He was a shoemaker by trade and an active member of the Orange associations in both Ireland and Canada. He was the first District Master of the Orange District of Toronto. Entries in the family bible spell the surname as Merideth, as does his death registration.
His obituary was as follows:
“MEREDITH - At his late residence, 101 Adelaide Street west, Toronto, on Wednesday, 4th inst., W. Bro. Henry W. Meredith, Past District Master of Toronto, aged 68 years and two months.
The subject of the above notice was born in the town of Sligo, Ireland, on the 5th, November, 1819. He was the youngest of five children, three boys and two girls, three of whom are at present living, the eldest of which being a superannuated minister in the Methodist Church, at present residing in Dublin, Ireland. The deceased was early thrown upon his own resources owing to the death from cholera at the same time of both his parents. At the age of sixteen he set out for the city of Dublin to follow the trade of a journeyman shoemaker. He was initiated into the Orange Association in the town of Sligo, but received the degree of a Royal Arch Purple Man in Dublin, under the late Mr. Isaac Butt, the once famous Home Rule leader.
He emigrated to this country in 1845, landing in New York, but only remained there a short time, proceeding to Philadelphia for a brief period, and from thence to Montreal where he took an active part in the Orange Society, at that time a very dangerous thing to do, owing to this opposition of the French and Irish Roman Catholics. During his stay in Montreal his live was twice threatened. In 1847 he removed to Toronto and connected himself with the Order here, in which he remained continuously up to the day of his death.
He was an active member of the Royal Black Preceptory No. 96, having received all the degrees up to the Green. He was first District Master of the Orange District of Toronto, formed we believe about the year 1850 or '51. Associated with him were the late Bros. George B. Allan, Richard Dempsey, Steadman Campbell, Ogle R. Gowan, F.H. Medcalf and many others who are numbered with the silent majority. Our deceased brother was Charter Member of L.O.L. No. 212, which then met at Bro. Joseph Bird's, at the head of Bay Street, where now stands the hotel occupied by Mr. James Lennox.
In 1854 he removed to Brampton and continued to take the same interest in the Society there as had been his practice during the earlier part of his life. We venture to say that many a Scarlet Knight and Royal Arch Purple Man in the County of Peel will remember receiving his degrees under our deceased brother, who, when available, was at all times called upon to perform the interesting ceremony. He there joined the only Rifle Company or military organization of any kind in that county in 1860, and remained an active member until he again removed to Toronto in 1864. Upon his second arrival in this city, he attached himself to the Civil Service Company, then commanded by the Commander of Customs, the later Hon. Mr. Spence, which afterwards formed one of the companies of the Queen's Own Rifles, known as No. 7.
Our deceased brother was a Sergeant at the time of the Fenian Raid, and was present with his company at Ridgeway, as indeed he was at all times, when the regiment was called out. It was often remarked by comrades that he was never known to miss a "camp" during his lengthened term in the regiment, some 23 years. In politics our deceased brother was a strong Conservative, though at all times liberal and broad in his political views.
The funeral, which took place on Friday last, to Mount Pleasant Cemetery, was largely attended by friends, and members of the Order. To his bereaved family we extend our sincere sympathies in the loss of one who was a kind husband and father. Our society has lost a worthy brother of fifty-two years standing, and the volunteer force a member who for twenty-seven years was always to be found at the post of duty.”.5