One of the most famous and original names of Wales and the descendant of Margetud, King of Dyfed in the 7th Century. The elements of the name derive from the Olde Welsh "Mawredd" meaning "Great" and "Iudd" - the Chief. As a personal name the origins are lost in the mists of time but it is certainly pre Roman, however the modern use of the name is commonly taken from Merdydd at Bleddyn, Prince of Powys who died in 1132. Richard Meredith was Lord Deputy of Ireland in 1584 - 1594, Sir William Meredyth was First Baron Meredyth (1802 - 1873) in the Peerage of Ireland and M.P. for Drogheda. He was a prominent supporter of William E. Gladstone. The Coat of Arms granted to Meredith brother of Griffith Ap Conan, Prince of North Wales has the distinguished blazon of a quartered shield, argent and gules thereon four lions passant counterchanged of the field. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of William Meredich (as spelt), which was dated 1191, in the Pipe Rolls of Staffordshire, during the reign of King Richard 1, known as "The Lionheart", 1189 - 1199. Surnames became necessary when governments introduced personal taxation. In England this was known as Poll Tax. Throughout the centuries, surnames in every country have continued to "develop" often leading to astonishing variants of the original spelling.
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