Major General Robert Sedgwick

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Robert Sedgwick (c. 1611-1656) was an American colonist, born in (baptised on May 6, 1613)[1] Woburn, Bedfordshire, England.

He settled at Charlestown, Mass., in 1635, where he became a successful merchant and for many years represented the town in the General Court.

He was active in organizing the Ancient and Honorable Artillery Company, of which he became captain in 1640. In 1652 he was appointed commander of all the Massachusetts militia. He built the first fort at Boston, and Cromwell promoted him to major general, making him the first Major General of the Massachusetts Bay Colony. With John Winthrop, Jr., and others he established in 1643-44 the first ironworks in the United States.

Under authority from Cromwell, he drove the French from the Penobscot region in 1654 and in 1655 accompanied the expedition which captured Jamaica. Just before his death there, Cromwell gave him sole command as the first Governor General of Jamaica. He is buried half way up the canyon to Spanish Town from Ocho Rios in a small Sir Christopher Wren styled chapel.[2]

He is the ancestor of a very large family that is now scattered to every State in the Union.

He was born at Woburn, Bedfordshire, England, and baptised there May 6, 1613, according to the Register of St. Mary's Church at Woburn. He was the son of William Sedgwicke and Elizabeth Lowe (or Howe), whose marriage on April 10, 1604, is recorded in the same Register. It is said that Woburn, Mass., was so named as a compliment to Robert, who assisted in laying out the town.

All knowledge of his early life comes from Johnson's "Wonder Work of Providence", to the effect that he was "stout and active in all feats of war, nurst up in London's Artillery Garden. - "exact theory besides the help of a very good top piece."

There is no positive record of when he came to this country, but he is supposed to have been, "Jo Sedgwick, aged 24," licensed to be transported to New England, imbarqued in the Truelove 19 Sept. l635.

The first mention of him in New England is found in the First Record Book, of the First Church in Charlestown, which states that in 1636, 12 mo: day 27 (that is Feb. 27, 1637, our calen- dar) Robert Sedgwick, with Joanna Sedgwick, his wife were admitted to the church. He was made a freeman on March 9, following, when he was appointed Captain for the town "by our Court."

He became prominent in the affairs of Charlestown, Boston and the Colony. On March 13, 1638 "Robert Sedgwiok and others at their request, were ordered to form a Company, which shall be called the Military Company of Massachusetts." This was later called the Ancient and Honorable Artillery Company, and was the first organization of its kind in New England. He was Captain of the Company in 1840, Commander of Castle in 1641, and Head of Regiment of Middlesex in 1643.

He was appointed Major General of the Colony May 26, 1852, and was soon thereafter called to Military service by Oliver Cromwell, then Lord Protector of England. His first commission was an expedition against the Dutch in New York, but upon his arrival he found that peace had been made. He then sailed with his squadron to Boston and was commissioned for an expedition against the French Forts in Arcadia, with John Leveret (afterwards governor of the colony) as second in company. This was a very successful campaign, three forts being captured and English garrisons left in charge.