Revd Abraham Sedgwick

Abraham Sedgwick was born on 7 September 1819 in Preston, Lancashire, the son of Abraham Sedgwick and Agnes Hodgkinson . His father is listed in the 1871 census described as a landowner.

Abraham married his first wife, Margaret Haslam on 5 September 1850, and their son Joseph Haslam Sedgwick was born b. 10 October 1851 in Chorley, Lancashire. Margaret died in the spring of 1854, aged 25.

He married his second wife, Ellen Walmsley on 31 October 1855 and all of their children, John Edmund Sedgwick (b1857), William Walmsley Sedgwick (b1858), Ellen Sedgwick (b. 1861) Isabella Sedgwick (b.1861), Agnes M Sedgwick (b. 1864) and Alice E Sedgwick (b. 1865) were born in the parish.

Abraham was appointed the first Rector of Freemantle, on 13 September 1855 by the Bishop of Winchester, and arrived in the parish in the November of the same year. He had formerly been curate at St George's Church, Chorley. When he arrived, he was 36 years old, and brought with him his wife, Ellen and his son Joseph. The population of Freemantle at that time was about 1,200.

The 1861 census shows that they and their children were living with Ellen's sister Isabella and Abraham's niece, Sarah June.

The laundry room, an upper room over the bailiff's house, was fitted up and licensed as a temporary place of worship. The first service was held there on the afternoon of Sunday, February 3rd. 1856, with the first Parish Communion Service on March 23rd, with another room of the bailiffs house fitted up as a Sunday School.

Abraham presided over the foundation of the day schools in 1857, and finally, the foundation stone for the church was laid by Archdeacon Jacob on July 25th, 1861. During the four years that the church was being built, the Revd. Sedgwick spent much of the time taking leave of absence from the parish 'on account of his failing health', at one point spending time working in other parishes in Surrey and the Isle of Wight and during the autumn of 1862, he even spent time in the USA and Niagara Falls .

The Church was dedicated as Christ Church, and consecrated by Bishop Sumner on July 27th. 1865. A Rectory was then planned in 1869, with money donated by the Bishop of Winchester and Sampson Payne.

By the time Abraham Sedgwick and his family left Freemantle in 1871 due to ill health, the population had increased to over 5,000. He became Vicar in Tovil Parish, Maidstone in Kent. He died on 15 March 1891 in Kent aged 72.