Memorial CXXIV: Scholarships and prizes awarded

Memorials of the Guild of Merchant Taylors of the Fraternity of St. John the Baptist in the City of London. Originally published by Harrison, London, 1875.

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'Memorial CXXIV: Scholarships and prizes awarded', Memorials of the Guild of Merchant Taylors of the Fraternity of St. John the Baptist in the City of London, (London, 1875), pp. 483-488. British History Online [accessed 17 June 2024].

. "Memorial CXXIV: Scholarships and prizes awarded", in Memorials of the Guild of Merchant Taylors of the Fraternity of St. John the Baptist in the City of London, (London, 1875) 483-488. British History Online, accessed June 17, 2024,

. "Memorial CXXIV: Scholarships and prizes awarded", Memorials of the Guild of Merchant Taylors of the Fraternity of St. John the Baptist in the City of London, (London, 1875). 483-488. British History Online. Web. 17 June 2024,

In this section


a. Scheme for fifteen Foundation Scholarships to be held in the School, proposed by a Special Committee of 20th February, and approved by the Court of April 1866.

Three Foundation Scholarships every year, value 25l., 25l., and 20l., respectively, tenable for five years, unless vacated by the boy leaving school, and subject to the Certificate of the Head Master, at the conclusion of each half-year, as to his continued industry and good conduct.

The examination to commence on June 19th in each year; but should this happen to be a Sunday, then on the following day.

Candidates for these Scholarships to be under 14 at the previous 25th December, and to have been already in the school twelve months at least.

The payments to the scholars to be made at the conclusion of each half-year.

Candidates will be expected—

To answer Latin or Greek Grammar questions. On Paper.
To translate into Latin a piece of English prose.
To translate some English Poetry into Latin Elegiacs or Hexameters, or both.
To translate into English passages from—
Euripides' Hecuba,
Homer's Iliad, 2 books,
Virgil's Æneid, 2 books,
Sallust or Cicero, (Two Cat. Or.)

(N.B.—The parts of Homer, Virgil, Sallust, and Cicero, to be varied each year).

To answer easy questions on the Early Scripture History, on the History of Rome to the commencement of the 1st Punic War, and on the leading facts and dates of English History.

And in the rudiments of Arithmetic.

The examination to be conducted by the Head Master, with the assistance of such of the Under Masters or Assistant Masters as he may summon for the purpose, and no candidate to be elected except upon the certificate of the Head Master as to his fitness, in point of actual merit, for the Scholarship.

Notice to be given by a paper fixed up in the school, twelve months at least before the examination is held.

b. The Hebrew prize medal (1838).

Sir Moses Montefiore, Knight, one of the Sheriffs of the City of London and joint Sheriff of the County of Middlesex, citizen, and liveryman of the Merchant Taylors' Company, having given a donation of 100l. for founding a prize to be annually bestowed upon a scholar of the Company's school, it was referred to the General Purpose Committee to consider and report to the Court the best mode of appropriating the said donation to the purpose intended.

On the 25th April 1838 it was resolved after paying out of the said sum of 100l. the cost of providing a die:—

1. That the residue should be invested in the names of the trustees of the Company, for the purpose of providing a silver gilt medal of the value of about 2l. 10s., to be called the "Montefiore Medal," to be bestowed annually during the pleasure of the Court upon one of the boys of the Company's school as a prize for proficiency in the Hebrew language.

2. That the die for the said medal be prepared by Mr. Wyon at an expense not exceeding 20 guineas, after a plan submitted to this Committee, representing on one side the Company's arms with the words, "Merchant Taylors' School," and on the reverse a wreath of laurels surrounding the words, "The Montefiore Hebrew Prize Medal, instituted A.D. 1838, John Alliston, Esq., Master."

3. That on each medal to be presented there be engraven on the outer rim the name of the boy and the year in which it was presented.

c. The Good-Conduct Prize (1857).

At the Court of the 11th December 1857, the Clerk reported that he had been directed by Mr. Warden Gilpin to inform the Court that he had invested the sum of 100l. in New 3l. per Cent. Annuities in the names of the Trustees, the dividends whereof to be applied in the purchase of books, to be called "Gilpin's Prize," and presented on the 11th June in each year by the Master of the Company for the time being for the best boy for good conduct during the year to be selected by the Head Master of the school.

d. The English History Prize (1861).

Sir James Tyler informed the Court of 12th February 1861 that instead of presenting books to the School Library in accordance with the custom of new Wardens he was desirous to benefit the school in a more permanent manner, and with that view he proposed to place at the disposal of the Company 200l. stock 3l. per Cent. to establish a yearly book prize for encouraging the study of English History, and indicated the following as the principle on which the prize should be regulated subject to such alterations as the Company might thereafter deem it necessary to make in any details.

The prize to be competed for by the upper and lower fifth forms in or shortly after August in each year—the subject to be some portion of English History between the accession of Henry VIII. and that of the House of Hanover—the exact portion to be declared about twelve months before the examination. The examination to include history, geography, chronology, biographies of eminent Englishmen connected with the period, and the competitors to show a general knowledge of leading dates and epochs of English History.

Resolved that the thanks of this Court be presented to Sir James Tyler, and that the prize be called "Sir James Tyler's English History Prize."

e. The Commercial Prize (1861).

It having been announced to the Court of 24th June 1861 that Mr. Alfred Staines Pigeon and Mr. Thomas Bless Pugh, the Renter Wardens, had expressed their desire to establish at the Company's school a yearly prize in books of the value of 6l., to be called "The Pigeon and Pugh Mercantile Prize," to be competed for by boys in the fourth, lower, and upper fifth forms in or shortly after August in each year, and that the examination be in such subjects as the Court may think proper for boys intended for merchants' houses, offices, or professions. It was resolved,

That for the year 1862 the subjects for examination be:—

1. Writing, comprising penmanship and composition.

2. Arithmetic, practical and theoretical, including a fair knowledge of foreign coinage, and rates of exchange.

3. Book-keeping, so far as the same can be acquired without actual practice.

4. Commercial geography, comprising position of counties, cities, &c., and their products and commercial importance in our country.

5. General history of the commerce of our own country and of our funded and unfunded debt.

And that the thanks of the Court be presented to Messrs. Pigeon and Pugh.

f. The 2nd English History Prize (1863).

Mr. Warden Rickards informed the Court of the 14th July 1863 that he had invested 100l., 3l. per Cent. Consols, in the names of the Master and Wardens of the Company to yield 3l. per annum, which it was his wish should be applied as a second history prize for the scholars who are entitled to compete for "Sir James Tyler's English History Prize."

Resolved that the thanks of this Court be presented to Mr. Warden Rickards for his gift to the Company's school, and that it be called "Rickard's English History Prize."

g. Elocution Prize (1868).

The Master, Sir James Tyler, at the Court of the 10th December 1868, having expressed his wish to transfer to the Company an amount requisite to award a yearly prize in books at the Company's school of the value of 3l. to one of the Monitors or Prompters who shall be decided by the Head Master to have been in his ordinary or public speaking and reading the most distinct and accurate in his examination, clear in his articulation, and apt in conveying his own meaning or that of his author to the mind of his audiences, it was resolved that the Court accepts with thanks the proposal made by the Master, and desires to record its sense of the continued interest he has thus shown for the school.

h. The 2nd Mercantile Prize (fn. 1) (1868).

Mr. Warden Mason and Mr. Warden Davis having at the same Court stated their desire to transfer to the Company an amount requisite to award a yearly prize in books at the Company's school of the value of 3l., as a second prize to the Mercantile and Office Prize founded by Mr. A. S. Pigeon and Mr. Pugh, it was resolved that the Court accepts with thanks the offer of Mr. Mason and Mr. Davis, recollecting the advantage which the school has derived from the prize so founded by Mr. Pigeon and Mr. Pugh.

i. The Hessey Divinity School Prizes (1872).

After the termination of the Head Mastership of Merchant Taylors' School, held by the Reverend James Augustus Hessey for a quarter of a century, "divers persons interested in the welfare of the school" being desirous of offering for his acceptance some testimonial of their esteem and affection, "subscribed a sum of money called 'The Hessey Testimonial Fund.'" At the express wish and desire of Dr. Hessey this fund was appropriated "to Divinity Prizes," to be distributed to the scholars according to the scheme hereafter set out.

This fund was invested in the purchase of 350l. 4l. per Cent. Perpetual Debenture Stock of the London and North-Western Railway Company, and by deed of the 7th February 1872, certain persons (the Head of the School and the Master of Merchant Taylors being two of them) declared a trust "to apply the dividends and annual produce according to the scheme (there and here) under written, or such other scheme (as the Trustees, with the consent of the Head Master) should think fit and expedient."

The scheme provides that 14l., the income of the fund, shall be applied every year in the purchase of books to be given as prizes for proficiency in the study of Divinity to the scholars of Merchant Taylors' School, such books to be distributed amongst the several forms or classes as follows:—

£ s. d.
1. To the head form books to the value of about 5 5 0
2. Sixth 3 3 0
3. Upper and lower fifth 2 2 0
4. Fourth form and upper division 1 11 6
5. To the lower division and third form 1 1 0
6. Second and first forms 0 10 6

j. Company's Prizes.

Annually, since 1823, the Company have given a sum to the Head Master to distribute in books as Prizes to the boys at St. Barnabas and Doctors' Days. First, 30l. was given fo Classical, and then 10l. for Mathematical Prizes, until other subjects were introduced in the School Course, when 50l. per annum was voted for their purpose, and the distribution of it left to the Head Master.

k. Reorganization of the foregoing.

The changes to be introduced into the Company's Scholarships must depend on the development of the School. Their tenure by a boy for so long a period as five years may be an endowment to idleness, by removing the incentive to work both from the holder and others, who probably can never be again his school competitors for the same prize. If instead of this tenure they were (as the other prizes are) awarded in each or in every other year, competition would be increased and the industry of the boys stimulated.


  • 1. This and the previous prize were the assumed cost of an entertainment to the Court of Assistants, which previous Masters and Renter Wardens had always paid for upon their elections (Mem. VIII., par. 3). In 1868-9 no such entertainment was given.