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William "Doomesday" Sedgwicke (1609 - 1663)

William Sedgwick  [William Sedgwick / Elizabeth Howe]
b. 1609
m1. Ann James (nee Robinson) 22 December 1635
m2. Mary Harrewyn (nee Van Soldt) circa 1650
d. abt Feb 1663/4 [will details]

 There is a burial in the IGI of an Ann Sudgwicke of Hart Sreet, London on 25 August 1646. This could relate to William's first wife.

Along with his younger brother Robert, William has warranted inclusion in the Dictionary of National Biography. He is described as a puritan and mystic and had two nicknames - the Apostle of Ely and Doomsday Sedgwick. The latter name was given after he announced the date of the day of judgment at the house of Sir Francis Russell (father in law of Henry Cromwell). Whilst the end of the world didn't arrive, "a terrible tempest of thunder and lightning" arose during the night.

William entered Oxford in 1625 and was awarded a BA in 1628 and an MA in 1631. He lived in a number of parishes throughout his career and was also appointed chaplain to William Constable. In 1642 and 1643 William preached sermons to Parliament and at the end of 1647 he waited on King Charles at Carisbrooke. Charles read one of his books and declared "the author stands in some need of sleep".

Throughout his life, William seems to have maintained a hunger to research the different branches of puritanism having been described as "sometimes a presbyterian, sometimes an independant and at other times an anabaptist". In 1652 he was attracted to the Muggletonians and he also had a connection with the Dutch Church. By 1663 he had conformed and was rector of Mattishall Burgh, Norfolk. He died in 1663 at London or his Lewisham home.

William's will was proven at the PCC on 26 February 1663/4. The New Haven Collection includes details from the will. Recent research has shown that William left legacies to several sons in law including the children of his two wives so the assumptions in this document that he had 4 married daughters is inaccurate;

New Haven Collection - William Sedgwick details


Elizabeth Sedgwick

bpt 22 November 1636, Bishops Stortford, Hertfordshire
m. Nicholas Ashton, 1658

William Sedgwick

b circa 1637
m1. c 1669 Ann (Dunmoll)
m2. April 28, 1693 Susanna Phipps (nee Woodnoth, ex Saxton, ex Short)
d. 1700 Hackney, London

Susan Sedgwick

b circa 1639
Alive 1663

Mary Sedgwick

b circa 1640
Alive 1663




ww1 army records 728x90