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MEADOWS, Sir PHILIP (1626–1718), diplomatist, baptised at Chattisham, Suffolk, on 4 Jan. 1625–6 (Page, Suffolk, p. 13), was fifth son of Daniel Meadowe (1571–1651) of Chattisham, by his wife Elizabeth, and grandson of William Meddowe or Meadowe (d. 1588), as the name was anciently spelt, of Witnesham. Philip was educated at Queens' College, Cambridge, whence he graduated M.A. In October 1653 he was appointed, on Thurloe's recommendation, Latin secretary to Cromwell's council at a salary of 100l., soon augmented to 200l. a year. The appointment was made in order to relieve Milton, who was then receiving 15s. 10½d. a day from the council, but whose blindness incapacitated him from the full discharge of his duties, and who virtually became henceforth ‘Latin secretary extraordinary’ (Cal. State Papers, Dom. 1653–4, p. 386). The poet would have preferred the appointment of Andrew Marvell (in whose interest he wrote to Bradshaw) as his assistant; but Meadows soon gave complete satisfaction, and henceforth did the bulk of the routine work in the department (Masson, Milton, iv. 479, 526, 575–80). In March 1656 he was selected to represent the Lord Protector at Lisbon in respect to the ratification of the treaty between England and Portugal, and he sailed from Portsmouth in the Phœnix, Captain Whetstone, on the 11th of the month (Cal. State Papers, Dom. 1655–6, pp. 236, 503–4). Good news received from him in July were qualified by the report that he had been insulted and ‘maimed’ in the execution of his duty (ib.; and cf. Cal. of Clarendon State Papers, iii. 154); lands to the value of 100l. a year were granted to him by way of compensation; but no confiscated property of precisely the right amount being instantly available, this was commuted by a lump sum of 1,000l. Meadows returned from Lisbon in the Phœnix towards the end of November. In February 1657 it was decided to send him as envoy to Frederick III, king of Denmark. His goods were to pass free of customs and excise, and he was to have 400l. for preliminary expenses in addition to 1,000l. a year salary. A Mr. Sterry was appointed to act as secretary during his absence on two hundred marks a year, and Meadows sailed in the Assistance in August 1657. He arrived at Elsinore in September (Thurloe, p. 509), and was received at Copenhagen about the 20th, his entry and reception being ‘more solemn than usual, to the regret of some other ministers residing in the court’ (ib.) In March 1657–8 he gave a full account to Thurloe of the treaty of Roskild (8 March) between Frederick III and Charles Gustavus of Sweden. Though Denmark lost considerably by the treaty, Cromwell was unwilling to see her absorbed by Sweden, and did what he could to protect her interests. Meadows had an interview with Charles X after the treaty, and described him as perfectly well disposed to the Protector. He presented him with a handsome sword, which Charles swore to use against the house of Austria. The envoy now asked permission to return to England, but was sent to take part as a mediator in negotiations pending between the kings of Sweden and Poland. The task was very delicate, especially as the Polish monarch's sentiments with regard to Cromwell were quite uncertain, and it was soon relinquished.

During the spring of 1658 Meadows was knighted, and was sent as ambassador to the court of Sweden, but he was unable to exert much influence. Cromwell was endeavouring to unite Sweden and Denmark with England, France, and if possible Brandenburg, against Austria and Spain. Charles Gustavus had other views. He recommenced war with Denmark, marched an army across the frozen waters of the Baltic, and before the end of 1658 was bombarding the Danish capital. A witness of these exploits, Meadows remained with Charles before Copenhagen, giving him vague promises of English support as his position grew more and more embarrassing. Brandenburg and the Dutch came to Denmark's aid, and Charles's situation became most precarious. The English fleet under Edward Montague, earl of Sandwich [q. v.], appeared in the Sound in April 1659, and Charles now confidently anticipated support; but Meadows was only empowered to insist upon the status quo as defined by the peace of Roskild, and this principle was soon adopted as the basis for an armistice. Meadows, however, returned to England on leave (July 1659) before the terms of the peace were finally enforced, or supplemented and confirmed by the treaty of Copenhagen in 1660. Meadows had been created a knight of the order of the Elephant of Denmark, and by Cromwell a knight-marshal of the palace (1658). At the Restoration his position was untenable, and in February 1660 he was turned out of his lodgings at Whitehall to make room for [Sir] William Temple. Little is heard of him in his retirement until 1677, when he published ‘A Narrative of the Principal Actions occurring in the Wars betwixt Sueden and Denmark before and after the Roschild Treaty, with the Counsels and Measures by which those actions were directed, together with a View of the Suedish and other Affairs as they stood in Germany in the year 1675, with relation to England,’ London, 12mo, dedicated to the Right Hon. Earl of Bristol. Four years later he published ‘A Brief Enquiry into Leagues and Confederacies made betwixt Princes and Nations, with the Nature of their Obligations,’ a not very lucid protest against the inconsistency of English foreign policy under Charles II (printed in Somers Tracts, 1812, viii. 22). In 1689 appeared his interesting ‘Observations concerning the Dominion and Sovereignty of the Seas, being an Abstract of the Marine Affairs of England,’ London, 4to. Here, while accepting the general conclusions of Selden's ‘Mare Clausum,’ the author deprecates a policy of encroachment. He inquires what is meant by ‘dominion of the sea,’ and what things are incident to such a dominion. He considers England's claim to salutation by the flag and topsail, a practice in which he discovers both inconsistencies and dangers, treats of the exclusion of foreign men-of-war from British waters, and finally of marine jurisdiction, fishing rights, and other subsidiary topics. In 1690 Meadows was exchanging verses and epigrams with John Cotton, and the latter writes: ‘In this traffic of poetry I am the great gainer, for Sir Ph. doth exchange (as Glaucus did with Diomedes) χρυσεα χαλκειων (Aubrey, Bodleian Letters, 1813, i. 19).

Restored to favour at the revolution, Meadows was in January 1691–2 appointed commissioner for taking public accounts, and in May 1696 created a member of the original council of trade. He was reappointed commissioner for the promoting of trade in January 1707–8, with a salary of 1,000l. a year (Harl. MS. 2263, ff. 152, 333). He died, aged 93, on 16 Sept. 1718, and was buried at Hammersmith (Chron. Regist. 1718, p. 34).

Meadows married, in April 1661, Constance, second daughter and coheiress of Francis Lucy of Westminster, by whom he had a son and three daughters, of whom Elizabeth married Sir Thomas Powys [q. v.], while a second espoused Richard Dyott, commissioner of stamp duties from 1708 to 1710, in which year he was convicted of fraud and sent to Newgate, but soon afterwards pardoned (see Swift, Journal to Stella, letter v.). The son, Philip Meadows (d. 1757), who was a commissioner of excise from 1698 to 1700, was on 2 July 1700 appointed knight-marshal of the king's household, and formally knighted by William III on 23 Dec. 1700 at Hampton Court; he succeeded Stanhope as envoy to Holland in December 1706, was in 1707 despatched on a special mission to the emperor, and during his absence appointed controller of army accounts (Cal. State Papers, Treasury, 1708–14, passim); in November 1708 he presented a memorial to the emperor in favour of the protestants of Silesia, but before his vigorous protest had time to take effect he was succeeded by Lord Raby in August 1709. He subsequently took up his abode at Richmond, and died at Brompton on 5 Dec. 1757, leaving issue by his wife Dorothy, sister of Hugh Boscawen, first viscount Falmouth, three sons and five daughters (Wentworth Papers, p. 98; Boyer, Queen Anne, 1735, pp. 338, 395). Of these the third son, Philip (1708–1781), deputy-ranger of Windsor Park, married in 1734 Frances, only daughter of William Pierrepoint, viscount Newark, a niece to Lady Mary Wortley Montagu, and was father of Charles, who succeeded to the Kingston estates on the death of the dowager-duchess in 1788, took the name of Pierrepoint, and was on 9 April 1806 created Earl Manvers; and of Sir William Medows [q. v.]

[Gent. Mag. 1824, ii. 518; Burke's Peerage, 1889, p. 923, and Extinct Peerages, p. 428; A. Page's Supplement to the Suffolk Traveller, 1844, p. 74; Thurloe's State Papers, ed. Birch, vi. vii. passim; Cal. State Papers, Dom. Ser. 1653–60, passim; Hist. MSS. Comm. 11th Rep. App. iv. 254, 296, 13th Rep. App. v. 183; Cooper's Memorials of Cambridge, i. 313; Dyer's Modern Europe, iii. 337; Luttrell's Brief Relation, passim; Patrick's Autob. p. 20; Litt. Cromwellii, 1676, passim; Add. MS. 5131, 5132, passim, and 19141, ff. 342–59 (Davy's Suffolk Collections); Brit. Mus. Cat.]

T. S.