Lechmere-Sewall-Riedesel House

Richard Lechmere, who was the proprietor of Lechmere Point in East Cambridge, originally owned the property. In the years leading up to the Revolution, the Lechmere-Sewall-Riedesel house was the home to Jonathan Sewall, the last Attorney General under Royal British leadership. After the Powder House Alarm of 1774, the Cambridge Tories, felt threatened because of their loyalist stance, and almost all fled to other properties either in England, the Caribbean, or to the area surrounding Boston. 

Like the other estates, after Jonathan Sewall’s departure, patriot leaders seized his mansion and its grounds. When captured British General John Burgoyne and his 5,700 Convention Troops arrived in Cambridge as a condition of the Saratoga Convention, the leader of the Germanic mercenaries– also known as Hessians – Baron Von Riedesel, and his wife, the Baroness, were allowed to live in this mansion. However, the mansion was left unfurnished. Much to their own dismay and at their own expense, they were forced to furnish it.

Although they were prisoners of war, the Baroness reflected fondly upon her time in Cambridge. The Riedesel house, as it was known, became the center of Hessian social life. Today, little remains of their stay other than an etched signature in a windowpane that the Baroness was said to have made with her diamond ring.

Riedesell House Riedesell House Baroness Riedesell Window Engraving Riedesell House


Lechmere-Sewall-Riedesel House Today

Riedesell House Today Riedesell House Today

Riedesel Name on Windowpane

Baroness Von Riedesell Engraving Riedesell House Window

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