Major General Robert Sedgwick [William Sedgwick / Elizabeth Howe]
Joanna Blake [William Blake / Dorothy Unknown]
Robert Sedgwick, apparently the earliest Sedgwick to come to the New World, was a son of William Sedgwick (1579 - 25 JUL 1632), warden of St Mary's Church, of Woburn, Bedfordshire, England. Robert, fourth of 10 children, was baptized at St Mary's on May 6, 1613. I believe that he was born that same year; his father was a Warden of the church; it does not seem likely that his baptism would have been postponed.
Here is the timeline of Robert Sedgwick's immigration to New England:
"Roberte Sedgwicke" and "Joane Blake" were married on January 6, 1635(/36) at Andover, Hampshire, England.4 The extracted records of the Church of England at Andover were found at the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints' Family Search International Genealogical Index. Since this record is extracted fom the microfilm of the church record books, rather than user-submitted data, it merits full confidence.
On September 19, 1635 the ship Truelove departed London for New England. A "Sedgwick, Jo" appears in the passenger list,6 and most have assumed him to be Robert. It may be him; he may have made the trip for any number of reasons, including military or government orders or a personal exploration before he moved is bride-to-be to New England. If it is him, he returned within a few months for the marriage. We tend to think that the voyage across the Atlantic only went one way, ignoring that the ships, trade, army and government officials certainly travelled both directions. However, this may not be him. He is listed as age 24, which would give a birth date of 1611.
Robert and Joanna must have left for the New World shortly after the marriage, as Robert was admitted as an Inhabitant of Charlestown, Massachusetts about five months later on June 3, 1636. Regardless of whether he made the 1635 trip, this narrows the time of their immigration to the time interval between marriage and admission, January - June 1636 by today's calendar, a five month span. Would someone please make a concentrated search for ship's records in that five months? (Both civilian and military?)
Robert was "trained in the military," and on March 9, 1636/37 was made a freeman and appointed Captain for Charlestown. He was active in the construction of the early defenses of Boston, where he later lived. He was one of the founders, Captain and later General of The Ancient and Honorable Artillery Company" of Massachusetts. He was commissioned by Cromwell to organize a force against the Dutch in New York, but before they could leave word came that the a settlement had been made with the Dutch. Since he had an expeditionary force organized, General Robert turned them against the French in the Penobscot area of what is now Maine. The French Commander chose not to fight. Sedgwick, Maine, in that area, was named for Robert about 150 years later through the efforts of his great-grandson Theodore Sedgwick, Speaker of the House of Representatives. The move against the French was considered very controversial at the time, as there was no war with the French, and no justification for the action. However, Cromwell loved it.
He called Robert to England and sent him to Jamaica as one of the Generals in an occupational force. Jamaica had recently been taken from the Spanish. Later Major General Sedgwick was appointed Governor of Jamaica, but almost immediately afterward he died of "the fever." I understand that he was buried in Jamaica; I received recently this message from Jonathan de Forest Minturn Sedgwick (B47,423,5):
"When I was in Jamaica in 1957, I was directed to a Christopher Wren type little chapel located on the right, in the jungle, up the road from Ocho Rios towards Spanish Town, by my cousin who, at that time, owned the Burmuda Shop in Ocho Rios. This is where, I was told, General Robert Sedgwick, the first Governor General of Jamaica was buried ..."
Children (five total, four known):
b. abt March 31, 1639, Charlestown, Suffolk, Massachusetts
bp March 31, 1639, Charlestown, Suffolk, Massachusetts5
d. abt 1675?, bef December 1, 1683, England
m. abt 18 February 1666/7, Stepney or Whitechapel, Elizabeth Harwood
b. abt March 14, 1640, Charlestown, Suffolk, Massachusetts
bp March 14, 1640, Charlestown, Suffolk, Massachusetts5
d. aft November 4, 1655, probably England
b. 1643, Charleston, Suffolk, Massachusetts
d. 1674, Jamaica, West Indies
m. 1665, Hartford, Hartford, Connecticut, Elizabeth Stone
b. abt 1651, [Charlestown, Suffolk, Massachusetts?]
d. bef April 26, 1683, on voyage from Jamaica to England
m. 1676, Middlesex County, Massachusetts, Sarah Unknown
In a letter to Cromwell Robert stated that he and and Joanna had five children. At his death, she was in England with the children. At least one of them returned to Massachusetts, William, whose son Samuel is the common ancestor of a very large group of Sedgwick descendants.
You can read more about Major General Robert Sedgwick in these references:
Article: MAJOR GENERAL ROBERT SEDGWICK
in the Sedgwick Collection at the New Haven Colony Historical Society.
Pamphlet: Robert Sedgwick, A Sketch
by Henry Dwight Sedgwick, 1896 (21 pages)
Article: Robert Sedgwick
from the History of the ... Ancient and Honorable Artillery Company
Article: Petition before the House of Lords
regarding an illegal ship seizure
Robert's sister Sarah Sedgwick married John Leverett, later the governor of Massachusetts. Many, including Goodwin in his Genealogical Notes, have erroneously claimed she was daughter of Robert, but Governor Leverett's entry in his family Bible states "9th September 1647 marryed Sarah, daughter to Elizabeth Sedgwick the widow of William Sedgwicke, married at Louisham in Kent at the home of her brother Mr Robert Houghton." A reproduction in heliotype of the original entries in Governor Leverett's handwriting appeared in the privately published (1897) "Ancestry of Descendants of Richard Saltonstall", opposite page 150. Noted in NHCHS MSS-B46 Box 6 Folder B sheet 17; Freda Lightfoot of the UK has sent the pages from the book.
Descendants / Researchers:
Chauncy Sedgwick (3132)
Franklin Bartlett Benkard
William Henry Sedgwick
Pond, Sedgwick, Nafius and DeSpain
The LUND/ANDRE Family Page
Harriet Ruggles Gold m. Elias Boudinot
Florence Helen Sedgwick
1. The Sedgwick Collection (MSS B46) at the New Haven Colony Historical Society
2. Records of Saint Mary's Church, Woburn, Bedfordshire, England
3. Letter from Sedgwick's secretary Aylesbury to John Thurloe, June 25, 1656
4. Records of the Church of England at Andover, Hampshire, England
5. First Record Book, First Church in Charlestown, Suffolk, Massachusetts
7. Robert Sedgwick - A Sketch page 3
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