A Master Tailor and Draper and Conservative Councillor for the Borough of Ipswich.

Designer of the newly formed Suffolk Volunteer Rifles uniform.


Born: April 1819, St. Pancras, London.


Father: Edward Banks Read, born 1787. Edward was a Tailor and a Free Burgess of Ipswich. Edward died Tuesday, 26th April 1836, by his own hand at his residence Silent Street, Ipswich, after suffering the effects from a blow to his head. Laid to rest at St. Matthew’s Churchyard, Ipswich.

Extracts from the Suffolk Chronicle – 30th April 1836

An inquest was held by John Eddowes Sparrowe, Coroner, at the Blue Coat Boy, on the body of Mr. Edward Banks Read, a tailor and draper, who, that morning, had committed the dreadful act of self-destruction. Adolphus Read, a little boy, 9 years of age, said, he was the first of the family who got up that morning; he went downstairs in his shirt and slippers, at the request of his mother to ascertain where his father was. The sitting room door was open, and he went in; there was no fire, but a tinder box, and candlesticks, and a pair of snuffles were upon the table. He looked through the window which opens into the yard, and he saw his father under a ladder; he appeared as if he was standing; his toes only touched the ground; his father was turned towards the window. He directly ran upstairs and told his sister what he had seen, who ran and informed her mother. He did not speak to his father, as he thought he was dead. – The neighbour, Mr. William Henry Dallinger, was called upon to come immediately. When William entered the house, he saw the deceased suspended by two handkerchiefs from a ladder which stood in the yard. He immediately requested Edward to cut the handkerchiefs, which he did; he (William) received the body in his arms, and it was removed into the shop. He appeared quite dead. Mr. Bartell the surgeon, who came immediately, said, that he thought Mr. Read had been dead for more than an hour.  

Edward Thomas Read, who is 17 years of age, the eldest son, deposed, that his father usually made the fire in the morning. He had been in a very state of mind during the past three weeks, from the effects of a blow which he had received on his head in the cellar, and of which he had complained several times. During the last week, he said he felt very uncomfortable, and was afraid he should not live long. On Monday he seemed very unsettled, and said his heart was broken. He was to have gone that morning, at 6 o’clock, to Sir Robert Harland’s, having been employed to do some work for the servants. He had made some trousers, and he was going over again to shew a pattern for another pair.

 The Jury returned a verdict, “that the deceased destroyed himself whilst in an unsound state of mind.” –  The deceased has left a widow and 6 children.


Mother: Sarah Read (nee McDowell), born 1788. Residing at Cleveland Street, London at the time of her marriage to Edward in 1811, at Old Church, St. Pancras. Sarah died 7th October 1866, of Bronchitis, at 44, Silent Street, Ipswich.

In March 1960, the top memorial slab marking Edward Banks Read and daughter Emma’s grave at St. Matthew’s Churchyard, like many others were removed, and the human remains found were removed for re-interment at Ipswich Old Cemetery. When the County Borough of Ipswich, for St. Matthew’s Church – School site acquired a Compulsory Purchase Order, 1958, which was confirmed, with modifications, by the Minister of Housing and Local Government on the 13th January, 1959. The Corporation were then empowered to acquire 1.555 acres of land forming part of the Churchyard of St. Matthew’s Church. The removed grave memorial slab that had marked Edward and Emma’s grave was in a good condition and was placed flat to form a footpath on a remaining part of the St. Matthew’s Churchyard.




Emma Read, born 25th February 1812, St. Pancras, London, baptised 29th March 1812, at Old Church, St. Pancras, London. Emma Read died 17th March 1845, Silent Street, Ipswich. Laid to rest with her father at St. Matthew’s Churchyard, Ipswich.


Francis Banks Read, born 26th August 1822, Ipswich, baptised 25th January 1824 at St. Matthew’s, Ipswich. Francis was a Free Burgess of Ipswich. On the 14th November 1847, at St. Silas Church, Pembroke Place, Liverpool, Lancaster, Francis married Ann Barnard, born 1821, Wymondham, Norfolk – daughter of James Barnard, a farmer. Both Francis and Ann of Leander Street, Liverpool. Francis was a Cabinet Maker and Upholsterer; he was in partnership with Mr. Timothy Hughes, their business titled Hughes, Read, and Co.’s Furniture and Bedding Warehouse, of 45 and 47, Bold Street, Liverpool. In October 1853, the business partnership was dissolved, Timothy continued the business at Bold Street.


Ellen Read, born 18th June 1824, Ipswich, baptised 17th September 1826, at St. Matthew’s Church, Ipswich.


Adolphus Read, born 9th July 1826, Ipswich, baptised 17th September 1826, at St. Matthew’s Church, Ipswich. Adolphus was a Free Burgess of Ipswich. In 1848, Ipswich, Adolphus married Elizabeth Reeve Lodge, born 1828, Eye, Suffolk, baptised 20th December 1828, Eye – daughter of William Lodge, a farmer, and Letitia Lodge (nee Reeve). Elizabeth and Adolphus had 1 daughter, born 1852. Adolphus was a Carver and Gilder. On Saturday, 4th October 1856, Adolphus died by his own hand at his residence Queen Street, Ipswich. The inquest was held on Monday, 6th October, at the Falcon Inn, in the same street, before Mr. Simon Batley Jackaman, borough coroner. Mr. Richard Shuckforth Francis, a watchmaker, of Queen Street, stated that Adolphus was very much depressed, especially at the end of summer when trade was slack, and this had observed for the past four years. In July 1856, Adolphus opened a shop in St. Matthew’s Street, but trade was slow, and he became disappointed with the result of his business and would sit about in a state of stupor, neglecting his business. He gave the shop up on the 29th September. On Saturday, 4th October in the evening, about a quarter to nine, his wife Elizabeth came to him (Richard) and begged him to search for Adolphus, as he could not find him. He obtained a light and searched, and found the deceased suspended by the neck with a handkerchief from the top of the kitchen door; he was quite dead. Richard Francis told the coroner he had apprehended this for the past four years – and that the shop in St. Matthew’s had destroyed him. Mr. George Setterfield, a grocer, who resided next door, and Mr. William Elliston, surgeon, both spoke to the state of despondency in which the deceased had for some time been. The Jury returned a verdict that he was of an unsound mind at the time of committing the fatal deed. Adolphus Read was laid to rest 9th October 1856, Ipswich Old Cemetery. Suffolk Chronicle – 30th April 1836.


Edward was just a toddler when his family moved to Ipswich, his father’s hometown. Edward learnt the trade of Tailor from his father, who had set up his own business first in New Market, Ipswich and later in Silent Street. Edward later assisted him in the business. After the death of his father, he found employment as an assistant, but soon in 1841 commenced business on his own account. First at the Old Cattle Market/Silent Street, and after a few years in 1847 he removed to Tavern Street, where he took on the old established business and premises of Mr. William Lawrence Blomfield, where he soon built up a fine establishment as a high-class tailor and became an agent for Cordings Waterproofs. In 1864, he set up a new hat establishment, that offered fine Paris and hats in the newest shapes. He also offered a service for hats to be cleaned, repaired and re-shaped on the premises. Later his own son, Thomas Banks Read assisted him with the business under the style of “E.T. Read & Son.” Edward carried on the business at ‘Bank Buildings’ 9 – 11, Tavern Street for over 30 years, before he acquired the freehold of the old Post Office in the Butter Market/Princes Street, and had it fitted up for the purpose of moving the business to the old Post Office building.

Edward retired on the 1st February 1896, when he was succeeded by his son Thomas.


Edward was a Freeman of the Borough of Ipswich by birth, a distinction he valued specially one of the privileges which conferred upon him – the right to shoot over the Corporation lands, for in the earlier part of his life he was very fond of his gun and other sport. In January 1902, Edward was the eldest Freeman of the nearly 270 Freeman in the borough.



In 1859, he was one of the earliest to join the Volunteer movement in Ipswich, and as far back as 1861 won the Bacon Challenge Cup, value £25, on the Racecourse Range, firing at 800 and 900 yards. This was the period of Volunteering when those who enrolled had to find their own clothes. This was a business opportunity for Edward who started to submit advertising under the title ‘First Suffolk Rifle Volunteers’ – Military Tailor and Draper, of Tavern Street – Uniform pattern designed by Edward T. Read – Gentlemen’s outfits executed in a superior manner. He could offer the Volunteer Belts, Swords, Forage Caps, Chaco’s, Plumes etc. In June 1860, at a meeting at the Town Hall, a design by Edward was adopted by the Committee of the Rifle Volunteers for their newly formed Band. Using the same material and colour as that worn by the Corps but is trimmed with scarlet cord instead of braid.


Edward was a Conservative and was on the 1st November 1884, elected upon a three-corner contest, at the head of the poll as one of the representatives of the Third or Middle Ward, for the term of three years. At the expiration of the three years, he engaged in a second contest in conjunction with Mr. Haskell, but they were defeated. Edward lost his seat and did not enter upon any further contests. He was one of the earliest members of the Burial Board, and was, for 32 years, an active member of the Committee. In April 1902, he felt it his duty to retire from this position. Edward was also an Ipswich Dock Commissioner, and regularly attended the Ipswich Dock Commission’s weekly Friday morning meetings, at the Town Hall. Edward believed that the river ought to be kept in the best possible condition by all the means that skill and engineering could contrive. He was also a member of the Board of Guardians as a representative Guardian of the St. Mary le Tower. He tended his resignation in August 1895.


In 1897, Edward contributed to the funds to build an additional wing at the East Suffolk and Ipswich Hospital, and in 1901 contributed to the Borough of Ipswich Queen Victoria Memorial Fund. He was a Shareholder in the Ipswich Gas Light Company, and a member of the Ipswich Institute. Edward was also a member of The Public Holiday Association. In December 1865, the 42 members came together to sign a petition to be sent to the Mayor of Ipswich – Ebenezer Goddard, Esq., to respectfully ask for his recommendation that business, as far as possible, be suspended in Ipswich on Tuesday, 26th December 1865. The Mayor in compliance with the requisition recommended that business, as far as practicable, should be suspended in Ipswich on Tuesday, 26th December, and that the Markets will be held on Wednesday, 27th December instead. In the UK, the 26th December has been a bank holiday since 1871.


Edward became a Freemason at The Memnonian Lodge, Ipswich. In 1898 he became the oldest member of the Lodge having joined 50 – 60 years ago.

On Friday, 25th January 1901, Edward gathered at the Town Hall steps to listen to the Mayor of Ipswich, Mr. William Fraser Paul read the proclamation of His Majesty King Edward VII.


Edward was a churchman and attended St. Mary le Tower Church. For many years he held the position of churchwarden. He later became St. Mary le Tower’s oldest parishioner.


On the 7th December 1848, at St. Mary at the Tower Church, Ipswich, Edward married Susannah Archer, born 1822, St. Lawrence, Ipswich, baptised 9th June 1822, St. Lawrence Church – 3rd daughter of Thomas and Patience Archer, of Tavern Street, Ipswich.


Father: Thomas Archer, born 1788, Rickinghall, Suffolk. Thomas was a Master Ironmonger – own account, of 7, Tavern Street, Ipswich. Thomas died 14th May 1853, at Tavern Street, Ipswich. After his death his son George Thomas Archer continued with the business of General Ironmonger, Furnishing, Brazier and Tinman, at 7, Tavern Street.


Mother: Patience Archer (nee Chaplin), born 1792, Great Finborough, Suffolk. Patience died 13th August 1868, at Susannah and Edward Read’s home 16, Northgate Street.


Edward and Susannah had 8 children:


Edward Archer Read, born 1851, Ipswich. Edward made his home in Buenos Ayres.


William Henry Read, born 1852, Ipswich. William died 1912, St. Leonards, Sydney, New South Wales, Australia


Ellen Mary Read, born 29th September 1853, Ipswich. On Thursday, 9th April 1885, at St. Mary le Tower Church, Ipswich, and officiated by the Reverend W.E. Layton, Ellen married Walter John Packard, of Crepping Hall, Stutton, Suffolk, born 1st July 1851, Stutton,, baptised 27th July 1851, Stutton. Ellen’s father, Edward Read hosted a recherché breakfast for the many guests at his residence 16, Northgate Street. In the afternoon Ellen and Walter left for their honeymoon in London. Ellen and Walter Packard, a Farmer, embarked at the Port of Liverpool aboard the S.S. ‘Etruria,’ and sailed Cabin Class with seven pieces of luggage. They arrived at the Port of New York, U.S.A. They made their home in Missouri and had 3 children all born in Phelps, Missouri. On their return to England, the Packard family made their home at Red House Farm, Saxtead, Suffolk, where Walter was a Farmer – employer. Walter Packard died in 1918, Trimley St. Mary, Suffolk. In 1939, Ellen was a widow and living at her home – Linden, The Avenue, Trimley St. Mary, with her housekeeper and the housekeeper’s daughter. Ellen Packard died 20th January 1941, at her residence Linden, The Avenue, Trimley St. Mary.


Clara Read, born 1857, St. Matthew’s, Ipswich, baptised 28th March 1858, at St. Matthew’s Church, Ipswich. On Wednesday, 5th October 1887, at St. Mary le Tower Church, Ipswich, Clara married Alfred Ernest Shorten, born 1864, Ipswich, baptised 2nd July 1864, St. Matthew’s Church, Ipswich. The Reverend W. E. Layton officiated and Mr. S. Normandale presided at the organ, playing as the wedding party left the church “The War March of the Priests.” Clara and Alfred had no children. Alfred was a Veterinary Surgeon, a member of the R.C.V.S., London. His father Alfred John Shorten was also a Veterinary Surgeon and had a large establishment in Museum Street, Ipswich. After his father’s death in 1886, Alfred succeeded him in Museum Street. In 1891, Alfred with his partner Henry Phillips, formed the firm of Messrs. Shorten and Phillips. Alfred also held public appointments including chief inspector for the East Suffolk County Council, and inspector for the Ipswich Corporation. For nine years, Alfred had suffered from haemorrhage of the lungs, attacks of illness frequently prostrated him, but he was fortunate in having an active and capable partner as Henry Phillips, who relieved him of the weight of responsibility. The final illness began in June 1896, and for many weeks before he died Alfred was confined to bed. Alfred Shorten died Monday, 30th November 1896, at his residence “Ardvoulan” Russell Road, Ipswich. Laid to rest Friday, 4th December 1896, at Ipswich Old Cemetery. Funeral service conducted by the Reverend Adalbert Wilheim Vandenbergh, Vicar of St. Mary Elms, Suffolk. Clara Shorten died 5th June 1941, of 316, Norwich Road, Ipswich.


Kate Read, born 12th September 1859, St. Matthew’s, Ipswich, baptised 16th October 1859, at St. Matthew’s Church, Ipswich.

On the 1st October 1885, at St. Mary le Tower Church, Ipswich, Kate married John Thomas Taylor, born 1860, Boston, Lincolnshire. The Reverend W. E. Layton curate officiated, and Mr. George Thomas Pick presided at the organ. John was a commercial traveller – tea trade. Kate and John had no children. John Taylor, a licensed victualler, died 27th February 1904, at his residence 231, Norwich Road, All Saints, Ipswich. Laid to rest 2nd March 1904, Ipswich Old Cemetery. Kate Taylor died 17th November 1942, of 231, Norwich Road, Ipswich.


Thomas Banks Read, born 30th July 1861, St. Matthew’s, Ipswich, baptised 20th October 1861, St. Matthew’s Church, Ipswich. Thomas was a Master Tailor and Hatter and carried on business with his father, under the style of “E.T. Read & Son.” On the 1st February 1896, his father Edward retired, Thomas carried on the business as Woollen Drapers, Tailors, and Hatters, at The Old Post Office, Butter Market, Ipswich. In 1896, at Framlingham, Suffolk, Thomas married Martha Emily Jeaffreson, born 2nd April 1870, Cretingham, Suffolk – daughter of John Jeaffreson, a farmer – employer and Anne Jeaffreson (nee Pulham), of Little Lodge Farm, Framlingham. Martha and Thomas had 3 children. The Read family attended St. Mary le Tower Church, where Thomas had served as a Churchwarden. In 1908, Thomas was the Vice-President of the Ipswich Conservative Club, he was also a Governor of the Freemen’s Association, and President of the Ipswich Ratepayers’ Association. In November 1908, Thomas was the only Conservative candidate defeated in an attempt to secure election on to the Council, he was beaten Mr. Sidney Brand by 13 votes. At the Ipswich Municipal Bye-election for Westgate Ward in March 1909, Thomas, was the Conservative nominee, the Labour Party ran Mr. Sidney Foulger. With the support and hard work of Martha, Thomas was successful with 1,176 votes, to Sidney Brand with 484 votes. In 1939, Thomas and Martha and one daughter were living at their family home – ‘Melrose’ 46, Tuddenham Road, Ipswich + 1 female for domestic duties. Thomas Read died 23rd October 1950, of 46, Tuddenham Road, Ipswich. Martha Read died 17th March 1951, of 46, Tuddenham Road.


Charles Archer Read, born 1863, Ipswich. Charles was educated at Kesgrave Hall School, Kesgrave. In May 1876, passed the drawing examinations. At a Court for the admission of Freemen of the Borough was held on Saturday, 19th July 1884, at the Town Hall, by the Mayor, Mr. John May, Esq., with the sufficient evidence as to his parentage, Charles Read, of Northgate Street, was admitted on to the roll of Freemen. On the 8th May 1909, at St. Mark’s Church, Darling Point, Sydney, New South Wales, Australia, Charles, a jeweller, of Hornsby, married Adrienne Azella Higinbotham, born 1880, Sydney, New South Wales – daughter of Albert John Higinbotham, a merchant and Angele Amelie Higinbotham (nee Lopes), of Woollahra, New South Wales. Adrienne Read died 21st July 1958.


Bernard Archer Read, born 1868, Ipswich. Bernard was educated at Kesgrave Hall School, Suffolk. Bernard was an Iron Monger’s Assistant, of 112, Gower Street, St. Pancras, when he died of Perityphlitis Peritonitis, on the 19th September 1890, at the Middlesex Hospital, London. His father Edward Read, of 16, Northgate Street, was the informant of the death. Laid to rest September 1890, Ipswich Old Cemetery, Section L.




1841   Silent Street, St. Nicholas, Ipswich.


Edward was 20 years old, a Tailor. He was living with his widowed mother & siblings.

Sarah, 40.

Francis, 19.

Ellen, 16.

Adolphus, 15.


1851   Bank Buildings, Tavern Street, St. Mary at the Tower, Ipswich.


Edward was 30 years old, a Master Tailor and Draper – employing 7 men. He was married and head of the household.

Susannah, 28.

Edward, 3 months.

1 tailor’s assistant.

1 female house servant.

1 nursemaid.


1861   67, London Road, St. Matthew’s, Ipswich.


Edward was 41 years old, a Woollen Draper. He was married and head of the household.

Susannah, 38.

Edward, 10.

William, 8.

Ellen, 7.

Clara, 3.

Kate, 1.

2 female house servants.


1871   16, Northgate Street, St. Margaret’s, Ipswich.


Edward was 53 years old, a Draper and Tailor. He was widowed and head of the household.

Edward, 20, an Ironmonger.

William, 18, a Draper and Hosier.

Ellen, 17.

Thomas, 9.

Charles, 7.

Bernard, 3.

sister-in-law – Mary Archer, 46, an Annuitant, born Ipswich.


1881   16, Northgate Street, St. Margaret’s, Ipswich.


Edward was 62 years old, a Woollen Draper and Tailor. He was a widowed and head of the household.

Ellen, 27.

Clara, 23.

Thomas, 19.

Charles, 17.

sister-in-law – Mary Archer, 56.

1 female house servant.

1 housemaid.


1891   16, Northgate Street, St. Margaret’s, Ipswich.


Edward was 72 years old, a Tailor and Hatter – employer. He was widowed and head of the household.

Thomas, 29, a Tailor and Hatter – employer.

2 female house servants.


1901   16, Northgate Street, St. Margaret’s, Ipswich.

Edward was 81 years old, a retired Tailor. He was widowed and head of the household.

1 sick nurse.

1 cook.

1 housemaid.


Susannah Read died April 1868, at St. Margaret’s, Ipswich. Laid to rest 3rd April 1868, at Ipswich Old Cemetery


Susannah’s sister, Mary Archer (the only surviving daughter of Thomas & Patience Archer) lived with her recently widowed niece Clara Shorten, at “Ardvoulan” Russell Road, Ipswich before moving back to 16, Northgate Street, Ipswich where she died 13th February 1902. Laid to rest 17th February 1902, at Ipswich Old Cemetery.


Edward’s second son William Read was on a visit to Ipswich from his home in Sydney, and was staying at 16, Northgate Street, when his father was suddenly taken ill, and he quietly passed away at his residence.

Edward Thomas Read died 17th July 1903, at his residence 16, Northgate Street, Ipswich. Laid to rest 22nd July 1903, at Ipswich Old Cemetery.


Probate to Alfred Sizer – maltster, of Fore Street, Ipswich, Alfred Preston, an auctioneer, of Worlingworth, Suffolk and Thomas Banks Read – son, a tailor.



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Members of the Council – in and since 1835 – Mr. B.P. Grimsey – July 1892.


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