Challenger Medal (1895)

by Glenn M. Stein  
copyright © 2005

About the Author
Glenn M. Stein was born in 1962 in Miami, Florida, but grew up on a barrier island on the East coast, and now lives in Central Florida with his wife and twin daughters.  Having started collecting and researching medals at age 12, Stein has specialized in medals related to polar exploration for the last 21 years.  He has written several articles about medal recipients and medallic design for specialist journals, and gives public lectures and creates displays related to polar history.


Obverse Reverse
Obverse side, full size
Reverse side, full size
The Challenger Medal, natural size.
Click on image for larger view.


The following writings are the result of many hours of research, over an extended period of time.  My intention is to provide anyone who seeks it, useful information regarding this commemorative medal which (in hindsight) celebrates the beginning of the modern science of oceanography.  The author would be pleased to receive any additional information about the Challenger Medal, and in particular, be made aware of other existing examples of this medal.  Please contact me at


"The objects of the Expedition have been fully and faithfully carried out.  We always kept in view that to explore the conditions of the deep sea was the primary object of our mission, and throughout the voyage we took every possible opportunity of making a deep-sea observation.  Between our departure from Sheerness on December 7th, 1872, and our arrival at Spithead on May 24th, 1876, we traversed a distance of 68,890 nautical miles, and at intervals as nearly uniform as possible we established 362 observing stations." - Professor Sir Charles Wyville Thomson

But the work of the Challenger Expedition had only just begun.  A group of specialists, men learned in their own subjects, would spend years describing and drawing the specimens that filled storehouses and laboratories.  Then, the daunting task of publishing the results fell for the most part on the shoulders of John Murray.  For the authors of the Challenger Reports, they "...received nothing more than a copy of the publication and a small honorarium to cover their expenses.  In further appreciation it was resolved that a Challenger medal be struck (sic).  The Treasury refused to pay for it and John Murray had the medal designed and executed at his own expense and himself sent replicas to those who had shared in the expedition or in the preparation of the Report.  He himself was honoured by the Royal Society when he was admitted Fellow in 1896.  Official commendation by the Government was deferred until 1898, when the Queen conferred to John Murray the rank of KCB [Knight Commander, The Most Honourable Order of the Bath] in recognition of his outstanding contributions to science." 1

Contemporary writings in the journal Nature stated the medal, " being presented by Dr. John Murray to the naval officers of the expedition, the contributors of memoirs to the report[s] on the scientific results of the expedition, and to members of the civilian scientific staff, as a souvenir of Challenger work."2  There were instances where medals were issued to individuals who fell outside this scope.  One person concerned was Laurence Pullar.  He had an engineering and business background, was a man of wealth, and took a broad view of public service.  Pullar was also a life-long friend of Murray, and a Fellow of both the Royal Society and Royal Society of Edinburgh.


Obverse:  Commemorates the voyage.  In the center is a head and shoulders left-facing profile of the Roman goddess of wisdom and war, Minerva (in one of her many roles).  Next to her is the image of an owl, her sacred bird (which is why wisdom is associated with owls). 4  These figures are superimosed upon a globe with lines of latitude and longitude.  I know of at least one example of the medal with only the lines of longitude on the globe. 5  Partially encircling Athena and the owl is what appears to be an evergreen laurel branch; to the Greeks and Romans the laurel symbolised acquired immortality, both in battle as well as in the arts. 6  The whole is bordered by water, indicating the Expedition's round-the-world voyage.  Figures from the sea include the Roman god of the sea, Neptune, who is grasping what appears to be a bottom sampler trawl in his right hand (disclosing treasures from the deep).  He cradles his trident in the left hand.  A stylized dolphin is close by, and two  mermaids support a long ribbon, which carefuly conceals their charms.  The ribbon bears the words:  VOYAGE OF H.M.S CHALLENGER/1872-76.  All images courtesy of St. Columba's Hospice, Challenger Lodge, Edinburgh.

Reverse:  Commemorates work on the Challenger Reports.  The central figure is a standing armored knight, throwing the gauntlet from his right hand into the sea (presumably to Neptune), whose trident appears above the waves - this being the crest of H.M.S. Challenger.  The trident is partially wrapped in a long ribbon, which extends the entire circumference of the reverse.  The ribbon bears the wording:  REPORT ON THE SCIENTIFIC RESULTS OF THE CHALLENGER EXPEDITION 1886.95.

Size:  75 mm ( 3 inches ).

Metal:  bronze (possibly also manufactured in silver, and though I have never seen an example in this metal, one example supposedly exists, and Brown states the medal was manufactured in silver). 7
Designer and Sculptor:  William S. Black (an Edinburgh artist who actively exhibited between 1881-97) and William Birnie Rhind, RSA (1853-1933/an Edinburgh sculptor). 8

How manufactured:  Cast.

Manufacturer:  Unknown maker in Paris.

Naming:  Recipient's first name and surname are engraved on the edge at six o'clock,  
in sans serif capital letters.  Sometimes, only the first and middle initials are engraved.  

Number Cast:  Unknown.

Number Issued:  According to the List of Recipients of the Challenger Medal.,
120 medals were issued.  Below, the List reveals the totals of issued medals
from Aug. 29, 1895 through Feb. 15, 1897.  The Medal Roll accounts for all but
one of the 120.  I believe, due to a clerical error, the final total should be 119.

"Up till Aug. 29. [1895]

                   95 medal have been despatched (as per list)
                     4 without names (1 to Mr. Irvine Smith - Aug. 27.95)
                     1      "         "      taken to Holland by Mr.(sic) Murray
                     1 engraved Monteith [this is struck through]


      107 medals engraved
         1 Dr. Murray 
         1 Mr. Irvine Smith
       11 in office
Jan.14 96

111 medals engraved
    1 Dr. Murray
    1 Mr. Irvine Smith
    7 in office
Feb. 15 97

118 medals engraved
    1 Dr. Murray
    1 Mr. Irvine Smith

Notes:  The medal was issued from the Challenger Office, Edinburgh, in a fitted hinged
case, which has "James Chrichton & Co., 47 George St., Edinburgh" printed on the white
fabric of the inside lid.  It comes with a simple handwritten document noting the
recipient's name, and that it is a souvenir of Challenger work. 9  (Fig. 3)  Several medals
were hand delivered by Dr. Murray, but the majority of them were sent by post.

Handwritten note, Buchanan Medal
Click on image for larger view.



Assembling a complete medal roll presents various challenges.  Laurence Pullar's award is but one example, as he did not (as far as I am aware) fit the criteria for the award, and yet he received a medal.  Two other problems derive from the article in Nature.  These writings state that Murray was presenting medals  " the naval officers of the expedition, the contributors of memoirs to the report[s] on the scientific results of the expedition, and to members of the civilian scientific staff, as a souvenir of Challenger work."  Firstly, there are nine individuals included in Walter Crane's Challenger Expedition Reports. Portraits of the Contributors, Reproduced from the Photographs Presented by Them to John Murray, etc. (1897), who do not appear on the List of Recipients of the Challenger Medal, and there seems no apparent reasons for their omissions.  The second problem is whether or not "contributors" included their assistants; perhaps in some cases the answer was yes, but in others no.  Frederick Gordon Pearcey had one foot in each of the two worlds, as he was a Domestic 3rd Class in the Royal Navy, and an Assistant to the Naturalists onboard.  His shipmate, Writer Richard Wyatt, must have significantly helped in the recording of data, and was thus rewarded with the medal.  One recipient was a certain "Miss Sclater", who was quite likely Philip L. Sclater's daughter and Assistant.  I cannot find links with the Expedition or subsequent scientific work among several individuals at the end of the Roll, but more research and time will undoubtedly unmask their roles.  Please note that naval ranks shown are those existing at the time of the Expedition.


1) ABBOTT, William J. Actg. Asst. Engr.
ALDRICH, Pelham (1844-1930) First Lieutenant Medal known in box of issue and with document in the NMM Collection; named "PELHAM ALDRICH".  Donated by Aldrich's great-nephew. 10  Promoted to Commander after Expedition.  Entitled to the Arctic 1875-76 Medal (First Lieut., HMS Alert).  Commanded the Western Sledge Party (Ellesmere Island) during the Arctic Expedition.  Captain's Good Service Pension, November 1894.  Rear Admiral, 1898.  Admiral Superintendent of Portsmouth Dockyard, 1899-1902. Attended the departure of the Royal Coffin from Gosport, at the funeral of Queen Victoria, Feb. 1, 1901. CVO (1902). Admiral 1907.  Retired 1908.  Aldrich's journal is in the RGS archives.
ALLEN, Alfred J.
Engineer Shown as Allan on the List.
BALFOUR, Andrew F. Sub-Lieutenant
BETHNELL, George R. Lieutenant Also entitled to the Egypt 1882-89 Medal/no bar and Khedive's Star 1882 (Lieut., HMS Minotaur).  Later an MM for Holderness Division, Yorkshire, for many years.
BROMLEY, Arthur C.B. Lieutenant Assistant Surveyor, 3rd Cl.
CAMPBELL, Lord George G. Sub-Lieutenant Log-Letters from The Challenger (London, 1877).
CARPENTER, Alfred Lieutenant Received the Albert Medal, 2nd Cl.  during the Expedition (Stanley Harbour,  Falkland Islands, Jan. 20, 1876), and  awarded the RHS Bronze Medal for the   same incident.  DSO and specially MID for services during the annexation of  Burma, and received the thanks of the  Governement of India.  Entitled to IGS/Burma 1885-7 (Commander-in-Charge of the Marine Survey of India,  1884-September 1889); Egypt 1882-89  Medal/no bar (Commander, in command  of the survey vessel Myrmidon) and  Khedive's Star, 1884-86.  In 1889, received a letter from the Indian   Government recordingtheir appreciation   of his valuable services. FRMS; FZS.
CHANNER, Arthur Sub-Lieutenant Entitled to IGS/Burma 1885-7, when  Assistant Superintendent of the Indian  Marine Survey, and served with the  Naval Brigade (MID).  Assistant Superintendent, First Grade, Indian Marine  Survey, May 1882 to August 1887.
HAVERGALL, Arthur Sub-Lieutenant Assistant Surveyor, 1st Cl.  Specially  promoted to Lieutenant for services  during the Expedition.
HIGHAM, Robert Actg. Carpenter
HOWLETT, William A. Asst. Engr. 2nd Cl.
HYNES, John Asst. Paymaster
MACLEAR, John Fiot Lee Pearse
Contributor to the Narrative.  He was second-in-Command throughout the entire voyage, and was afterwards promoted to Captain.  Assistant Surveyor, 2nd Class.  Retired Vice-Admiral, Aug. 23, 1897.  Entitled to Crimea/Sebastopol, Baltic, Turkish  Crimea Medals (Midshipman/HMS  Algiers), China 1857- 60/Taku Forts 1860 (Lieutenant/HMS Sphinx),  Abyssinia 1867-68 (First Lieut./HMS  Octavia).  He is reputed in Dictionary of National Biography 20th Century  and The Times' obituary to have  served as a Naval Cadet on HMS  Castor during the South African War,  1850-53, but he is not on the Medal  Roll.  In addition, a photograph of Maclear wearing his miniature medals does not show him with the South Africa 1834-53 Medal. Admiral 1903.
NARES, George Strong
Contributor to the Reports. Also entitled to the Arctic 1818-55  Medal (Mate/HMS Resolute, 1852-54)  and Arctic 1875-76 Medal (Captain,  HMS Alert - Commander of the Expedition). FRS (1875), RGS  Founder's Gold Medal (1877).  Gold  Medal of the Société de Geographie  de Paris.  KCB upon his return from  the Arctic Expedition.  Vice-Admiral on the Retired List in 1892.
PEARCEY, Fredk. Gordon Domestic, 3rd Cl. Assistant to scientists, with duties   in the chemical laboratory.  Employed by the Challenger Commission upon his return of the Expedition. Contributor to the Reports.  Along with Writer 3rd Cl. Richard Wyatt, one of only two other ranks to receive the medal.
RICHARDS, R.R.A. Paymaster Unpublished journal rests in the   archives of the RGS.
SLOGGERT, Henry Charles (?-1905)
Later resigned his commission and went to medical school in Edinburgh.  Dr. Sloggett, his wife and daughter, arrived in Honolulu in 1896, having come from the state of Washington. In 1900, he helped organized the Honolulu Microscopic Society.  He was also a member of the Medical Association of Hawaii and its president in 1903.  Medal sent to Honolulu, Sandwich Islands.
SPRY, William J.J. Engineer The Cruise of HMS Challenger  (London, 1880).
SWIRE, Herbert Sub-Lieutenant The Voyage of the Challenger (two  volumes, limited edition; London,  1937).
THOMSON, Frank T. Captain
In charge of survey.  Contributor to the Reports.
TIZARD, Thomas H. Staff Cmdr. Asst. Surveyor, 1st Cl.  Contributor  (1839-1924)  to the Narrative and Meteorological  Observations.  Probably entitled to the Baltic Medal. CMG (Queen's Birthday,  June 3, 1899).  Shown on the 1901 and 1907 Retired Lists with a CB, but  this may be in error for the CMG.  FRS; FRGS.
WYATT, Richard
Writer, 3rd Cl.
A Chief Petty Officer rating.  Along with Domestic 3rd Cl. Fredk. G. Pearcey, one of only two other ranks to receive the medal.  On April 4, 1873, Wyatt discovered Schoolmaster Adam Ebbels in his hammock, dead from apoplexy (stroke).


BUCHANAN, John Young
Chemist & Physician   Contributor to the Reports. Specific Gravity of Ocean Water.  FRS (1887).
MOSELEY, Henry Nottidge
Naturalist Zoologist and Anthropologist. Notes by a Naturalist on HMS Challenger (London, 1880).     Contributor to the Narrative.  Hydroid and other Corals;   Phosphorescent Organ of Ipnops.  Royal Medal (1887); MA; FRS (1877); FZS; FLS.
MURRAY, Sir John
Naturalist Considered the founder of modern oceanography. Seven of the 50 volumes of the Challenger Reports were written  largely or entirely by Murray.  He was also the Editor, contributor  to the Narrative and wrote the  Summary of Results. Deep-Sea  Deposits.  FRS (1896); FRSE. Cuvier Prize & Medal (Institute of France/1894); Humbodt Medal (Berlin Society of Geography/1895); Royal Medal (RS/1895); Founders Medal (RGS/1895); Neill Medal (RSE/1880); Makdougall-Brisbane Medal (RSE/1886); Order of Pour le Mérite for Arts & Sciences (Prussia/1898); Cullum Medal (AGS/1899); Clarke Memorial Medal (RSNSW/1901); Lütke Medal (IRSG/1904); Livingstone Medal (RSGS/1910); Grand Cross of the Royal Order of St. Olav (Norway/1910); Helen Culver Medal (GSC/1911); Vega Medal (SAGS/1912); Agassiz Gold Medal (Academy of Sciences, Washington/special copy/1913). Murray created the Alexander Agassiz Medal in honor of his friend.  The medal is awarded for an original contribution in the science of oceanography. KCB (1898). In 1886, he put forth a plan to send two ships on a major Antarctic expedition.  Although it was never  put into action, eight years later, the  RGS used his ideas to promote the  British National Antarctic Expedition.
THOMSON, Sir Charles Wyville
Director of Civilian Scientific Staff First Editor of the Reports.  Introduction of the Zoological Reports. FRS (1869). Sir Wyville Thomson was an important proponent for ocean research in the 1860s that ultimately led to the Challenger voyage. He was chief scientist for the dredging voyages of Porcupine and Lightning, and  authored The Depths of the Sea in 1873, which summarized the findings of these voyages and presented a case for a global oceanographic voyage of exploration.
WILD, John James Artist & Secretary At Anchor:  A Narrative of  Experiences Afloat and Ashore  During the Voyage of H.M.S.  Challenger from 1872 to 1876.  (London, 1878).  Contributor to  the Reports.  A Swiss national.
Dr. Rudolf von
Naturalist Marine Biologist. died at sea of erysipelas, age 28, Sept. 13, 1875, onboard the Challenger, while on passage to Tahiti, and was buried  at sea.  One would assume his Medal  was sent to his family, as was the case  with Dr. George Busk.  A memorial  tablet given to the family by Thomson, Murray, Buchanan, Moseley and Wild,  now rests at the family burial place in  Bad Segeberg (about 30 miles south of  Kiel).


There was a conscious decision to invite the world's premier specialists to conduct the investigations and write the various Challenger reports. This was done at the vigorous insistence of Sir Wyville Thomson, who experienced considerable pressure to give a more prominent role to British scientists.


AGASSIZ, Alexander
Echinoidea. Marine Zoologist and Oceanographer. FRS (1891). He had performed extensive explorations in the U.S. littoral areas prior to the Challenger expedition. He was an advisor and valuable assistant to Thomson immediately after the expedition, and participated in cataloging of the specimens and forming the initial plans for the Challenger reports.
ALLMAN, George James
Hydroida. Marine Zoologist.  Royal       Medal (1873); Brisbane Gold     Gold Medal (1877); Conning-  ham Gold Medal (1878); The  Linnean Medal (1896).  MD;    LLD; FRCSI; FRS (1854);  FRSE; MRIA; CMZS.
BEDDARD, Frank Evers
Member of Editorial Staff. Naturalist to the Challenger Expedition Commission   (1882-84).  MA; DSc; FRS   (1892); Prosector of the Zoological Society (1884-1915); FRSE; FZS.
BERGH, Rudolph S.
Invertebrate Zoologist. MD.
Gasteropoda. Medal known. Chaplain, Royal Army; Zoologist.  LLD; FLS; FGS; FRSE.
BRADY, George
Copepoda; Ostracoda. MD; FRS (1882); FLS; FGS.
BROOK, George
Antipatharia. FLS; FRSE.
BROOKS, William Keith
Stomatopoda. American Zoologist known for his research into the  anatomy and embryology  of marine animals.  Elected  a Member of the National  Academy of Sciences in 1884.
BUCHAN, Alexander
Atmospheric and Oceanic Circulation. Meteorologist.  Medal known with document, held at St. Columba's Hospice,     Challenger Lodge, Edinburgh.  Secretary of the Scottish  Meteorological Society in   Edinburgh.  MA; LLD.  FRS (1898). 
BUSK, George
Polyzoa. Medal known.  Named "GEORGE BUSK", and  awarded posthumously.  Ex-Surgeon, Royal Navy.  Parasitologist, Zoologist  and Palaeontologist.  RS  Royal Medal (1871); GS Wollaston Medal and Lyell  Medal.  XClub Member.11  FRS (1850); FGS. Busk appears in the group photograph of the Royal Society's scientific  party onboard the Challenger (December 1872).
CARPENTER, Philip Herbert
Comatulae and Stalked Crinoids. Medal awarded posthumously and sent to his wife. Crinoidologist (Zoologist & Palaeontologist). FRS (1885); FLS.  Son of William Benjamin Carpenter (1813-85), a physiologist who contributed to the Reports, but is oddly absent from Challenger Medal List.
CHUMLEY, James Secretary to the   Director & Editor.
COMBER, Thomas Contributor to the Narrative.
CREAK, Ettrick W.
Magnetical Results. Medal known.  Named   "E.W. CREAK".  Promoted to Second Master, Dec. 9,  1858.  Captain, RN, in 1901,  and Director of Compasses  in the RN's Hydrographer's  Dept.  Instructions for the   set of magnetic instrucments  used by the 1901-04 British  National Antarctic Expedition were supplied by Creak. FRS (1885); KCB (1901).
CUNNINGHAM, Daniel John Marsupialia. MD; FRS (1891); FRSE.  (1850-1909)
CUNNINGHAM, Joseph T. Contributor to the Narrative. Posted to the Royal College of Surgeons, London.
DENDY, Arthur
Monaxonida. Zoologist. BSc; FRS (1908);  FLS.
DITTMAR, William
(1833-92)  (Wilhelm)
Composition of Ocean Water.
Chemist. FRS (1882); FRSE (1863); Fellow, Institute  of Chemistry; Chemical  Society of London' s  Graham Medal; Hon. LLD,  Edinburgh University.
FINSCH, Friedrich Hermann Otto
Birds of Tongatabu and the Fiji Islands.
Naturalist.  The Finsch Crater on the Moon is named in his honor.
FORBES, William A. Anatomy of Tubinares; Birds of Cape York, &c. FLS; FGS; MBOU. Posted to Mrs. Forbes.
FULTON, Thomas Alexander Wemyss
Member of the Editorial Staff. Medal known. Named "T. W. FULTON". MD (1884); FRSE. 
GIBSON, John Analysis of Manganese Nodules.
GRAFF, Ludwig Von
Myzotomida. Zoologist.
GÜNTHER, Albert Charles Lewis Gotthilf
Shore Fish; Pelagic Fish; Deep-sea Fish. MA; MD; PhD; FLS; FRS (1867).  Royal Achive Winner (RS, 1878).
HAECKEL, Ernst (1834-1919) Radiolaria; Deep-sea Medusae; Deep-sea Keratosa. Biologist & Philosopher. MD; PhD.; Hon. FRSE.
HADDON, Alfred Cort
Polyplacophora. Zoologist & Anthropologist. Regarded as one of modern British anthropology.  FRS  (1899); MRIA.
HARMER, Sidney Frederic
Cephalodiscus. Zoologist;  FRS (1898).
HEMSLEY, William Botting
Botany of the Expedition. Botanist and Taxonomist. FRS (1889).
HERDMAN, William Abbott
Member of Editorial Staff. Tunicata. Marine Zoologist and Oceanographer.  President  of the Liverpool Geological  Society (1898-1900), being  awarded the Society's Silver  Medal (1922). Knighted (1922).  DSc; FRS (1892); FLS; FRSE.
HERTWIG, Richard Karl Wilhelm Theodor von  (1850-1937) Actiniaria. Zoologist.  Knighted (1910).
HOEK, Paulus P.C.
Cirripedia; Pycnogonida. Marine Zoologist.  Member, Royal Academy of Sciences  (Netherlands).
HORSLEY, Reginald Ernest
Member of Editorial Staff.
HOYLE, William Evans
Member of Editorial Staff.  Cephalopoda. Malacologist.  MA (Oxon.); MRCS; FRSE.
Nemertea. Zoologist.  LLD; CMZS.
HUXLEY, Thomas Henry
Spirula. Medal awarded posthumously and sent to his wife. FRS (1851); Royal Medal (1852); President of the  Royal Society (1883-85).  X Club   member.12  Known as "Darwin's Bulldog".
KÖLLIKER, Rudoph Albert Von
Pennatulida.   FRS (1860);  Copley Medal (1897); FMRS; Hon. FRSE.
LANKESTER, Edwin Ray (1847-1929)
Invertebrate Zoologist
Medal sent to the Zoology Laboratory, University of Oxford.  A disciple of Huxley, Lankester's father (Edwin) was medical doctor and friend of Huxley's. Director of London's Natural History Museum from 1898-1907).  FRS (1875).
Phosphorescent Organs of Fish. Spongiologist and Cnidariologist.
LÉOPOLD, Alexandre Guillaume, Marquis de  Folin
Caecidae. Malacologist.
Entozoa. Helminthologist.  MD.
LYMAN III, Theodore
Ophiuroidea. Naturalist.  Served in the American Civil War as a Lieutenant-Colonel and   Aide-de-Camp on Gen. George G. Meade's staff.  (1863-65).
McINTOSH (M'Intosh), William Carmichael (1838-1931)
Annelida; Cephalodiscus; Phoronis. Botanist and Marine Zoologist.  Professor of Natural History,  University of St. Andrews (1882-1917). MB; LLD;   FRS (1877).
MILNE-EDWARDS, Alphonse (1835-1900)
Ornithologist and Carcinologist
Medal sent to the Natural History Museum, Paris.
MURRAY, George Robt. Milne (1858-1911)
Cryptogamic Botanist
Published An Introduction to the Study of Seaweeds (1895). Posted to the British Museum, London.
PARKER, William Kitchen
Development of the Green Turtle. Marine Zoologist and Naturalist.  FRS (1865); Royal Medal (1866).
Pteropoda; Anatomy of Mollusca; Spirula. Chemistry Teacher and Amateur Malacologist.  DSc.
PIGOTT, T. Digby
Medal known.  Named   "T. DIGBY PIGOTT".  Ornithologist.  CB (1890);  Knighthood (1906).
POLÉJAEFF, Nicolai Nikolaevich Calcarea; Keratosa. Spongiologist.  MA.
QUELCH, John Joseph
(1854 - ?)
Reef Corals. Zoologist.  BSc (Lond.).
RENARD, Alphonse-François
Deep-sea Deposits; Petrology of St. Paul's Rocks. Geologist and Petrographer. Bigsby Medal (London Geological  Society, 1885).
RIDLEY, Stuart Oliver
Monaxonida. Medal known.  Named  "S.O. RIDLEY". Spongiologist.  MA; FLS.
SALVADORI PALEOTTI, Count Adelaro Tommaso
Birds of Ternate, Amboyna, &c.
Ornithologist.  Last of the original  Honorary Fellows of the AOU.
SALVIN, Osbert
Steganopodes; Impennes; Procellariidae. Ornithologist. The Godman-Salvin Medal, of The British Ornithologists' Union is named after him.
SARS, Georg Ossian
Schizopoda; Cumacea; Phyllocarida. Marine Biologist.
Laridae. Ornithologist.  FZS; FLS.
SCHULZE, Franz Eilhard
Hexactinellida. Zoologist.
SCLATER, Philip Lutley
Birds of the Admiralty Islands, &c. Ornithologist.  FRS (1861); FLS; Co-founder of The Society for the Preservation  of Wild Fauna of the Empire  (1903).
Gephyrea. Marine Zoologist.
SLADEN, W. Percy
Asteroidea. Marine Zoologist. FZS; FLS; FGS.
SMITH, Edgar A. Lamellibranchiata; Heteropoda. Zoologist.  FZS.
SOLLAS, William Johnston
Tetractinellida. Geologist.  Other scientific interests included zoological and anthropological subjects. In his later years, he became a leading authority in the latter.  MA; DSc; LLD;  FRS (1889).
STEBBING, Thomas Roscoe Rede
Amphipoda. Cleric and Gentleman-Naturalist.  MA; FRS (1896).
STUDER, Theophil
Alcyonaria. Zoologist.  MD and PhD.
TAIT, Peter Guthrie
Pressure Errors of the Thermometers; Physical Properties of Water. Physicist and Mathematician. FRSE; Royal Society's Royal Medal (1886); Hon. Fellow of  Edinburgh Math. Society.
THÉEL, Hjalmar
Holothurioidea. Zoologist.
THISELTON-DYER, Dr. William Turner (1843-1928)
Systematic Botanist
Medal sent to the Royal Gardens, Kew. Director of Kew (1885-1905). FRS (1880); KCMG; CIE. He was Sir Joseph Dalton Hooker's son-in-law.
THOMSON, Sir John Arthur
Translator of Zoological Reports. Naturalist.  Knighted (1930).
TURNER, Sir William
Cetacea; Pinnipedia; Human Skeletons. Anatomist.  MB; LLD; FRS (1877); FRSSL&E.
WATERS, Arthur William
(? - 1930)
Zoologist.  FLS; FGS.
WATSON, Morrison
Anatomy of the Spheniscidae. Anatomist.  MD; FRS (1884); FRSE.
WRIGHT, Edward Percival Alcyonaria. Marine Zoologist (?) MA;   MD; Sec. MRIA.




BLACK, William S.
Edinburgh Artist
Designer of the Challenger Medal

FOSTER, Michael (1836-1907)
FRS (1872).  KCB (1899).  From 1881-1903,  one of the secretaries of the Royal Society.
GOSCHEN, Rt. Hon. George Joachim (1831-1907)
Member of Parliament
 First Lord of the Admiralty (1871-74 and 1895-1900).  Chancellor of the Exchequer (1886-1892).  The latter position may be the reason he was issued a medal.  Goschen may have assisted with funds to publish the Reports.
IRVINE, Rovert

Medal List states:  "handed to Mrs. Monteith, per Lily Murray August 27, 1895".
Presumably Dr. Murray's wife.
NANSEN, Fridtjof (1861-1930)
Polar Explorer
Presented personally by Dr. Murray on Feb. 15, 1897.  The medal was doubtlessly given in recognition of the oceanographic work carried out by Nansen during the Fram Expedition (1893-96).
PULLAR, Laurence Financer (?) Medal known.  Named   "LAURENCE PULLAR".  FRSE (1903) and FRGS; LLD, University  of Edinburgh (1926) in recognition     of his generosity in the promotion     of scientific research. Pullar was a  life-long friend of Sir John Murray,  and this association drew him into  his interest in scientific research. With Pullar's financial aid, a steam  yacht was built and equipped for oceanographical work near the   shores of Scottish sea-lochs, which   enabled Murray to carry on these  investigations for several years.  This is but one example of Pullar's  financial assistance toward the   advancement of science.  It is   claimed in some writings that   Murray did not tolerate the red tape  of government, and when the   Treasury became stubborn, he  spent his own money to bring out  volumes of the Report.13  It would  seem possible that Pullar also put  money toward the publishing, and  perhaps as a result of these  financial contributions, was given  a Challenger Medal by Murray.  To  date, however, the author has not  uncovered any direct link between  Pullar, the Challenger Expedition  or the Reports. 
RICHARDS, George Henry,  (1820-1896)
Rear Admiral FRS (1866); CB (Civil/1871); Knighted (1877); KCB (1886); Arctic 1818-55 Medal (Commander/HMS Assistance/1852-54). Richards had an extensive background as a surveying officer, and in 1864, was appointed Hydrographer of the Navy. He retired from the RN in January 1874,  and in December of that year, served on a committee to plan the Arctic Expedition of 1875.  Richards appears in the group photograph of the Royal Society's scientific party onboard the Challenger (December 1872)

Sent to Burlington House, London.
Hand delivered to recipient at the Challenger.
Presumably the daughter of Philip Lutley Sclater, who evidently assisted her father in his work.
AMITY, Irvine
Issued unengraved.
TURBYNE, Alexander
 Merchant Captain
In the Report, Turbyne is described as "being in charge of the Marine Biological Station at Millport" and having been for many years "Captain of Dr. Murray's steam Yacht 'Medusa' ".  The Marine Biological Station at Millport was established on the Isle of Cumbrae in the Firth of Clyde, in the spring of 1885.  The Report relates that Turbyne "worked for over 13 years  under Dr. Murray's instructions (including 10 years consecutively)", conducting practical investigations "while matters strictly scientific were undertaken and prepared for  press by men with a scientific training."  The above would explain the award of the Challenger Medal.
WEIR, Mrs.
Sent "C/O James Murray, Supt. Com. Pac. RI., Winnipeg, Manitoba".
One unengraved medal

Taken to Holland by Dr. Murray.


Actg. -  Acting
AOU  -  American Ornithologists' Union
Asst. -   Assistant
CB    -   Companion of the Order of the Bath
CIE   -   Companion of the Most Eminent Order of the Indian Empire
Cmdr. - Commander
CMZS -  Charter Member Zoological Society (?)
CVO -   Commander Victorian Order
DSO -   Distinguished Service Order
Engr. -  Engineer
FGS   -  Fellow of the Geological Society
FLS    - Fellow of the Linnean Society
FRCSI - Fellow of the Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland
FRMS - Fellow of the Royal Meteorlogical Society
FRS -    Fellow of the Royal Society
FRSE -  Fellow of the Royal Society of Edinburgh
FRSSL&E - Fellow of the Royal Societies of London and Edinburgh (?)
FZS -    Fellow of the Zoological Society
GSC -   Geographic Society of Chicago
Hon. -   Honorary
IGS -    India General Service Medal 1854-95
IRGS -  Imperial Russian Geographical Society
KCB -   Knight Commander of the Order of the Bath
KCMG- Knight Commander of the Most Distinguished Order of St. Michael and St. George
LLD -    Legum Doctor (Doctor of Law)
MB -    Bachelor of Medicine MID -    Mentioned in Despatches
MRCS- Member of the Royal College of Surgeons
MRIA -  Member Royal Irish Academy
RGS -   Royal Geographical Society
RHS -   Royal Humane Society
RN   -   Royal Navy
RNVR - Royal Naval Volunteer Reserve
RSGS - The Royal Scottish Geographical Society
RSNWS - The Royal Society of New South Wales
SAGS - Swedish Anthropological & Geographical Society
VPPS - Vice President of the Palaeontographical Society


Ms. Clara Anderson
Dr. David C. Bossard
Ms. Eileen V. Brunton
Mr. Roy L. Davids
Dr. Margaret Deacon
Mr. Daniel Fearon
Ms. Judith Farrington
Dix Noonan Webb
Mr. Mark Sikes
Mr. John I. Simper
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Brown, Laurence.  1987.  A Catalogue of British Historical Medals 1837-1901.  London:  Seaby.

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George Busk.

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Cook, G.C.  1997.  George Busk FRS (1807-1886), nineteenth-century polymath:  surgeon, parasitologist, zoologist and palaeontologist.  Journal of Medical Biography.  London: Royal Society of Medicine Press Ltd.                            

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Dr. Murray's Titles, Medals, &c. (handwritten document).  Murray Library. The Natural History Museum, London.

Edinburgh University Data Library (Handlists of Manuscript Collections).

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Eimer, Christopher.  1987.  British Commemorative Medals and their values. London:  Seaby.

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Everson, Gordon R.  1978.  The South Africa 1853 Medal.  London:  Samson Books Ltd.

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The Geological Society. 

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International Union of the History of Philosophy and Science Division of the History of Science Commission of Oceanography.  2000.

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 1   Boog-Watson, 1967.

 2   Nature, 1895.

 3   Ibid.

 4  McManus.

 5   P. Rodger, Appeals Officer, March 27, 1995.

 6   Bourner, 2000.

 7   Linklater, 1972 and Brown, 1987.

 8   C. J. Burnett, Curator of Fine Art and Medals, Jan. 12, 1995, and Eimer, 1987.

 9   Rodger, op.cit. and B. Tomlinson, Curator, Antiquities,  Aug. 5, 1998.

10  Tomlinson, ibid.

11  The X Club was a dinner club formed in 1864 by nine eminent scientists, who had long been intimate friends, so they would not drift apart due to their various duties, and in order to further the cause of science.  The Club held monthly meetings from October to June, and was extremely active for two decades, but this activity gradually lessened.  The regular communication helped X Club members to gather their efforts on behalf of science against what they felt to be the obstructionist activities and ideas of conservative scientists, certain theologians, and non-scientific society figures.  Members at the birth of the X Club were:  George Busk (1807- 86), Joseph D. Hooker (1817-1911), Herbert Spencer (1820-1923), John Tyndall (1820-93), Edward Frankland (1825-99), Thomas Henry Huxley (1825-95), Thomas Archer Hirst (1830-92) and John Lubbock (1834-1913).  William Spottiswoode (1825-83) became the ninth member of the Club at its second meeting.  Much of the discussion at the meetings focused on the affairs of the Royal Society.  By 1864, all were Fellows of the Royal Society, except Spencer who, due to principle and possible resentment, flatly refused to agree to his being nominated.  The X Club exerted important influence in the Royal Society, in the British Association, in various other scholarly societies, in the Royal Institution, and in the publishing of scientific works.

12 Linklater, 1972

13 Shipley, Sir Arthur E. (Zoologist 1861-1927)

This report was prepared from a paper that is available here as a pdf document.

Revised October, 2005.