The Royal Geographical Society's Gold Medal consists of two separate awards: the Founder's Medal 1830 and the Patron's Medal 1838. Together they form the most prestigious of the society's awards. They are given for "the encouragement and promotion of
geographical science
geographical science
and discovery." Royal approval is required before an award can be made. The awards originated as an annual gift of fifty guineas from
King William IV William IV (William Henry; 21 August 1765 – 20 June 1837) was King of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland There have been 12 British monarchs There have been 12 British monarchs since the political union A political un ...

King William IV
, first made in 1831, "to constitute a premium for the encouragement and promotion of geographical science and discovery." The
Royal Geographical Society The Royal Geographical Society (RGS) is one of the United Kingdom's learned societies and the professional body for geography Geography (from Greek: , ''geographia'', literally "earth description") is a field of science devoted to ...
decided in 1839 to change this monetary award into the two gold medals. Prior to 1902 the Patron's Medal was alternatively known as the "Victoria Medal". Recipients include
David Livingstone David Livingstone (; 19 March 1813 – 1 May 1873) was a Scottish physician, Congregationalist, and pioneer Christian missionary A missionary is a member of a Religious denomination, religious group sent into an area to promote thei ...

David Livingstone
in 1855,
Mary Somerville Mary Somerville (; née__NOTOC__ A birth name is the name of the person given upon their birth. The term may be applied to the surname In some cultures, a surname, family name, or last name is the portion of one's personal name that in ...

Mary Somerville
in 1869,
Nain Singh Rawat Nain Singh (21 October 18301 February 1882), also known as Nain Singh Rawat, was one of the first Indian explorers (dubbed "Pundit (explorer), pundits") employed by the British India, British to explore the Himalayas and Central Asia. He came fro ...
in 1877,
Ferdinand von Richthofen Baron Ferdinand Freiherr von Richthofen (5 May 18336 October 1905), better known in English as was a German traveller, geographer A geographer is a physical scientist, social scientist and humanist whose area of study is geography, the stu ...

Ferdinand von Richthofen
in 1878,
Alfred Russel Wallace Alfred Russel Wallace (8 January 18237 November 1913) was a British natural history, naturalist, explorer, geographer, anthropologist, biologist and illustrator. He is best known for independently conceiving the theory of evolution throug ...
in 1892 and
William Woodville Rockhill William Woodville Rockhill (May 1, 1854 – December 8, 1914) was a United States The United States of America (USA), commonly known as the United States (U.S. or US), or America, is a country Contiguous United States, primarily locate ...

William Woodville Rockhill
in 1893, to more recent winners including
William Morris Davis William Morris Davis (February 12, 1850 – February 5, 1934) was an American geographer A geographer is a physical scientist, social scientist and humanist whose area of study is geography, the study of Earth's natural environment and human ...

William Morris Davis
in 1919, Sir
Halford John Mackinder Sir Halford John Mackinder (15 February 1861 – 6 March 1947) was an English geographer, academic and politician, who is regarded as one of the founding fathers of both geopolitics and geostrategy. He was the first Principal of University Exte ...
in 1945,
Richard Chorley
Richard Chorley
in 1987 and
David Harvey David W. Harvey (born 31 October 1935) is a British-born Marxist Marxism is a method of socioeconomic analysis that uses a materialist interpretation of historical development, better known as historical materialism, to understand Social ...
in 1995.

Recipients (since 1970)

List of Past Gold Medal Winners by RGS

Recipients (1901–1970)

Recipients (1832–1900)

See also

List of geography awards Image:Davidson medal.jpg, George Davidson Medal , 300px This list of geography awards is an index to articles about notable awards for geography, the field of science devoted to the study of the lands, features, inhabitants, and phenomena of the Ear ...
* Gold medal awards


External links

List of Past Gold Medal Winners by RGS
List of Past Gold Medal Winners {{Royal Geographical Society Awards of Royal Geographical Society