Dictionary of National Biography, 1885-1900/Sharpham, Edward

SHARPHAM, EDWARD (fl. 1607), dramatist, third son of Richard Sharpham of 'Colehanger', Devonshire, was admitted a member of the Middle Temple 9 Oct. 1594. He was author of two plays, ‘The Fleire’ and ‘Cupid's Whirligig.’ The former was acted at Blackfriars in 1605–6, and on several other occasions, by the children of the revels after they had lost their right to the name of the queen's revels. Four editions were published respectively in 1607, 1610, 1615, and 1631. The play resembles Marston's ‘Parasitaster.’ ‘Cupid's Whirligig’ was likewise acted at Blackfriars by the children of his majesty's revels in 1607. Four editions were published respectively in 1607, 1611, 1616, 1630). It is prefaced by dedicatory verses to Robert Hayman. The plot is borrowed in part from Boccaccio (Decameron, vii. 6).

Some verses, signed E. S., prefixed to Henry Peacham's ‘Minerva Britanna,’ have been ascribed to Sharpham without much probability; but a sonnet, ‘To my beloved master, John Davies,’ which serves as preface to Davies's ‘Humours Heav'n on Earth,’ is signed Edward Sharphell, and may have been written by Sharpham.

[Baker's Biogr. Dram. i. 649, ii. 146, 241; Fleay's Chronicle of English Drama, ii. 232; Hunter's Chorus Vatum, ii. 218; note from J. Hutchinson, esq., librarian, Middle Temple; Waldron's Continuation of Ben Jonson's Sad Shepherd, p. 145.]

E. I. C.