LEAKEY, JAMES (1775–1866), artist, was born 20 Sept. 1775 at Exeter, where his father, John Leakey, was engaged in the wool trade. At the time of Sir Joshua Reynolds's death he was about to become his pupil. Leakey established himself at Exeter, painting portraits, miniatures, landscapes, and small interiors with groups of rustic figures. The last, which were somewhat Dutch in treatment and highly finished, met with great favour, and Sir Francis Baring purchased one for 500l. But Leakey is best known by his miniatures, which were painted in oils on ivory with extreme delicacy and refinement. These brought him much local celebrity, and they are to be met with in many Devonshire houses. With the exception of a residence in London from 1821 to 1825, during which he was intimate with Lawrence, Wilkie, and other leading painters, Leakey's life was passed at Exeter. He exhibited at the Royal Academy in 1821 'The Marvellous Tale,' in 1822 'The Fortune Teller,' in 1838 portraits and landscapes, and in 1846 'The Distressed Wife.' Leakey died at Exeter on 16 Feb. 1865. By his marriage, in 1815, with Miss Eliza Hubbard Woolmer he had eleven children.
In the Exeter guildhall there is a good portrait by Leakey of Henry Blackhall, mayor of Exeter; also a copy by him of Reynolds's portrait of John Rolle Walters, M.P. His portrait of James Haddy James, surgeon, is in the Devonshire and Exeter Hospital. In 1846 Leakey published a plate by Samuel Cousins, R.A., from his portrait of John Rashdall, minister of Bedford Chapel, Exeter.
One of Leakey's daughters, Caroline Woolmer Leakey (1827-1881), was a religious writer of ability. She resided for some years in Tasmania, and published 'Lyra Australis, or Attempts to Sing in a Strange Land,' London, 1854, 8vo, and 'The Broad Arrow; being Passages from the History of Maida Gwynnham, a Lifer, by Oline Keese,' London, 1859; new edit. 1886. A memoir of her, with the title 'Clear, Shining Light,' has been published by her sister Emily.
[Bryan's Diet, of Painters and Engravers (Armstrong); Redgrave's Dict. of Artists; Exeter Gazette, February 1865; Rycroft's Art in Devonshire, 1883; information from the family.]
LEANDER À SANCTO MARTINO (1575–1636), Benedictine monk. [See Jones, John.]
LEANERD, JOHN (fl. 1679), dramatist, is described by Langbaine as no genuine author, but a 'confident plagiary.' He published:
- 'The Country Innocence; or, the Chambermaid turn'd Quaker,' 4to, London, a comedy acted at the Theatre Royal in Lent, 1677, by the younger members of the company (Genest, Hist. of the Stage, i. 200). It is only Anthony Brewer's 'Country Girl' (1647) with a new title.
- 'The Rambling Justice; or, the Jealous Husbands, with the Humours of Sir John Twiford,' 4to, London, also a nursery play, performed at the same theatre (ib. i. 226).
The incidents are mostly borrowed from Thomas Middleton's 'More Dissemblers besides Women,' 1657. To Leanerd is also ascribed a good comedy called 'The Counterfeits,' 4to, London, 1679, acted at the Duke's Theatre in 1678 (ib. i. 246). The plot is taken from a translated Spanish novel entitled 'The Trepanner Trepanned.' Colley Cibber in his comedy of 'She would and she would not ' has either founded his play on the same novel, or else has borrowed, considerably from Leanerd's comedy.
[Baker's Biog. Dram. 1812.]
LEAPOR, MARY (1722–1746), poet, was born at Marston St. Lawrence, Northamptonshire, 26 Feb. 1722. Her father was gardener to Judge Blencowe. She had little education, and is said to have been cook-maid in a gentleman's family. From childhood she delighted in reading, acquired a few books, including the works of Dryden and Pope, and at an early age composed verses, chiefly in imitation of Pope. These came to the notice of some persons of rank, who resolved to publish them by subscription. The prospectus is said to have been drawn up by Garrick. Before the arrangements were completed Miss Leapor died of measles, aged 24, at Brackley, Northamptonshire, 12 Nov. 1746. Her 'Poems on Several Occasions,' edited by Isaac Hawkins Browne the elder [q. v.], were published in two volumes, the first appearing in 1748, and the second in 1751. An 'Essay on Friendship' and an 'Essay on Hope,' both in heroic couplets, illustrate her devotion to Pope. The second volume includes a few letters, written chiefly to her literary patrons, a tragedy in blank verse called 'The Unhappy Father,' and some acts of another dramatic piece. A selection from her poems appears in Mrs. Barber's 'Poems by Eminent Ladies,' 1766. The poet Cowper admired her work.
[Chalmers's Biog. Dict. xx. 110-11; Biographia Dramatica; Preface to Poems on Several Occasions.]
LEAR, EDWARD (1812–1888), artist and author, was born at Holloway, London, on 12 May 1812. He was the youngest of a