MEUX (MEWYS), William (c.1579-1638), of Kingston, I. o. W.
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Family and Education
b. c.1579, 1st s. of Sir John Meux of Kingston and Cicely, da. of Sir William Button† of Alton Priors, Wilts.1 educ. Brasenose, Oxf. 1594, aged 15; G. Inn 1596.2 m. (1) settlement 14 July 1604,3 Winifred, da. of Sir Francis Barrington* of Barrington Hall, Hatfield Broad Oak, Essex, 1s. 1da.;4 (2) by 1616, Elizabeth, da. of William Gerard† of Flambards, Harrow-on-the-Hill, Mdx., wid. of Francis Rame of Hornchurch, Essex, 1da.5 kntd. 26 June 1607;6 suc. fa. 1629.7 d. 27 Aug. 1638.8
Steward, Swainston, I.o.W. 1610-d.;9 capt. militia ft., I.o.W. 1625-d.;10 commr. survey of defences, I.o.W. 1626,11 oyer and terminer and martial law 1628,12 charitable uses 1635,13 piracy, Hants and I.o.W. 1635-6.14
The Meux family acquired Kingston by marriage in the late fourteenth century.15 Meux’s grandfather, William Mewes, had sat in the 1584 Parliament for Newtown, in which borough the family held property; but, in the words of Sir John Oglander*, his father was ‘the veriest clown (of a gentleman) that ever the Isle of Wight bred, ... destitute of learning, ... humanity and civility’, and possibly illiterate.16 Meux himself was nevertheless termed ‘as well a qualified gentleman as any’, and was returned for Newtown in 1604 in defiance of the 3rd earl of Southampton’s request for both nominations. He received only two appointments, to draft the subsidy bill (10 Feb. 1606), and for a bill committee headed by his father-in-law, Sir Francis Barrington, to enable the Essex squire Humphrey Mildmay to include certain entailed property in his wife’s jointure (20 Feb. 1610).17 Meux does not seem to have stood again.
After the death of his first wife Meux remained in close contact with the puritan Barrington circle, whose religious views he undoubtedly shared, marrying a relation of one of her in-laws, and entrusting his daughter to be raised in Lady Joan Barrington’s household at Hatfield Broad Oak.18 In 1628 he declined to serve as deputy lieutenant and was among the Isle of Wight gentlemen who petitioned the king for the removal of the billeted Scottish regiment.19 He died on 27 Aug. 1638, leaving £10 to the poor of Kingston, where he asked to be buried.20 His unmarried daughter received £200, and a ‘faithful and diligent’ servant an annuity of £10 and his keep. His son, John†, his executor, created a baronet in 1641, sat for Newtown in the Short and Long Parliaments until disabled as a royalist.21
Ref Volumes: 1604-1629
Authors: Virginia C.D. Moseley / Rosemary Sgroi
- 1. Berry, Hants Gen. 53-4; Vis. Wilts. (Harl. Soc. cv), 33.
- 2. Al. Ox.; GI Admiss.
- 3. C142/461/123.
- 4. G.A. Lowndes, ‘Hist. of Barrington Fam.’, Trans. Essex Arch. Soc. n.s. ii. 27.
- 5. Berry, 56; PROB 11/129, f. 262.
- 6. Shaw, Knights of Eng. ii. 142.
- 7. C142/461/123.
- 8. C142/786/58.
- 9. I.o.W. RO, JER/NBC/99.
- 10. R. Worsley, Hist. I.o.W. app. pp. xxxi, xxxii.
- 11. APC, 1625-6, p. 379.
- 12. C181/3, f. 240v.
- 13. C93/15/5.
- 14. C181/5, ff. 24, 58.
- 15. VCH Hants, v. 250.
- 16. Hants RO, 1629B/38/1; Oglander Mems. ed. W.H. Long, 7, 8, 90-91.
- 17. CJ, i. 266b, 397b.
- 18. Barrington Letters, ed. A. Searle (Cam. Soc. ser. 4. xxviii), 87-88, 159, 215; J.T. Cliffe, Puritan Gentry, 68.
- 19. SP16/101/17; Oglander Mems. 39, 54.
- 20. C142/786/58; Hants RO, 1638B/49/1.
- 21. M.F. Keeler, Long Parl. 272.