Cambridge Seatonian Prize Poems

Scope and Content

A series of Seatonian Prize poems added to the blank leaves at the end of a copy of the printed edition of Musae Seatonianae (London, 1772), in the hand of John Paddon, a previous owner of the volume, 32 folios: (p. 335) William Gibson, 'Conscience'; (p. 349) Charles Peter Layard, 'Charity'; (p. 367) Layard, 'Duelling', with footnotes in English, French and Latin; (p. 381) Samuel Hayes, 'Duelling'.

Inside the front cover is the name 'Jno. Paddon' and 'Samuel Sandars M.A. Trin: Coll: Camb: 7 De Vere Gardens, W., Chalfont Grove, Bucks., J.P. 1892'. On the flyleaf is a note by S. Sandars calling attention to the manuscript additions. On the verso: 'Saml. Crompton' (19th century).

Administrative / Biographical History

The Seatonian Prize was established by the Revd Thomas Seaton in 1750. It is awarded annually to the Cambridge M.A. who enters the best poem on a sacred subject.

William Gibson (1745-1821) matriculated at Pembroke College, Cambridge, in 1764 (B.A., 1767; M.A., 1771), where he became a Fellow in 1777. He was ordained deacon in 1767, and priest in 1769. He became Curate at Wymondham, Norfolk, in 1767, and was Rector of Winterton, 1769-1781, and Rector of Colney, 1789-1821. He was made a Prebendary of Lincoln in 1789. Gibson won the Seatonian Prize in 1772 and 1781. He died at Colney on 29 July 1821.

Samuel Hayes (1749-c. 1795) attended Westminster School, before matriculating at Trinity College, Cambridge, in 1767 (B.A., 1771; M.A., 1774), where he became a Fellow in 1772. He was ordained deacon in 1771, and priest in 1772. He was usher at Westminster School, 1770-1788, and kept a boarding-house in Westminster. Hayes won the Seatonian Prize in 1775-1778 and 1783-1785.

Charles Peter Layard (1748-1803) attended Huntingdon School, before matriculating at St John's College, Cambridge, in 1766 (B.A., 1770; M.A., 1773; D.D., 1787), where he was a Fellow, 1773-1777. He was ordained deacon in 1771, and priest in 1774. He was Minister of Oxenden Chapel, London; Vicar of Wooton Bassett, Wiltshire, 1793-1798; Prebendary of Worcester Cathedral; Rector of Uffington, Lincolnshire, 1798-1803; Prebendary of Bangor, 1799-1803; Vicar of Kewstoke, Somerset, 1777-1799; and Dean of Bristol, 1800-1803. Layard won the Seatonian Prize in 1773 and 1774. He died at Bristol on 11 April 1803.

Access Information

Open for consultation by holders of a Reader's Ticket valid for the Manuscripts Reading Room.

Acquisition Information

Bequeathed by Samuel Sandars, 1894.


Description compiled by Robert Steiner, Department of Manuscripts and University Archives. The biographical history was compiled with reference to the entries on William Gibson in J.A. Venn, Alumni Cantabrigienses, Part II, Vol. III (Cambridge University Press, 1947), p. 43; on Hayes in Part II, Vol. III, p. 300; and on Charles Peter Layard in Part II, Vol. IV (Cambridge University Press, 1951), p. 118.

Other Finding Aids

Additional Manuscripts Catalogue.


The poems were printed, Cambridge, 1773 and 1775.


Corporate Names