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


Born: 1796, Ipswich.


Charles became a Freeman of the Borough of Ipswich in 1817 by Servitude, after serving his apprenticeship with Mr. William Norris, a brazier, and Freeman of Ipswich.


On the 6th March 1820, at St. Peter and St. Paul’s Church, Brockdish, Norfolk, Charles, of St. Clement’s, Ipswich married Mary Burgess, born 1796, Brockdish, Norfolk, privately baptised 14th August 1796, Brockdish.


Mary Meadows died November 1823, Ipswich. Laid to rest 28th November 1823, at St. Peter’s Churchyard, Ipswich.


On the 25th January 1825, at St. Peter and St. Paul’s Church, Brockdish, Norfolk, Charles, a widower of St. Clement’s, Ipswich married Caroline Burgess, born 1800, Brockdish, Norfolk, baptised 18th January 1801, Brockdish.


Mary Burgess and Caroline Burgess were sisters – daughters of John Burgess and Mary Burgess (nee Drake), of Brockdish, Norfolk.


Caroline and Charles had 6 children:


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


Charles John Meadows, born 13th April 1827, St. Clement’s, Ipswich, baptised 4th July 1827, at St. Clement’s Church, Ipswich. As the eldest son Charles joined his father in 1850 with his ironmonger’s business under the title “Meadows and Son,” of 26, Tavern Street. After the death of his father in 1856, Charles 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.” Together 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 was finished, the “Meadows and Bennett” premises now had an extensive suite of showrooms. Their vast stock under the principle that order is the first law, useful articles were not stored but displayed in perfect order. 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. Like his father, Charles was a Conservative and a Freeman of the Borough of Ipswich by right of birth. In January 1887, Charles stood as a candidate in the Westgate Ward and was successful. At the end of the term in 1889, Charles stood again as a Conservative candidate, but was defeated, and just like his father who had served one term Charles did not seek re-election again. 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) and stepdaughter of Harriet Bird (nee Cooper), of Westerfield. Elizabeth and Charles had 3 children. 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, a widower married Eliza Dudding, born 29th March 1831, Panton, Lincolnshire, baptised 21st January 1831, Langtoft, Lincolnshire – daughter of Richard Dudding, a farmer of 1,200 acres and a pedigree breeder of cattle and sheep – employer and Mary Ann Dudding (nee Newham), of Panton House, Lincolnshire. Charles Meadows died Sunday, 20th November 1898, at the “Ben Wyvis” Durley Gardens, Bournemouth, Dorset, of Crescent House, Crescent Road, Ipswich. Laid to rest by the side of his first wife Elizabeth at Ipswich Old Cemetery, Section J. Eliza Meadows died 18th March 1915, at Castle Court, Boscombe, Bournemouth.


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 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 in 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 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   Tavern Street, St. Lawrence, Ipswich.


Charles was 40 years old, a Brazier. He was married and head of the household. His wife, Caroline and children were living in the family home at Felixstowe.


1841   St. George’s Terrace, Felixstowe, Suffolk.


Caroline, 50, an Independent.

Caroline, 15.

Jane, 11.

Alfred, 8.

Robert, 2.

1 female house servant.

1851   Tavern Street, St. Lawrence, Ipswich.

Charles was 55 years old, an Ironmonger – own account – employing 4 men and 3 apprentices. He was married and head of the household.

Caroline, 50.

Charles, 23, an Ironmonger.

Jane, 21.

Alfred, 17.

Clementina, 16.

1 female house servant.


Charles Meadows died 2nd September 1856, of Tavern Street, Ipswich. Laid to rest at Ipswich Old Cemetery.


Caroline Meadows died 1862, Ipswich. Laid to rest at Ipswich Old Cemetery.


Charles was a brazier and ironmonger and in 1827 established his own business of a show shop and workshop on Fore Street. In 1830, Charles moved his business to Tavern Street, Ipswich, taking over the old-established business of Mr. Edward Ablitt, late of Norris and Ablitt, Coppersmiths, Braziers, and Firemen. Charles sold off the remaining stock of the late Mr. Ablitt considerably under the prime cost, and after a few days opened with an entire new stock of large and well-manufactured goods, consisting of Copper, Tin, Iron, Japanned and cutlery of every description, plus a handsome assortment of Bronze, Cast-iron, Brass, and green fenders, and fire irons. Charles also stocked brewing and washing coppers, register and elliptic stoves, plus general ironmongery stock of nails, brooms, brushes, and mats.


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 and his father-in-law, Mr. John Burgess owned several properties that they later sold or let out for rent. After John’s death, Charles continued investing in houses and shops to sell or to let out for rent including St. George’s Terrace, at Felixstowe which he rented out between May to 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 employed Miss Last, of 3, Felixstowe Terrace, to take up the management of his several lodging houses in Felixstowe.


Charles was 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 then 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.

At the Court of Requests, at Ipswich on Tuesday, 21st February 1837, Charles Meadows questioned the Lessees of the Common Quay under the late Corporation, on a summons issued against Mr. Orman, a respectable builder of Ipswich, to recover £3. 3s. 9d., for the wharfage of 225 tons of coal, at 3d. per ton, which he had sold to Mr. Orman from his vessel lying off the Quay. The Lessees replied that Mr. Orman was not a Freeman of the Borough and as he purchased the coals from Charles, the claim for wharfage was made upon him. Mr. Orman objected to having to pay as he had purchased the coals from a Freeman. Charles agreed with Mr. Orman as being a Freeman he had the privilege of loading any goods at the Common Quay, free from that repost, under certain covenants in the lease granted by the late Corporation to the present Lessees. Charles read out to the Court that in the lease there are express provisions and covenants reserving the rights of the free burgesses who have from time immemorial exercised the right of laying their vessels alongside the quay and discharging their cargoes without paying anything to the lessees for wharfage, or other dues. The question was raised as to when the coal became the property of Mr. Orman, and when it ceased to be the property of Mr. Meadows. Mr. Sparrowe felt that the Commissioners of the Court had jurisdiction and the case was therefore dismissed. The Ipswich Journal – Saturday, 25th February 1837.


In April 1835, Charles was elected Churchwarden for the ensuing year at St. Lawrence Church.


SOURCES:    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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