SHARP, RICHARD (1750-1835), known as " Conversation Sharp," was born in Newfoundland in 1759, the son of a British officer in garrison there. He was for many years in business in London, and amassed a large fortune. He was the host of leading literary and political men at his houses in Park Lane and near Dorking. Johnson, Burke, Rogers, Hallam, Grattan, Sydney Smith, James Mill, Wordsworth and Coleridge were among his many friends. From 1806 to 1812 he was M.P. for Castle Rising, and subsequently he represented Portarlington and Ilchester. He was the author of a volume of Letters and Essays in Prose and Verse (1834), which the Quarterly Review declared to be remarkable for " wisdom, wit, knowledge of the world and sound criticism." Sharp died at Dorchester on the 30th of March 1835.
Note - this article incorporates content from Encyclopaedia Britannica, Eleventh Edition, (1910-1911)