In 1848 three Brearley brothers, Joseph aged 25, Sharp aged 20 and William aged 37, were transported to Australia on the Anna Maria. All were sentenced for stealing. William, who was married with six children, may have returned to England at the end of his sentence. Joseph and Sharp were successful businessmen in the tannery business in Geelong. On 25 March 1852 Sharp married Jane Hillard at St James Cathedral, Melbourne. Jane was an Irish famine orphan who travelled on the Diadem in 1850 and was engaged by George Hirston of Russell Street Melbourne for twelve months for £8. Her sister Margaret, who had gone to the workhouse, came to Australia and married Joseph.
Sharp became mayor of South Barwon Shire from 1864 to 1866. In December 1876 the partnership of Joseph and Sharp in the Australian Tannery was dissolved. It was the largest tannery in the Southern Hemisphere. Sharp purchased "Englewood" at Inverleigh. In 1880 after a clearing sale at "Englewood" 1214 acres was advertised for lease. Later that year he proposed a tannery at Western Beach fronting Victoria Terrace.
In 1884 he left for Europe. In 1886 liquidators sold the Australian Tannery to George Brearley for £3,750. The following year the Corio Tannery was sold for £4,000 (cost £11,000). Sharp and Jane Brearley lived at Calder Park, Mount Duneed from 1887-1891. In 1888 he had a villa at Anglesea erected costing £1,000. A street in Anglesea was named after him.
Sharp and Jane had ten children:
Alfred Hillard (1855)
Geroge Ramsden Carver (1858)
John Albert (1862)
Arthur Edward (1863)
Walter Sharp (1865)
Alice Jane (1867)
Adelaide Mabel (1868)
Herbert Ernest (1869)
Blanche Victoria (1872)
Sharp who died on 26 April 1905 at the age of 78 years at 75 Swanston Street, Geelong was buried in the Church of England section of the Geelong Eastern Cemetery. Jane who died on 15 November 1913 at the age of 80 years at Mordialloc was buried with him.
Joseph married Jane Hillard's sister, Margaret, on 25 March 1852 at St James Cathedral, Melbourne. Their children were:
Joseph Henry "Harry" (1853
Rebecca Elizabeth (1857)
Josephine Louisa (1859)
Robert "George" (30 June 1864)
John Frederick William (1868)
Joseph was prominent in local sporting organisations and was elected a member of the Geelong Town Council. He died in May 1911 at Balaclava.
Grave of Sharp Brearley.
Buried with him are:
Jane Brearley, his wife — died 15 November 1913
Alfred Hillard Brearley, their son — died 19 June 1862
John Albert Brearley, their son — died 31 March 1863
Adelaide Mabel Brearley, their daughter — died 29 July 1868
Monument by Nathaniel Brown
Together They Served
Torquay Museum Without Walls
Births, Deaths & Marriages Victoria
Geelong and District Database
Geelong Cemetery Index
Australian War Memorial
Surf Coast Early Schools
Barwon Heads History