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The Declaration states that one thousand two hundred and seventy pounds was raised to be invested for the prize fund. The essay, of 3000-7000 words, was to be on a subject related to India. Each entrant had to choose a “motto” so that they could not be identified by the examiners. The winner, at the outset, was awarded a prize of books to the value of £2 and a Gold Medal with the inscription, “Royal Asiatic Society: Indian Empire School Medal”. No pupil could win the prize more than once and, initially, only pupils from Eton, Harrow, Winchester, Rugby, Charterhouse, Westminster and Merchant Taylors were allowed to enter.
Essay No. 3: Age, Birth Year and Wealth, The …
At the start of 2017, I began the process of sorting the Royal Asiatic Society’s Institutional Records. These date back to its beginnings and, of course, are still being made today and cover all the activities with which the Society has been involved through the years. In the last couple of weeks I have sorted the Papers concerning the RAS Public School Essay Prize and Gold Medal and the Universities Prize Essay . The prize began in 1907 thanks to the generosity of “His Highness the Raja of Cochin, the Maharaja Gajapati Rao, the Raja of Parlakimedi and other Chiefs and Gentlemen of Southern India” and was originally aimed at pupils of British Public Schools.
The first prize was awarded in 1933 to Norman Richard Seddon of Balliol College, Oxford, for his essay on “The Advantages derived by India and England for their mutual relations”. Mr Seddon was unable to receive his prize and diploma in person, as by the time it was awarded, he had graduated from Oxford and was working in Baghdad. Norman Seddon went on to have an illustrious career with British Petroleum eventually becoming one of the company’s executives.