Cambridge University - Norrisian Prize


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in British School Medals (currently in collection)
1781. Silver. Diameter 43.6mm, 37.5 grams. Obverse: Christ rising from the tomb, with an angel pulling away a stone and a guard sleeping nearby; DEATH IS SWALLOWED UP IN VICTORY around, and the date MDCCXXXI below the exergue line. Reverse: A Bible open to "S. John", with a cross above and the legend THE WISDOM OF GOD UNTO SALVATION around; NORRISIAN PRIZE below the exergue line.

According to Dr. Herbert J. Erlanger (Origin And Development of The European Prize Medal to The End of The XVIIIth Century, p.62), the Norrisian prize for theology was "established in 1781 by the will of John Norris Esq of Whitton in the county of Norfolk.  He left the annual sum of £12 for the best essay by a candidate between the ages of twenty and thirty on a theological subject.  £7.4/- of this was to go for a gold  medal and the rest for a set of books, namely the Bible, Bishop Sherlock's Discourses, Leland against Deistical Writers and Pearson on the Creed.  Norris also endowed a Chair for theology and its incumbent each year proposed the subject on which the candidates for the Norrisian prize had to compose their essays strictly according to the doctrine, liturgy, articles and homilies of the Church of England.  The medal was first given in 1781, and the successful candidates were required not only to have attended twenty lectures of the Norrisian professor of theology in one year but also to print and publish their winning essay."

Item record created April 23, 2011.
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