Chancellor's Gold Medal

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The Chancellor's Gold Medal is a prestigious annual award at Cambridge University for poetry, paralleling Oxford University's Newdigate Prize. It was first presented by Prince William Frederick, Duke of Gloucester and Edinburgh during his time as Chancellor of the University of Cambridge. In the mid 19th century, the topic for each year was sent out at the end of Michaelmas Term, with a requirement that entries were submitted by 31 March of the following year. A second requirement is and has been that poems must be submitted anonymously. Over the last few decades the system of set topics has been abandoned.

The winner of the medal would have the honour of reading his or her poem aloud in the Senate House on Commencement Day. The prize was first awarded in 1813 to George Waddington of Trinity College. The early lists of winners shows a considerable overlap with the list of Senior Wranglers.

This literary prize continues to exist today under the name of Chancellor's Medal for an English Poem. Intermittently it was also known as the Chancellor's Medal for (an) English Verse.

The prize takes the shape of not so much a medal, but of a rather large coin or medallion. In modern times the medallion is decked with a representation of the Queen on the front and a poetical figure on the back.

The prize has not been bestowed upon a young poet in every academic year since 1813. Where available information has been provided as to which college of the university the particular student belonged.

Chancellor's Medals may also be awarded for academic distinction in Classics or English Law.

Partial list of recipients[edit]


  1. ^ British Poetry of the Romantic Period Catalog: A to Dash. Stanford University.
  2. ^ "Chancellor's Gold Medal". The Camberwell Collegiate Magazine (10): 73. 1840.
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