Henry Reed

Henry Reed, 1870 (AOT, PH30/1/9909)

Henry Reed (180680), landowner, shipowner, merchant and philanthropist, was born at Doncaster, England. After arriving at Hobart Town in 1827, he walked 120 miles to Launceston where he obtained a position in a store. Reed soon had his own ships engaged in whaling, sealing and general trading. The settlement at Port Phillip was assisted by his enterprise in shipping stores, livestock and migrants, as well as a loan to John Batman. His properties included Wesley Dale and Mount Pleasant.

As a Wesleyan and fervent evangelist, Reed was committed to practical religion and reputedly preached the first sermon on the site of Melbourne. His Launceston affairs flourished while for 26 years he lived in England, where he supported trade with the Tamar River and helped General Booth in the formative years of the Salvation Army. He returned to Tasmania in 1873.

Further reading: ADB 2; H Fysh, Henry Reed, Hobart, 1973.

Wendy Rimon