Frederick Meredith was born on 17 March 1801 in Sydney, to parents Frederick Meredith (1763-1836), a free settler on the First Fleet, and convict mother Sarah Mason (1767-1832) from Staffordshire, England.
Fred was baptised on 5 April 1801 at St Phillips, Sydney.
In 1822 Fred was appointed constable of Liverpool, just like his father, and by 1826 was Chief Constable at the age of 24 years. His annual salary was 130 pounds sterling (NSW Returns of the Colony 1839).
Fred married 18 year old Sarah Morgan on 30 September 1822 at St Lukes, Liverpool, Sydney.
Sarah was born in Sydney on 16 February 1804, and baptised at St Johns, Parramatta on 4 November 1804.
Ellen, convicted of larceny with her first husband William Frazer, had arrived on the “Charlotte” on 22 January 1788. Sarah’s father William Morgan came as a free settler, guarding the convict troops on the “Neptune” arriving in Sydney in the Second Fleet in 1790, one of them being his first wife, but that’s another story, and can found on William’s page.
Frederick held a license for the sale of ale, beer and spirits at a business on Liverpool Road, but soon became a police constable, like his father.
Frederick Meredith junior and Sarah Morgan had 11 children together –
- Ann b 1823 Liverpool d 1894 Urana, married John Gibbons & Edwin Roberts
- Frederick Wm b 1826 Liverpool d 1858 Liverpool marr Catherine Connell
- Lucy Sophia b 1828 Liverpool d 1912 Yass, marr John Colls
- John Richard b 1831 Liverpool d 1880 Bankstown, marr Ellen Pettitt
- Mary Jane b 1833 Liverpool d 1911 Glebe marr Henry Pickering
- Charles Hy b 1835 Liverpool d 1914 Campbelltown, marr Johanna Eccleston
- George Augustus b 1838 Liverpool d 1905 Scone marr Letitia Edwards
- Sarah Ellen b 1839 Liverpool d 1840 Liverpool
- Charlotte Elizabeth b 1842 Liverpool d 1903 Burwood marr David Thompson
- Alfred James b 1844 Liverpool d 1912 Bankstown marr Elizabeth Allum
- Edward b 1848 Liverpool d 1887 Bankstown marr Elizabeth Allum
The couple also adopted Ann Clegg, the daughter of Lucy Morgan and John Clegg. John Clegg was the owner of the Weavers Arms Hotel on Liverpool Road and was the subject of a tragic incident, and was tried for the brutal bashing of his wife and then acquitted. He later drowned in his own pond behind the Weavers Arms, and Fred and Sarah took in his daughter Ann.
Note – the last two children Alfred and Edward, both married Elizabeth Allum!
On 10 September 1818, Fred is recorded in the Colonial Secretary’s papers on list of persons to receive grants of land in 1818. The records state his name as Frederick Meredith junior, residence Liverpool, 60 acres, recommended by Thomas Moore Esq, and that he was born in the colony.
Fred and Sarah appear in the NSW Liverpool Population Book for 1824, with their firstborn child Ann.
On the 1828 NSW Census for Liverpool, Fred aged 28 and Sarah aged 23 appear with their children Ann aged 5, Fred William aged 3 and their adopted daughter Ann Clegg aged 7. All were stated to have been born in the colony residing at Liverpool, of the protestant religion. Living with them is a Ticket of Leave convict named James Dennis, aged 37, a Catholic serving as a constable. James had been transported on the Countess of Harcourt in 1822 for 7 years.
In July 1830 Frederick was rewarded by the Governor with a land grant of 640 acres for the capture of some bushrangers in March 1830.
Fred’s land grant was in the township of Boro, midway between Goulburn and Braidwood, NSW.
NSW Government Gazette No 33, 1838 page 38 carried a notice –
“Possession authorised by Sir Ralph Darling to Frederick Meredith 1st July 1830 for service in capture of bushrangers and the Deeds are now advertised at his request for Mr Sherwin. Quit Rent one Peppercorn”.
By 1830 Fred had a staff of four District Constables and 11 Ordinary Constables and a watch housekeeper to enforce the laws in Liverpool.
In 1838 Fred resigned from his job as Chief Constable of Liverpool claiming his small salary of 100 pounds per annum was not sufficient to sustain his large family of seven children.
The magistrate appealed to the Governor on his behalf and his salary was raised to 130 pounds, allowing him to stay on as Chief Constable until his retirement in 1844.
Fred is also mentioned on the 1839 Returns of the Colony, as Chief Constable of Liverpool.
In 1858 Fred is on the electoral roll for Liverpool, living in a freehold in George Street, Liverpool.
Fred Meredith died on 10 February 1861 at the age of 59 years at Bankstown, parish of Enfield, Sydney.
He was buried there at the church of St Thomas, Enfield on 12 February 1861. His death certificate gives his occupation as a farmer.
Fred’s will gave his dear wife Sarah the whole of his freehold estate including a 60 acre property “Ellensborough Farm” in Bankstown, and a 30 acre “Hanfield farm” to his son Frederick. Sarah was to hold the use of the farm for the benefit of herself and children Alfred and Edward.
He also left an acre including a house to his son John, an acre of land to his son Charles, and 18 acres to George. Alfred received another 20 acres. Also mentioned was adopted daughter Ann Clegg, whom he adopted after her father drowned behind the Weavers Arms.
Sarah died on 12 November 1884 in Bankstown, Sydney and was buried at St Thomas Enfield, Sydney on 14 November 1884 aged 80 years.