Rees Davies Prize

Map of Wales, Joan Blaeu (1598-1673), from the collections of the Koninklijke Bibliotheek, public domain


The Rees Davies Prize for an outstanding Master’s thesis commemorates former Royal Historical Society 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.

Congratulations to Jamey Jesperson, winner of this year’s Rees Davies Prize. Jamey’s Masters’ thesis—’The brutal binary: deployments of colonial gender and queer indigenous elimination in the settlement of the North American west coast, 1769-1900’—was completed at Goldsmiths, University of London, and praised by the judges as:

An exceptional piece of work, beautifully written and carefully evidenced … a significant contribution to scholarship on gender and colonialism that reflects meaningfully on both historical and contemporary issues of ideology, power and place.

Congratulations also to this year’s Runner-Up, Martha Gartside-Mitchell, for her dissertation, ‘Reproductive (in)justice, paternalism, and resistance in Los Angeles, c.1960-1980′, awarded by the University of Leeds.


How to Enter the Rees Davies Prize, 2023

  • The Rees Davies Prize is awarded for the best dissertation submitted in a calendar year as part of a one-year full-time (or two-year part-time) postgraduate Master’s degree in any UK institution of Higher Education.
  • Nominations should be of work completed by a Masters student in a historical subject in a UK institution.
  • Nominations are limited to one per centre / department / school / and nominators are asked to nominate only dissertations that they regard as being of outstanding quality.
  • Nominated works may come from centres / departments / schools outside History, but will be clearly historical in subject.
  • Dissertations will have been submitted for examination in the year previous to the award. For example, 2023 entries were submitted for examination in 2022.
  • An electronic copy of the dissertation will need to be uploaded to the entry form.

Timetable for submissions

  • Submissions for the 2023 Prize open: 1 September 2022. All submissions are via the RHS Prize Applications Portal.
  • Closing date for entries for the 2023 Prize: 31 January 2023.

All enquiries about the Prize should be addressed to the RHS. Please contact the Membership and Administration Officer at:


List of previous winners of the Rees Davies Prize