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James “Jemmy” Meredith 1810-1871


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

What I have learned so far of James or “Jemmy” Meredith is that he was born in approximately 1810 at Lantilio. He was a long term Glascoed resident, having lived at Glascoed from at least 1835, he married his wife, Caroline Lewis. He came to live at his property, Sunny Bank (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 of Maes Mawr farm and was given fourteen days punishment for his trouble!

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 possible that it’s James junior who is involved in these later stories though.

Philip Lewis took James to court for stealing his axe in 1869, although after Jemmy explained that he “merely took axe from one place, to cut a stick, and left it in another place, in consequence of forgetfulness. —The case was dismissed, and the prosecutor expressed his regret that the accused had been taken into custody.”

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.

RECORDS

Census: 1841, 1851, 1861