Leathley, Joseph (d. 1757), ‘college binder’, printer, and bookseller, joined the Dublin printers, guild in July 1719, having been sworn a freeman of the city earlier in the year. He initially undertook a small number of joint publishing ventures with other members of the trade in Dublin during the early 1720s.
He served his apprenticeship under John Hyde, husband of Sarah Hyde (qv), bookseller and stationer to TCD, undertaking occasional binding for them. Perhaps in this capacity, Leathley undertook binding for the college, which was then the largest such contract apart from parliamentary and governmental work. In May 1732 the college commenced an intensive rebinding programme in anticipation of the transfer of the library into the recently built Long Room, with Leathley receiving most of the work. Notably, he elaborately bound thirty copies of the first book to appear from the University Press, Plato's Dialogues (1738). The majority of the binding project was completed by 1746. It is unlikely that Leathley himself was personally responsible for this work; evidence suggests that he farmed out most of the work, most probably to Thomas Whitehouse who married Leathley's sister Elizabeth in 1725. Leathley published an edition of Alexander Pope's Dunciad (c.1728), which named all those individuals guardedly alluded to in earlier editions.
Leathley served as warden (1732) and master (1746) of the Dublin printers guild as well as being elected by the guild to serve on the city's common council (1741–4). He also undertook some binding work for St Patrick's cathedral in Dublin (1753–5). He died 15 October 1757, after a prolonged period of sickness, and was succeeded in business by his wife Ann (née Robinson; m. 1729). His entire stock, which numbered 3,000 volumes and included a ‘choice collection of French books’ (Kennedy, 123), was left to his brother Joshua and was sold at auction in November 1758.