United College, Gray prize essays, 1823-1899.

Archive Collection

Scope and Content

Essays submitted to the United 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.

SESSION 1823/1824 [Translation of Plato Dialogue Crito.]

Matthew Conacher: Platonis Crito (ms4276)

Henry Craik: Platonis Crito (ms4277)

SESSION 1824/1825 [Plato's apology for Socrates - translate.]

Alexander Duff: Apologia Socratis [In Latin] (ms4278)

SESSION 1827/1828

Robert Lee: Translation of Demosthenes Hynthiaca. Essay lodged with Dr Hunter 24th November 1827. (ms4279)

James Wilson: On Latin Adverbs. Essay lodged with Dr Hunter 3 December 1927. (ms4281)

William Lindsay Alexander: On Latin Adverbs, 27 November 1827. (ms4284)

SESSION 1828/1829

John Duff: Translation into Greek of Livy, Book V, Chapters 53 and 54 (ms4282)

SESSION 1829/1830

John Duff: The Causes which retarded the Progress of Liberation at Rome, 9 November 1829. (ms4283)

SESSION 1830/1831

John Duff: On the Epic Poetry of the Romans. (ms111)

David Strang:The Epic Poetry of the Romans. (ms110)

SESSION 1831/1832

Alexander Watson: On the Comparative Merits of Homer and Virgil.

John Wilson: On the Comparative Merits of Homer and Virgil. (ms116)

SESSION 1834/1835

George Blair: The Principle and Form of the Government of Rome from the Foundation of the City to the death of Gracchi. (ms115)

David Thomson: The Principle and Form of the Government of Rome from the Foundation of the City to the death of Gracchi. (ms114)

Alexander Watson: On the Characteristics of the Roman Drama (ms4287)

Unknown: On the Characteristics of the Roman Drama. (ms4288)

David Thomson: On the Characteristics of the Roman Drama. (ms4289)

Unknown: On the Characteristics of the Roman Drama (ms4290)

Thomas Hastie: On the Characteristics of the Roman Drama. (ms4291)

Unknown: On the Characteristics of the Roman Drama

SESSION 1835/1836

Henry Ramsay: The Advantages resulting from the Study of the Manners and Customs of the Ancient Nations, 1835. (ms104) Calligraphic title page.

SESSION 1836/1837

David Thomson: Tacitus de Moribus Germanorum.

John Anderson: Tacitus de Moribus Germanorum.

SESSION 1837/1838

James Bonner: On the Use and Abuse of the Roman Institution Patroni et Clientes (ms4295).

P William Grant: "The Roman Institution Patroni et Clientes (ms112)

SESSION 1838/1839

Alexander Anderson: The Roman Senate. (ms117)

SESSION 1840/1841

George Low: The Advantage of studying Mathematical Science. (ms4296)

SESSION 1841/1842

John Tulloch: On the Civil Institutions of Rome.

SESSION 1842/1843

Thomas Gilruth: The Laws of the Twelve Tables. (ms103)

SESSION 1845/1846

John Hunter: On the Origin, Constitution and History of the Amphictyonic Council. (ms109)

SESSION 1846/1847

Robert Smith: The Nature and History of the Agrarian Laws of Rome. (ms4298)

SESSION 1847/1848

Alexander Smith: Remarks on the Moral Influence of Poetry and the other Fine Arts. (ms4299)

SESSION 1848/1849

James B McLaurin: The Utilitarian Theory of Morals. (ms4300)

SESSION 1849/1850

David Campbell: On the Influence of Greek Colonisation on the Civilisation of the Ancient World. (ms108)

John Duncan: Examination of the various Theories of Perception. (ms4301)

SESSION 1855/1856

James Nicoll: Remarks on Antiquarianism, its uses and abuses. (ms4302A)

SESSION 1857/1858

[William McFarlane ?]: Correlation of the Physical Forces. (ms4302B)

SESSION 1858/1859

[Robert Stephen or Thomas Whitelaw]: Histories of the Progressive Discoveries which have led to our present Knowledge concerning the Double Motion of the Earth. (ms4378)

SESSION 1860/1861

Charles D Kay: The Difference between Greek and Roman Oratory. (ms4303)

SESSION 1862/1863

Edward F Day: Physical History of Water. ms4304

Unknown: The Laws and Influence of Association. ms4305

SESSION 1867/1868

[George Forbes or Alexander Stewart]: Periodic Meteors and Aerolites. (ms4377)

SESSION 1869/1870

John Ferguson Ewing: The Influence of Greek Civilisation and Thought on the Life and literature of the Romans. (ms4306)

SESSION 1871/1872

William Macdonald: Spectrum Analysis. (ms4307)

SESSION 1872/1873

William Gunion Rutherford: Cicero as an Exponent of Greek Philosophy.

SESSION 1875/1876

Andrew Clark: On Roman Satire.

SESSION 1877/1878

William Philp: Characteristics of the Roman Drama. (ms4311)

Unknown: Characteristics of the Roman Drama. (ms4310)

William H Winter: Electrodynamics. (ms4312)

SESSION 1880/1881

Unknown: The Discoveries of Kepler and Newton in relation to the Law of Gravitation. (ms4313)

David Rintoul: The Discoveries of Kepler and Newton in Relation to the Law of Gravitation. (ms4315)

Charles Christie: Personality [Probably 1880/1881].

SESSION 1881/1882

Patrick O Macdonald: The Introduction and Growth of Hellenism among the Romans. (ms4316)

Edward E Prince: Roman Elegy. (ms4317)

Unknown: Personality [1880/1881 or 1881/1882 ?]. (ms4318)

SESSION 1883/1884

Alexander Cleland: The Physical Basis of Spectrum Analysis. (ms4319)

William Cormack: The Physical Basis of Spectrum Analysis. (ms4323)

George Anderson Douglas: The Physical Basis of Spectrum Analysis. (ms4321)

[William Dow Bell?]: The Physical Basis of Spectrum Analysis. (ms4324)

Alexander Bisset: The Physical Basis of Spectrum Analysis. (ms4322)

Edward E Prince: Philosophy, History and Art. (ms4320) [The Gray prize was awarded to this essay on 8th March 1884. ]

SESSION 1884/1885

John Reid: What kind of help towards the more effective study of classical literature may be derived from archaeological discoveries? (ms4325)

SESSION 1885/1886

David Christie: Friction - its Application in the Arts. (ms4326)

Unknown: The Kinetic Theory of Gases as an explanation of various physical and chemical laws. (ms4327)

SESSION 1886/1887

John C Peat: The Doctrine of Evolution, Philosophically and Historically considered. (ms4329A)

Richard Andrews Fluck: Evolution, Historically and Philosophically considered. (ms4329B).

SESSION 1887/1888

Alexander Campbell Robertson: Epicurus, His Philosophy as depicted by Lucretius. (ms4330)

SESSION 1890/1891

George Lawson: The Relations of History to system in Philosophy.

David Irons: The Change in the Religious Conceptions of the Greeks from Homer to Plato. (ms4332)

Andrew Brown: The Change in the Religious Conceptions of the Greeks from Homer to Plato.

John Macbeth: The Change in the Religious Conceptions of the Greeks from Homer to Plato. (ms4333)

SESSION 1891/1892

[Unknown - George Lawson???]: The Physical Properties of Water. (ms4334)

Edward John Smyth Teviotdale: The Physical Properties of Water (ms4335)

SESSION 1892/1893

[Norman D Smith ?]: The Evolution of Monistic Thought from Spinoza to Hegel. (ms4336)

SESSION 1893/1894

William Ewan: The Position of Ennius in the History of Roman Literature. (ms4337)

Walter Anderson: The Position of Ennius in the History of Roman Literature. (ms4338)

SESSION 1894/1895

Alexander Leighton: On Clouds and their Properties. (ms4339)

Unknown: On Clouds and their Properties. (ms4340)

SESSION 1895/1896

James Alexander Murray: Agnosticism, Ancient and Modern. (ms4343)

John Nicolson: Agnosticism, Ancient and Modern. (ms4341)

John Weipers: Agnosticism, Ancient and Modern. (ms4342)

SESSION 1897/1898

[William Pitkeathly or highly commended George Ballingal Neave]: The Liquefaction of Gases and its bearing on the Properties of Matter at excessively Low Temperature. (ms4344).

[William Pitkeathly or highly commended George Ballingal Neave]: The Liquefaction of Gases and its bearing on the Properties of Matter at excessively Low Temperatures. (ms4345).

SESSION 1898/1899

John Whittle: Personality in its Psychological and Metaphysical Aspects. (ms4346)

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.

Bibliography

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