Administrative / Biographical History

LSA 1834; MRCS 1837.

Leigh was the first medical officer of health for Manchester. Leigh was born at Fox Denton Hall, near Middleton, Lancashire. He studied medicine under Mr Tyson, a surgeon of Ashbourne, Derbyshire, before attending lectures at Manchester Royal Infirmary, where he was physician's clerk, and finishing his medical studies at Guy's Hospital, London. Even before his twenty-first birthday, and before he qualified in medicine, Leigh was lecturer in chemistry and forensic medicine at Marsden Street Medical School and Pine Street Medical School, Manchester. He lectured in Manchester for many years, and was unusual in that he did not use notes. After qualifying (an amusing anecdote about his examination is given in the extract from The Health Journal, see below), Leigh was appointed resident medical officer at MRI. On the creation of a Health Department in Manchester in 1868, Leigh was an obvious candidate for the post of medical officer of health. Leigh was also analyst to the Gas Department and undertook experiments in this field, discovering nitro-benzole in the process. Leigh was not only an important sanitarian, but also had considerable expertise in chemistry, geology, and ornithology. He died on 11 November 1888.

Related Material

See also MMC/1/LeighJ .