Publication: The Meriwether Society, Inc.
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Note: N14 The Meriwether Society, Inc., has recently published a new book that comprehensively covers the first two generations of the Meriwether Family in America, including a review of Meriwether history in England. To order a copy, visit the Meriwether Society's Home Page:
Volume I Table of Contents
Chapter 1 British Origins
Chapter 2 The Colonies, A Choice
Chapter 3 First Colonial Meriwethers
Chapter 4 Nicholas Meriwether I
Chapter 5 Colonial Ladies To Match
Chapter 6 Family Matures and Thrives
Chapter 7 The Settled and the Restless
Chapter 8 Nicholas Meriwether II
Chapter 9 Francis Meriwether II
Chapter 10 Thomas Meriwether
Chapter 11 Clough, Clements, Williamson Connections
Chapter 12 Crawford Connections
Chapter 13 Bathurst Connections
Chapter 14 Browne Connections
Note: N11 Nicholas Meriwether of England & Virginia
Nicholas Meriwether was born in 1631 in Norfolk, England, son of John Merywether and his wife Joane Browne. According to Norfolk church records he had siblings John, Anne, Fayth, Joane and Francis. His father was a Fellow at New College, Oxford (1618-1629), until he became Rector of the Stratton St. Michael Parish from 1629 until 1653. John died sometime between 1653 and 1660 onboard a ship sailing to Virginia, presumably to join his son.
Based on the careers of Nicholas in Virginia, he was obviously well educated. Where he received his education and training has not yet been determined.
Nicholas arrived in Jamestown, Virginia, probably about 1652, though no record of him being transported has been located. The first confirmation of his existence in Virginia was 4 July 1653 when he patented 300 acres of land in Lancaster County. From at least 13 Oct 1653 until 13 Dec 1656, Nicholas served as a clerk of the Quarter Court and Governor’s Council for the Colony in Jamestown. Although many researchers state he was clerk of Surry County, there is no evidence that he was.
Sometime in the early 1660’s, after the English monarchy was reestablished, Nicholas removed to Surry County and seems to have retired from public office to pursue land speculation and tobacco production and shipping. Since his entire government career was during the reign of Cromwell and he ceased upon restoration of the throne, this seems to contradict those who claim Nicholas was one of the “Cavaliers”, supporters of the Crown who came to the Colony to escape persecution.
Recent research has tried, without success, to determine if Nicholas came to Virginia in 1652 as part of the Parliamentary fleet that forced the surrender of Virginia to the Cromwellian government. This would certainly explain his appearance in 1653 as a clerk of the Quarter Court and subsequent years working for the colonial government.
For a detailed account of the life of Nicholas Meriwether, see "The Meriwether Family in America: Volume I, The Colonists".
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