Sharp, Granville

Sharp, Granville, 1735–1813, English reformer, scholar, and abolitionist. In 1772 he won a case establishing the principle that any slave would become free upon reaching British land. Sharp continued his abolitionist activities, notably the promotion of a colony of former slaves in Sierra Leone, which was unsuccessful. In 1776 he began agitation against the impressment of seamen. Later he founded a Bible society. Self-taught in Greek and Hebrew, he was noted for his studies in biblical texts. He also wrote many pamphlets on political questions.

See Prince Hoare, Memoirs of Granville Sharp (1820, 2d ed. 1828); study by E. C. P. Lascelles (1928, repr. 1969).

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