SIX TIMES MAYOR OF NEWCASTLE
Situated in the Consecrated/West Section of Jesmond Old Cemetery.
By far the largest and most conspicuous monument in Jesmond Old Cemetery is the Gothic pile of Kenton stone erected to the design of John Dobson in memory of Archibald Reed. The Reed family can trace their origins back to Bellingham, by the River Rede, where Great, great Grandfather Archibald seems to have been a frugal and industrious businessman.
Archibald was probably born in Chipchase Castle in 1766 which his Father, Christopher Soulsby Reed, had inherited from his Uncle who had been High Sheriff of Northumberland. His Mother, Sarah, daughter of Sir Francis Blake of Twizell had brought a fortune of £10,000 upon her marriage in 1757.
After an education at the Grammar School in Newcastle and an apprenticeship as a mercer, Archibald set up as a woollen draper in Sandhill about 1790. He was to become Mayor on six occasions and had the honour of entertaining the Duke of Wellington in the Mansion House and at a ball at the Assembly Rooms. Each Mayor had a fixed annual allowance of £2,000 and because Reed’s expenditure was purely on hospitality and charity, he was regarded as an ideal Mayor!!!
Archibald died in Leazes Terrace and a wall monument was erected to his memory in St Nicholas Cathedral. The tomb in Jesmond Old Cemetery was constructed in 1843 and consists of a two-stage tower with pinnacled diagonal buttresses and an octagonal spire. The slab on the west side marks the entrance to the vault, which also contains the remains of Archibald Joseph Reed, Arthur Reed and Mary Ann Reed.