Tiverton, England, 1778. Grimshaw I, 23. Davis & Waters 274/534. Copper. Diameter 40.2mm,
28.4 grams. Engraved by Lewis Pingo (signed above obverse exergue line). Obverse: DETURI DIGNIORI (let it be given to the more worthy), around Athena, the goddess of wisdom, seated right and facing left, placing a wreath on the head of a kneeling student. Reverse: IN PATRIAM POPULUMQ FLUXIT (It flowed onto the nation and the people), apparently referring to wisdom, above and around a picture of the school building with a shining sun above; below the exergue, PETRUS BLUNDELLVS FVND DON MDCIV (Peter Blundell Founding Gift 1604).
The first medals of these Blundell's School prize medals were awarded for the year 1777, but the die was not executed by Lewis Pingo until 1778 and the first medals were struck in that year. This die wore out and was replaced by a nearly identical one (lacking the Pingo signature) in 1833. Two silver medals were awarded each year, one for speaking and one for composition, though in a one year a single boy won both prizes and in another year three medals were awarded. Medals were not given every year, though a list of the recipients still exists and a total of 92 silver medals were awarded before the dies were replaced.
In addition, a silver medal was given in 1778 to the schoolmaster Keats and both silver and copper medals were given to each of the Feoffees (i.e. Trustees), who numbered about two dozen at the time. Silver medals were also given to the Marquis of Rockingham and "two or three other gentlemen." As such, a total of about 120-125 silver and 25 or so copper medals were stuck using the Pingo die.
The legend, "Detur Digniori", which means "let it be given to the more worthy" references the inscription Detur Pulchriori (let it be given to the more beautiful) that was inscribed on the golden apple Paris awarded to Venus. This motto was later used on the earliest of the Boston Latin School medals. The reverse legend "In Patriam Populumq(ue) Fluxit" is roughly translated as "It flowed onto the nation and the people", apparently referring to wisdom. Both of these legends contain subtle warnings, however. The golden apple set off a chain of events that led to the Tojan War and destruction of Troy. The reverse legend is a portion of a longer quotation from an ode of Horace (Book III, Ode 6) "hoc fonte derivata clades in patriam populumque fluxit" or "from this spring flowed the disaster which poured upon our country and people". In other words, be careful of the unintended results of such awards!