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Biographical entry Sharp, Arthur John (1867 - 1910)

MRCS July 27th 1893; FRCS June 11th 1896; MB (1st Class Honours) BS Lond 1892; MD 1894; LRCP Lond 1893; DPH Cantab 1896.

23 December 1867
Masulipatam, India
6 June 1910
General surgeon


Born at Masulipatam in South India on Dec 23rd, 1867, the younger son of the Rev John Sharp, Principal of the Noble College under the Church Missionary Society. Coming to England in 1869, he was brought up at the house of his grandfather, Dr Sharp, FRS, of Rugby, who was instrumental in introducing the teaching of science into public schools while acting as Medical Adviser to Rugby School under the headmastership of Tait. He was educated partly at Mostyn House School, Parkgate, and went to Marlborough College in 1880, having won Foundation and East Indian Scholarships. He remained at Marlborough till midsummer 1887, having in 1886 gained an Open Exhibition at Lincoln College, Oxford, which he renounced in favour of a medical training.

He received his professional education at Guy's Hospital, where in 1890 he gained the First Prize in Anatomy, Physiology, and Materia Medics, and the Treasurer's Prize with an essay on "Heredity". In 1891 he gained the First Prize in Medicine, Surgery, and Midwifery, and then held the posts of Senior and Junior Resident Obstetric Assistant. He was President of the Guy's Hospital Physical Society for the long term of five years, and distinguished himself in the London University examinations. He also acted as Clinical Assistant at the Evelina Hospital for Sick Children.

He practised for some six years in Whitby, and then moved to Nottingham. Here he acted as Corresponding Secretary to the Medico-Chirurgical Society, but held no regular appointment. He nevertheless did "a large amount of useful and important work, both administrative and scientific, in the health department of the Nottingham Corporation, where his assistance was highly appreciated by the Medical Officer of Health and the Health Committee."

Sharp's position as a practitioner was somewhat inconsistent with his early promise. He was a powerfully built, pleasant man, so curiously unassuming in manner that, as is common in such cases, people did not suspect him of a brilliant past record. His friends felt that he was thrown away in his existing work, and were pleased when he decided to accept the post of Assistant Medical Officer to the education authorities at Sheffield, which had been offered him.

He was about to move to Sheffield when he performed a necropsy at Nottingham (Oct 22nd, 1909) on a baby dead of virulent septicaemia. Shortly afterwards he developed symptoms of streptococcal infection, and after a painful illness of some eight months' duration, died at his residence, Newlyn, Fishpond Drive, Nottingham, on June 6th, 1910. He was buried at Ambleside on June 10th, his ashes - for he was cremated - being laid by his special request in the same grave as his grandmother, Mrs. Sharp. He had married, soon after leaving Guy's, a daughter of Dr S H Ramsbotham, of Leeds. Sharp's mother was the daughter of a medical man, Dr Lachlan MacLean, of Oban, and the Sharps were related to William Sharp, of Bradford, and the Heys of Leeds.

A man of wide culture, Sharp did not confine his attention to sanitary matters alone. He was a keen student of English history and architecture, and was President of the Church of England Men's Society at Nottingham, at whose request a memorial service was held in his honour on the day of his funeral elsewhere.


"Scientific Diagnosis of Nervous Disease" (serial) - Guy's Hosp Gaz, 1895, ix, 48, etc.
"Perityphlitis and Life Assurance."- Post Mag and Insur Monitor, 1907.
Paper on the Notification of Births Act, Med Mag, 1909.

Sources used to compile this entry: [Brit Med Jour, 1910, I, 1582].

The Royal College of Surgeons of England