Robert Sewell (lawyer)

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Robert Sewell (1751 – 30 April 1828) was Attorney General of Jamaica and pro-slavery member of the Parliament of Great Britain.

Sewell was the son of Sir Thomas Sewell and Catherine Heath and christened 13 December 1751 at All Hallows[disambiguation needed], London.

He married Sarah Lewis in St Pancras, London on 18 November 1775.[1] In February 1776 they set sail for Jamaica on board the Judith and Hilaria from Portsmouth with Sarah's sisters,Mary, Maria and Catherine.[2]

In 1780 he was appointed Attorney General of Jamaica.

Robert Sewell returned to England in 1795 and became member of parliament for Grampound from 1796 to 1802. He spoke in the House of Commons on behalf of the West Indian Planters interest. In May 1797, he argued that it would be economically impossible to abolish slavery. In April and May 1798 he spoke against William Smith[who?]'s proposal to provide minimum space for enslaved Africans on slave ships. He rejected a minimum of 40 cubic feet (1.1 m3) arguing that "negroes prefer being herded together".[3]

He was an uncle of Monk Lewis. He also brought up William Henry, who adopted the name William Henry Sewell and became a general in the British Army.

References[edit]

  1. ^ Sewell Co-ordinator's Report December 2006 accessed 26 December 2008
  2. ^ Charlotte Taylor, Her Life and Times accessed 26 December 2008
  3. ^ Monk Lewis by David Lorne Macdonald, University of Toronto Press, 2000, p49
Parliament of Great Britain
Preceded by
Thomas Wallace
Jeremiah Crutchley
Member of Parliament for Grampound
17961800
With: Bryan Edwards
Succeeded by
Parliament of the United Kingdom
Parliament of the United Kingdom
Preceded by
Parliament of Great Britain
Member of Parliament for Grampound
18011802
With: Sir Christopher Hawkins, Bt
Succeeded by
Benjamin Hobhouse
Sir Christopher Hawkins, Bt