About the Truckell Prize
The Truckell Prize commemorates the late A.E. Truckell and his outstanding contribution to local studies in Dumfries and Galloway. It is open to all-comers (with the exception of previous winners of the prize) for an original, unpublished (and not submitted for consideration for publication elsewhere) research paper on a human or natural-history topic relating to the geographical area covered by the three former counties of Dumfriesshire, Kirkcudbrightshire and Wigtownshire. Further details governing the award of the prize and the submission of entries be found here.
Truckell Prize 2017
The 2017 Truckell Prize was won by Alistair Livingston of Castle Douglas, the well-known local historian. Alistair came to the Society's lecture meeting in Castle Douglas Parish Church Hall on Saturday, 24 March 2018, to receive the award. The Society's President, Dr Jeremy Brock, presented Alistair with the award before the start of the meeting, which was attended by an audience of 50 members and guests.
Alistair won the award with a research paper entitled Reassessing the Galloway Levellers the scope of which he has summarised himself as:
On 21 April 1724, the Caledonian Mercury produced a 'first rough draft of history' when it reported that several hundred people in Galloway, roused to action by the oratory of a mountain preacher and 'big with that ancient Levelling Tenet' had demolished enclosures which were a grievance to them. The report appeared to capture the essence of their actions so well that the Galloway Levellers' opposition to enclosure has come to define their uprising. However, when examined more closely, the Levellers' dyke-breaking activities emerge as only part of a more complex and even contradictory series of actions which can best be understood as having an origin within political and economic changes rooted in the later seventeenth century.
The paper will be published in the Society’s Transactions next year and will be of particular interest to those interested in the local history of the Stewartry.
Truckell Prize 2016
The 2016 Truckell Prize was been won by Mr Gary Hutchison, a postgraduate student carrying out research for a PhD in the Dept of History, Classics and Archaeology at Edinburgh University. Mr Hutchison attended the Society’s meeting on Friday, 13 January 2017, to receive the award. The Society’s President, Dr Jeremy Brock, presented Mr Hutchison with the prize certificate and a cheque for £500.
Mr Hutchison won the award with a research paper entitled Wigtown Burghs, 1832–1868: A Rotten Burgh District? The Wigtown Burghs parliamentary constituency, comprised the burghs of Wigtown, Stranraer, Whithorn, and New Galloway from 1707 to 1885. Before 1832 it was under the control of the Earls of Galloway. Electoral politics in the constituency were significantly changed by the passing of the First Reform Act in 1832, but research shows that several critical factors continued to influence post-1832 politics locally. This calls into question the assertion that the Reform Act constituted a turning-point in Scottish and British political history. The paper will be published in the Society's Transactions and will be of particular interest to those interested in the political history of Wigtownshire.
Truckell Prize 2015
The 2015 Truckell Prize was won by Mr Christoph Otte, a German postgraduate student carrying out research for a PhD in the Department of History, Classics and Archaeology at Edinburgh University. Mr Otte attended the Society’s meeting on Friday, 15 January 2016, to receive the award. The Society’s President, Mr Liam Murray, presented Mr Otte with the prize certificate and a cheque for £500. By a remarkable coincidence, Mr Otte comes from Gifhorn — Dumfries's 'twin' town in Germany.
Mr Otte won the award with a research paper entitled The Place-Names of the Parish of Lochmaben — Reconstructing the Settlement Landscape of Early Medieval Dumfriesshire, c. 600–1000 AD. From place-name and archaeological evidence he was able to identify the location and pattern of early settlement in the parish of Lochmaben, and show that the parish boundaries are probably based on those of British or Anglian landholding units, thus dating back more than a 1000 years. The paper will be published in Volume 90 of the Transactions.
Truckell Prize 2011
Jacky Card was awarded the prize for her work on the Crichton Gardens. The Crichton Institution was founded by Elizabeth Crichton in 1839 with a legacy of £100,000 left by her husband, Dr James Crichton, for charitable purposes. The architect, William Burn, the pioneer of the Scots Baronial style, designed a grand building set in 40 acres of grounds but, due to financial constraints and uncertainty over the success of the venture, only half of the original design was built.
Truckell Prize 2009
The Truckell Prize was first awarded in 2009 and was won by Stuart McCulloch for his paper Personal Allegiance in South West Scotland: 1286–1356. It was published in Volume 84 of the Society's Transactions.
The strategic position of South West Scotland during this period ensured that it became a transit area, traversed by the participating armies at least 13 times. Thus the South West became pivotal in the wars of this period and often exhibited non-conformist and anti-central authority patterns of allegiance and support. Mr McCulloch's paper analyses the complex reasons for this persistent local turbulence.