Humphrys genealogy

Genealogy research by Mark Humphrys.

My wife's ancestors - Sharp - Contents

Michael Sharp

Proof that Michael of Norwich is our Michael

In our family, we have Michael Sharp, of Stamford, bapt 22 Jan 1753, son of Francis Sharp, musician, and brother of Francis Sharp junior, musician.
Is he Michael Sharp, a prominent musician in London and Norwich?
We say yes, because:

This must be him. We call it as proved.

Michael Sharp,
bapt 22 Jan 1753 in Stamford.
He was a musician. He played the oboe (the "hautboy").
Obituary says he was from Stamford.
Professional musician from 1771.
He is "Mr. Sharp" of Stamford, playing the oboe in a 1773 concert.
He did not become a Stamford wait.
He moved to London.

He mar 1stly to ----.
She died before Jan 1778.
In London in Jan 1778 he was recommended for membership of the Royal Society of Musicians. He is described as "single" (would be widower). He became a member on 5 Apr 1778.
At marriage in May 1778 he is a widower, living London.
Signed "Sharp" at mar.

He mar 2ndly, 29 May 1778, London, to Elizabeth Hopkins [bapt 10 Apr 1756].
Elizabeth was a famous actress on the London stage.
Their address on 3 May 1779 was 10 Bow St, Covent Garden, London [Bio. Actors etc.].
Son was bapt in Covent Garden, 9 May 1779.
Both of them performed in London theatres for a few years.
He played in orchestra at Covent Garden Theatre and other London theatres.
Elizabeth acted at Drury Lane theatre.

Move to Norwich:
In 1782-1783 Elizabeth became actress at the Theatre Royal, Norwich.
Michael followed her to Norwich in 1783.
In Dec 1783 he became head of the orchestra at the Theatre Royal, Norwich.
Their daughter was bapt 1784 in Great Yarmouth (20 miles from Norwich).
Michael Sharp, of Norwich, is one of the subscribers to The Astronomy of Comets by Blyth Hancock, 1786.
He visited Stamford in Jan 1787, where he played an oboe concerto at one of Francis Sharp junior's concerts.
In 1787 he left the Theatre Royal, Norwich, orchestra position.
He composed music for various theatrical productions.
Elizabeth acted at Norwich until 1791.
Michael was organist at Wymondham Abbey, Norfolk.
At time of Elizabeth's mother's will 1797, Michael and Elizabeth are living St Peter Hungate, Norwich. Her mother is in same parish, and maybe living with them.
Death notice says he was living St. Giles St, Norwich (see map).

Michael dies, 1800:
He died 13 Oct 1800.
He was bur St Giles' Church, Norwich, 15 Oct 1800. See burial entry from here. Says he is age 49 but he is slightly younger.
Death reported in the Gentleman's Magazine, Oct 1800. Says he was from Stamford.
Elizabeth fl 1804 [letter of Sarah Siddons].
Michael had issue by 2nd wife Elizabeth:

  1. Michael William Sharp,
    Michael Sharp,
    bapt 9 May 1779, St. Paul's, Covent Garden, London. See entry from here.
    He was a successful painter.
    Both [DNB] and [Bio. Actors etc.] confirm that Michael William Sharp the painter is the son of Michael Sharp (died 1800), the oboe player.

  2. Richard Sharp.
    Succeeded his father as organist at Wymondham Abbey, Norfolk.

  3. Elizabeth Priscilla Sharp,
    bapt 9 Sept 1784, St. Nicholas, Great Yarmouth, Norfolk.
    She is dau of Michael and Elizabeth Sharp. And we know it is this couple because Priscilla is a Hopkins family name.

  4. (another dau) Sharp.
    [Bio. Actors etc.] says there were two daughters, and they sang and played piano in performances.

"Mr. Sharp" of Stamford playing the "hautboy" (the oboe) in a forthcoming concert at Burton upon Trent, to be held on 30 Sept 1773.
From The Derby Mercury, 17 Sept 1773.
[Fleming, 2017, p.67] says this is Michael Sharp.
And it must be. He is the only member of the Stamford family who performed concerts with the oboe.

Michael Sharp, of Norwich, is one of the subscribers to The Astronomy of Comets by Blyth Hancock, Bury St Edmunds, 1786.

Michael Sharp visits his home town of Stamford on 8 Jan 1787, where he plays an oboe concerto at one of Francis Sharp junior's concerts.
From Stamford Mercury, 29 December 1786.

Death of Michael Sharp.
From p.1010 of the Gentleman's Magazine, Oct 1800.


Not listed


Sharp and Sharpe listed on p.58 of Musical Directory, 1794 by Joseph Doane.


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