Benjamin Eastlake LEADER

1877—1916

 Born possibly at Gomshall, Guildford (as his parents lived there in 1894), Leader he was the son of Benjamin Williams LEADER RA (1831-1923), and his artist wife, Mary Alexandra EASTLAKE.  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.

Locally, in Cornwall, Leader lived at Oakhill (1911-13), The Reens (1913-14) and then built the house called Rosemerryn in the style of a Cornish manor in 1914-15.  He loaned his cottage at Oakhill to Laura KNIGHT and Harold KNIGHT temporarily when he and Belle moved on to their new home at Rosemerryn, but sadly he had little time to enjoy his creation, as he was killed in 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).  His wife, Isabella LEADER (Belle), also painted but seldom exhibited.