Lepard Family

William Lepard III worked with his brother, John Pelly Lepard (1758-96), and his father, William Lepard, Jr. (1730-1805) in the family business in Newgate Street as stationers, rag merchants, paper makers, and printers. In 1789 John Pelly Lepard moved to 91 Newgate Street, and his father joined him there the next year. That same year William Lepard and James Smith, most likely a member of the Baptist congregation in Little Wild Street, opened a printing and bookselling business at 14 Bridges Street, Covent Garden, with Smith remaining with Lepard at that location until 1798. William Lepard, Sr., joined the Baptist meeting in Carter Lane, under John Gill, in 1717; he died in 1799 at the age of 99; William, Jr., joined at Carter Lane in 1755. Among the junior Lepard’s earliest printing jobs (1758-1766) were various works by Gill and, in the 1770s and early 1780s, works by Robert Robinson. During that time, William Lepard III's sister, Ann Lepard, was a close friend of Mary Hays, as revealed in the Hays-Eccles correspondence from 1778-1780. In 1779 Ann Lepard married George Parker, most likely the son or relation of James Parker, the Hays's neighbor in Gainsford Street; the younger Parker joined Carter Lane in 1781. The Parkers will live at Ballam and are visited on a few occasions by Mary Hays and Eccles. George Parker dies in 1782. On 14 October 1784, Ann Lepard Parker married Augustus Joseph Applegath (c. 1753-1816) at St. Mary Woolnoth (for more on Ann Lepard Applegath, see entry for Applegaths).  

    John Lepard, most likely a son of William II, in the early 1820s became a partner in the firm of Sheppard, Thomas & Lepard, Solicitors, 9 Cloak Lane, London. In January 1826 John Lepard and a Joseph Harding are listed as the assignees for a contract concerning the sale of 900 copies of William James’s Naval History, with Augustus Applegath (his mother was Ann Lepard, Mary Hays’s childhood friend) also listed as one of the assignees. The document is signed by Joseph Harding, John Lepard, Augustus Applegath, and William James. In Mary Hays’s correspondence with John Eccles in the late 1780s, Hays’s neighbor in Gainsford Street at that time was John James, a cornfactor, for whom John Eccles worked and who attended the Baptist chapel at the end of Gainsford Street where the Hays’s also worshiped. This William James, given his connections with the Applegaths and Lepards, may be the son of John James. For more on the Lepards, see Universal British Directory, 1/2:211; Horsleydown and Carter Lane Church Book, 1719-1808 (MS., Metropolitan Baptist Tabernacle, London), ff. 22, 27, 33-35; Maxted, London Book Trade, 137, 208; Christopher Woollacott, A Brief History of the Baptist Church in Little Wild Street, Lincoln’s-Inn Fields, from 1691 to 1858 (London: Houlston and Wright, 1859), 41.