Miserly bachelor left millions to charity

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The Independent Online

A "crusty bachelor" who lived a miserly existence and dressed like a tramp secretly amassed a £3.5m fortune.

Henry Reddaway had lived in the Dorset village of Shillingstone since his retirement as a linguist 30 years ago. Neighbours said he rarely spent money on food and clothes and asked his health visitors to tidy his garden. Eustace Rawlinson said: "He was the kind of man who never spent a penny. If he saw a nail lying in the road he would pick it up and put it in his pocket to save him having to buy any."

Yet Mr Reddaway was a Cambridge graduate who spoke eight languages and came from a wealthy family of academics and diplomats.

After he died earlier this year aged 93, villagers were astonished to learn the extent of his wealth, which he left to his local church and charities. He is believed to have made his money through conserving his inheritance and living in a frugal manner. He never married and lived alone.

A neighbour said Mr Reddaway had got his overcoat dirty when working in the village church in 1987 but had still worn it every day until the day he died. "He was well-known in the village for being a bit of a character. But nobody would have imagined he had so much money."

He left most of his estate to charities including the National Trust, the Friends of the Lake District, King's College Cambridge Appeal Fund, the NSPCC and Age Concern. He left £350,000 to the Church of the Holy Rood in Shillingstone, where he was treasurer for many years.

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