Born in Pershore, Worcestershire, Leader was the eldest son of Benjamin Williams LEADER RA (1831-1923) of Burrows Hall, Gomshall, Surrey, and his wife, the Plymouth-born flower artist Mary Eastlake (1853-1938). He attended Charterhouse school and was admitted as a pensioner at Trinity, Cambridge on June 30, 1896. He studied art at Bushey and at Newlyn. Iris Green identifies him as a pupil of Stanhope FORBES and as attending the FORBES SCHOOL, but no date is specified.The records show that he sold his first painting, Surrey Pines, at NAG in 1904.
In 1910 he was married to Isabella Anderson. In Lamorna, the Leaders lived at Oakhill (1911-13), The Reens (1913-14) and then built the house called Rosemerrin in the style of a Cornish manor in 1914-15.
When he and Belle moved on to their new home at Rosemerrin, their cottage at Oakhill was occupied by the Knights. Sadly he had little time to enjoy the house and beautiful garden which he and Belle created together. He was a Captain in The Queen's Royal West Surrey Regiment and Duke of Wellington's West Riding Regiment. Leader was killed in action on Oct 12, 1916 on active service in France at the age of thirty-nine.
Ella Louise NAPER designed his memorial plaque that hangs today in St Buryan Church (see Branfield, Ill, p46). He is also commemorated at Thiepval Memorial, Somme, France.
His wife Isabella (Belle) also painted but seldom exhibited.
Painter of landscapes
works and access
Works include: Surrey Pines (1904); Sunset (1905); In the Woods (1905); A Cornish Stream (1905); A Lonely Road; A Breezy Shore; Surrey Common (1907); The Sage of the Wood (1908); Highland Glen (1910); A Moonlit Common (1914)
Access to work: Study of the Cornish Coast (RCM, Truro)
NAG (first gallery sale 1904)
misc further info
With thanks to Bill Millburn, for added information (May 2015).
Cornish Telegraph, 25 Mar 1909
St Ives Times 27 Mar 1914, 8 May 1914
Branfield E & C Naper, Art and Life in Lamorna
Hardie (1995) 100 Years in Newlyn: Diary of a Gallery
Hardie (2009) Artists in Newlyn and West Cornwall
Green (in) Hardie (2009, p80)
Knight (1936) Oil Paint and Greasepaint
NAG sales records (see Hardie 2009 for repr)
Public Catalogue Foundation (2007) Cornwall & Isles of Scilly: Oil Paintings in Public Collections
Tovey, David (2022) Lamorna - An Artistic, Social and Literary History - Volumes I & II, Wilson Books
A Wormleighton (1995) A Painter Laureate, SJ Lamorna Birch & his Circle;
The Times, Nov 11, 1916