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Samuel Sharp

    Abstract

    WE regret to have to announce the death of the well-known geologist and archæologist, Mr. Samuel Sharp. He was the son of Mr. Stephen Sharp of Romsey, Hants, and was born in the year 1815. During his long residence at Stamford, and subsequently in the neighbourhood of Northampton, he made very extensive and varied collections illustrating the geology and archæology of the midland districts. A portion of his fine geological collection was some years ago purchased by the trustees of the British Museum, while another portion has been for a long time placed on exhibition in the Northampton Museum. This latter collection, which very admirably illustrates the geology and palæontology of the district, has, we believe, been left under certain conditions to the town of Northampton, and it will forma valuable nucleus for a local collection, illustrating the natural history of the surrounding district, such as we may hope in time to see rising in all our principal provincial towns. Mr. Sharp was a man of large culture and varied tastes. His papers “On the Oolites of Northamptonshire,” read before the Geological Society, are full of most valuable information concerning a district to which he devoted his life-long studies. He wrote a little text-book, “The Rudiments of Geology,” which has passed through two editions, and which we have already had occasion to mention favourably in these columns. As an archæologist Mr. Sharp was not less widely known than as a geologist. On all questions of local antiquities he was one of the highest authorities in the Midland district, and many valuable papers relating to these subjects were contributed by him to the local journals. But it was as a numismatist that Mr. Sharp especially distinguished himself. During the last thirty years he by unwearied exertions succeeded in bringing together an unrivalled collection illustrating the productions of the famous Stamford Mint. His valuable memoir on these interesting coins, with it several supplements, was published by the Numismatic Society, and constitutes the best authority on the subject. As a consequence of failing health Mr. Sharp's familiar face has for some years been missed from the geological and archæological societies, in the affairs of which he so long took an active part. His genial manners and hospitable nature endeared him to a large circle of friends, and his loss will be deeply felt. His wide and varied stores of knowledge were always placed at the service of those who sought his aid, and his influence in encouraging the study of his favourite science was productive of much good in the district where he resided. Many a young collector and student of science was indebted to him for useful and friendly advice, and his energies could always be enlisted in aid of any projects which had for their aim the advancement of science, and the diffusion of sound knowledge in his adopted county. Mr. Sharp was a Fellow of the Geological and Numismatic Societies, as well as of the Society of Antiquaries. Some time ago he conducted the members of the Geologists' Association over the district, with which he was so well acquainted, explaining to them those geological features which he had himself so carefully worked out. In spite of increasing infirmities and great sufferings Mr. Sharp steadily laboured on in the cause of his favourite sciences, and only a few weeks before his death read several interesting memoirs before the local Antiquarian and Natural History Societies. He died on January 28, in the sixty-eighth year of his age. In him English geology and archæology have lost one of those enthusiastic and disinterested labourers, to whose exertions the progress of these sciences has in the past been so largely due.

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