Newcastle Scholarship

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The Newcastle Scholarship is an annual prize awarded at Eton College in England for the highest performance in a series of special written examinations taken over the course of a week. It was instituted and first awarded in 1829. It is the College's most prestigious prize, and for over a century until it changed form in 1976 it was considered the premier school prize examination in England for school students of the Classics (Greek and Latin language and literature) and Divinity (the Bible scriptures).


The scholarship was instituted and first awarded in 1829 on the initiative and benefaction of Henry Pelham-Clinton, 4th Duke of Newcastle. The Statutes, recorded in 1841, state:

'The design and object of these Scholarships is to promote and encourage a Religious education and sound and useful Learning in general among the Scholars of Eton School, including particularly accurate Scholarship in Greek and Roman literature but most especially and principally to inculcate a thorough knowledge of the Evidence, Doctrines and Precepts of the Christian Religion.'[1]

The winner of the Newcastle Scholarship was awarded a cash prize of £250, a considerable sum in 1829, while the runner-up received a Gold Medal. Originally a series of up to twelve examinations in the ancient languages and in knowledge of Biblical texts, the Scholarship was split into two in 1977, becoming one Prize for Divinity and one for Classics.

Exam format[edit]

Since 1987 the Newcastle Scholarship has been an examination in philosophical theology, moral theory, and applied ethics. Candidates sit two three-hour papers after Long Leave (the mid-term break) in the Lent Half (the winter term). Each paper consists of about 12 questions divided into two sections. Candidates must answer three questions in each paper, at least one chosen from each section.

Since its foundation, many distinguished British theologians and philosophers have been invited to examine the Newcastle. In 1840 William Gladstone was one of the examiners, together with Lord Lyttelton.[2] In addition to setting the papers and marking the scripts, they choose a set book on a theme of their choice, upon which candidates are examined.


Distinguished winners of the Newcastle Scholarship in its original form have included Sir Edward Shepherd Creasy (1831), William Johnson Cory (1841),[3] WR Inge (1879),[4] M. R. James (1882),[5] Patrick Shaw-Stewart (1905),[6] Arthur Rhys-Davids(1916), Quintin Hogg, Baron Hailsham of St Marylebone (1925),[7] Douglas Hurd (1947) and William Waldegrave (1965, currently Provost of Eton College). Those who have become professional classicists include Roger Mynors (1922), Charles Willink (1946), Adrian Hollis (1958), Richard Jenkyns (1966) and Armand D’Angour (1976).

The following is a list of winning Scholars, and Medallists (runners-up) since 1946. They are listed with their post-nominals earned at the school: "KS": King's Scholar; "OS": Oppidan Scholar; "MS": Music Scholar; "ME": Music Exhibitioner.

"ma" indicates the elder of two brothers at the school, or exceptionally the eldest of three or the second of four or more; "mi" similarly indicates the second of two or three, or the third of four or more.

Year Scholar Medallist
1946 C. W. Willink, KS T. J. Burrows, KS
1947 D. R. Hurd, KS S. Goldblatt, KS
1948 C. L. Drage, OS S. M. Haskell, KS
1949 S. M. Haskell, KS S. H. Willink, KS
1950 S. H. Willink, KS M. C. Stokes, KS
1951 S. L. Egerton, KS M. C. Stokes, KS
1952 M. Mortimer, KS W. J. A. Wickham, OS
1953 S. L. Hugh-Jones, KS R. C. Palmer, KS
1954 R. B. O’G. Anderson ma KS P. M. O. Stafford, KS
1955 N. P. Bayne, KS C. M. K. Taylor ma KS
1956 E. L. Hussey, KS P. T. S. Carson, KS
1957 M. Elliott, KS A. S. Hollis, KS
1958 A. S. Hollis, KS T. R. Adès, KS
1959 T. R. Adès, KS J. P. Steele, KS
1960 K. A. O. Fulton, KS G. A. D. Emerson, KS
1961 G. A. D. Emerson, KS J. V. Kerby, KS
1962 R. J. A. Carnwath ma OS P. T. Hutchinson, KS
1963 F. M. Prideaux, KS R. J. Lane Fox, OS
1964 A. G. Foster-Carter, KS R. J. Lane Fox, OS
1965 The Hon. W. G. Waldegrave, OS The Hon. A. J. L. Bruce, OS
1966 R. H. A. Jenkyns, KS N. S. R. Hornblower, KS
1967 J. W. Waterfield, KS N. S. R. Hornblower, KS
1968 The Hon. P. C. H. Snow, KS O. W. A. Barnes, KS
1969 S. P. M. Mackenzie, KS M. P. R. Wormald, KS
1970 R. R. Oliver, OS The Hon. A. D. A. Macdonald, OS
1971 The Hon. A. W. R. Morrison, KS A. J. Pemberton, KS
1972 A. J. Pemberton, KS J. D. Leigh Pemberton ma OS
1973 H. C. Lawson-Tancred, KS S. G. Barber, OS
1974 M. J. Lyall Grant, OS J. H. Leigh Pemberton ma OS
1975 H. C. Eyres, KS The Hon. G. S. Monck OS
1976 A. J. D’Angour ma KS M. A. Anderson KS
1977 A. A. J. Monson ma OS N. I. Macpherson, KS
1978 D. W. K. Anderson, KS M.R.V. Southern KS
1979 J. W. Mackinnon, KS J. W. R Cummings, KS
1980 P. D. P. Barnes ma OS M. Brandreth, KS
1981 K. K. Nath, KS G. T. S. Davson, KS
1982 G. T. S. Davson KS A. D. T. Cromartie, KS
1983 H. J. B. Smith, KS A. D. T. Cromartie KS
1984 D. W. Runciman, OS J. F. Boff, KS
1985 S. H. Mandelbrote, KS A. J. N. Roxburgh KS
1986 P. S. Drinkall, OS J. W. Rees-Mogg
1987 B. J. Smith ma OS W. G. Wringe, KS
1988 H. R. M. Dimbleby C. R. Heatly, KS MS
1989 J. B. R. Reppas ma KS T. G. M. Mitcheson, OS
1990 E. W. J. Lamb N. J. I. Kind, KS
1991 T. P. Elias, KS D. K. Renton, OS
1992 K. A. A. Kwarteng, KS F. F-T. Chen, OS
1993 D. A. S. Hugh-Jones, KS A. C. Warr, OS
1994 I. N. M. Wright, KS A. C. E. Ruck Keene, OS
1995 T. D. Calvocoressi, OS R. J. Starling, KS
1996 P. M-T. Sohmen, KS ME S. Krishnan, KS
1997 R. A. Elliott Lockhart, OS R. V. Gowan ma KS
1998 N. T. Shah, KS L. P. C. Geddes
1999 C. P. W. Fielding, OS N. T. Shah, KS
2000 J. D. J. Neicho, KS M. J. Pappenheim, KS
2001 H. H. Briance, OS A. Grenfell ma KS ME
2002 O. J. C. Bridge H. H. Briance, OS
2003 J. C. Dacre ma K.S H. J. Ellis, OS
2004 H. C. R. Donati, OS T. C. Wingfield, OS
2005 H. C. R. Donati, OS F. J. O. Spring
2006 N. H. J. Gaisman OS ME A. H. White mi KS
2007 M. I. L. Osman A. T. P. Parham mi
2008 G. K. Kotecha, KS J. H. F. Roxburgh, KS
2009 A. A. Nadeem, KS R. Mehan, OS
2010 A. A. Cornish, KS D. J. F. C. Leung, KS MS
2011 W. J. Gowers, KS H. Xu, KS
2012 M. A. P. Seely, KS T. A. Bannatyne, KS
2013 H.C. Elliott ma KS S.A.P. Norman ma OS ME
2014 C.J. Styles A.A. Groes, OS
2015 B.P. Barnard W. Baker
2016 J. Choo-Choy M. Woernle ma OS
2017 L. Fraser-Taliente OS L. Li KS
2018 K. Power A.F. Warley

Recent Examiners[edit]

Year Examiner Set Text
1988 Professor John MacQuarrie (Christ Church, Oxford) Peace Studies: The Hard Questions
1989 Canon Brian Hebblethwaite (Queens’ College. Cambridge) Mahoney, Bioethics and Belief
1990 Professor Stephen Prickett (Glasgow University) Prickett, What do the Translators Think They are Up To?
1991 Rabbi Julia Neuberger Webster, A Brief History of Blasphemy
1992 The Rt Revd Stephen Sykes (Bishop of Ely) Report on Faith in the Countryside
1993 Professor Basil Mitchell (Oxford University) Sacks, The Persistence of Faith
1994 Sir Anthony Kenny (Rhodes House, Oxford) Casey, Pagan Virtue
1995 Professor Stephen Clark (Liverpool University) Regis, Great Mambo Chicken and the Transhuman Condition
1996 Dr Janet Martin Soskice (Jesus College, Cambridge) Sacks, Faith in the Future
1997 Dr Graham Ward (Peterhouse, Cambridge) Weil, Gravity and Grace
1998 Professor David Pailin (Manchester University) Mesle, Process Theology
1999 Professor Peter Lipton (King’s College, Cambridge) Nagel, Mortal Questions
2000 Professor Ann Loades MBE (Durham University) Pelikan, Jesus through the Centuries
2001 Mr Michael Proudfoot (Reading University) Warnock, Imagination and Time
2002 Professor John Webster (Christ Church, Oxford) MacIntyre, Dependent Rational Animals
2003 Professor Roger Trigg (Warwick University) Fukuyama, Our Posthuman Future
2004 Professor Anthony O'Hear (Birmingham University) Hume, Dialogues Concerning Natural Religion
2005 Professor George Pattison (Christ Church, Oxford) Kierkegaard, Fear and Trembling
2006 Dr Fraser Watts (Queens’ College, Cambridge) James Proctor, Science, Religion and the Human Experience
2007 Dr Susan Parsons (Universities of Cambridge and Nottingham) Anselm, Proslogion
2009 Dr Douglas Hedley (Clare College, Cambridge) Kant, The Moral Law
2010 Professor John Cottingham (Reading University) Nietzsche, On the Genealogy of Morality
2011 Dr Paolo Crivelli (New College, Oxford) Plato, Phaedo
2012 Dr Dave Leal (Brasenose College, Oxford) Ryle, The Concept of Mind
2013 Professor Derek Matravers (Emmanuel College, Cambridge) Williams, Morality
2014 Dr William Wood (Oriel College, Oxford) Pascal, Pensées
2015 Dr Clare Carlisle (King’s College, London) Lear, Radical Hope
2016 Dr Jonathan Loose (Universities of London and Cambridge) Plantinga, Knowledge and Christian Belief
2017 Professor John Skorupski (Emeritus Professor of Moral Philosophy, University of St Andrews) Descartes, Meditations on First Philosophy

Winners of the Newcastle Classical Prize since 1976[edit]

Year Scholar Runner(s) up
(Proxime accessit
or accesserunt)
1976 R.W. Bourne KS T.A. Oates OS
1977 N.T. Morgan ma KS M.R.V. Southern KS
1978 G.W. Philipps ma KS A.P.M. Beeley OS
1979 J.W. Mackinnon KS H.M. Matovu mi KS
1980 J. Minney ms KS P.D. Clancy OS
1981 A.B. Johnson ma KS G.T.S. Davson KS
1982 H.J.B. Smith KS W.D.M. Buckley ma OS
1983 R.J.B. Hoare KS N.E. Evans Lombe KS
1984 Not awarded
1985 A.J.N. Roxburgh KS C.M. Phipps OS
1986 A.S. Brown KS E.J. Baden-Powell OS
1987 S. Towler KS W.B.M. Coley KS
1988 N.A.H. Dent OS J.C.S. Sword KS
1989 D.J. Causebrook KS L.S.-K. Fung OS MS,
M.J.H. Meynell ma
1990 S.J. Lloyd KS P.A. Delves Broughton OS
1991 H.J.S. Howard KS I. Tebb KS
1992 G.A.J. Kelly ma OS N.P. Larkin KS
1993 K.A.A. Kwarteng KS C.A.C. Smith KS
1994 A. Oliver KS MS A.G. Buchanan OS
1995 M.R.B. Wilson KS A.S. Zihni KS
1996 J.P. Wootton OS S.A. Sorell KS
1997 C.L. Whitton OS MS M.A.C. Martin OS
1998 C.P.W. Fielding OS A.S. McCluskey OS ME
1999 A.C.M. Anslow OS W.D.F. Brett OS ME
2000 M.J. Pappenheim KS MS C.D.A. Wright OS
2001 H.H. Briance OS A.G.R. Summers KS
2002 T.E. Cameron KS T.H.W. Casey OS
2003 C.N. Morrison OS. A.O.K.Edun ma OS
2004 T.A.S.Rudkin OS. J.F. Manhood KS
2005 Y.Kawata KS J.K. Romer-Lee OS
2006 M.S. Ostrowski KS MS F.C.C.T. Parham ma OS
2007 H.C. Lyall Grant OS O.J.W. Murphy KS
2008 J.H.F. Roxburgh KS H.W. Lebus
2009 A.A. Cornish KS M.E.F. Bridges OS. ME
2010 O.J.Y-T. Koo OS R.B. Morley KS
2011 D.A.S. Byam-Shaw KS E. Loh KS
G.H.F. Hull OS
2012 W.D.D. Tilston KS V.W.W. Taylor


  1. ^ David Butterfield, The Newcastle Scholarship: a historical survey (Eton 2013).
  2. ^ Peter C. Erb, ed., The Correspondence of Henry Edward Manning and William Ewart Gladstone, Vol.1 1833–1844 (Oxford University Press, 2013), p. 153.
  3. ^ W.C. Lubenow, The Cambridge Apostles 1820–1914: Liberalism, Imagination, and Friendship (Cambridge University Press, 1998), at page 258
  4. ^ W. Sydney Robinson, The Last Victorians: A Daring Reassessment of Four Twentieth Century Eccentrics (Robson Press, 2014)
  5. ^ George Woodcock intr., Twentieth Century Fiction (Macmillan Press, 1983), at page 336
  6. ^ Miles Jebb, Patrick Shaw-Stewart, An Edwardian Meteor (Dovecote Press, 2010); Evelyn Waugh, Two Lives: Edmund Campion and Ronald Knox (Continuum, 2002), at page 172; Waugh records that the academic strain was such that Shaw-Stewart's hair fell out.
  7. ^ The New Scientist, Profile: Viscount Hailsham (15 August 1957)