Sophia Meredith born 1803

Sophia was born on 1 June 1803, and was the second child of  Sarah Mason and Frederick Meredith. She was baptised at St. Phillips Church in Sydney on 25 December 1803.

After her baptism, the first written record of Sophia is a notice in the Sydney Gazette announcing her departure for Van Dieman’s Land. Sophia travelled as a servant to Mrs Elizabeth Read (nee Diver) on the ship Juniper, which left Sydney on 3 October 1818. George Frederick Read was a man of influence in Hobart. He was director of the Bank of New South Wales, a master Mariner with many years of trading (he had sailed on the Calcutta with Sophia’s sister Charlotte’s husband William Stewart) and was a landowner. At the time of her departure, Sophia would have been only 15 years of age.

On 6 March 1820, Sophia married James Lloyd. Her age was given as 17, but it was three months before her birthday. Banns were called for the marriage. As her parents remained in Sydney, it is not known who gave permission for the marriage. The witnesses were Samuel Helery and George Northam. Sophia signed the marriage certificate with a cross.

James Lloyd was a butcher by trade, who was transported for fourteen years for stealing sheep. He was charged in Worcestershire, and. transported on the Lord Melville. James was five feet, six inches tall, with a light complexion, brown hair and hazel eyes. At the time of marrying Sophia, he was 22 years old with two colonial charges against him. Then in 1823 he had another charge brought against him. It was at this time that Sophia travelled back to Sydney to visit her family. Perhaps she returned home to stay. When she returned to Hobart later in the year, her sister Ann went with her and married Robert McGuire.

In 1831, James Lloyd was found deranged and wandering the streets of Hobart. He was ordered to be placed in the Colonial Hospital.

In April l831 Invalid. Wandering the streets of Hobart Town last night it appears that he labours under temporary derangement he is placed in charge of his medical advisor Mr McCrowthers.

October 5 l831 Invalid. Alerting the Chief Police Magistrate in the Sheet this day. It appears this man is an Invalid he is ordered to be placed in the Colonial Hospital.

Although Sophia married in 1820, her first child, Sarah Ann, was not born until 2 October 1829. At age 18, Sarah was married to James Gardner, a Master Mariner. After his death in 1858, Sarah remarried at age 36 to Robert Gardiner, also a Master Mariner and Whaler. Sarah had no children and died on 28 July 1894.

Sophia’s second child, James Frederick Lloyd was born 23 September 1832. James married Emily Reed Mason on 22 September 1855. They lived in two of the houses built by Robert Logan, 15 and 23 De Witt Street and had four children. James took command of the Harriette Nathan on 1 July 1854 at the age of 22 and held this position for 13 years. When he died on l4 June 1903, his occupation was given as Ship’s Captain.

James Lloyd died circa 1835, an exact date or cause of death is unknown. Sophia married Robert Logan at St. David’s Church in Hobart on 31 May 1841. At this time Sophia was 37 and Robert Logan was 30 years old.

Robert Logan (nee Inglis – his mother’s name as he was illegitimate) was a convict who arrived in Van Dieman’s Land in 1829 having been transported for life from Berwick on Tweed, Scotland. He appears to have been well behaved and worked well for his assigned master, earning a bonus when he left. He then made steady progress in business. He bought and developed land, building houses in De Witt Street and Hampton Road, Battery Point. Several of the houses in De Witt Street were occupied by family members. Robert also had interests in shipping, and it is possible that this interest may have helped James Frederick Lloyd obtain his Masters Certificate.

Robert’s business partner, James Belpin, also lived in De Witt Street. When Sophia died, she left twenty pounds to him in her will for his help with business affairs.

Sophia and Robert Logan had one child, lsabeIla, who was born in 1842. At this time, Robert and Sophia were living in Collins Street, Hobart. IsabeIla married Alfred Alexander Butler on 13 October 1860. They lived at 13 De Witt Street Battery Point in the stone house that Robert Logan had previously built for himself.

Robed Logan died in 1882. Their son James Frederick Lloyd lived in Melbourne and it is thought that Sophia left Tasmania to live in Melbourne close to his family after the death of Robert.

At the time of her death, on 3 April 1890, Sophia was 87 years old, and was living at 10 Cunningham Street, South Yarra. In her will, written nearly two years earlier, she left her companion, Mary Ann Swain 80 pounds, her feather bedding and half of her apparel. Her domestic, Martha Hills, was given 25 pounds and the other half of the wearing apparel. Her son James Frederick Lloyd was given 50 pounds and her daughter Mary Ann Gardner was given the remainder of her real and personal estate.

Sophia was a strong woman who managed to raise two children on her own, while her invalid husband was placed in the Colonial Hospital and was still able to purchase two small houses, one brick and one wood, prior to her second marriage. At the time of her death she appears to have been living in comfortable circumstances, having owned her own home as well as having a domestic and a companion. Sophia is buried in Melbourne Cemetery, with her son James Frederick and his family buried nearby.

Written by Jan Morrey is a descendant of William Meredith

The children of Sophia and James Lloyd:

Sarah Ann Lloyd b. 2 October 1829 d. 28 July 1894
m. i) James Gardener – 6 May 1858
ii) Robert Gardener

James Frederick Lloyd b. 23 September 1832 d. 14June 1903
m 27 Sept 1855 Emily Reed Mason,

Image: 1827 Panorama of Hobart by Augustus Earle. Mitchell Library Sydney.