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Philip Meadowe in John Thurloe's State Papers

My impressions of Philip Meadowe (as he signed himself in most of his letters found in Thurloe's State Papers) were strongly coloured by a dull portrait, now stolen, we had of him in his old age and later by the unexciting biography in the first edition of the Dictionary of National Biography.

The DNB mentioned that he occurs in Thurloe's State papers, using the dismissive word 'passim'. I thought little more of him until I was perusing the library shelves at The National Archive in 2010 and found that the indexes to the seven volumes had 56 separate references to him. This then led me to find the full text of Thurloe's State Papers in the British History internet site. The following, vol 6, p. 850 et seq, gives a very different picture of Meadowe's status after the signing of the Treaty of Roskil in March/April 1657:

Both kings alighted at the same time out of their coaches at a convenient distance, and so went forwards on foot to meet and salute each other; which was done by giving the hand. The salutation ended, the king of Denmark brought the king of Sweden to his coach, placed him at the highest end, himself on the right syde; I and the duke of Sunderburgh on the lest. In this equipage we returned for Fredericksburgh, continued together in a common room for some time, afterwards each was conducted by the officers of the ceremonies to his particular apartment, to repose till supper; which being ready, we were brought out again, each in his order, and placed before the table. The senators brought the basons and towels to the two kings, other gentlemen to me and the duke, all at the same time. Then the marshal of the ceremonies came up to the king of Sweden, to seat him at the head of the table, but he refused it, giving that place to the queen, who after many compliments was constrained to accept it; whereupon the king of Sweden was placed at the right hand of the queen on the syde of the table, and the king of Denmark next beneath him, both sitting down together.

The marshal of the ceremonies took me out to place me at the left hand of the queen, over-against the king of Sweden; but I refused that place, yielding it to the Dutchess of Sunderburgh, and seated myself opposite to the king of Dennemark, next beneath me the duke, then count Gabriel Oxensteirn, and others.

The same method was observed all along; only the last morning, the queen not being present, the king of Sweden sate at the head of the table, the king of Denmark on the right syde, and I on the left.

These pages give all the extracts relating to Meadowe that I found: One or two things to beware of in reading these pages. First it seems that they have been produced by Optical Character Recognition (OCR) from the original volumes. The OCR has several faults: it cannot handle the old style of the letter 's' and puts 'f' wrongly in many words. There are other issues that should also be apparent. Second the meaning of the words has changed since the seventeenth century, particularly the word 'jealousy' for which we would now use 'suspicion'.

John Thurloe's manuscripts were found hidden in a false ceiling of his chambers in Lincoln's Inn sometime between 1695 and 1701, around thirty years after Thurloe's death. See his biography.

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