Mary Leadbeater, of a Quaker family, was the daughter of Richard Shackleton of Ballitore in Ireland, Edmund Burke's schoolmaster. In 1791 she married William Leadbeater, who kept a farm near Ballitore. She narrowly escaped when Ballitore was sacked during the 1798 rebellion. Among her acquaintances were Maria Edgeworth, William P. Le Fanu, and Melisina Chenevix Trench, whose tenants she assisted. Among Mary Leadbeater's correspondents were Edmund Burke and George Crabbe.
Extracts and original anecdotes; for the improvement of youth. 1794.
Cottage dialogues among the Irish peasantry. 1811.
The landlord's friend: intended as a sequel to Cottage dialogues. 1813.
Tales for cottagers, accommodated to the present condition of the Irish peasantry. 1814.
Cottage biography, being a collection of the lives of Irish peasantry. 1822.
Memoirs and letters of Richard and Elizabeth Shackleton, ed. Leadbeater. 1822.
Biographical notices of members of the Society of Friends, who were resident in Ireland. 1823.
The pedlars, a tale. 1824.
The Leadbeater papers; a selection from the mss. and correspondence of Mary Leadbeater. 2 vols, 1862.