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British Industrial History

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Thomas Sharp

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Thomas Sharp (1779-1841) of Sharp, Roberts and Co

1779 Born, son of Thomas and Francis Sharp.

His brothers included Robert Chapman Sharp and John Sharp.

1806 Thomas and Robert Chapman had a workshop in Manchester for the manufacture of tools and general machines.

1807 Married Sally Isabella Ward in Manchester[1].

c1813 Birth of son Thomas Sharp, Junior

1814 Ironmaster

1814 August 17th. Birth of son John Arthur Sharp at Manchester

1815 Had a counting house at 84 Market Street and Wilkinson's Wharf on the Rochdale Canal

1816 April 18th. Baptism of daughter Mary at Manchester

1817 August 6th. Baptism of son Frank at Manchester

1819 February 4th. Baptism of daughter Elizabeth

1819 December 16th. Baptism of daughter Margaret at Manchester (presumed died young)

1821 Listed as 'Sharp Thos. and Co. iron-merchants, 84 Market st and Oxford st.' Also 'Sharp Thos. iron-merchant, h. 10 Falkner st.' [2] He was the Manchester agent for John Wilkinson

1821 Thomas invested in Richard Roberts' improved reed-making machine.

1823 April 7th. Birth of daughter Margaret at Manchester

1823 Thomas and Robert's brother, John, joined the firm

1823 Thomas and Richard Roberts entered into a formal partnership. Sharp guided Roberts into commercial ventures and their seven patents were largely profitable.

1824 June 18th. Birth of son William Prior Sharp to Thomas Sharp, an ironmaster and his wife Sally Isabella at Manchester

1826 February 24th. Birth of daughter Katherine at Manchester

1828 Richard Roberts was taken into partnership by the brothers; the title of the firm became Sharp, Roberts and Co.

1828 Thomas Sharp and Richard Roberts opened the Atlas Works of Sharp, Roberts and Co to manufacture textile machinery and machine tools. They had built a few stationary steam engines, and in 1833 built a locomotive,

1828/9 Thomas Sharp and Co (presumed to be the same Thomas Sharp - see below), ironmongers, had offices in Falkner Street (where Richard Roberts had premises) and premises at Wilkinson's Wharf, Oxford St[3].

Atlas Works was among the largest and most productive mechanical engineering factories in the kingdom.

1841 Thomas Sharp, iron merchant, lived at Oakfield, Rusholme; the premises of Thomas Sharp and Co were at 79 Faulkner St and Great Bridgewater Street[4], the same as Sharp, Roberts and Co.

1841 April 20th. Died at Cheltenham age 61. Residence: Oaklands, near Manchester. Senior partner in Sharp, Roberts and Co. [5].

1841 April 27th. Large Funeral. "Funeral of the late Thomas Sharp, Esq. The funeral of the late Mr. Sharp took place on Tuesday morning. As was anticipated, a great number of gentlemen expressed their intention to attend the remains to the tomb, as a mark of their respect for the deceased; and many of these gentlemen also sent their carriages. A deputation from the numerous mechanics and other workmen in the extensive establishments of Messrs. Sharp, Roberts, aud Co., (in which firms the deceased was the senior partner,) respectfully requested permission to attend the funeral in a body; and, this permission being accorded to them, they formed a very large proportion of the procession on the occasion. The procession left the house of the deceased, Oaklands, in the Victoria Park, by the gate near the Rusholme bar, about half-past nine o'clock. It was headed by two mutes; then came the workmen, between five and six hundred in number, walking four abreast, and most of them attired in black. To them succeeded two mutes, preceding the hearse and four; which was followed by five mourning carriages. In the first were Mr. F. Sharp, the son of the deceased, and chief mourner; Mr.T. B. Sharp, Mr. N. P. Sharp, and Mr. E. Hodgson. In the second were Mr. R. C. Sharp, Mr. John Sharp, Mr. Richard Sharp, and Mr. Moon. In the third, Mr. Henry Tootal and Mr. S. Heelis. In the fourth, Mr. Richard Roberts, Mr. Jones Wilkinsen, and Messrs. Wainwright and John Bellhouse. In the fifth carriage were Messrs. Gavin Hamilton, R.Hervey, and H. C. Campbell. To these followed the carriage of Mr. Turner, surgeon, containing Mr. Turner, and Dr. Conolly, of Cheltenham. Miss Hodgson also sent her carriage. The carriages of gentlemen formed in line in Nelson-street, and thence joined the cortege. There were, at the least, thirty-five gentlemen's carriages in the procession, exclusive of those filled with mourners, and amongst them were those of the following gentlemen:—Messrs. Gilbert Winter, Alexander Henry, Samuel Brooks, Edward Tootal, Edmund Buckley, John Brooks, Elias Chadwick, D. Harrison, George* Schuster, William Harter, Hugh Beaver, Robert Gill, Thomas Ashton, S. Schwabe, Robert Withington, Daniel Grant, Henry Tootal, D. Broadhurst, J. Burt, Thomas Markland, Edwd. Wright, Joseph Jones, Robt. Philips, Thos. Hilton, and G.W. Wood. Amongst the gentlemen (nearly a hundred and fifty in number) not already named who attended the funeral, as a mark of respect to the deceased, were the following:—Messrs. Gilbert Winter, Alexander Henry, Samuel Brooks, John Gould, Edward Tootal, D. Broadhurst, Herford, Elias Chadwick, John Smith, Lot Gardiner, D. Harrison, W. Harter, C. Pooley, Hugh Beaver, John Ferguson, Thomas Cardwell, James Bernard, Thomas Ashton, B. Liebert, Samuel Ashton, H. Schwabe, Thomas Critchley, Robert Worthington, G. E. Marsden, Daniel Grant, S. Meyer, Richard Evans, John Barker, Lea Birch, William Casson, Edward Brooke, Daniel Siltzer, E. S. Walker, W. F. Schofield, W. R. Ravenscroft, H. P. Ree, Henry Turner, T. W. Winstanley, G. Lavino, W. M. Burt, E. Lewis, W. Kelsall, John Hargreaves, Leo Schuster, R. N. Philips, James Reiss, Thomas Hilton, Thomas Johnson, Edward Herford, Thomas Boothman, jun., David Price, William Rayner Wood, E. H. Levyssohn, &c. &c. The procession was closed by two mutes: its length was considerable, as may be supposed from what has been stated, and from the fact, thajt when the head of the procession had reached St. Peter's Church, the rear was but a few yards on the town side of All Saints' Church, Oxford-road.—At the church, the procession was met by the Rev. N. Germon, incumbent of St. Peter's; and the principal mourners and friends of the family having entered the edifice, and the coffin being borne thither from the hearse, the gentlemen in the procession and the workmen next entered, and nearly filled the church. As the funeral entered the nave, Mr. Wilkinson, who presided at the organ, performed a dirge. The service for the dead was conducted by the Rev. N. Germon; and, besides the usual psalms in that service, the anthem (from Handel's Messiah,) " I know that my Redeemer liveth," was stmg by Miss Hardman, Mr. Ishwerwood, and the choir. The respectable appearance, and steady, quiet propriety of demeanour of the workmen, were the subject of general remark. The remains were interred in the family vault, near the entrance door opposite the Scots Church. The whole of the funeral furnishing and. arrangements were under the direction of Messrs.Satterfield and Co., and were of the most satisfactory character ; the large procession was well marshalled, and not the least confusion arose. The streets through which it passed were much crowded. The bell of St. Peter's tolled at intervals of a minute, during the morning, till the arrival of the funeral at the church. We have never seen so large a funeral procession since that of poor Malibran. We understand that the Rev. N. Germon offered to open his church for a special service, in connection with the funeral, on Sunday evening next, if the workmen wished to attend it. This offer was respectfully accepted on their part, and we understand that Mr. Germon will preach a funeral sermon on the occasion" [6]

1841 Widow Sally (born c.1785) lived at Oaklands, Rusholme, with son Thomas Sharp, Junior (born c.1813), two daughters and six servants[7].

See Also

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Sources of Information

  1. Lancashire, England, Marriages and Banns, 1754-1936
  2. 1821-22 Pigot and Dean's New Directory of Manchester and Salford
  3. Pigot and Co.'s Directory of Ches, Cumb ..., 1828-29. [Part 1: Ches - Northumb]
  4. Pigot and Slater's Directory of Manchester & Salford, 1841
  5. Liverpool Mercury, 30 April 1841
  6. Manchester Courier and Lancashire General Advertiser - Saturday 01 May 1841
  7. 1841 Census