All entrants are asked to notify their intended topic in advance to the Trust’s Secretary:
J.M. Pickard,
10 Orchard Garth,
​YO23 3YP

Two copies of completed essays should be submitted by 1st October. Entries will not be returned, but will be forwarded to the Editor of York Historian with a view to publication. Entries are welcomed from amateurs as well as from professional historians and students. Intending entrants may also like to know that the Yorkshire Philosophical Society offers research grants for which they may be eligible to apply.  Enquiries should be addressed to the Society’s Secretary at:
The Lodge,
Museum Gardens,

YO1 7FR.

The Trust encourages entries from amateurs as well as from professional scholars.  Examples of topics chosen by recent entrants are: 

A prize of £500 may be offered annually for the best unpublished essay submitted during the year on history, literature, or the arts relating to the City of York. 

Essay Prize

Past Winners

How to Apply

Essays should not exceed 7,500 words and should show original research on a subject related to the City of York.  Authorities for particular statements should be given in footnotes or endnotes.  While it is acceptable for entries to be based on material contained in unpublished theses or dissertations, such entries must be cast in the form of properly rounded essays.  Candidates should declare if their entry draws on material prepared for academic purposes for submission as a thesis or dissertation. ​The Sheldon Memorial Trust Committee will deal with all matters concerning the adjudication of the essays submitted.  No award will be made unless the Committee considers that a sufficiently high standard has been reached. The Committee’s decision shall be final.  

​The Trust hopes to arrange publication of all suitable essays. Essays submitted will not be returned, but will be forwarded to the Editor of York Historian with a view to their publication
  • This Grand Nuptial Ceremony: the marriage of Alexander III of Scotland in York in 1215.

  • The York Festival of 1951.

  • Elusive Virtuosi;  Thomas and Joshua Mann 

  • The City of York Association for the Prosecution of Felons, Cheats etc.

  • Who saved York’s Walls?

  • Life in the Bar Convent 1686-1900.

  • Cardinal Thomas Wolsey and the City of York, 1514 – 1529.