John2 Meigs (Vincent1); born 1612 Chardstock, Devon, ENG; married Tamazine Fry 1632 Weymouth, Dorset, ENG; died 2 Jan 1671/72 Killingworth, Middlesex, CT.

At the general court in New Haven held 10 March 1646, "the names of people as they were seated in the meeting house were made in court," and John Meigs was seated in the center, in Row 8 of the men's seats [to the minister's right], and his wife in the corresponding position in the women's seats [to the left].

In December 1656, John Meigs sued William Chittenden as agent for Mr. Nathaniel Whitfield, for debt. Meigs claimed that William Stone hired for him four years earlier, a vessel to carry goods from Hartford to Saybrook and that Mr. Whitfield loaded the vessel with "Tarre to the quantity of near half the freight," for which he had never been paid. The records do not indicate the outcome of this suit.

John Meigs was a shoemaker, and during the time he was in New Haven, he became unpopular, apparently because he sold poor quality shoes.

Nov 4, 1647, [Samuel Nettleton] appeared before the Governor and upon oath testified "that he had bought a pare of shooes of Goodman Megs of New Haven, russed, clossed in the inside at the side seams for his wife. She put them on on the Lord's day, and the next third day they were ripped, the soales being good, either shranke nor hornie, that I could perceive. And he also testifyed that for and in consideration of satisfaction from Goodman Megs he expecteth a new pare."

In an apparently related case Meigs sued Henry Gregory for poor workmanship on materials delivered to him by Meigs. Meigs had delivered the leather to him already cut out and paid him one shilling per pair for making them. Customers complained that the shoes came apart. The matter was referred to a committee of shoemakers and tanners who determined that neither the leather nor the workmanship was good.

"Goodman Gregory, upon this testimony, seemed to be convinced that he had not done his part, but then laid the fault on Goodman Meigs, that he was the more slight in it through his encouragement, who said to him, 'Flap them up: they are to go far enough.' In this statement be was confirmed by two witnesses, who had heard Meigs say to him, "Flap them up together: they are to go far enough.'"

Goodman Meigs being called to propound his damage, instanced five particulars: 1st damage to his name; 2d, damage to Mr. Evance, to whom he had engaged himself to supply him with these goods for exportation to the value of thirty pounds sterling; 3d, damage in having his wares turned back upon his hands, Mr. Evance having refused to accept them; 4th, hinderance in his trade, people having on account of these shoes shunned to buy any wares of him; 5th money paid several men for satisfaction.

The plaintiff and defendant professing, upon the Court's demand, that they had no more to say, and the court considering the case as it had been presented, debated, and proved, found them both faulty. Goodman Gregory had transgressed rules of righteousness, both in reference to the country and to Goodman Meigs, though his fault to Goodman Meigs is the more excusable because of that encouragement Goodman Meigs gave him to be slight in his workmanship; though he should not have taken any encouragement to do evil, and should have complained to some magistrate, and not have wrought such leather in such a manner into shoes, by which the country, or whomsoever wears them, must be deceived. But the greater fault and guilt lies upon John Meigs for putting such untanned, horny, unserviceable leather into shoes, and for encouraging Goodman Gregory to slight workmanship upon a motive that the shoes were to go far enough, as if rules of righteousness reached not other places and countries.."(5)

Meigs was determined to be most at fault and was fined 10. The shoes were ordered to be burnt. Gregory was fined 5 and had to pay the charges of the court. He was also forbidden to charge Meigs for the work done.

John Meigs left New Haven and purchased a 100 allotment in Hammonassett (Guilford) CT on March 3, 1753/4. Early Court records of Guilford contain these references to John Meigs.

On December 4, 1657 John Meigs was charges with having come "with his cart from Athomonossock, late in the night on the Lord's Day, making noise, as he came with his cart, to the offence of many yt. heard it." He pleaded that he mistook the time of day and that it was later than he thought. He said he was sorry for the mistake and promised to be more careful in the future. "The court "seeing the matter seemed to be done upon a surprisall," passed it over with a reproof and commanded him to make "a publique acknowledgement of his evill on the next lecture or fast day."(6)

In another case that same year, John Meigs sued Chapman and Parker because their hogs broke down his fence and ate his corn, claiming that he had "fenced his land at Athamonossock, wth such an orderly fence, as was sufficient to keep out great cattell; yet the Defendant's hoggs came into his field & destroyed his corne." The court ruled that the fence was not sufficient and recommended that Chapman and Parker make "in a neighborly way" some compensation "that amity & good agreement might be the better maintained betwixt the persons & Towns of Seabrooke and Guilford as formerly."(7)

In 1662 when the Colony of New Haven was incorporated into the Colony of Connecticut, John Meigs was chosen as constable over those submitting to the new Connecticut Charter. Protests to the General Court in Hartford in May 1663, resulted in the Court's reaffirming its appointment of Rob: Usher and John Meggs as Constables "ouer those that haue submitted to this government in there respectiue Plantations untill the Court see cause to alter otherwise." (8)

The dissention between those who remained loyal to New Haven and those who adhered to Connecticut, led to the removal of many from Guilford to Killingworth, among them John Meigs. By 1665, he had left Guilford and was listed as a Freeman of Killingworth. He remained there until his death in 1671/2.

5. Edward E. Atwater, History of the Colony of New Haven To Its Absorption Into Connecticut

6. Bernard Christian Steiner, A History of the Plantation of Menunkatuck and of the Original Town of Guilford Connecticut. . . (Baltimore: by the author, 1897), p. 88.

7. Steiner, p. 90.

8. J. Hammond Trumbull, ed., The Public Records of the Colony of Connecticut, (Hartford: Brown & Parsons Publishers, 1850, v1, p. 405.