally inherited by his children. James died in 1840.
Who were the parents of James? Was the
father Reverend Henry Sharpe? Surely with all the Sharp descendants without or
with an e, a “Grantham Matters” reader can unravel these questions?
2. George Henry Sharp, 1823 – 1898, born on ship “Thalia” on voyage to Hobart Tasmania. 3. 5th and later generations at a Sharpe family reunion of one of the third-generation