Meadows, John (DNB00)

MEADOWS or MEADOWE, JOHN (1622–1697), ejected minister, second son of Daniel Meadowe (1577–1651) of Chattisham, near Ipswich, by his wife, Elizabeth (Smith, d circa 1678), was born at Chattisham on 7 April 1622. He altered his name to Meadows in later life. Sir Philip Meadows [q. v.] was his younger brother. On 26 Feb. 1639–40 he was admitted at Emmanuel College, Cambridge, and graduated B.A. in 1643. He removed to Christ's College on 23 Dec. 1644, having been put into one of the fellowships made vacant by the parliamentary commissioners; he graduated M.A. in 1646. Leaving Cambridge in 1653, he was presented by Humphrey Mosely to the rectory of Ousden, Suffolk (26 Aug. 1653); was ordained by three presbyters at Cheveley, Cambridgeshire, on 17 April 1657, and was approved by the ‘commissioners for approbation’ (triers) on 7 May 1658. By the uniformity act of 1662 he was ejected on 24 Aug., but retained the rectory and received the profits of the living till Michaelmas, when he removed to Ousden Hall. John Greene, his successor, was not inducted till 8 Aug. 1663. At Ousden Hall he remained till 21 Oct. 1670. In 1672, under the indulgence of that year, he took out licenses as a presbyterian teacher in his own house at Stowmarket, Suffolk, and that of Elizabeth Nelson there. He seems to have been called on to appear at three successive sessions in 1680 for his nonconformity. About 1688 he removed to Bury St. Edmunds, where he had often preached while at Stowmarket. He lived in close fellowship with Samuel Bury [q. v.] the presbyterian minister. Being a man of wealth, Meadows was able to do much for his nonconformist brethren in straitened circumstances, and his liberality had no sectarian bias; he was an occasional communicant at the established church. He died at Bury St. Edmunds in 1696–7 and was buried in the churchyard at Stowmarket on 1 March. His will (proved 7 April 1697) devised property in ten Suffolk parishes; he had also an estate at Wickhambrook, Suffolk, and owned the advowson of the rectory of Witnesham, Suffolk. His portrait as a youth at Cambridge, engraved by A. Fox, is prefixed to the memoir by Edgar Taylor, F.S.A., his descendant. He married, first, in 1653, Anne (d. about 1670), daughter of Roger Rant of Swaffham Prior, Cambridgeshire, who brought him an estate at Exning, Suffolk. He married, secondly, in 1675, Sarah (1654–1688), daughter of Benjamin Fairfax (d. 1708) of Halesworth, Suffolk, elder brother of John Fairfax (1623–1700) [q. v.] By his second marriage only had he issue—four sons and three daughters. The eldest son John Meadows (1676–1757), educated at Caius College, Cambridge; settled (21 Sept. 1701) as presbyterian minister at Needham Market, Suffolk; published ‘The Apostolic Rule of Ordination,’ &c., 1738, 8vo, and died at Needham on 10 April 1757. The third son, Philip (1679–1752), was mayor of Norwich, 1734.

[Calamy's Account, 1713, p. 641; Taylor's Suffolk Bartholomeans, 1840; Browne's Hist. Congr. Norfolk and Suffolk, 1877, pp. 491, 498, 533.]

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