James Sharp, a Scottish prelate, born in the castle of Banff in May, 1618, assassina-ted on Magus Muir, near St. Andrews, May 3, 1679. He was educated for the church in the university of Aberdeen, and was one of its students who in 1638 declared themselves against the "Solemn League and Covenant." In 1640 he was chosen professor of philosophy in St. Leonard's college, St. Andrews, and shortly after became minister of the parish of Crail. In 1656 he was chosen to plead for the Presbyterians before the protector; and in 1660, when Monk marched upon London, he was regularly accredited to that general as their representative, and was sent over to Charles II. at Breda to procure the establishment of presbytery. He was received very favorably by the king, and obtained the royal word "to protect and preserve the government of the church of Scotland, as it is settled by law, without violation." The next Scottish parliament however repealed all acts passed since 1633, the church "settled by law" thus becoming the old Episcopal church; and it was asserted that Sharp was an accomplice in this scheme.
While in London he had been elected professor of divinity in St. Mary's college, St. Andrews, and also appointed the king's chaplain for Scotland with a salary of £200. In December, 1661, he was consecrated archbishop of St. Andrews, an appointment which rendered him excessively odious. The wanton cruelty with which the Covenanters were persecuted was attributed to him, and it is certain that, after the rout at Pentland hills, when he had received the king's order to stop the executions, he kept it for some time private. A creature of Sharp's named Carmichael had made himself particularly obnoxious to the Presbyterians, and nine men formed a plan to waylay and murder him. While they were waiting for this person, the archbishop passed by with his daughter and a few attendants; shouting, "The Lord has delivered him into our hands," they dragged him from his coach and despatched him.