A Brazier and Ironmonger and Conservative Councillor for the Borough of Ipswich.


Born: 13th April 1827, St. Clement’s, Ipswich.

Baptised: 4th July 1827, at St. Clement’s Church, Ipswich.


Father: Charles Meadows, born 1796, Ipswich. Charles was a brazier and ironmonger and in 1827 established his business in Fore Street. In April 1830, Charles moved his business to Tavern Street, Ipswich. Charles owned several properties he let out for rent, including St. George’s Terrace, at Felixstowe, which he rented out between May and November. The four-bedroomed houses had delightful views of the sea, a ten-minute walk to the beach, and within a few yards to the Church. Charles was a Freeman of the Borough of Ipswich and a member of the Conservative Party, on the 1st November 1837, he was elected one of the representatives of the Middle Ward. His term of office was extended to November 1840, but he did not seek re-election. In November 1841, Charles was re-elected for the Middle Ward once again for a further term of three years. He did not seek re-election again until November 1851, when he contested a seat in the same Ward, but was unsuccessful and did not seek re-election again. Charles Meadows died 2nd September 1856, of Tavern Street, Ipswich. Laid to rest at Ipswich Old Cemetery.


Mother: Caroline Meadows (nee Burgess), born 1800, Brockdish, Norfolk, baptised 18th January 1801, Brockdish – parents John Burgess and Mary Burgess (nee Drake). After the death of her husband in 1856, Caroline helped her son Charles with the ironmongery business established by her late husband. Caroline Meadows died 1862, Ipswich. Laid to rest at Ipswich Old Cemetery.




Caroline Mary Meadows, born 4th November 1825, St. Clement’s, Ipswich, baptised 12th April 1826, at St. Clement’s, Church, Ipswich.


Jane Elizabeth Meadows, born 1830, Ipswich, baptised 26th November 1830, at St. Lawrence Church, Ipswich. In 1853, Ipswich, Jane married William Smith, born 1829, Bressingham, Norfolk, baptised 15th March 1829, Bressingham. William was a Pharmaceutical Chemist. Jane and William had 7 children and made their home in Brighton, East Sussex. Jane Smith died 14th November 1909, of 106, Beaconsfield Villas, Brighton.


Alfred Meadows, born 2nd June 1833, St. Lawrence, Ipswich, baptised 18th April 1887, at St. Lawrence Church, Ipswich. Alfred was educated at Ipswich Grammar School, before serving as a pupil of Doctor William Elliston, at Ipswich. Alfred continued his educated at King’s College, London of where he was first an associate and afterwards a fellow. Alfred was entitled by right of birth to be a Freeman of the Borough of Ipswich and was enrolled as a Freeman in 1854. In 1856, he was admitted a member of the Royal College of Surgeons of England and a licentiate of the Apothecaries Hall and a licentiate in midwifery of the Royal College of Surgeons. Alfred was also a Justice of the Peace for Middlesex. He on several occasions returned to Ipswich to take part in the annual celebrations of the British Union Lodge of Freemasons. On the 29th April 1858, at St. Mary’s Church, Torquay, Devon by the Reverend Reeve, Alfred, of 41, Mortimer Street, Cavendish Square, London, married Sarah Stirling Davidson, born 1823, Ayrshire, Scotland – daughter of Major James Davidson, in the service of the Honourable East India Company and Sarah Davidson (nee Stirling), of Mount Charles, Ayrshire. Sarah and Alfred had one daughter. Doctor Alfred Meadows died in the early hours of Tuesday, 18th April 1887 at his town residence at George Street, Hanover Square, London – country residence at Poyle House, Colnbrook, Middlesex. The funeral service led by the Reverend W. Whitworth was held at All Saint’s Church, Margaret Street, London. Alfred had been a member of the congregation at All Saint’s Church and had recently taken on the role of a churchwarden. From the church, the coffin was taken to Paddington Railway Station where a special train took the coffin to Colbrook for interment in the family vault. After the death of her husband, Sarah Meadows endeared herself to many hearts for her sympathetic acts of kindness to the poor were so helpful to the destitute. Sarah became known as the Lady of Poyle Park who arranged excellent treats for the children on her grounds. Sarah Meadows died 9th July 1908, at her residence of 45, Elm Park Gardens, Chelsea, Middlesex. Laid to rest Monday, 13th July 1908, at St. Thomas’s Churchyard, Colnbrook, Middlesex after a full choral service conducted by the vicar Reverend F.P Burnett and assisted by Sarah’s nephew the Reverend A. Hampshire, of Ascot.


Clementia Maria Meadows, born 1835, St. Lawrence, Ipswich, baptised 5th July 1835, St. Lawrence Church, Ipswich. On the 3rd January 1861, at St. Lawrence’s Church, Ipswich, by the Reverend J. C. Aldrich and assisted by the Reverend C.H. Gage, Clementia married Thomas Barber, born 1823, Eye, Suffolk, baptised 2nd October 1823, Eye. Clementia and Thomas had 2 daughters. Thomas was a Chemist and Druggist – own account – employer. They made their first home at 27, Henley Road, Ipswich before moving to Liberty of the Close Salisbury, Wiltshire. In September 1884, Thomas submitted a notice in the local newspaper, that due to his temporary illness he had engaged a thoroughly qualified manager to superintend his chemist and druggist business at 29, The Canal, Salisbury. By earlier November on account of Thomas’s serious illness the chemist and druggist business in the centre of the Cathedral City, to which was attached a wine, spirit and ale licence was put up for immediate sale by Grimwade Ridley & Co., of Bishopsgate Street, London and 69, St. Clement’s, Ipswich. Thomas Barber died 10th November 1884, of 29, The Canal, Salisbury. Laid to rest at St. Thomas’ Churchyard, Salisbury. In December 1884, all the Barber’s household furniture, and effects from a pianoforte to cutlery were sold by auction. Clementia Barber died 1922, Brighton, East Sussex.


Robert Meadows, born 1839, St. Lawrence, Ipswich, baptised 23rd April 1839, St. Lawrence’s Church, Ipswich. Robert was a Medical Doctor. Dr. Robert Meadows had practised in Ningpo at the Hankow Dispensary from November 1866, before moving in 1871 to Shanghai where he gave valuable assistance to the Hongkew Chinese Hospital. Robert Meadows, was a widower when he died 30th September 1873, at his residence at 2 Hongkew Bund, Shanghai, China. He had given evidence that day on board the ‘Mary Whitridge’ and expressed a strong opinion that a post-mortem examination of the dead body should be made, in which the Jury concurred. When returning from the ‘Mary Whitridge’ his boat Robert complained to the howdah of being ill, so much so that he had to be assisted home. There he took a little brandy and went to his chamber. He was later found to have fallen onto the floor and died. A post-mortem and enquiry showed that Robert had died from exhaustion from hard and depressing work and had not taken any refreshments before leaving for work early that morning.




1841   Yoxford Academy, Low Road, Yoxford, Suffolk.


Charles was 14 years old and a pupil at the Boys’ School – Schoolmaster – Mr. Robert Hughman.


1851   Tavern Street, St. Lawrence, Ipswich.


Charles was 23 years old, an Ironmonger. He was living with his parents and siblings.

Charles, 55, an Ironmonger – own account – employing 4 men and 3 apprentices.

Caroline, 50.

Jane, 21.

Alfred, 17.

Clementia, 16.

1 female house servant.


1861   Tavern Street, St. Lawrence, Ipswich.


Charles was 33 years old, a Furnishing Ironmonger. He was married and head of the household.

Elizabeth, 32.

Caroline, 4.

2 ironmonger’s assistants.

1 female house servant.


1871   Hillside, 26, Fonnereau Road, St. Margaret’s, Ipswich.


Charles was 43 years old, a Furnishing Ironmonger. He was married and head of the household.

Elizabeth, 46.

Elizabeth, 15.

Caroline, 14.

1 visitor – Margaret Martha Turner, 14, a Farmer’s Daughter, born Creeting All Saints, Suffolk.

1 cook.

1 general servant.


1881   Crescent House, Crescent Road, St. Matthew’s, Ipswich.


Charles was 53 years old, a Furnishing Ironmonger. He was married and head of the household.

Elizabeth, 55.

Caroline, 24.

1 cook.

1 housemaid.

1 female domestic servant.


1891   Crescent House, Crescent Road, St. Matthew’s, Ipswich.


Charles was 63 years old, a retired Furnishing Ironmonger. He was a widower and head of the household.

Caroline, 34.

Robert, 27, a Solicitor – employer.

1 cook.

1 housemaid.


In 1854, Ipswich, Charles married Elizabeth Flindell Bird, born 1824, Westerfield, Suffolk, baptised 27th July 1824, Westerfield – daughter of Thomas Bird and Susannah Bird (nee Flindell)


Father: Thomas Bird, born 1792, Coddenham, Suffolk. A farmer of 350 acres – employer. Thomas Bird died 31st December 1859, Westerfield. Laid to rest with Susannah at St. Mary Magdalene Churchyard, Westerfield.

Mother: Susannah Bird (nee Flindell), born 1795, Susannah Bird died 21st June 1828, at Westerfield. Laid to rest at St. Mary Magdalene Churchyard, Westerfield.

Stepmother: Harriett Bird (Cooper), born 1797, Witnesham, Suffolk.  Harriet Bird died 3rd January 1869, at Westerfield, of Clarkson Street, Ipswich. Laid to rest 9th January 1869 at Ipswich Old Cemetery.


Charles and Elizabeth had 3 children:


Elizabeth Meadows, born 1855, Ipswich. In 1878, Ipswich, Elizabeth married her maternal cousin John Wainwright, born 1850, Ipswich, baptised 9th June 1850, at St. Lawrence Church, Ipswich. Elizabeth and John had 3 children. John was a wholesale grocer, a beer dealer and a wine, and spirit merchant, of Tavern Street, Ipswich. The business was established by his father Samuel Wainwright, first at the Butter Market before moving his business to Tavern Street, trading under the style Wainwright & Sons. Samuel also had a branch of his wholesale grocery business in Norwich, Norfolk. John Wainwright died Tuesday, 24th September 1895, of typhoid fever at his residence Northcote House, Broughton Road, Ipswich. Laid to rest 27th September 1895, at Ipswich Old Cemetery following a funeral service held at St. Mary-le-Tower Church, conducted by the Reverend Ythil A. Barrington. The coffin was borne in a hearse with glass sides. Elizabeth Wainwright died 2nd March 1933, at Melton Cottage Nursing Home, Melton, Suffolk, of Oak Cottage, Crabbe Street, Ipswich.


Caroline Meadows, born 1857, Ipswich, baptised 15th November 1861, at St. Mary Magdalene Westerfield, Suffolk. After her father’s death, Caroline began to reside with her brother Robert and his wife Margaret. Caroline Meadows died 1st December 1925, of 63, Guildford Street, St. Pancras, London. Laid to rest with her brother at St. Marylebone Cemetery, Finchley.

Robert Charles Meadows, born 1863, Ipswich, baptised 17th January 1864, at St. Lawrence Church, Ipswich. In October 1882, Robert was successful at the preliminary examinations of the Law Society held on the 25th and 26th.  On Thursday, 16th July 1885, Robert, an articled clerk, of Cresent House, Ipswich was admitted a Freeman of the Borough of Ipswich, at a Court held at the Town Hall, Ipswich, before Mayor Sterling Westhorpe, Esq. In April 1891, Robert went into a partnership with Mr. Robert Hatfield Jewesson under the style of Jewesson and Meadows, Solicitors, at 10, Northgate Street, Ipswich. On the 8th March 1896, through effluxion of time the partnership was dissolved. Robert Jewesson continued at 10, Northgate Street on his own account. Robert Meadows began to carry on his business at Tower Street, Ipswich. On the 18th August 1900, at St. Mary Magdalene with St. Mathias Church, Richmond, Surrey, by the Reverend J. Rice, 36 year old Robert, a Solicitor married 40 year old Margaret Gordon Kerr, born 1860, Fochabers, Elgin, Scotland – daughter of John Henry Kerr. Robert Meadows died 29th October 1923, at 3 and 4, Dorset Square, Middlesex, of Studley, Landseer Road, Sutton, Surrey. Laid to rest 3rd November 1923 at F1/57 St. Marylebone Cemetery, Finchley. Margaret Meadows died 19th August 1932, at The Briers, 113, Holland Road, Hove, East Sussex. Laid to rest 12:30pm, 23rd August 1932, with Robert and sister-in-law Caroline Meadows at F1/57 St. Marylebone Cemetery, Finchley. Margaret bequeathed £1,000 to Mr. Edward Teacher Collins, a consulting surgeon of the Royal London Ophthalmic Hospital, Queen Anne Street, London “as a mark of gratitude for his skill and kindness in restoring my sight.”


 Elizabeth Meadows died 1888, of Crescent House, Crescent Road, Ipswich. Laid to rest at Ipswich Old Cemetery, Section J.


On the 7th January 1891, at Saleby, Lincolnshire, Charles married Eliza Dudding, born 29th March 1831, Panton, Lincolnshire, baptised 21st January 1831, Langtoft, Lincolnshire – daughter of Richard Dudding and Mary Ann Dudding, of Panton House, Lincolnshire.


Father: Richard Dudding, born August 1795, Panton. Richard was a farmer of 1,200 acres – employer. He also was a pedigree breeder of cattle and sheep and was a regular exhibitor at the North Lincolnshire Agricultural Society Show and the Rutland Agricultural Society Show. Richard died Christmas Day, 1878, at Panton House.

Mary Ann Newham.


Mother: Mary Ann Dudding (nee Newham), born October 1803, Barrow, Lincolnshire. Mary Ann Dudding died 7th February 1878, Panton House.


Charles Meadows was in Bournemouth for the benefit of his failing health when he died Sunday, 20th November 1898, at the “Ben Wyvis” Durley Gardens, Bournemouth, Dorset, of Crescent House, Crescent Road, Ipswich.

The body was brought from Bournemouth to Ipswich on Wednesday, 23rd and taken to his residence Crescent House.

The funeral was held Thursday, 24th November 1898, at St. Matthew’s Church, Ipswich, and conducted by the Curate the Reverend William Fletcher. The service was fully choral. Charles was laid to rest by the side of his first wife Elizabeth at Ipswich Old Cemetery, Section J.


Probate to Robert Charles Meadows – son, a solicitor and Alexander Gibb, a bank manager.


Eliza Meadows died 18th March 1915, at Castle Court, Boscombe, Bournemouth.


Probate to Samuel Whitty Chandler – a conveyancer, Annie Laurie Dudding – sister-in-law, a widow of Bournemouth, and Beatrice Dudding – niece.


A loud tongued cannon announced to the town the news of the Prince’s safe arrival. Peter was honoured with a seat in the Prince’s carriage as the brilliant cortege proceeded with a slow trot towards the town. All along the route the crowds which thronged the streets cheered and ladies waved their pocket handkerchiefs. As the cortege turned from Bridge Street into College Street, the gate of Wolsey’s extensive collegiate establishment was pointed out to his Royal Highness. At almost every house and place of work were displayed triumphal arches, flags, laurels and mixed flowers. Approaching the Cornhill, Mr. Charles Meadows and son’s – ironmongery establishment displayed a lofty arch which reached the premises of Messrs. Biddell and Fox, made from laurels with the words “Welcome.”

Charles as the eldest son joined his father in 1850 with the iron business under the title Meadows and Son, of 26, Tavern Street. After the death of his father in 1856, he continued the business for 22 years on his own. In 1872, after a gradual extension of the business Charles was compelled to call in the aid of a junior partner – Mr. George Charles Bennett, an ironmonger’s assistant, aged 22, of 130, Woodbridge Road was taken into partnership under the title “Meadows and Bennett – Eastern Counties Furnishing and General Ironmongery Depot.” Charles and George advertised that they offered the best, the cheapest and the largest assortment of furnishing ironmongery – including kitchen ranges, cooking stoves of special manufacture and improvements, Bradford’s washing machinery, English and Foreign marble chimneypieces and sewing machines for sale or for hire. Also, fenders, baths, iron bedsteads, garden seats, lawnmowers and implements for the garden and greenhouse. They offered useful and ornamental furnishing ironmongery for the drawing room, the dining room and the kitchen including tea and coffee services, egg stands, cruets, cake baskets, waiters, biscuit boxes, butter coolers, tankards, pickle frames, toast racks, knitting cases, jewel cases, nutcrackers, boxes for dresses, bonnets, or for boots and shoes, electroplated spoons, dessert knives, forks and ladles and carvers in stag and ivory handles. They also sold Block Ice – 4s. per 100lbs.

In 1879, Charles and George began to completely extend and remodel their business premises at 24 and 26, Tavern Street. By October 1879 the work had come to an end, and they began to re-arrange their vast stock under the principle that order is the first law, useful articles were not stored, but displayed in perfect order. The “Meadows and Bennett” premises now had an extensive suite of showrooms. They had reportedly improved and brightened up the street, the windows of this great furnishing bazaar became one of the most attractive sights of the town, with an ornamental grille drawn up a few feet to protect the glass, except on Sundays, when a blind is drawn inside the glass, the bright and attractive display is as visible from the street as on the middle of the market day. – The Ipswich Journal – Saturday, 1st November 1879.

On the 15th June 1887, Charles Meadows retired. The business partnership between Charles and George as furnishing ironmongers was dissolved by mutual consent. The business passed into the sole proprietorship of George Bennett, who continued to uphold and maintain the high reputation of the “Meadows and Bennett – Great Eastern Furnishing Ironmongery Stores,” Ipswich.

Charles was a Conservative. In early 1887 by the request of the Conservative party, Charles, an independent gentleman, residing in the parish of St. Matthew’s, stood as a candidate for a casual vacancy in the Westgate Ward. On the 7th January 1887, he obtained 752 votes and was successfully elected as a representative of the Westgate Ward, beating the Liberal candidate Mr. John Talbot, by 28 votes. The casual vacancy was caused by the elevation to the Aldermanic Bench of Mr. Benjamin Brodie Booth, Esq. Charles’s term of office extended to the 1st November 1889. At the end of the term Charles stood as a candidate once again; but was defeated. Just like his father who had served one term, Charles did not seek re-election again.

Charles regularly attended St. Matthew’s Church and after his retirement served as Churchwarden.





Family photographs courtesy of John Squire.   for census returns, births, marriages, deaths, probates, military records and other historical online records.

Members of the Council – in and since 1835 – Mr. B.P. Grimsey – July 1892.

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