Biography of William Leechman
William Leechman (1706-1785) was Professor of Divinity at the University, 1743 to 1761, as well as University Chaplain and Vice Principal. He was awarded an Honorary DD in 1754 and was Principal from 1761 until his death.
Born in Dolphinton, Leechman was a graduate of the University of Edinburgh. He became a tutor to the family of William Mure of Caldwell and attended Francis Hutcheson's lectures at the University of Glasgow when he visited the city with the Mures in the 1730s. He became minister in Beith before, in 1743, he was appointed Professor of Divinity with Hutcheson's strong support. He followed the precedent set by his mentor and lectured in English rather than Latin.
Leechman was elected Moderator of the General Assembly of the Church of Scotland in 1757.