William Leader Maberly

William Leader Maberly (1798–1885) spent most of his life as a British army officer and Whig[1] politician.


He was the eldest child of John Maberly (1777–1845), a currier, clothing manufacturer, banker and MP, who had made and lost a fortune in a lifetime.

He became a member of parliament, initially for Westbury (1819–20),[2] then Northampton (1820–30),[2] then Shaftesbury (1831–32),[2] and finally for Chatham (1832–34).[2]

In 1831 he was Surveyor-General of the Ordnance and in 1832 Clerk of the Ordnance; then, in 1834, he became a Commissioner of HM Customs. In 1836, he was appointed as joint secretary to the General Post Office, where he strongly opposed the introduction of the Penny Post, a plan championed by Rowland Hill to charge a fixed price for postage (as is now the normal practice in most of the world). One of Maberly's principal secretaries during his time at the Post Office was the novelist Anthony Trollope, who later parodied Maberly as Sir Boreas Bodkin in the novel Marion Fay. On stepping down from the Post Office in 1854 he was appointed a Commissioner of Audit, remaining in post until 1867.[2]

In 1865, the Canadian Post Office Department Secretary William Dawson LeSueur named the settlement of Maberly, Ontario in Maberly's honour.


He married Irish novelist Catherine C. Prittie (1805–75) in 1830. Their only child, William Anson Robert Maberly, died at the age of 29 in the Isle of Wight.[3]


  1. ^ Stooks Smith, Henry (1973) [1844–1850]. Craig, F. W. S. (ed.). The Parliaments of England (2nd ed.). Chichester: Parliamentary Research Services. p. 378. ISBN 0-900178-13-2.
  2. ^ a b c d e "MABERLY, William Leader (1798-1885), of Shirley House, Surr". History of Parliament Online. Retrieved 5 April 2017.
  3. ^ "MABERLY Catherine Charlotte". Friends of Northwood Cemetery. 21 August 2013. Retrieved 24 October 2019.

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Parliament of the United Kingdom
Preceded by
Ralph Franco
Lord Francis Conyngham
Member of Parliament for Westbury
With: Lord Francis Conyngham
Succeeded by
Jonathan Elford
Nathaniel Barton
Preceded by
Spencer Compton
Sir Edward Kerrison
Member of Parliament for Northampton
With: Sir George Robinson
Succeeded by
Sir George Robinson
Sir Robert Gunning
Preceded by
Edward Penrhyn
William Stratford Dugdale
Member of Parliament for Shaftesbury
With: Edward Penrhyn
Succeeded by
John Sayer Poulter
New constituency Member of Parliament for Chatham
Succeeded by
George Stevens Byng
Military offices
Preceded by
Thomas Francis Kennedy
Clerk of the Ordnance
Succeeded by
Sir Andrew Leith Hay