Reader, William (1782-1852) (DNB00)

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READER, WILLIAM (1782–1852), topographer, eldest son of William Reader, farmer, who emigrated to America in 1804, was born at High Cross, near Rowington, Warwickshire, on 28 Dec. 1782. When about three years of age he was adopted by his great-uncle, the Rev. James Kettle, for forty years minister of the presbyterian chapel at Warwick, and he received a classical education in the academy of the Rev. John Kendall, vicar of Budbrooke. In 1797 he was apprenticed to Noah Rollason, printer and proprietor of the ‘Coventry Mercury,’ and in 1808 he entered into partnership with his master. In 1823 he was sworn a chamberlain of Coventry, and he obtained other local appointments. After his partner's death in 1813 he continued to manage the business, which in consequence of heavy losses he was obliged to relinquish in 1833; and in 1835, having disposed of the greater part of his freehold property in Coventry, he was compelled to leave that city. He at first removed to Birmingham, where he lost the remainder of his property and endured much adversity, and in 1837 he finally settled in London, where he died on 3 Oct. 1852. He was buried at St. John's, Hoxton.

His works are: 1. ‘An Authentic Record of the Lammas Grounds belonging to the City of Coventry, from the original record by Humphrey Wanley in the British Museum,’ 1810, 12mo. 2. ‘A Description of the Churches of St. Michael and the Holy Trinity, Coventry,’ 1815, 8vo. 3. ‘The Charter granted by James I to the Mayor, Bailiffs, and Commonalty of the City of Coventry in 1621,’ 1816, 8vo. 4. ‘New Coventry Guide, containing the History and Antiquities of that City,’ Coventry [1824?], 12mo. 5. ‘The History of Leofric, Earl of Mercia, and his Countess Godiva, from authentic records, with the Origin and Description of Coventry Show Fair,’ Coventry, 1827, 18mo; 2nd edit., 1830, 12mo; 3rd edit., 1834, 8vo. 6. ‘A Guide to St. Mary's Hall, Coventry,’ Coventry, 1827, 12mo. 7. ‘Persecutions at Coventry by the Roman Catholics from 1380 to 1557,’ 1829, 8vo. 8. ‘Description of St. Michael's Church, Coventry, with Inscriptions from the Monuments,’ Coventry, 1830, 12mo. 9. ‘Domesday Book for the County of Warwick, translated, with a brief Dissertation on Domesday Book, and Biographical Notices of the Ancient Possessors,’ Coventry, 1835, 4to; 2nd edit., with brief introduction by Evelyn Philip Shirley, Warwick [1879], 4to. 10. ‘A List of the Bailiffs, Sheriffs, and Mayors of Coventry.’

Reader published in the ‘Coventry Mercury’ many articles on the ancient and modern history of the city; he was an occasional correspondent of the ‘Gentleman's Magazine’ from 1809 to 1852; and he also made some contributions to the ‘Collectanea Topographica et Genealogica.’

[Gent. Mag. 1852, pt. ii. p. 649; Bodleian Cat.]

T. C.