LEAKE, William (?1771-1852), of 27 Sackville Street, Piccadilly, Mdx. and Mount Ararat, Wimbledon, Surr.

Published in The History of Parliament: the House of Commons 1790-1820, ed. R. Thorne, 1986
Available from Boydell and Brewer



1818 - 1820
1820 - 1826
1826 - 1830

Family and Education

b. ?1771, s. of William Leake of St. Martin’s Lane, Mdx. m. 3 June 1792, Sarah Fresselicque of St. George, Holborn, Mdx., s.p. legit.

Offices Held

Vol. London and Westminster light horse 1795, capt. Loyal Britons vol. inf. 1803.


Leake was articled to a London attorney in 1785 and admitted a King’s bench attorney in 1790. He was in business at 23 Parliament Street. After 1820 he resided at 20 Devonshire Street, Portland Place, at Upper Harley Street, and at Wimbledon. In 1816 (Sir) Gerard Noel Edwards* appointed him receiver of his estates, which he was endeavouring to save from the hammer. He evidently also did business for (Sir) Christopher Hawkins*, who put him up in conjunction with his brother-in-law Charles Brereton at Helston in 1818, in an attempt to open up the borough: Leake got no support, but was returned by Hawkins for his seat at Mitchell instead. In October 1818, it was alleged: ‘Lord Anson has made a point of obtaining from Mr Leake (his attorney) a promise to vote with the Foxites in Parliament, although he is come in for ... Sir Christopher Hawkins’s borough’.1

Leake, who made no known speech before 1820, described himself in that year as a devotee of Canning.2 He voted with the minority on Calcraft’s motion for adding Brougham to the committee on the Bank of England, 8 Feb. 1819, and on Ridley’s motion on the junior lords of Admiralty, 18 Mar., but on 18 May he voted with government against Tierney’s censure motion. He also appeared in the minority against a public lottery, 8 June, and against the excise duties bill, 25 June. His patron put him up at Grampound, unsuccessfully, in 1820 and he found a seat elsewhere.

Leake died 21 Apr. 1852, at Moorcroft House, Hillingdon, aged 81. His wife had died 28 Sept. 1833. His only next of kin then, according to the grant of probate, were his first cousins once removed. He left an annuity to Emily Leake, possibly a natural daughter, and £3,000 to ‘my highly valued and much esteemed friend Madame Virginie Levasseur, residing with me for the last 20 years’.3

Ref Volumes: 1790-1820

Author: R. G. Thorne


  • 1. Grey mss, Goodwin to Grey, 17 Oct. 1818.
  • 2. Add. 48221, ff. 67, 69.
  • 3. PCC 1852, f. 646. His executor John William Bury was author of a study of the Leake family of Bedlington, Durham in The Local Historian’s Table Book, vol. 3 (ed. Richardson 1846), which has not been found.