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W. H. McLeod

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William Hewat "Hew" McLeod (2 August 1932 – 20 July 2009) was a New Zealand scholar who wrote about Sikh history and culture. He produced many books and essays on Sikh identity, Sikh history and Sikh theology. His work frequently was a source of controversy.[1]

William Hewat McLeod
Born(1932-08-02)2 August 1932
Died20 July 2009(2009-07-20) (aged 76)
EducationSchool of Oriental and African Studies
Known forSikh history and culture
Spouse(s)Margaret Wylie (m. 1955)
Scientific career
ThesisThe life and doctrine of Gurū Nānak (1965)


Personal lifeEdit

McLeod was born and raised in a farming family near Feilding, in New Zealand's North Island. He met Margaret Wylie in Dunedin during his university studies, and they were married in May 1955. They had four children.[1]


McLeod was educated at Nelson College from 1946 to 1950,[2] and then at the University of Otago, Dunedin, where he earned a BA and then an MA in history, graduating in 1954.[3] He then began theological studies and in 1958 joined the New Zealand Presbyterian church's mission to Punjab, India. At Kharar, in Punjab, he learned the local languages (Hindi and Punjabi) and taught English at the Christian Boys secondary school.

Later, he completed a PhD at the School of Oriental and African Studies in London in 1965.[1]

In 1990 he was awarded a DLit by the University of London,[4] and he was elected a Fellow of the Royal Society of New Zealand in 1999.[5]

Selected worksEdit

  • Sikhism (ISBN 0140252606)
  • Sikhs and Sikhism (ISBN 0195647459)
  • Sikhs of the Khalsa: A History of the Khalsa Rahit (ISBN 0195672216)
  • The Sikhs: History, Religion, and Society (ISBN 0231068158)
  • Who is a Sikh?: The Problem of Sikh Identity (ISBN 0198265484)
  • Historical Dictionary of Sikhism (ISBN 0810850885)
  • Essays in Sikh History, Tradition, and Society (ISBN 0195682742)
  • Exploring Sikhism: Aspects of Sikh Identity, Culture, and Thought (ISBN 0195649028)
  • Guru Nanak and the Sikh Religion (ISBN 0198265212)
  • Early Sikh Tradition a Study of the Janam Sakhis (ISBN 0198265328)
  • The Evolution of the Sikh Community: Five Essays (ISBN 0198265298)
  • The Sikhs of the Punjab (ISBN 0853621233)
  • Popular Sikh Art (ISBN 0195627911)


  1. ^ a b c Ballantyne, Tony (3 September 2009). "WH McLeod". The Guardian. Retrieved 26 August 2013.
  2. ^ Nelson College Old Boys' Register, 1856–2006, 6th edition
  3. ^ "NZ university graduates 1870–1961: Mc". Retrieved 9 December 2014.
  4. ^ Olssen, Erik (19 November 2010). "William Hewat McLeod". Royal Society of New Zealand. Retrieved 9 December 2014.
  5. ^ "The Academy: M–O". Royal Society of New Zealand. Retrieved 9 December 2014.

External linksEdit