Yorkshire History Prize

** Click here for the Report on History Prize 2013 **

The competition for essays on the history of Yorkshire is held annually. The Beresford Award for longer essays of up to 10,000 words is worth £300, and the judges may make a second award of £150. For shorter essays, with a limit of 5,000 words, there is one prize, the Bramley Award, of £150.

Entries should be original and based on research, and should not have been published already nor offered for publication. Any subject drawn from the history of places and people in traditional Yorkshire is usually acceptable. Successful essays have often been adapted subsequently for publication in learned journals.

Persons thinking of entering should first inform the Secretary (see below) who will give guidance on the format in which essays should be submitted.

Those wanting to discuss academic matters, the wording of their title or the eligibility of their subject may, if they wish, consult Professor Edward Royle, Chairman of the Judges. (Tel. 01904 423009; email: er1@york.ac.uk)

The closing date is 1 May and essays should be sent to the following address by that date: J M Bradford, Secretary for the Yorkshire History Prize, 14B Wood Lane, Leeds LS6 2AE (Tel: 0113 274 3804; Email: thebradfords@btinternet.com)

Background on the Yorkshire History Prize

In 1985, as one of its final acts, the West Yorkshire County Council provided a grant of £5000 to the Yorkshire Society with the object of encouraging the study of the history of the ancient County of York. Professor Maurice W. Beresford, the distinguished economic historian of the University of Leeds, kindly agreed to establish the rules of an annual essay competition and to invite a group of academic colleagues to serve as adjudicators. The competition was instituted in 1987 and has been held each year since then. In 1991, following the success of the main competition, a second type of award, for shorter essays on more general topics, was made available through the generosity of Mrs J G Bramley of Lofthouse Hall, herself a member of the Society.

Entries have come from all corners of the county and beyond, from London, Oxford and Windsor, as well as from Hull, Sheffield, Leeds, Knaresborough, Dent, Hebden, Harrogate, York, Doncaster, Halifax and so on Subjects have ranged widely, from 'Mother Shipton, the Yorkshire Witch' and 'Percy Shaw of Halifax, the Catseyes Man', to 'The Evacuation of Leeds Schoolchildren in the Second World War', 'Migration Patterns of Mining Families in Darfield 1861-81' and 'The Nunneries of Esholt and Marrick'.In 1996, when Yorkshire Water generously hosted the awards ceremony at their Esholt headquarters, the winner of the First Prize that year was able to descend into the basement and see mediaeval remains of the Esholt nunnery which had been the subject of her essay. The Society has been gratified by the generosity of organisations prepared to play host to these ceremonies over the years, including the Leeds and Wakefield local authorities, the University of Huddersfield, the Borthwick Institute and Blackwell's Bookshop in York, Radio Hallam FM in Sheffield, YTV, the Yorkshire Bank, the Yorkshire Archaeological Society and the Penistone Community Centre.

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