A Tribute to Professor Tom McLeish

Written by Dr Susan Hilton

On 26 October 2021, Manchester Lit & Phil were treated to a fantastic lecture from Professor McLeish at Manchester Cathedral, as part of our 2021 Cathedral Series. The series was part of the celebration of 600 years since the granting of a licence from King Henry V and Pope Martin V to establish a collegiate church in Manchester in 1421. Tom’s lecture was titled ‘Lessons from Medieval Science, and Science-Theology Today’.

Unfortunately, Tom developed an incurable cancer in the summer of 2022, and passed away on 27 February, at the age of 60. It was a very peaceful and dignified death surrounded by his very caring family.

On 27 April I attended a service of Thanksgiving and Celebration of his life at York Minster, along with about 400 other people from the many parts of his life. It was a great privilege to be there, and hear about his very full, active, and fascinating life. Tom was a true polymath. He was not just an academic physicist, but an expert on so many things, a competent sportsman, a lay reader in the Anglican church, a very competent astrologist, and he had a deep interest in music – amongst many other talents.

His wife and all their four children took an active and dignified part in the service and the presentation of the music. Tom was quite a unique man, who will be very much missed.

Dr Susan Hilton, Immediate Past President


A recording of the service for Tom McLeish at York Minster can be watched on YouTube

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