William Sharp Ogden

Place of Birth
Manchester London


  • Birth date            1844
  • Marriage              19 June 1873 to Emma Vaison at Manchester Cathedral
  • Death date          26 April 1926

A minor Manchester architect who practised between 1870 and 1890, William Sharp Ogden was better known for his publications, especially Studies in Mercantile Architecture, published in both London and Manchester which contained 50 suggested designs for offices, shops and warehouses. Each design is dated between 1869 and 1876 and almost all of elevational treatments which, in style, follow a small group of built examples which create a sense of movement in the treatment of their facades. These include a terrace in Harrow, reported in The Builder of 20 October 1860 and a shop in South Audley Street which appeared in Building News of 18 February 1859, both designed by Thomas Harris. A design for a vinegar warehouse in Eastcheap, London by R.L. Roumieu was illustrated in The Builder of 10 October 1868 and Ogden must have been aware of this scheme. It has been suggested that the design illustrated may have been the forerunners of Art Nouveau, especially in Belgium. The now demolished Reade’s Building in Peter Street, Manchester, appears to have been based on the designs shown in his book.

William Sharp Ogden married Emma, only daughter of the late George Vaison of Doncaster on 19 June 1873. In 1876 they were living at 162, Rydal Mount, off Waterloo Road, the house now being demolished and the street re-named as a continuation of Elizabeth Street. It would appear that most of his commissions were obtained in the immediate vicinity of his home. In the census of 1901 he describes himself as a retired architect although his partnership with John Rennison Little continued until 1903.About 1912 he removed to London. He died on 26 April 1926 at Naseby, East End Road Finchley.


Details of Ogden’s will and bequests appeared in The Times of 13 September 1926, - William Sharpe Ogden of Naseby, East End Road, Finchley left £10,961, with net personalty of £4576. His bequests included £1500 to the Council of Manchester Free Grammar School for the erection of a statue of the founder, Bishop Oldham. Such statue to be a little above life size and of bronze, the figure to be in everyday dress of the period and capped. £1000 to Dr Barnado’s. His collection of antique cases, glass and bronze Roman coins and medals to the Manchester Museum. Prints engravings and drawings to the Whitworth Art Gallery. 500 drawings of old London to the Society of Antiquarians or the British Museum. Freehold property in Salford to the Victoria University of Manchester.


In December 1926 15 lots of William Sharp Ogden’s  pictures were sold at Christies He had picked up his old masters here and there at odd times, never paying more than £3 or £4 each. His collection, the original cost of which was about £60 realised a total of £2,922.

1886    William Sharp Ogden, Whitehall Chambers, 3, Spring Gardens
1889    William Sharp Ogden, Whitehall Chambers, 3 Spring Gardens, Manchester. (Slaters)
1891    W S Ogden (Ogden & Charleton)
1891    William S Ogden architect.14 Petworth Street Cheetham
1895    William Sharp Ogden, Whitehall Chambers, 3, Spring Gardens
1898    5 Cathedral Yard (rate book)
1903    William Sharp Ogden (Ogden and Little) 20 Cross Street, Manchester

1876     162, Rydal Mount, Waterloo Road Cheetham
1879    W S Ogden.  “Springfield”14 Petworth Street Cheetham
1883    W S Ogden.  “Springfield”14 Petworth Street Cheetham
1891    William S Ogden 14 Petworth Street Cheetham
1901    William Sharp Ogden, retired architect, Hill View, Danes Road, Rusholme (census)
1903    William Sharp Ogden (Ogden and Little) Hill View, Danes Road, Rusholme
1911    William Sharp Ogden Hill View, Danes Road, Rusholme (census)
1915    “Naseby” East End Road, Church End, Finchley,
1926    “Naseby” East End Road, Church End, Finchley,





Name Designation Formed Dissolved Location
Ogden and Charleton Architectural practice 1891 1895 Manchester
Ogden and Little Architectural practice 1899 1903 Manchester