Andrew Reed



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Andrew Reed.  The Young Watchmaker.

This gallery is devoted to Andrew Reed, the young watchmaker.  Over the years as one plies his trade, you develop an interest in items that are directly related to that trade.  This item is no different.  It is not rare, although the picture and article appeared in "Harper's Weekly" on October 30, 1869.

The engraving is really a fine work of art.  The picture is actually made using many engraved wood blocks that make up the picture as a whole.  You can see the lines where each block comes together to make the picture.

Many have seen this picture, but the article that goes with it is rarely seen as most get discarded.  Below, past the picture, we have made available the text of the article that appeared in "Harper's Weekly."  We hope you enjoy seeing the picture and reading the story behind Andrew Reed, The Young Watchmaker.

Andrew Reed, The Young Watchmaker

It is not surprising that the sons of Dr. Andrew Reed should wish to publish the history of his life of goodness and active benevolence, though in fact, the permanent records of his character and works exist in the many institutions which owe their existence to his activity and devotion.  These are the words of the Queen of England in reference to a man who was the honored instrument of doing such a vast amount of good that his name undoubtedly ranks among the first philanthropists of the age.

Fond of books from infancy, his good mother not only trained and taught her little son, but entered with all sympathy into his pursuits, became his companion and friend.  Nor was his pious father less tender and constant in cultivating the confidence of his son.  The boy was sent to a school in Islington, and made great progress in his studies.  The parents decided that he should learn his father's trade, but the boy petitioned to be allowed to study Hebrew and Greek.  The careful mother, fearing that such studies might interfere with his progress in business, had him apprenticed to a master.  But the temptation of books was a very harmless one compared with the temptations of another kind that awaited Andrew in his new situation.  His master's son was a wild youth, and the young apprentice entered on his diary the following: "By the wicked behavior of my master's son I was made still worse.  I went twice or thrice to the accursed play-houses."  On this account he got his indentures canceled and returned to the parental roof.  Working the usual hours at watchmaking, in his leisure he kept his mother's books, instructed his sister, and taught a little orphan girl, their servant, to read and write--thus early beginning his orphan work.

Books, books, evermore books, were the choice friends of his leisure hours; and though he worked well at his trade, his good mother in her diary might well write down, "These are things which, if the lad be for business, show too much taste for study."  And she was so for right, that God was leading him through secular to sacred pursuits.  Andrew Reed's Hebrew and Greek studies led him to theology, and his joy knew no bounds when it was decided in the family counsels that he should go to college.  He dismantled his little work-shop, sold his tools, and laid out the money in books.

It is almost needless to say that he was a successful student, and that on his leaving college he had many invitations to settle; but he ultimately became the minister of the church in the New Road, East London, where he remained the useful and honored pastor for no less a period than fifty years.

In 1816 he married Elizabeth Holmes, who proved and efficient helpmate in the work of his ministry and in his plans of benevolence.  His extraordinary career as a philanthropist is worthy of record.  He began his work among the sea-faring population of London.  He befriended the parents, established schools for the children, and founded the first penny band for savings.  He founded the London Orphan Asylum, the patronage of which became so extensive that in 1825 a large building was erected at Clapton at a cost of 25,000 pounds.  Afterward he established at Wanstead an Infant Orphan Asylum, the erection of the building costing 40,000 pounds.  He founded a third Orphan Asylum at Reedham, and also the Earlswood Asylum for Idiots.

Besides these stupendous works of faith and labors of love, Dr. Reed founded a Home for Incurables; and, not forgetting the interests of education, while employed in helping the helpless, he was the friend of the Hackney Grammar School, and always the active promoter of Sabbath and day schools for the children of the industrial classes.

Those who knew Dr. Reed best loved him most.  Declining all offers of change, he staid, as we have recorded, with his beloved people as their pastor fifty years.  On November 27, 1861, the anniversary of his birth, and of his ordination as their minister, he resigned his charge.

Amidst all his literary and other labors he did not think of writing his life.  One of his sons, perceiving that his venerable father was fast failing, asked him if he had ever arranged any memoir.  Dr.  Reed replied by writing the following note:  "To my saucy boy who said he would write my life, and asked for materials.

A. R.

I was born yesterday;
I shall die tomorrow;
And I must not spend today
In telling what I have done,
But in doing what I may for
Who has done all for me.
I sprang from the people: I have lived
For the people---
The most for the most unhappy;
And the people, when they know it,
Will not allow me to die out of loving

What can be added to such a summary?  He died, as he had lived, happy in his Master's service, and conscious to the last of His love, February 25, 1862, aged 74.  He had given out of his own limited means 4540 pounds in promoting his various plans or benevolence; and he was the means of raising funds to the amount of 1,043,566 pounds, 13 Shillings and 1 dime for the helpless and afflicted.

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