Anthony Sharp (1643 - 1707) MP

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Birthdate:
Birthplace: Tetbury, Gloucestershire, England
Death: Died in Dublin, Ireland
Occupation: woolendraper
Managed by: Maria Edmonds-Zediker, Volunteer Curator
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Immediate Family

About Anthony Sharp

Anthony Sharp (1643–1707) was a Dublin Quaker and wool merchant. The son of Thomas Sharp, he was born in Tetbury, Gloucestershire, England in January 1643.

Religion and business

In 1665, impressed by the ministry of William Dewsbury at a meeting in Warwick prison, he joined the Religious Society of Friends, also known as the Quakers. In 1669, due to persecution of his Quaker religious beliefs, he fled from Gloucestershire and moved to Dublin and engaged in the woolen trade, in which he was highly successful. By 1680, he employed about 500 workers in the trade and in 1688, the weavers’ guild elected him master.

Anthony Sharp was active in the Dublin Quaker Community. In 1683, he and some other Friends of Dublin were thrown into prison because they continued to attend their religious meetings, contrary to the orders of government which prohibited the public meetings of religious dissenters.

Without peer among Irish Friends as an organizer, Sharp played a key role in assisting fellow Quakers to survive repression and to evolve from a small sect into a denomination. With his second wife, Ann, he helped shape the rigorous style of dress and home furnishings that set the Irish Friends apart from their coreligionists in England. Tireless in his work as a secretary, treasurer, and fund-raiser, he served on the committee that monitored the proceedings of the Irish Parliament and helped pioneer the Friends' home and shop visitations. Sharp took up his pen to defend Quakers in "the Lamb's war" against critics on all sides—Catholics, Anglicans, nonconformists, and sectarian extremists.

Land rights

Anthony Sharp was one of the original shareholders of West New Jersey in 1677. Subsequently, when William Penn purchased land in East Jersey, Sharp also became an owner of property there as well. Not wishing to emigrate himself due to his successful woolen business, Sharp remained in Dublin. Anthony Sharp financed the Quaker colony established in New Jersey in 1681. Among those appointed to found the colony was Anthony’s nephew, Thomas Sharp, with whom he corresponded on both business and personal matters.

In his will, Anthony Sharp bequeathed to his eldest son, Isaac Sharp, his land in West New Jersey, and half of his lands in East New Jersey, as well as his land in Queen’s County, Ireland, including land in Killinure, which became the site of the Sharp Roundwood Estate.

Death

Anthony Sharp died on January 13, 1707, and was buried in the ancient Friends' burying-ground adjacent to St. Stephen’s Green in the city of Dublin. He was survived by three sons, Issac, Joseph and Daniel, and one daughter, Rachel Sharp.

Stanford University Press published a biography of Anthony Sharp by Richard L. Greaves titled, "Dublin's Merchant-Quaker: Anthony Sharp and the Community of Friends, 1643-1707.

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Anthony Sharp, Quaker's Timeline

1643
1643
Tetbury, Gloucestershire, England
1680
1680
Age 37
1707
January 13, 1707
Age 64
Dublin, Ireland
January, 1707
Age 64
St. Stephen's Green, Dublin, Ireland
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