MEREDITH, Charles (1811-1880)


MEREDITH, Charles (1811-1880)
politician
youngest son of George Meredith and his wife, Sarah Westall Hicks, was born at Poyston Lodge, Pembroke, Wales, on 29 May 1811. His father, George Meredith, was born about 1778, saw service in the royal marines during the Napoleonic wars, and when no longer a young man decided to go to Tasmania. He arrived at Hobart with his wife and family on 13 March 1821 and became one of the best known of the early pioneers. He took a great interest in the development of the colony and had a leading part in the movements for separation from New South Wales, anti-transportation, and representative government. He died in 1856 in his seventy-ninth year. His son Charles assisted him in farming in Tasmania for some time, went to New South Wales in 1834, and took up land on the Murrumbidgee. He visited England in 1838 and on 18 April 1839 married his cousin, Louisa Anne Twamley (see Meredith, Louisa Anne). On his return to Australia he was two years in New South Wales, but it was a depressed period and he made heavy losses. He went to Tasmania, and in 1843 was appointed a police magistrate at Sorell in the north-east of the island. He became a member of the original legislative council and was elected for Glamorgan in the first house of assembly in 1856. He was colonial treasurer in the Gregson (q.v.) ministry for two months in 1857, and held the same position in the James Whyte (q.v.) ministry from January 1863 to November 1866. He held the lands and works portfolios in the F. M. Innes (q.v.) cabinet from November 1872 to August 1873, and was again colonial treasurer in the T. Reibey (q.v.) ministry from July 1876 to August 1877. He was in parliament for nearly 24 years and was a member of the executive council for 17 years. He resigned his seat on account of ill-health in 1879, and died at Launceston, Tasmania, on 2 March 1880. His wife and children survived him.
Meredith was a good administrator who was held in great respect by his fellow colonists. He was one of the few Tasmanians whose name has been publicly commemorated; a fountain in his memory was erected in the Queen's domain, Hobart, in 1885.
The Mercury, Hobart, 4 March 1880; R. W. Giblin, The Early History of Tasmania, vol. II; P. Mennell, The Dictionary of Australasian Biography.

Dictionary of Australian Biography by PERCIVAL SERLE. . 1949.

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