History Bytes: The Meadow Field

July 9, 2020

Map (1714-1724) of lots owned by the Quaker proprietors of Easton’s Point. 74.17.1a, Collections of the Newport Historical Society.

When the Great Friends Meeting House was built in 1699, the Newport Quakers owned a significant amount of property north of the Meeting House. Called the Meadow Field, the land extended from the Meeting House to Warner Street. In the mid-18th century, the Quakers established a burial place for their members in the center of the site, bordered by current day Tilden Avenue and Edward Street.

To help support the mission of the Society of Friends and Meeting House improvements, the Quakers sold the remainder of the Meadow Field to investors including noted photographer J. Appleby Williams in the second half of the 19th century. Green Lane was changed to Tilden Avenue, and Appleby, White, Edward and Feke streets were platted with new house lots.

In addition to the Meadow Field, the Newport Meeting owned Easton’s Point. The parcel of land was bequeathed to the meeting in the late 17th century by the Easton family. Beginning in 1715, the Quaker proprietors laid out the land on a grid and sold lots using a quitrent system. Tenants were granted ownership rights but were required to pay a small yearly sum to the Quaker Meeting. Visitors and residents of Newport’s Point neighborhood will see that a great deal of this original layout survives today.