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Clerk Information:

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  • Full Name: John Meade
  • Served: 1644 - 1645
  • Bio Information: JOHN MEADE, the earliest known clerk of the House of Burgesses, may have been the younger son of Sir John Meade of Ballintubber, recorder of the city of Cork, Ireland, who died in 1629. Meade and Samuel Abbot were among the several persons transported to Virginia by Secretary Richard Kemp early in the 1640s. By June 1641 Kemp appears to have enlisted both men as clerks at Jamestown, and Meade’s 20 May 1642 notation on a land patent suggests that he was then serving either as clerk to the Council of State or to Secretary Kemp. With the advent of bicameralism in March 1643, probably either Meade or John Corker served as clerk of the newly formed House of Burgesses while Samuel Abbot served as clerk to the Council in its capacity as upper house. Attestations on two documents in the Bodleian Library suggest that Meade was clerk of the House of Burgesses at the assemblies of 1644 and 1645. He attested copies of resolutions passed at the October session of the assembly of 1644 using the Latin title “Cl[ericus] Dom[us] Commun[is],” and acting governor Richard Kemp enclosed the documents with his 27 February 1645 letter to Sir William and Sir John Berkeley written at the close of the assembly of 1645.

*The information within this interactive and searchable application has been researched extensively by the House Clerk’s Office. As with any historical records of this age and breadth, there may be discrepancies and/or inconsistencies within records obtained from a variety of credible sources. Any feedback is encouraged at history@house.virginia.gov.

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