Adam Sedgwick was a master structural geologist and was one of the primary participants in the early days of stratigraphy - working out how rocks could be distinguished, extrapolated, etc.
Although he did not consider himself a biostratigraphic expert (he would usually send his fossils to the relevant experts for precise identification), he would have definitely been aware of the "succession" of species: That the species in rocks of different ages are different (so much so that they could be used for system identification), and they tend to be fewer and simpler in his own Cambrian, but much more complex and diverse higher up (e.g. in the Secondary and Tertiary rocks).
He was probably also aware of some of the similarities between fossils in rocks of neighboring ages.
Despite retaining a good friendship with one of his former students, Charles Darwin, he never accepted evolution. Presumably this is related to his position in the more conservative side of the Church of England.
So what was Sedgwick's explanation for these patterns seen in the stratigraphic distribution of fossils?