Edwin Henry Reading (1852–1925)
Whereas Henry Reading was entirely self-educated and a self-made man, his children had the best education money could buy, and never needed to work.
‘Henry’s will was a 4000-word parchment document. He left a fifth, to the elder son James... a fortune, which James promptly set about pissing up against the wall… A fourth, also a fortune, he left to my grandfather Edwin, the youngest of the family. The rest was divided [between] his widow, Ann, and his five daughters. The daughters, now nicely cashed up, with one exception rushed off to England, all thoughts of beeswax very far from their minds. Edwin, serving in a haberdashery store, leapt the counter and did not do another day’s work, [but] collecting rents from all the property he now owned’
- Geoffrey Reading, great-grandson of Henry Reading, in High Climbers (1989)