Remembered as a founder of the West African Republic of Sierra Leone, Sharpe is famous as one of the first Englishmen to call for the end to the slave trade.
After completing an apprenticeship with a London draper, he entered the civil service as an employee of the Tower of London.
His numerous abolitionist-themed publications include A Representation of the Injustice and Dangerous Tendency of Tolerating Slavery (1769); Free English Territory in Africa (1790); and A Letter to a Gentleman in Maryland Respecting the Extreme Wickedness of Tolerating the Slave Trade (1793).
Born to author and theologian Thomas Sharp, he grew up in Durham, England, with thirteen siblings.
An accomplished musician as well as a businessman and abolitionist, Sharp, whose brother William was the personal physician to King George III, was described by the king as having the most beautiful bass voice in all of England.