Sharples History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

The Anglo-Saxon name Sharples comes from the family having resided in Sharples Hall near Bolton in the county of Lancashire. This habitation surname was originally derived from the Old English word scearp meaning sharp and laes meaning pasture. Therefore the original bearers of the surname lived in an area that was defined by it's steep pasture.

Early Origins of the Sharples family

The surname Sharples was first found in Lancashire at Sharples or Sharples Hall, now a suburb of Bolton, a township of the civil and ecclesiastical parish of Bolton le Moors in the Salford hundred. [1] The first record of the placename was in 1212 when it was listed as Charples. A few years later, it was listed as Sharples and Scharples in 1292.

Early History of the Sharples family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Sharples research. Another 103 words (7 lines of text) covering the years 169 and 1699 are included under the topic Early Sharples History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Sharples Spelling Variations

Sharples has been spelled many different ways. Before English spelling became standardized over the last few hundred years, spelling variations in names were a common occurrence. As the English language changed in the Middle Ages, absorbing pieces of Latin and French, as well as other languages, the spelling of people's names also changed considerably, even over a single lifetime. Spelling variants included: Sharples, Sharpless and others.

Early Notables of the Sharples family (pre 1700)

More information is included under the topic Early Sharples Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

United States Sharples migration to the United States +

In an attempt to escape the chaos experienced in England, many English families boarded overcrowded and diseased ships sailing for the shores of North America and other British colonies. Those families hardy enough, and lucky enough, to make the passage intact were rewarded with land and a social environment less prone to religious and political persecution. Many of these families became important contributors to the young colonies in which they settled. Early immigration and passenger lists have documented some of the first Sharpless to arrive on North American shores:

Sharples Settlers in United States in the 17th Century
  • Edward Sharples, who arrived in Virginia in 1623
  • Eliz Sharples, who landed in Virginia in 1639 [2]
  • John Sharples and his wife Jane and seven children arrived in Delaware in 1682

Australia Sharples migration to Australia +

Emigration to Australia followed the First Fleets of convicts, tradespeople and early settlers. Early immigrants include:

Sharples Settlers in Australia in the 19th Century
  • William Sharples, who arrived in Adelaide, Australia aboard the ship "Orleana" in 1839 [3]
  • Mr. Robert Sharples, English convict who was convicted in Preston, Lancashire, England for 7 years transported aboard the "Forfarshire" on 24th June 1843, arriving in Tasmania (Van Diemen's Land) [4]
  • Mr. John Sharples, English convict who was convicted in Manchester, England for 10 years, transported aboard the "Bangalore" on 28th March 1848, arriving in Tasmania (Van Diemen's Land) from Bermuda [5]
  • Robert Sharples, aged 24, a labourer, who arrived in South Australia in 1859 aboard the ship "Lady Ann"

Contemporary Notables of the name Sharples (post 1700) +

  • Dick Sharples (1927-2015), English scriptwriter of British sitcoms
  • James Sharples (1825-1893), English blacksmith and artist, born at Wakefield in Yorkshire, one of the thirteen children of a working ironfounder
  • James Sharples (1890-1969), English cricketer
  • James Sharples (1751-1811), English portrait painter and pastelist, who emigrated to the United States in 1794, best known for his portrait of George Washington that was later used on a stamp in 1895
  • James Sharples (1825-1893), English blacksmith and self-taught artist and engraver, best known for his work The Forge
  • Ellen Wallace Sharples (1769-1849), English painter who specialized in portraits in pastel and in watercolor miniatures on ivory
  • Pamela Sharples (1923-2022), Baroness Sharples, née Newall, a British life peer of the Conservative Party who was elevated to the peerage in 1973 after the assassination of her husband, Sir Richard Sharples, Governor of Bermuda
  • Robert Sharples (1913-1987), British musical conductor, composer and bandleader from Bury, Lancashire
  • Sir Richard Christopher Sharples (1916-1973), British politician and Governor of Bermuda
  • Dr. Pita Russell Sharples CBE (b. 1941), Maori academic and politician, New Zealand

Empress of Ireland
  • Mr. William Henry Sharples (d. 1914), British Quartermaster from United Kingdom who worked aboard the Empress of Ireland and died in the sinking [6]
HMS Prince of Wales
  • Mr. Sharples, British Joiner 5th Class, who sailed into battle on the HMS Prince of Wales (1941) and survived the sinking [7]
HMS Repulse
  • Mr. William Sharples, British Leading Stoker, who sailed into battle on the HMS Repulse (1941) and died in the sinking [8]

  1. ^ Lewis, Samuel, A Topographical Dictionary of England. Institute of Historical Research, 1848, Print.
  2. ^ Filby, P. William, Meyer, Mary K., Passenger and immigration lists index : a guide to published arrival records of about 500,000 passengers who came to the United States and Canada in the seventeenth, eighteenth, and nineteenth centuries. 1982-1985 Cumulated Supplements in Four Volumes Detroit, Mich. : Gale Research Co., 1985, Print (ISBN 0-8103-1795-8)
  3. ^ State Records of South Australia. (Retrieved 2010, November 5) ORLEANA 1839. Retrieved from
  4. ^ Convict Records Voyages to Australia (Retrieved 20th October 2022).
  5. ^ Convict Records Voyages to Australia (Retrieved 15th September 2020). Retrieved from
  6. ^ Commemoration Empress of Ireland 2014. (Retrieved 2014, June 17) . Retrieved from
  7. ^ HMS Prince of Wales Crew members. (Retrieved 2014, April 9) . Retrieved from
  8. ^ HMS Repulse Crew members. (Retrieved 2014, April 9) . Retrieved from on Facebook