John Leale (1865-1928)

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John Leale (1865-1928), Jurat


Birth and Family

John Leale was born on 1865 over his father’s shop on the Bridge in St. Sampson’s, Guernsey, to Eliza (née De Mouilpied) and her husband John Leale, ironmonger and ship-owner.
He married Amelia Susan Bird and they had three children; Miriam (1890), John (1892, later Jurat the Rev Sir John Leale) and Roy (1894).


John took over his father’s ironmongery business. He also tried his hand as a grocer and shipbroker. It is as a hardware merchant, under the name of Leale Ltd., however, that he is remembered.
After his father’s death in 1885, and with the shop on the Bridge requiring more space, Leale built himself “The Hawthorns” on Bulwer Avenue, a sizable house with three acres of land.
It was at this time that Leale’s business fortunes really took off. His cousin, Captain John Leale of San Francisco later wrote:

Guernsey was in the transition stage of business, that is from exporting of granite to horticulture development under glass. It seems almost a provision of favoured Providence that just as the decline (of granite) set in, there were “in our midst” those pioneers ready and alert to develop the Island’s horticulture under glass and thus lay the foundation for the biggest industry the Island had ever known. John, being in full command, was equal to the situation. He imported his glass by the ship-load, likewise boilers and piping for heating. He built a small foundry and in addition became representative of the Standard and Shell Oil companies. He dropped the grocery department. It is now the Leale Limited.[1]

On 11 February 1904, Leale became one of the founding members of the Fruit Export Company, which was later to become the Blue Diamond.
In 1907 he was appointed Jurat of the Royal Court.


Jurat John Leale died at Le Rimonet, Torteval, Guernsey on 29 May 1928.


  1. Captain John Leale, ‘Recollections of a Tule Sailor’, San Francisco, 1939
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