Cleeve of Somerset, England
John Cleeve b abt 1555, of Stogursey, Somerset, England, d bef 1591, prob Stogursey, Somerset, England. He md Anna [a] abt 1575. She was b abt 1560, d aft 1618.
Child of John Cleeve and Anna was:
George Cleeve [b] b abt 1586, of Stogursey, Somerset, England, d aft 1659, Casco, Maine. He md Joan/Joanna Price 7 Sep 1618, St. Chad's, Shrewsbury, Shropshire, England, daughter of John Price [c] and Jane. She was b 1584, d abt 1659.
a. While many online genealogies show her surname as Cary, there is no proof for this. It is stated that she became Anna Cary in 1591, which rather indicates John Cleeve was deceased at this time and she had remarried a Mr. Cary.
b. Probably one of the most colorful and controversial individuals in Maine's early history, about whom much survives in the records of that colony, George Cleeve was the son of John Cleve, linen draper, of Stogursey, Somerset, England. By the time of his departure for Maine, he was living in Shrewsbury, Somerset, where, in a 1616/17 tax roll, he and Thomas Lewis, vintners (who also emigrated to Maine) were taxed together. Even before he left England, he was involved in a suit against his father-in-law, John Price, a precursor to his litigious nature in Maine. He is believed to have arrived in Maine around 1630, where he first went to Spurwink in 1630-1631, where he was ejected from his first home by John Winter, agent of Robert Trelawny, and removed to what is now Portland in late 1633. Whatever fault of character he may have possessed previously, became pronounced throughout his life in Maine. He was labeled aggressive, ambitious, dishonest, litigious, and unscrupulous, and that "when he had secured his immediate aims, he became a thorn in the flesh of his associates." The early records of Maine are filled with less than admirable descriptives of his nature. His hatred for Ferdinando Gorges, and others of the titled class, was pronounced, and he attempted every coercion possible to defame those who stood in his way, or to misrepresent his aim to others in order to pursue his own gain. That he was initially, to those who knew nothing of his character, persuasive and charming, is apparent, but it was not long before he had alienated every person of power in both Maine and Massachusetts.
c. Of Shrewsbury, but likely a native of Wales, he became a burgess in 1601, wherein he was described on the roll as John Price of Shrewsbury, vintner, son of John Price, capper, of Newtown, co. Montgomery, Wales. His family is said to derive from Rees ap David Lloyd, a squire of the body of Edward IV.
GL: English Origins of New England Families, The Romance of George Cleeve, Series 2, Vol I, cont. by Walter Goodwin Davis, pp 476-484, from an article originally appearing in NEHGR, republished by Genealogical Publishing Company, Maine and New Hampshire Settlers, Genealogical Dictionary of Maine & New Hampshire, pp 149-50; ibid, Pioneers of Maine and New Hampshire, pp 39-40, ibid, History of York, Maine, Vol I, Agamenticus Called Bristol, p 77.
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