MEADOWES, Philip (1672-1757), of St. Martin-in-the-Fields, Mdx.

Published in The History of Parliament: the House of Commons 1690-1715, ed. D. Hayton, E. Cruickshanks, S. Handley, 2002
Available from Boydell and Brewer



1698 - 24 June 1700
26 Nov. 1702 - 1705
1705 - 1708

Family and Education

bap. 21 May 1672, 2nd but 1st surv. s. of Sir Philip Meadowes of Chattisham, Suff. by Constance, da. and coh. of Francis Lucy of Westminster.  educ. matric. Trinity, Oxf. 1689; L. Inn 1690.  m. by 1697, Dorothy, da. of Edward Boscawen† of Wortherall and Roscarrock, Cornw. and sis. of Hugh Boscawen II*, 3s. 5da.  Kntd. 23 Dec. 1700; suc. fa. 1718.1

Offices Held

Commr. excise 1698–1702; knight marshal 1700–d.; envoy extraordinary to Emperor 1706–9; jt. comptroller of army accts. 1708–aft.1719.2

Commr. Chelsea hosp.3


Meadowes’ father, an experienced official and diplomat whose career dated back to the 1650s, was one of the members of the council of trade appointed in 1696, a place he held into the reign of George I. Meadowes’ marriage into the Boscawen family no doubt explains his unsuccessful attempt to enter the Commons at the St. Mawes by-election in November 1696. In the summer of 1698 he was appointed an excise commissioner, a post carrying a salary of £800 p.a., and he was successful at the Tregony election of the same year. A comparison, dating from September, of the old and new Commons, classed him as a Court supporter, and on 18 Jan. 1699 he voted against the third reading of the disbanding bill. On 17 Feb. his name was given to the House as one of the Members who possessed offices in the revenue, and when the following year he was forced, by the place clause of the Grants Resumption Act, to choose between his place and his seat in the Commons, he opted for the former.4

In October 1700 Meadowes was appointed knight marshal for life, a post for which he was reported to have paid its previous incumbent £5,000, and in December he was knighted at Windsor. Two years later he resigned from the excise commission in order to return to the Commons, though James Lowther* commented that following his resignation from this place Meadowes was ‘not without a prospect of another’, and he was returned at a by-election in Cornwall when his brother-in-law Sir Thomas Powys chose to sit for Tregony instead of Truro. Meadowes’ wife was the niece of Lord Treasurer Godolphin (Sidney†), and in 1703 Godolphin suggested him for the post of envoy to Holland. Meadowes hesitated whether or not to take the place, and when visiting Amsterdam ‘for two or three days’ in early 1704 he quickly took a dislike to Holland and returned home. Little is known of Meadowes’ contribution to the 1702 Parliament, but he did not vote for the Tack on 28 Nov. 1704, and early the following year was included upon a list of placemen. He transferred to Tregony at the 1705 election, and having been returned unopposed he was classed as a ‘High Church courtier’. On 25 Oct. he voted for the Court candidate as Speaker. At the end of 1706 Meadowes was appointed envoy to the Emperor, arriving at Vienna on 25 June 1707, and remaining there until August 1709. In his absence Meadowes was classed as a Whig in an analysis of the Commons dating from early 1708, and in April that year he was appointed, thanks to Godolphin’s patronage, joint comptroller of army accounts, worth £750 p.a. He did not stand at the 1708 or any subsequent election, but continued to hold minor government offices well into the Hanoverian period. Meadowes died at Brompton, Middlesex, on either 3 or 5 Dec. 1757.5

Ref Volumes: 1690-1715

Author: Eveline Cruickshanks


  • 1. DNB (Meadowes, Sir Philip).
  • 2. Cal. Treas. Bks. xiii. 393; xvii. 95; xxii. 416; CSP Dom. 1700–2, pp. 76, 143; Boyer, Anne Annals, vii. 44; HMC Laing, ii. 203–4.
  • 3. Gent. Mag. 1757, p. 578.
  • 4. Luttrell, Brief Relation, iv. 410, 655, 658.
  • 5. CSP Dom. 1700–2, p. 90; Luttrell, v. 239; vi. 116, 320; Cumbria RO (Carlisle), Lonsdale mss D/Lons/W2/2/5, James to Sir John Lowther, 2nd Bt. I*, 1 Dec. 1702; Marlborough–Godolphin Corresp. 196, 210, 264, 765; DNB; Gent. Mag. 578.