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H.O. Meredith aka Hugh Owen Meredith (February 27, 1878 - July 31, 1964) was a Fellow of King’s College, Cambridge from 1905 to 1908, and subsequently the Professor of Economics at Queen’s University, Belfast. He was part of the Cambridge Apostles. E.M. Forster dedicated ‘Room with a View’ to him.
Hugh Owen Meredith was born in Wimbledon, on 27 Feb 1878, the son of Thomas Meredith (1838-1909) and Isabella Radclyffe (died 1922). He was educated at Shrewsbury School and King's College, Cambridge. He obtained a Master of Arts at Cambridge and a Master of Commerce at University of Manchester. He married Olive Christabel Margaret Iles on 6 Sep 1906 in All Saints Church, Clevedon, Somerset. She was a lecturer in education at Cambridge. He later married Maud Alice Blyth on 7 Sep 1947 in Westminster, London, and Margaret Angela Ritchie on 20 Jul 1957 in Chapel of St Augustine, Fulham London. Other than at Queen’s University, Belfast, he also taught at University of Manchester from 1905 to 1908 and at University of Cambridge from 1908 to 1911.
He was named Officer of the Order of the British Empire in 1919. Hugh Owen Meredith wrote a number of books on economics such as ‘Outlines of the Economic History of England’, ‘Protection in France’ and ‘Economic history of England: A Study in social development (1939)’ as well as some verse – ‘Week-Day Poems’. A perhaps greater claim to celebrity is that Hugh was a close friend of E.M.Forster. Hugh was at Kings College in 1897 and is the H.O.M. to whom ‘A Room with a View’ was dedicated. Forster started writing ‘Maurice’, his candid and at the time unpublishable story of homosexual love, in 1913. It was finished in 1914. Hugh Meredith was one of the friends he showed the incomplete manuscript to and it is thought that the character of Clive Durham in the book may have been based on Meredith. Meredith’s reaction was apparently disappointing for Forster. Olive Meredith was also a writer. Her works include ‘History of the Bank of England (1911) and ‘The Psychology of the Free Child (1924).’
Hugh Owen Meredith died on 31 Jul 1964, at age 86.
Professor Hugh Owen Meredith (1878–1964) Berna Harris Chapman Queen's University Belfast
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