Anthony Ledwith

Last updated

Anthony Ledwith

Born(1933-08-14)14 August 1933
Died5 January 2015(2015-01-05) (aged 81)
Alma mater University of Liverpool (PhD)
Spouse(s)Mary Clare Ryan
AwardsSee list
Scientific career
Institutions University of Liverpool
Pilkington plc
University of Sheffield
Thesis Some new types of polymerization  (1957)

Anthony Ledwith CBE FRS (4 August 1933 – 5 January 2015) was a British chemist. [1]



Anthony Ledwith was born on 14 August 1933 in Goose Green, Greater Manchester to Thomas Ledwith and Mary Clare (née Coghlin) [2] Thomas Ledwith was killed in a railway accident when Anthony was four and his brother Thomas was two.

Ledwith was educated locally: St Cuthbert's Primary School (1938–1945); Wigan Junior Technical School (1945–1948); and Wigan District Mining and Technical College (1948–1954). He was, with local help, able to go to London to take practical and written exams of the Royal Institute of Chemistry, which lasted a week. He was successful, and later in 1954 was also awarded a London University BSc External Honours degree.

Ledwith joined C. E. H. Bawn’s group to study for his PhD at the University of Liverpool. Here he was introduced to and became expert in the field of polymers, and was awarded the higher degree in 1957. He stayed on at Liverpool and became a lecturer, and was promoted to senior lecturer, reader and professor in turn, becoming Campbell Brown Professor of Industrial Chemistry in 1980. [3] In 1984 Ledwith left academic life for a while to become Deputy Director, then Director, of Group Research at Pilkington plc. Not surprisingly, polymer coatings for glass were of particular interest to him. After retirement from Pilkington in 1996, he returned to academia as Professor and Head of the Chemistry Department at the University of Sheffield. [1] In 1998 Ledwith was elected to be President of the Royal Society of Chemistry, a post he held until 2000.

Honours and Awards



Anthony Ledwith married Mary Clare Ryan at St Marie's Church, Standish in 1960. They had three daughters and a son: Joanne (1961), Stephanie Clare (1963), Katherine Elizabeth (1964) and James Anthony (1969).

Anthony Ledwith died on 5 January 2015.

Related Research Articles

Royal Society of Chemistry UK learned society

The Royal Society of Chemistry (RSC) is a learned society in the United Kingdom with the goal of "advancing the chemical sciences". It was formed in 1980 from the amalgamation of the Chemical Society, the Royal Institute of Chemistry, the Faraday Society, and the Society for Analytical Chemistry with a new Royal Charter and the dual role of learned society and professional body. At its inception, the Society had a combined membership of 34,000 in the UK and a further 8,000 abroad. The headquarters of the Society are at Burlington House, Piccadilly, London. It also has offices in Thomas Graham House in Cambridge where RSC Publishing is based. The Society has offices in the United States at the University City Science Center, Philadelphia, in both Beijing and Shanghai, China and Bangalore, India.

Charles Rees

Charles Wayne Rees CBE FRS FRSC was a British organic chemist.

Bedford High School, Leigh Community school in Bedford, Leigh, Greater Manchester, England

Bedford High School is a comprehensive school for boys and girls in the Bedford area of Leigh, Greater Manchester, England.

William James Feast is a British chemical scientist and academic.

John A. Pickett

John Anthony Pickett CBE DSc FRS is a British chemist who is noted for his work on insect pheromones.

Douglas Alexander Allan, CBE, FRSGS, FRSE, FMA was a geologist and curator, eventually becoming the director of the Royal Scottish Museum in Edinburgh, from 1945 until 1961.

Donal Donat Conor Bradley,, is the head of the Mathematical, Physical and Life Sciences Division of the University of Oxford. He is also a Professor of Engineering Science and Physics at Jesus College, Oxford. From 2006 to 2015, he was the Lee-Lucas Professor of Experimental Physics at Imperial College London. He was the founding director of the Centre for Plastic Electronics and served as vice-provost for research at the college.

Sir Simon Fraser Campbell, is a British chemist.

David Phillips (chemist)

David Phillips, is a British Chemist specialising in photochemistry and lasers, and was President of the Royal Society of Chemistry from 2010 to 2012.

Duncan Dowson was a British engineer and professor emeritus at the University of Leeds.

Graham John Hutchings FRS FIChemE FRSC FLSW is a British chemist, professor and Pro Vice-Chancellor for Research at Cardiff University.

Maurice Stacey CBE FRS FRIC was a British chemist who worked alongside Sir Norman Haworth to artificially synthesize Vitamin C.

Prof George Murray Burnett FRSE FRSA FRIC LLD (1921–1980) was a Scottish mathematician and chemist. He served as both Principal and Vice-Chancellor of Heriot-Watt University from 1974 until 1980. He is largely remembered for his work on polymer reactions.

Prof John Kaye Charlesworth FRSE FRGS FGS CBE (1889-1972) was a British geologist and academic author. He was an expert in the geology of Northern Ireland.

William Thomas Gordon FRSE FGS FGSE FLS FGA (1884–1950) was a Scottish palaeontologist and palaeobotanist in the early 20th century. He was also an expert on diamonds and gemstones and assisted Hatton Garden in the testing of rare stones.

Harry Melville (chemist)

Sir Harry Work Melville, was a British chemist, academic, and academic administrator, who specialised in polymer research. He spent his early career in academia as a lecturer and researcher, before moving into administration as a civil servant and university college head.

Elizabeth A. H. Hall

Elizabeth Anne Howlett Hall CBE, CChem, FRSC is a British Professor of Analytical Biotechnology at the Institute of Biotechnology, Department of Chemical Engineering and Biotechnology at the University of Cambridge.

Cecil Edwin Henry Bawn, was a British chemist and academic, specialising in chemical kinetics. He was Grant-Brunner Professor of Inorganic and Physical Chemistry (1948–1969) and Brunner Professor of Physical Chemistry (1969–1973) at the University of Liverpool. He had previously taught at the University of Manchester and the University of Bristol, before serving at the Ministry of Supply during the Second World War. He was president of the Faraday Society from 1967–1968.

Julia Buckingham is Vice Chancellor of Brunel University London, UK.


  1. 1 2 Feast, W. J. (2018). "Anthony Ledwith CBE. 14 August 1933 – 5 January 2015". Biographical Memoirs of Fellows of the Royal Society . 64: 285–298. doi: 10.1098/rsbm.2017.0029 . ISSN   0080-4606.
  2. Variously spelled. In the index of marriages it is both Coughlin and Coghlin; for the births of her two children it is Coghlin; for the Royal Society Biography it is Coghlan.)
  3. Stoye, Emma (9 January 2015). "Former Royal Society of Chemistry president dies". Royal Society of Chemistry. Retrieved 2 August 2020.