Not a Penny of Debt: The Life and Times of Henry Reed.


A biography of the Van Diemen’s Land pioneer, Henry Reed.

No. of pages: 413
Size: 144x206mm
eBook: AUD$7.99
Paperback: AUD$21.99 plus delivery

Born in Hull in 1806, Reed was a pioneer businessman of Van Diemen's Land, arriving there in 1826. He amassed a fortune through his astute business skills; he was a shipping magnate, whaler and a property owner. He bankrolled Batman in his settlement of Port Phillip Bay; played a significant part in opening a direct shipping line between Van Diemen's Land and London and was a founding director of what was to become the ANZ bank. Reed found religion and became a strong evangelist and philanthropist. He preached the first sermon in what was to become Melbourne. He returned to England for a twenty five year period where he built two impressive country houses - one of his gardens, in Tunbridge Wells, is registered under the National Trust. Reed became a friend and confidant of William Booth and contributed heavily to the latter’s founding of the Salvation Army. Reed returned to Tasmania towards the end of his life, built his own church for the people of Launceston and is buried in the family vault at his grand house, Mount Pleasant, outside Launceston.

He was also the grandfather of Cynthia Reed of the Sydney Nolan - Sunday Reed - Cynthia Reed ménage; one of his grandsons was Sir Hudson Fysh and many of his extensive family are prominent members of Tasmanian and Victorian society. Reed’s is a story of enterprise in the wild convict days of bushrangers, whalers, and explorers. It is a story of high society in England, of Dickensian poverty in London, of Christian faith and compassion. It is a story of a very human man in sometimes inhumane times.


Available exclusively from