Rees Davies Prize

Caernarvon Castle, Samuel Grimm, 1777

The Rees Davies Prize for an outstanding Master’s thesis commemorates former RHS President and distinguished medieval scholar, Professor Sir Rees Davies (1938-2005). It is awarded for the best Master’s dissertation submitted by a UK institution of Higher Education. The winner is awarded a prize of £250 and invited to submit an article based on the dissertation to be considered for publication in Transactions.

The RHS is delighted to announce that the Rees Davies Prize for 2016 has been awarded to Megan Johnston (Durham University) for ‘Doing Neighbourhood: Practising Neighbourliness in the Diocese of Durham, 1624-31’. The judges commented:

Megan Johnston

This is a dissertation which grabs the reader’s attention from the very first page and never lets it go thereafter. It is a learned and scholarly piece of work, but it is also lively, arresting and very well-written. Ms Johnston has drawn on a vast corpus of original documents in order to throw popular attitudes towards neighbours, ‘neighbourhood’ and ‘neighbourliness’ in the early Stuart diocese of Durham into sharp relief, and her work contains a wealth of fascinating – and sometimes rather surprising – narratives culled from local consistory court records. The judges thoroughly enjoyed reading ‘Doing Neighbourhood’, and they have no doubt at all that the themes which Ms Johnston addresses would appeal to a much broader audience, too. She is clearly a historian of great promise who possesses a genuine flair for her subject. The judges were delighted to recommend that this well-researched, thoughtful and thought-provoking dissertation should be awarded the Royal Historical Society’s Rees Davies Prize for 2016.”

How to Enter

  • The Rees Davies Prize is awarded for the best dissertation submitted in 2016 as part of a one-year full-time (or two-year part-time) postgraduate Master’s degree in any UK institution of Higher Education.
  • The potential number of entries to the Prize is large and to reduce numbers to manageable proportions we limit entries to one for every UK Higher Education institution.
  • Departments are invited to nominate the candidate judged by the examiners to have presented the best Master’s dissertation. Please note that an electronic copy of the dissertation 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 January 2017

Past winners of the Rees Davies Prize

All enquiries about the Prize should be addressed to the Administrative Secretary, Melanie Ransom, at: