St Mary's College, Gray prize essays, 1816-1899.

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      GB 227 msLF1119.A2G8(ms4377-4425)
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      62 volumes stored by date in three archival boxes.

Scope and Content

Essays submitted to St Mary's College, University of St Andrews, for the Gray Prize.

The following list contains all the essays present. It should be noted that a number of the prize winning essays are wanting.

No date: William Milligan: On the Necessity of a Revelation (ms75 / msBR123.M5).

SESSION 1815/1816

Alan McNaughton: Does it detract from the internal evidence of the Christian Religion that the writings of the New Testament do not contain any precept enjoining private friendship? (ms101).

SESSION 1819/1820

Thomas Hill: Is the attempt to harmonise the facts narrated in the Gospels into one chronological series, of importance to the great purpose for which they were written? 29 February 1820 (ms97).

SESSION 1822/1823

Unknown [? Mr Douglas, prize-winner]: Does the success of the Mahometan superstition invalidate the argument in favour of Christianity drawn from its rapid propagation during the first century? (ms71 / msBR123.D6).

SESSION 1825/1826

[Robert Nisbet ?]: On the Nature, Reality and Extent of the Inspiration possessed by the New Testament Writers, 1825. (ms84).

[Gray essay?] Unknown author: An Exposition of Acts xvii, 22-31, 1828. (ms123 / msLF1119.A2X)

SESSION 1830/1831

Robert Lee: The Institution of the Sabbath, 1830. (ms124)

Thomas Burns: On the Origin of Sabbatical Institutions (ms93)

SESSION 1835/1836

J W Taylor: The Nature and Strength of the General Argument from Prophecy in favour of Christianity, 1935. (ms4379).Calligraphic title page.

SESSION 1837/1838

George Blair: On the delineation of the character of Christ by the Evangelists as an evidence of the truth of Christianity. (ms4380)

SESSION 1839/1840

Charles Fowler: On the Beneficial Influence of Christianity on the Temporal Condition of Mankind (ms95).

SESSION 1840/1841

Unknown: On the Origin of Sacrifice (ms4381)

SESSION 1841/1842

[William Milligan ?]: The relative importance of the different branches of evidence establishing the truths of Christianity and the danger of neglecting or undervaluing any of them. (ms86)

SESSION 1842/1843

William Mackintosh: The sufficiency of Scripture as a rule of faith. (ms4382).

SESSION 1843/1844

William Purdie Dickson: On the beneficial influence of Christianity on the temporal interests of Mankind. (ms99)

SESSION 1844/1845

William Grey: On the Origin of the Papal Hierarchy. (ms85:)

SESSION 1845/1846

Paton James Gloag: Refutation of the doctrine of the Romish Church concerning tradition. (ms4383)

SESSION 1846/1847

David Turpie: Vindication of the Miracles recorded by Moses, written during the Summer recess of 1846. (ms4384)

SESSION 1847/1848

[David Turpie?]: In Answer to the Objections urged against the Writers of the New Testamentand which are grounded on the alleged Incorrectness of their Quotations from the Old Testament. (ms5441)

SESSION 1848/1849

William Gray: The Advantages of Classical Learning to the Theologian"(ms4385)

SESSION 1849/1850

Thomas Brown: Illustration of Paul's Discourse at Athens - Acts XVII 22-31 (ms4387).

Charles Fowler: Lecture on St Andrews Paul's Discourse at Athens - Acts XVII 22-31 (ms4386)

SESSION 1851/1852

James McLaurin: Baptismal Regeneration. (ms4388)

[James Pennel or James Stewart]: Baptismal Regeneration (ms4388)

SESSION 1854/1855

Robert Bell: On the Connection between Divine Revelation and Human

Learning and the Advantages which they have mutually given (ms4389)

SESSION 1856/1857

Mark Anderson: The Christian Doctrine of Sin. (ms4390)

SESSION 1857/1858

James Robertson: On the Sabbath. (ms4391).

SESSION 1860/1861

[Archibald Bell or John Martin]: The Three Creeds, 5 September 1860. (ms4391)

SESSION 1863/1864

[Robert Scott ?]: On the Genuineness and Authenticity of the Pentateuch. (ms4392)

SESSION 1868/1869

[John Bell ?]: The Place which the Internal or Moral Evidence in Connection with Consciousness holds in the Christian Evidences. (ms96)

SESSION 1869/1870

[Thomas Bayne or James Ewan]: The Life and Character of Christ as Evidence of His Divinity (Two essays - ms4393, ms4394)

SESSION 1871/1872

John Robb: The Life and Opinions of John Wycliffe. (ms4395)

SESSION 1872/1873

[John Mitchell Moncrieff ?]: The Authenticity and Genuineness of the Book of the Prophet Isaiah. (ms4396)

SESSION 1874/1875

Alexander Lawson: The inspiration of Scripture in connection with scientific and historic difficulties. (ms4397)

Neil Campbell: The Historical Origin and Theological Analysis of the Creed of Nicaea. (ms4398)

SESSION 1875/1876

William Robertson: Luther and Erasmus. (ms4400)

Joseph Sage Finlayson: Luther and Erasmus. (ms4399)

SESSION 1876/1877

Andrew Millar: On the Composition and Formation of the Hebrew Psalter. (ms4401)

John Stewart: On the Composition and Formation of the Hebrew Psalter. (ms4402)

SESSION 1877/1878

Henry Martin Beckwyth Reid: Scripture Revelation; its Nature and History. (ms4403).

Andrew Miller: Scripture Revelation: its Nature and History. (ms4404).

SESSION 1878/1879

John Morrison: The Apostolic Authorship and Historic Credibility of the Fourth Gospel. (ms4405)

SESSION 1879/1880

William Bayne: St Ninian, St Patrick and St Columba: their lives and missionary labours in Scotland and Ireland. (ms4406).

SESSION 1880/1881

William Bayne: The Authenticity and Genuiness of Isaiah. (ms4407).

SESSION 1881/1882

Robert Somers: The originality of Christ's Character as an evidence of the Divine origin of Christianity. (ms4408).

SESSION 1882/1883

Thomas Martin: What is the testimony, direct or indirect, borne to the facts of the Gospel history by the four following epistles - viz., the epistle to the Galatians, the epistle to the Romans, the two epistles to the Corinthians? (ms4409)

SESSION 1883/1884

Robert Menzies Fergusson: The Life and Times of Athanasius. (ms4410)

SESSION 1884/1885

Joseph Mitchell: The Book of Job. (ms4411)

SESSION 1885/1886

Andrew Burns: The Originality of Christ's Character as an Evidence of the Divine Origin of Christianity. (ms4412)

SESSION 1886/1887

James Anderson Lowe: The Evidence furnished by the Epistles to the Romans, Galatians and the two Epistles to the Corinthians, to the miraculous events of our Lord's life. (ms4413)

SESSION 1889/1890

Andrew Gray: On the Authenticity and Genuineness of Isaiah Ch 40-66. (ms4414)

SESSION 1891/1892

George Gordon Stott: The Messianic Expectation among the Jews from the Exile to 70 A.D. (ms4415).

Robert Barclay: Ignatius of Antioch and the Epistles ascribed to him. January 1892. (ms4416)

SESSION 1892/1893

[Unknown]: The Date, Authorship, and a Critical Estimate of the contents of the Book of Ecclesiastes. (ms4417)

[Unknown]: The Date, Authorship, and a Critical Estimate of the contents of the Book of Ecclesiastes. (ms4418)

[Essays of 1. George Christie and 2. George Lindsay Leslie ??]

SESSION 1893/1894

John Macbeth: Is Myth a sufficient explanation of Miracle? (ms4419)

SESSION 1894/1895

Robert C Mitchell: The Development in the Epistles of the New Testament of the doctrine of the Atonement. (ms4420)

Unknown: The Development in the Epistles of the New Testament of the doctrine of the Atonement. (ms4421)

Unknown: The Development of the doctrine of the Atonement in the Epistles of the New Testament. (ms4422)

SESSION 1895/1896

James M Scott: The Origin and Significance of the Simon Magus Legend. (ms4423). Equal for prize.

Norman Macleod Caie: The Origin and Significance of the Simon Magus Legend. (ms4424) Equal for prize.

SESSION 1898/1899

Edward M Johnstone: The Authorship and Composition of the Epistle of James. (ms4425)

Administrative / Biographical History

Offered for the first time in 1794, and awarded for the first time in 1795 by Mr John Gray of Paddington, London, the Gray Prize was awarded annually for the best essay on a prescribed subject by a student of the University. The first two winners were from St Mary's College and in 1796, with Gray's approval, the prize was then offered in alternate years to the students of the United College and St Mary's. He received an LL.D from St Andrews in the same year.

The competitions in the two colleges continued in alternate years until 1817, when the arrangement was made which exists today, the praemium being divided equally between the two colleges making a prize of half the sum available to the students of each college every year. The St Mary's prize continues today for students of the Divinity Faculty for the best essay by a student in turn from each of the areas of study in the Divinity curriculum. The corresponding award of the same name and provenance exists in the Faculty of Arts.

In addition to the Gray Prizes Dr Gray also endowed the Gray Bursaries and the Chair of Chemistry. He was born in Cupar in 1724, studied at St Salvator's College in St Andrews but did not take his degree, then acted as tutor to young noblemen on the Grand Tour in between taking up public duties as secretary the Duke of Northumberland who was then Lord Lieutenant of Ireland, and later Gray was appointed secretary to the Lottery in London. He ventured into literary endeavour, producing many anonymous pamphlets on political and economic subjects. He died in Paddington in 1811 after many years of service on the Lottery Commission.

Conditions Governing Access

By appointment with the Keeper of Manuscripts. Access to records containing confidential information may be restricted.

Acquisition Information

Deposited with the University by the author as a condition of submission for the Gray Prize Essay.

Other Finding Aids

Individual Manuscripts and Small Collections database available as part of Manuscripts Database.

Physical Characteristics and/or Technical Requirements

Various booklets and notebooks. Paper: From 11x17.9cm to 20.7x33cm

Archivist's Note

Description compiled by Maia Sheridan, Archives Hub project archivist, based on material from the Manuscripts Database

Conditions Governing Use

Applications for permission to quote should be sent to the Keeper of Manuscripts. Reproduction subject to usual conditions: educational use and condition of documents.

Copyright belongs to the authors of these essays, and with their heirs and assigns for seventy years after the death of the author.




A detailed account of 'Dr John Gray of Paddington' by Dugald MacArthur is contained in The Alumnus Chronicle, No.34 June 1950.