Thomas Meeres 1 2 3
- Marriage (1): Elizabeth
- Died: 1674
Another name for Thomas was Thomas Mears.
Thomas Mears was a member of the Puritan group that settled in what is now Norfolk County, Virginia, long persecuted by the Virginia authorities. Maryland made an offer of tolerance, and in 1649, over three hundred souls migrated there, settling near the mouth of the Severn River and calling their new home Providence.
Thomas Mears appears to have been a leader among the Providence group. In 1650 he was appointed one of seven comissioners of Anne Arundel county, and in 1655 he was named one of the judges of the Provincial Court.
Early in the summer of 1658, Quaker preachers sojurned a few weeks in Providence, and it seems Thomas Mears was one of those convinced by them; on 12 Jul 1658 he was nominated again as comissioner, but refused to take the required oath, and so was denied the office and then fined both for refusing to swear and for refusing military service. Nevertheless, in 1663, he was elected a burgess from Anne Arundel County.
From Founders of Anne Arundel and Howard Counties, p. 6-7:
"Thomas Meeres held 300 acres in the Upper County of New Norfolk in 1644-5-6-7; he was a justice in 1645, and a churchwarden. There is a record which states "that Edward Lloyd was acting for Thomas Meeres, of Providence, Maryland, in 1645...
"At the County Court of 1649, (the same year these parties left for Maryland), the following record reads: 'Whereas, Mr. Edward Lloyd and Mr. Thomas Meeres, commissioners, with Edward Selby, Richard Day, Richard Owens, Thomas Marsh, George Kemp and John Norwood were presented to ye board by the sheriff, for seditious sectuaries for not repairing to their church, and for refusing to hear common prayer--liberty is granted till October next, to inform their judgements, and to conform themselves to the established law.'
"Before that probation had expired [in 1649] all the above were in Maryland."
Ibid., p. 10:
"By Governor Stone's appointm,ent, Edward Lloyd was made commander of Providence, a title kindred to that of deputy-governor; with power to name his own Council, who, with him, were empowered to grant certificates of surveys of lands, organize courts and direct that settlement.
"Edward Lloyd's commissioners were James Homewood, Thomas Meeres, Thomas Marsh, George Puddington, Matthew Hawkins, James Merryman, and Henry Catlyn."
"...Thomas Marsh and Thomas Meeres were first upon Herring Creek, but later resided on the Severn.
"...Captain William Fuller located on 'Fuller's Survey,' which is now known as 'White Hall.' Leonard Strong, the first historian of the Anne Arundel settlers, and his daughter Elizabeth, held 800 acres adjoining Captain Fuller.
"Thomas Meeres adjoined them, holding 500 acres. This North Severn settlement was 'Broad Neck,' and included Colonel Greenberry's 'Towne Neck.'"
Ibid., p. 11:
[Around 1651?] "The Middle Neck settlers along the bay, north of South River, were Philip Thomas, of 'Thomas Point;' Captain William Fuller, Leonard Strong, Thomas Meeres, Thomas Tolley and William James.
"Upon their surveys stand, to-day, Bay Ridge and Arundel-on-the-Bay."
Ibid., p. 13:
"Samuel Chew laid out Herrington.
"Thomas Marsh took up lands on the west side of Herring Creek, beginning at Parker's Branch, and running to Selby's Cove; he also held a thousand acres adjoining Richard Bennett, running up the bay... [Edward Selby] adjoined Thomas Meeres on the west side of South River, next to John Watkins; in all some 1000 acres. William Parker adjoined Thomas Marsh on Herring Creek, and also, Richard Bennett, Sampson Warring, and Thomas Davis on the bay, holding 1200 acres. William Durand adjoined Edward Selby, running down the bay; John Covell adjoined William Durand; Thomas Emerson adjoined William Parker; Captain Edward Carter, near Herring Creek, adjoined William Ayers, whose lands were assigned him by Thomas Marsh. Richard Ewen adjoined Richard Bennett and Richard Talbott, on Herring Creek. Richard Wells, Chirurgeon, was on the west side of Herring Bay, adjoining Stockett's Creek, holding 600 acres. The three Stockett brothers were on Stockett's Run; they did not come from Virginia... Richard Bennett held thousands of acres at Herring Creek, and later as many more upon the Eastern Shore."
Ibid., p. 26:
[After the "Battle of the Severn" on 25 March 1655] "The Severn men being thus masters of the province, the dominion of the proprietary seemed now at an end. The pretensions of Virginia were renewed. Documents in opposition of the restoration poured in upon the Protector, but the committee on trade and plantations, to which Cromwell had referred Lord Baltimore's claim, reported in his favor in 1656. A strong party in Maryland were still loyal to him. Among these advocates was Josias Fendall, who received, in 1656, a commission from Lord Baltimore as Governor of Maryland, to be aided by the following councilors: Captain w. Stone, Mr. Thomas Gerald, Colonel John Price, Mr. Job. Chandler and Mr. Luke Barber. Before Fendall could organize his government, the Severn's Provincial Council, composed of Captain William Fuller, Edward Lloyd, Richard Wells, Captain Richard Ewen, Thomas Marsh, and Thomas Meeres, in August, 1656, caused Fendall's arrest on the charge 'of Dangerousness to the public peace.'"
Ibid., pp. 27-28:
"In 1657, Captain [William] Fuller called an Assembly to meet at the home of Colonel Richard Preston, on the Patuxent. The lower house consisted of ten members, with Colonel Richard Ewen speaker. There were present, besides the speaker, Captain Robert Sley, Captain Joseph Weeks, Mr. Robert Taylor, Captain Thomas Besson, Mr. Peter Sharp, Captain Phil Morgan, Mr. Richard Brooks and Mr. James Johnson. They confirmed the 'Act of Recognition.' On the 30th of November, 1657, Lord Baltimore and Richard Bennett completed their compromise. In substance it was an agreement by Lord Baltimore to overlook the disturbance of the Severn; to grant patents of land to all the Puritan settlers who could claim them, by taking an altered oath of fidelity,--whilst the law granting freedom of religion should stand as proclaimed in 1649. Bennett and Matthews signed the agreement with Lord Baltimore. Governor Fendall, who had been called to England for further instructions, returned to the province in 1658. He called his council together at St. Mary's, and sent letters [to those composing the government at Providence], desiring them to give him and his secretary, Captain Thomas Corwallis, a meeting at Leonard's Creek, in Patuxent River, upon March 18th, following...
"On account of the stormy season, the delegates of Anne Arundel did not arrive until the 20th. They were Captain Wm. Fuller, Mr. Richard Preston, Mr. Edward Lloyd, Mr. Thomas Meeres, Mr. Philip Thomas, and Mr. Samuel Withers...
"After the lapse of six years, his Lordship's dominion was again restored, yet the settlers were still independent. Governor Fendall and his secretary had, in 1657, at a meeting on the Severn, taken up the settlement of Anne Arundel and ordered, 'That Wm. Burgess, Thomas Meeres, Robert Burle, Thomas Todde, Roger Grosse, Thomas Howell, Richard Wells, Richard Ewen, John Brewer, Anthony Salway and Richard Woolman, gentlemen, should be commissioners for said county, to appear by summons of the sheriff, at the house of Edward Lloyd, to take oath of Commissioners and Justices of the Peace, and that the 23rd instant should be the first court day.--(By order of the Governor and Secretary, Mr. Nathaniel Utie, at Anne Arundel, July 12th, 1657).'
"The warrant was issued by Captain John Norwood, Sheriff. Wm. Burgess, Thomas Meeres and Richard Ewen refused to take the oath of Commissioners of Justice, alleging, as an excuse, that it was not lawful to swear.
"Their pleas were refused and Captain Thomas Besson, Captain Howell and Thomas Taylor were appointed in their stead."
Noted events in his life were:
• Appointed: one of the six High Commissioners of the Provincial Court, 20 Mar 1657, Maryland, (United States). Another of the high commissioners was Lieutenant Philip Thomas, whose daughter Sarah married Thomas' son John Mears.
• Living, 16 May 1674, Severn River, Anne Arundel, Maryland, (United States).
• Probate: of his will, 9 Sep 1674.
Thomas married Elizabeth.