Leander Ley was the son of Aloysius Ley and Sophia Caswell Ley, the founders of Beak's End.

Although they were a very close-knit family, Leander was always a more troubled soul than his parents or sister, Amelia. As he grew into adulthood, Leander had an increasingly difficult time coping with the intensity of Beak's End, particularly after the death of Amelia at age sixteen, and he was haunted by a karma that he couldn't understand.

Amelia's death caused Leander to reject the eclectic spiritual practices of his parents believing that was the cause of their woes, and he threw himself into conventional religion. He married the pious and frail Jane Clifton. Jane, like her husband, was never quite at ease living at Beak's End.

In January of 1804, Leander found himself the unwitting medium for the receipt of a cryptic manuscript, and died mysteriously at the age of forty. Leander left behind his adoring wife, who was seven months pregnant with their daughter, Virginia, and a troubled four year old son, Cecil.