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Phillip Meredith was the son of James and Caroline Meredith and lived most, if not all of his life in Glascoed at Sunny Bank Cottage. Please see Philip’s entry in the Names Database for his full “family tree”.

He was born in 1850 (probably in March), and joined a family that already included two brothers (James b. 1837 and Thomas b. 1843) and a sister (Martha b. 1847). The gaps in ages between the siblings indicate that there may well have been some other brothers and sisters who were been born and died as infants, although this is just a theory based on the ages of the children we see on the censuses.

We see him on the 1851 census at “Lower House”, which I believe was actually Sunny Bank Cottage with his family. The last sibling I am aware of was Charles Henry Meredith, born in 1854.

His parents and sister got into a number of run ins with the local, but there is no newspaper evidence of Phillip being involved much in this. The “Glascoed Riots” exploded in 1861, when Phillip was aged just 10 or 11. The reports in the local papers recount his father as having said “About seven o’clock in the evening I heard guns go off, I was alarmed, and my family were afraid to go out.” and " I heard Job Lewis threaten to burn my house down.” Later Job Lewis was reported to have said: “down with it all, I would not care a d--- for pulling the house down, and burning it, and all that is in it.” The threats weren’t one-sided … “Was told by Thos. Edwards, one of the defendants, that Mrs Meredith had threatened to shoot the first man that came there.”


The 1871 census shows Philip working as a labourer at the iron works. By 1881 he was said to be an “engine driver” which sounds like the dream job of many a young boy of the steam train era. The truth was a bit less exciting (to those excited by trains!). An engine driver in a steel works (the 1891 census specifies that he drove “engines” at a steel works), “operated a steam driven engine in a factory”.


Philip married Emily Cutler on 22nd April 1889 at St. Martin’s church, Hereford. Emily (born in 1860) was originally from small place near Malvern called Cradley - right on the Herefordshire and Worcestershire border. Her parents were George and Eliza Cutler. Digging a little deeper, I noticed that Eliza’s maiden name was Eddins - with the same surname and place of birth as James Eddins, of Cwm Soar on Glascoed Lane, who only two years later was to become Philip’s sister Martha’s husband.

Eliza (Philip’s new mother-in-law) turned out to be the elder sister (born 1839) of James Eddins (born 1844).


Philip and Emily had at least four children, all born in Glascoed: Eliza, Emily, Caroline and Andrew James Meredith. We can see the family influence in the naming with both Grandmothers and the mother providing the inspiration for naming. James (Philip’s father)


Philip was the executor for his mother Caroline’s last Will and Testament, following her death in 1888. Her estate came to £21 and 18 shillings.

Philip was not to see another census, since he died a month before the 1911 census was enumerated, on 10th March 1901 at Glascoed. We know this date from his own last will and testament. His estate came to £135. Philip left Emily a widow, with 4 children. In 1901, the family were all at home in Sunny Bank Cottage. I believe that they moved on from there within a couple of years of Philip’s death.

By 1911, the family was scattered and living away from Glascoed.

Emily had re-married and was living in Monkswood, with her new husband, Jeremiah Smith and Andrew was the only child still living with her.

Eliza and Emily were both in domestic service (in Ledbury and Newbury respectively).

Caroline was living with Emily’s parents in Hereford (George and Eliza Cutler).

I’d love to hear from any of the Meredith family’s descendants - they sound like a fascinating family and I hope that I haven’t misrepresented them in my story-telling!

Records and References







Last Will and Testament:

1901. Proved at Llandaff.

Phillip Meredith