For many years the University of Leicester has offered an annual prize for an essay on some topic of English Local History. Candidates for the prize may write on a topic of their own choice, subject to the prior agreement of the Head of Department. Compositions which have already been published, or which have been awarded any other prize, are not eligible.

Previous prize-winners have been Joan Thirsk, Alan Everitt, Jeremy Haslam, Brian Davey and John Cole; more recently prize-winners have included students who have recently completed Ph.D. theses in other universities, established academics and, in one case, an undergraduate who had written an outstanding В.А. dissertation. Essays must be original contributions to knowledge, based on genuine research and should not exceed 20,000 words length; they should be submitted to the Department, together with a stamped, addressed envelope for return, before 31st December.

John Nichols (2 February 1745 – 26 November 1826) was an English printer, author and antiquary. He is remembered as an influential editor of the Gentleman’s Magazine for nearly 40 years; author of a monumental county history of Leicestershire; author of two compendia of biographical material relating to his literary contemporaries; and as one of the agents behind the first complete publication of Domesday Book in 1783.

The John Nichols Prize 2016

Elizabeth Van Wessem

The John Nichols Prize 2013

Estate mentalities: Changing sense of a place on a Leicester Council Estate 1947-2012.

Ann Stones

The John Nichols Prize 2012

The survival of Rural Core Families: Bolton Percy and Poppleton in the Ainsty of York from Enclosure to the Second World War.

Professor Philip Batman

The John Nichols Prize 2010

Naming in Anstey 1850 – 1950: a mirror of social structure.

Michael Tedd

The John Nichols Prize 2009

A landscape of improvement: the impact of James Loch, Chief Agent to the Marquis of Stafford on the Lilleshall estate, Shropshire, 1720-1820.

James Bowen

The John Nichols Prize 2008

The Languages of Common Good: municipal reform, urban governance and charity administration, Leicester c. 1820-1850.

Malcolm Noble (Centre for Urban History, University of Leicester)

The John Nichols Prize 2007

The Politics of Improvement: debating the Ashby Canal, 1781-1794

Drew Campbell

The John Nichols Prize 2006

Poverty and Charity in Colchester

Professor Nigel Goose (Centre for Regional and Local History, University of Hertfordshire)

The John Nichols Prize 2002

Ros Faith

The John Nichols Prize 2000

Litigation and locality: the Cambridge courts, 1560-1640.

Alex Shepard (University of Sussex)

The John Nichols Prize 1994

The keeping of the peace in early modern Cheshire.

Steve Hindle

The John Nichols Prize 1993

The decline of Stourbridge Fair 1770-1934: deliberate suppression or deliberate collapse?

Tania Macintosh

The John Nichols Prize 1991

The use of churchwardens’ and parish accounts. 

John Craig, (a research student at Peterhouse, Cambridge) 

The John Nichols Prize 1990

Attercliffe, c. 1841-1881: a study of a Sheffield township’s iron and steel workers and their families in the workplace and the community.

Andrew Walker

The John Nichols Prize 1987

The Family of Love.

Christopher Marsh

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