SHARPE, Fane William (?1729-71), of South Lodge, Enfield Chase, Herts.

Published in The History of Parliament: the House of Commons 1754-1790, ed. L. Namier, J. Brooke., 1964
Available from Boydell and Brewer



11 Dec. 1756 - 21 Oct. 1771

Family and Education

b. ?1729, 1st s. of John Sharpe.  educ. Westminster 1738; Ch. Ch. Oxf. 26 June 1747, aged 18; L. Inn 1747.  m. 17 Mar. 1752, Mary, da. and h. of George Newport, London merchant,1 1da.

Offices Held


On the death of Sharpe’s father, Lady Orford ‘most earnestly recommended to her friends young Mr. Sharpe as a candidate for the borough of Callington’;2 and although young Lord Orford had meant to put up his friend Charles Boone, he had to acquiesce in his mother’s choice. Sharpe was returned unopposed, and similarly re-elected in 1761. On receiving Newcastle’s request to attend at the opening of the session, he replied, 28 Oct. 1761, that he felt most sensibly the honour of being numbered among the Duke’s ‘particular friends’. He was listed by Newcastle as a friend even in November 1762; voted on 1 Dec. for postponing the consideration of the peace preliminaries; does not appear in Fox’s list of Members who supported them; but did not vote against them either. In the autumn of 1763 he was listed by Jenkinson as ‘doubtful’; but on 6 Feb. 1764 he voted with Administration on general warrants (and probably also in other divisions for which no majority lists are extant). On 30 Mar., Lord Hyde, writing to Grenville about a petition concerning Post Office business, remarked that it would ‘be presented by Mr. Sharpe, a Member of Parliament, one who I understand is very rich and very shy, but acts right’.3 Rockingham, in July 1765, listed Sharpe as ‘pro’; but he voted against the repeal of the Stamp Act. In two out of three extant lists for the division on the land tax, 27 Feb. 1767, he appears as voting with the Opposition; but on 2 Mar. was listed by Newcastle as ‘Administration’. At the general election of 1768 he had to defend his seat against candidates supported by the Duke of Portland; but in the three divisions on Wilkes and Middlesex, 3 Feb., 15 Apr., and 8 May 1769, voted with Opposition, and attended their dinner on 9 May. His last recorded vote, on the Spanish convention, 13 Feb. 1771, was again with the Opposition. There is no record of his having spoken in the House; and there is practically no correspondence of his with the leaders on either side.

He died 21 Oct. 1771, and in his will desired his only daughter to reside during her minority with the family of his friend Thomas Edwards Freeman.

Ref Volumes: 1754-1790

Author: Sir Lewis Namier


  • 1. Gent. Mag. 1752, p. 143; F. C. Cass, East Barnet, 110-11.
  • 2. John Yeo to Lord Orford, 16 Nov. 1756, Cholmondeley (Houghton) mss.
  • 3. Grenville mss (JM).