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{Chief Justice} Jonathan Sewell
(1766 - 1839)

    {Hon} Jonathan Sewell (III), L.L.D. was just nine years old when he left Massachusetts for England in 1775 with his mother and father and brother Stephen. The Sewall family home in Cambridge, Massachusetts had been wrecked by a revolutionary mob, consisting of some fifty men and boys, on September 1, 1774.  Jonathan’s father was in Boston at the time, and his very frightened mother, Esther Sewall, struck a bargain with the mob of “patriots”.  She exchanged the contents of  her husband’s wine cellar for the mob’s dispersal.

    This terrifying event had a life-long impact on Jonathan who was to become the Chief Justice of Quebec.  The Sewall Family moved to Boston within a week of the sacking of their Cambridge home; and were forced to flee what was to become the United States in 1775, never to return.  While in exile in England, they changed the spelling of our name from “Sewall” to “Sewell.”

    Jonathan was a student at the Grammar School of Bristol and at Brasenose College in Oxford. He came to New Brunswick in 1785 and was appointed Chief Justice of Lower Canada in 1808.  He received an honorary LL.D degree from Harvard University in 1832.  Jonathan was a member of the Anglican Church, played the violin and was fluent in French.

Follow these links for more about
Jonathan Sewell
Dictionary of Canadian Biography, 1836-1850
Appletons’ Cyclopædia of American Biography
Jonathan's Plan for Federal Union, 1814
Jonathan Sewell and The Sewell Family

Return to Jonathan Sewell on the Sewall / Sewell Page.