Council of Heads of Australasian Herbaria
The places and dates of birth and death of Reedy are not known with certainty, but the only Reedy whose death was recorded in New South Wales during the nineteenth century was Michael, who died at Nambucca River on 29 July 1890 at the age of 39.
Unfortunately the record of his death does not give his occupation. The Reedy who collected the type of Eucalyptus papuana was a gardener on the estate of Sir William Macarthur at Camden, near Sydney, N.S.W., in 1875, when he was chosen to act as assistant to Dingwall, another gardener at Camden, on the William Macleay biological and exploring expedition in the Cherert to the Torres Strait and New Guinea. The two gardeners were sent mainly to collect living plant material, as Macarthur was a keen horticulturist, but Reedy also collected herbarium specimens — probably not more than 200. It appears probable that the type of E. papuana was collected near the Ethel River about 15 km inland from the south coast of Papua (nearly opposite Yule Island).
In those days the
status of a gardener in society was relatively low and it has been
suggested that this has probably contributed to the paucity of
published material and also to the use of the surname without any
prefix. Certainly on the Chevert the gardeners were quartered
with the seamen, stewards and carpenters and not with the scientific
staff. It is possible that the massive amount of writings and
records of the Macarthur estate now deposited with the Mitchell
Library, Sydney, might yield further information about Reedy.