Chichele Essay 2020: Winner announced

Archie Capon (WH5) is the winner of Tonbridge School’s 2020 Chichele Essay prize. 

Named after Henry Chichele (1363-1443), Archbishop of Canterbury and Founder of All Souls College Oxford, the prestigious prize was established more than 50 years ago by John Sparrow, Warden of Souls between 1952 and 1977 and a member of the Skinners’ Company. 

The competition is generously endowed by All Souls College and takes the traditional form of an essay written in examination conditions, with a one-word title not disclosed in advance. Boys in their final year take part by invitation: this year, of course, the competition was held virtually.

The All Souls Examiner is appointed annually by the school governors to comment on the essays submitted and to select the winner. This year’s Examiner was Professor Francis Davis, an award-wining social entrepreneur who has directed research centres at Oxford and Cambridge on Social Inclusion, and is Professor of Religion, Communities and Public Policy at the University of Birmingham.

Professor David chose the word  ‘courage’ for the competition. In his winning essay, Archie approached the subject while considering those involved in the Suffragette movement in 1913, the US ‘bus boycotts’ in 1955 and the Tiananmen Square protests in 1989. As a piece of creative prose, Professor Davis thought it was “exceptional”.

Entries by Alex Trigg (CH5), Ben Priory (WW5) and Charlie Thurston (JH5) were also were specially commended.

Tonbridge’s Headmaster, James Priory, announced the Chichele Essay prize winner at the school’s End of Year Celebration on Friday 3 July.

Pictured: Tonbridge School.