Alexander Prize


The Alexander Prize is awarded for an essay or article based on original historical research, by a doctoral candidate or those recently awarded their doctorate, published in a journal or an edited collection of essays.

The Prize was endowed in 1897 by L.C. Alexander, Secretary of the Society at its foundation in 1868 and a Life Member from 1870. The original endowment offered ‘to provide yearly a Gold Medal to be called The Alexander Medal’. The gold medal was later changed to a silver medal and now the successful candidate is awarded a prize of £250.

Applications for the 2024 Alexander Prize have now closed (31 December 2023). Please see below on the timetable for the 2024 Alexander Prize and that for 2025 for which applications are invited from September 2024.

Alexander Prize Winners, 2023

Congratulations to Dr Jake Dyble and Dr Roseanna Webster who were announced as co-winners of the 2023 Alexander Prize on 6 July.

Judges’ citation for Jake Dyble’s article:

Jake Dyble tackles a major question regarding the history of the Transatlantic slave trade: how different was this trade to earlier types of enslavement? This is not only a problem for historians but a key issue in modern political debates—particularly with regard to restorative justice.

Dyble uses an ingenious method to uncover a clear answer to the conundrum. He uses legal cases regarding the jettison of cargo, including living animals or people, to determine that there was a significant shift in attitude towards the enslaved.

The panel were impressed with the use of legal history but also the way in which the author was able to make a difficult technical topic comprehensible to non-specialists.

Judges’ citation for Roseanna Webster’s article:

Roseanna Webster’s work on Francoist Spain is a classic account of history from below. She focuses on female activists in new housing estates whose concerns were to gain the necessities of life, such as a regular supply of running water.

Webster’s use of oral histories shows how the role of activist jarred with traditional gender roles, and how this caused the women themselves some unease. Webster’s unusual choice of subject matter and her careful handling of her source material has produced a nuanced account of life under Franco, which focuses not on soldiers or dissidents but on ordinary women and their ambivalence about their new roles.

Timetable for the 2024 Alexander Prize

  • Submissions for the 2024 Prize open: 1 September 2023
  • Closing date for entries for the 2024 Prize: 31 December 2023
  • Shortlist for the 2024 Prize announced: May / June 2023
  • Winner of the 2024 Prize announced: July 2023

All enquiries about the Prize should be addressed to the RHS. Please contact:

How to enter the Alexander Prize, 2025

Submissions for the 2025 Prize, from authors, will be accepted from 1 September 2024 prior to the closing date of 31 December 2024. Further details of the 2025 Alexander Prize will be announced in due course. To be eligible for consideration for the prize:

  • Candidates must be doctoral students in a historical subject in a UK institution, or be within two years of having a submitted a corrected thesis in a historical subject in a UK institution at the time of the closing date for entries.
  • The article or essay must have been published in a journal or edited collection during the calendar year 2024 (for the 2025 prize round). Advanced access publisher versions are also eligible, but an item cannot be entered more than once in subsequent years
  • An electronic copy of the publisher’s version the article or essay will need to be uploaded to the entry form.

A list of previous winners of the Alexander Prize (1898-2023) is available here.