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James “Jemmy” Meredith 1811-1871

Now here was a popular character in the 1860s! He almost caused a riot!

James Meredith (referred to as “Jemmy” in the accounts of the Glascoed Riots) was born in approx 1811, and baptised on 11th March 1811 at Llantillio Crossenny parish church. His parents were Emanuel and Alice Meredith. James was a long term Glascoed resident, having lived at Glascoed from at least the mid-1830s; he was a resident of Glascoed when he married his wife, Caroline Lewis, on 1st August 1835 at Usk Parish Church. He came to live at his property, Sunny Bank Cottage (I believe this was formerly known as Lower House) in the 1840s, having inherited it from his brother-in-law (Philip Lewis), who was convicted and sent away for punishment. Philip Lewis had been convicted of assault in 1838 and committed to Usk House of Correction. In 1840, James was committed to Usk House of Correction for stealing a sheep from Mr John Thomas. In 1843, Jemmy had a second brush with the law - he was convicted of stealing a scythe from Richard Arnold senior from Maes Mawr farm and was given fourteen days punishment for his trouble!

As mentioned above, Jemmy was at the centre of the Glascoed Riots. See the following links . . . Doggerel and Committal. He had inherited two pieces of land from his brother-in-law, and enclosed two other pieces at some later date - this is what incurred the wrath of his neighbours, causing them to “riot!” His wife, Caroline, was also in the thick of things; see her profile for the juicy details!

James appeared briefly in a story where his sister-in-law Hannah Lewis had been involved in a major dispute with another neighbour, James Williams. He was allegedly threatened with a gun “if you come to me, I’ll give you a dose”! This was denied by Mr Williams. Since Jemmy’s son James was also living in Glascoed, it’s equally possible that it’s James junior who is involved in this story!

It’s also worth reading biographies of his children. The first one I have written concerns his daughter Martha Meredith, who was born in 1847. She is taken to court for pulling down a neighbour’s fences in 1862, gives evidence of a neighbour’s tea party that turned into a “Biddle” (an illegal drinking session) in 1865, married a sheep stealer in 1867 who was to be transported within a couple of years of marriage, which in effect ended the marriage. She married twice more and lived in Glascoed for pretty much all of her life.

All in all, it appears that life was never dull around the Merediths!

Jemmy died in February 1871 and was buried at Llanfihangel Pontymoile churchyard on 18th February 1871. Caroline appeared on the 1871 census as a widow.


Census: 184118511861

Burial register: At Llanfihangel Pontymoile churchyard, 19th February 1871.