David Berry Prize

Edward Burne Jones, Battle of Flodden, relief

The David Berry Prize is for the best essay addressing an aspect of Scottish history. The winner is awarded a prize of £250. The Prize was endowed by David Anderson-Berry in memory of his father the Reverend David Berry.  In 1937 the first David Berry Prize was awarded to G. Donaldson for his essay ‘The polity of the Scottish reformed Church c.1460-1580, and the rise of the Presbyterian movement’.

The RHS is delighted to announce that the 2016 David Berry Prize has been awarded to Karin Bowie for her essay ‘Public, People and Nation in Early Modern Scotland‘.

The judges commented:

In a neatly structured and carefully argued essay that is deeply and widely researched, Karin Bowie considers the development of a ‘textual public’ in early modern Scotland. While acknowledging that print provided an important context through which early modern public opinion was formulated and expressed, Bowie argues that the debates, discussions, petitions and addresses engendered by the religious differences and constitutional experiences of seventeenth-century Scotland fostered the development and expression of popular and national political opinion. Acknowledged by contemporary Scottish politicians as expressions of the ‘inclinations’, ‘genius’ or ‘mind’ of ‘the people’ or ‘the nation’, these extra-parliamentary and often oppositional forms of direct engagement not only encouraged the development of political opinion among, especially, increasing numbers of Lowland Scots, but also serve as a reminder of the subtle and multi-faceted contributions developments which led to the birth to modern public opinion.”

How to Enter

  • The essay submitted must be a genuine work of research based on original (manuscript or printed) materials.
  • The essay should be between 6,000 and 10,000 words in length (excluding footnotes and appendices).
  • Essays already published or accepted for future publication are eligible for submission.
  • Previous prize winners are not eligible to enter for the prize again.
  • Please note that an electronic copy of your essay will need to be uploaded to the entry form.
  • For further information on how to enter, please refer to the Guidelines.
  • Once you have read the guidelines please complete this Entry Form.

Closing date for entries: 31 December 2017

Past winners of the David Berry prize

All enquiries about the Prize should be addressed to the Administrative Secretary, Melanie Ransom, at: m.ransom@royalhistsoc.org