Sixth Form historian earns praise from Trinity College

An essay by Tonbridge Sixth Former Rory Smith has been ranked as ‘Very Highly Commended’ in a prestigious essay competition run by Trinity College, University of Cambridge.

Rory (JH5), pictured, took part in Trinity’s 2020 Robson History Prize. An annual contest for Lower Sixth students, the prize is named in memory of renowned historian Robert Robson, who was for many years a Fellow and Tutor at the college, and aims to encourage ambitious and talented students considering applying to university to choose History or a related discipline as their degree course.

Dr Richard Serjeantson, Director of Studies in History at Trinity, wrote to Rory to say: “In a bumper lockdown year we received over 300 entries for the Prize, but your essay in particular stood out…Many congratulations! You deserve high praise for writing such an outstandingly intelligent and interesting piece of work.”

Rory’s essay, which he wrote after completing two months of reading and research, compared similarities and differences between the ancient Roman and Athenian empires. He revealed that he is fascinated by Roman history: “They were an incredible people and so advanced in many ways, in everything from their political systems to the public baths they introduced to Britain”.

He is studying four A-levels at Tonbridge – Economics, English, Geography and, of course, History – but says it is the latter which he hopes to pursue at university. “I have a fascination with the past, and with comparing then to now. Tonbridge has also helped to stimulate my interests further, and I am so grateful for the teaching and the support I have always received here.”

Plenty of studying lies ahead, as following university Rory is considering a career in law. 

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