Leach, James, English composer; b. Wardle, near Rochdale, Lancashire, 1762; d. Blackley, near Manchester, Feb. 8, 1798. He was a handloom weaver but pursued an interest in the performance and writing of psalmody for Methodist worship. About 1789 he became a professional musician. He was active as a singer at the leading festivals and as a teacher. He publ. the highly successful collections A New Sett of Hymns and Psalm Tunes (London, 1789) and A Second Sett of Hymns and Psalm Tunes (London, 1794).
—Laura Kuhn/Dennis McIntire