The Leeds Philosophical
and Literary Society

Registered Charity  224084   Company Registered in England  177204   

Registered Office: c/o Leeds City Museum, Cookridge Street, Leeds LS2 8BH


 HISTORY

"In this year [1819] the intellectual world was stirring with movement and in our nation this West Riding Town of Leeds played no inconsiderable part", E. Kitson Clark, The History of 100 years of Life of the Leeds Philosophical and Literary Society, 1924, p. 3.

The Leeds Philosophical and Literary Society, founded in 1819, has played a very important part in the cultural life of Leeds and the region. In the nineteenth century it was in the forefront of the intellectual life of the city.  Its founding fathers included manufacturers, surgeons, financiers, merchants, churchmen, politicians and lawyers, representing all shades of opinion and the established and dissenting churches alike; several of them held office at Westminster, others served as Mayor of Leeds.  They shared an extraordinary energy and dedication to the cause of learning:  a truly "benevolent intellectual oligarchy" that will probably never seek its like again.

Among them, Edward Baines (and his son) proprietor of the Leeds Mercury and MP, Benjamin Gott, captain of the Yorkshire Woollen industry, Charles Thackrah, town surgeon, and John Marshall, flax spinner, are commemorated today in institutions, and public places and spaces throughout Leeds.  The continuing work of the Leeds Philosophical and Literary Society is also a memorial to their vision.

The Society later established an important museum in its own premises in Park Row. This museum collection became the foundation of today's City Museum when in 1921 the Society transferred the building and its contents to the Corporation of Leeds, at the same time reconstituting itself as a charitable limited company, a status it still enjoys today. Following bomb damage to the Park Row building in the Second World War both Museum and Society moved to the Municipal Buildings opposite the Town Hall on the Headrow. In 1936 the Society donated its historic library to the Brotherton Library of the University of Leeds, where it is available for consultation. Its archives are also housed there.
 


LIST OF PRESIDENTS SINCE THE FOUNDATION OF THE SOCIETY  

1820-26  JOHN MARSHALL  
1826-28  REV. W. H. BATHURST, M.A.  
1828-31  MICHAEL THOS. SADLER, M.P.  
1831-33  WILLIAM HEY  
1833-35  JAMES WILLIAMSON, M.D.  
1835-37  REV. JOSEPH HOLMES, M.A.  
1837-40  REV. RICHARD WINTER HAMILTON  
1840-42  ADAM HUNTER, M.D.  
1842-45  JOHN HOPE SHAW  
1845-50  REV. WILLIAM SINCLAIR, M.A.  
1850-51  WILLIAM WEST, F.R.S.  
1851-54  REV. CHARLES WICKSTEED, B.D.  
1854-57  JOHN HOPE SHAW  
1857-58  JAMES GARTH MARSHALL, F.G.S.  
1858-59  REV. W. F. HOOK, D.D.  
1859-61  REV. ALFRED BARRY, M.A.  
1861-63  THOS. PRIDGIN TEALE, F.R.S.  
1863-66  REV. THOS. HINCKS, B.A.  
1866-68  CHARLES CHADWICK, M.D.  
1868-72  JOHN DEAKIN HEATON, M.D.  
1872-74  REV. CANON WOODFORD, D.D.  
1874-76  J. I. IKIN, F.R.C.S.  
1876-78  REV. J. H. McCHEANE, M.A.  
1878-81  T. CLIFFORD ALLBUTT, M.D., F.R.S.  
1881-83  REV. JOHN GOTT, D.D.  
1883-85  J. E. EDDISON, M.D.  
1885-86  EDWARD ATKINSON, F.L.S.  
1886-89  THOMAS MARSHALL, M.A.  
1889-92  THOS. PRIDGIN TEALE, M.A., F.R.S.  
1892-94  REV. J. H. D. MATTHEWS, M.A.  
1894-96  REV. CHARLES HARGROVE, M.A.  
1896-98  EDMUND WILSON, F.S.A.  
1898-1900  NATHAN BODINGTON, M.A., Litt.D.  
1900-02  J. H. WICKSTEED, President Inst.M.E.  
1902-04  ARTHUR SMITHELLS, B.Sc., F.R.S.  
1904-06  J. E. EDDISON, M.D.  
1906-09  E. KITSON CLARK, M.A., F.S.A., M.Inst.C.E.  
1909-11  REV. J. R. WYNNE-EDWARDS, M.A.  
1911-12  C. T. WHITMELL, M.A., B.Sc., F.R.A.S.  
1912-14  P. F. KENDALL, M.Sc., F.G.S.  
1914-17  REV. W. H. DRAPER, M.A.  
1917-19  JAMES E. BEDFORD, F.G.S.  
1919-22  SYDNEY D. KITSON, M.A., F.S.A., F.R.I.B.A.  
1922-24  ARTHUR J. GRANT, M.A.  
1924-26  WALTER GARSTANG, M.A., D.Sc., F.Z.S.  
1926-28  EDWIN HAWKESWORTH  
1928-30  F. W. BRANSON, F.I.C.  
1930-32  E. O. DODGSON  
1932-34  A. GILLIGAN, D.Sc., F.G.S.  
1934-36  R. WHIDDINGTON, M.A., D.Sc., F.R.S.  
1936-39  HUGH R. LUPTON, M.C., M.A.  
1939-46  W. M. EDWARDS, M.C., M.A.  
1946-48  E. A. SPAUL, D.Sc., Ph.D.  
1948-50  W. L. ANDREWS  
1950-52  J. N. TETLEY, D.S.O., LL.D.  
1952-54  TERRY THOMAS, M.A., LL.D., B.Sc., Ph.D.  
1954-56  H. C. VERSEY, D.Sc., F.G.S.,  
1956-58  H. S. VICK, J.P.  
1958-60  H. ORTON, M.A., B.Litt.  
1960-62  SIR GEORGE MARTIN, LL.D., J.P.  
1962-64  E. J. WOOD, M.A.  
1964-66  R. D. PRESTON, D.Sc., F.R.S., F.Inst.P.  
1966-68  J. LE PATOUREL, M.A., D.Phil.  
1968-70  G. P. MEREDITH, M.Sc., M.Ed., Ph.D.  
1970-72  J. G. WILSON, M.A., Ph.D., F.Inst.P.  
1972-74  J. TAYLOR, M.A.  
1974-76  H. HENSON, D.Sc., Ph.D., F.R.E.S.  
1976-78  P. R. J. BURCH, M.A., Ph.D.  
1978-81  R. REED, M.Sc., Ph.D  
1981-83  LORD MARSHALL OF LEEDS, M.A., LL.B.  
1983-85  B. R. HARTLEY, M.A., F.S.A.  
1985-87  D. COX, B.A., A.L.A.  
1987-89  B. COLVILLE, M.B., B.S., F.R.C.G.P.  
1989-91  I. S. MOXON, M.A., B.A.  
1991-93  R. F. M. BYRN, M.A., Ph.D.  
1993-95  MRS J. E. MORTIMER, B.A.  
1995-97  A. C. CHADWICK, B.Sc., Ph.D., D.Sc., C.Biol., F.I.Biol., F.R.G.S.  
1997-99  O. S. PICKERING, B.A., B.Phil., Ph.D., Dip.Lib.  
1999-2003   P. J. EVENNETT, B.Sc., Ph.D., Hon. F.R.M.S.
2004-2006   M. R. D. SEAWARD, M.Sc., Ph.D., D.Sc., F.L.S.
2007-2009   C. J. HATTON, B.Sc., Ph.D., C.Phys., F.Inst.P.
.
2010-2013   A. C. T. NORTH, B.Sc., Ph.D., C.Phys., F.Inst.P.

2014-          J. M. HILL B.A., D.Phil., D.Univ., F.E.A., F.R.S.A.    

 


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