2023 Magnus Magnusson Prize Winner Announced

2023 Magnus Magnusson Prize Winner Announced


Congratulations to Iain Duncan Cameron, who has been awarded this year’s Magnus Magnusson Essay Prize.

The Society has announced the winner of its 2023 Magnus Magnusson Essay Prize. The jury named Iain Duncan Cameron the winner for his essay ‘”Farmers, Fishermen and Ferryloopers”: The Influence of the Scottish Presbyterian Church on Northern Isles Society and Culture in the Late Seventeenth and Eighteenth Centuries.’ Iain’s essay will be published in an upcoming volume of Northern Studies, and he is awarded the prize amount of £450.

The judging panel said of Iain’s essay that it ‘makes commendable use of Orkney and Shetland archives to flesh out the familiar concept of the weakening of influence of the Scottish Reformation in the areas at a distance from the centre. This essay adds a new view to the sustaining of episcopacy in the North East and the failure of the Presbyterian establishment to appoint ministers in spite of the Revolution Settlement of 1690.’ They added that the work is ‘a pleasure to read, it is well composed, and the examples are to the point, as well as sometimes fun and sometimes sad. There is much archival work behind the writing of this essay, but it still reads as a very accessible text.’

Iain was born in Glasgow, with family connections to Ardnamurchan and the Isle of Lewis through his paternal grandparents, He graduated from Stirling University with a BA (History and English) in 1989, and did his teacher training at Northern College, Aberdeen, in 1990-91. He then worked as a teacher of History and English at Hamilton College (1992-2003); as History teacher at Cults Academy, Aberdeen (2003-2009); and as Principal Teacher of History at Elgin High School, Moray (2009-2022). In 2018, he decided to return to part-time studies, and was accepted for the MLitt History of the Highlands and Islands at the Centre for History, UHI. He left his teaching position in May 2022 to be able to fully focus on his dissertation research on the Northern Isles, and graduated with Distinction in September 2022. Since then, he has returned to part-time teaching with e-Sgoil (Comhairle Nan Eilean Siar) whilst working on his PhD at UHI, focusing on the place of Orkney and Shetland in the eighteenth and early nineteenth-century British Empire. Aside from his work commitments and studies, he is married to Trish, and they have two cockapoo dogs, Hamish and Flora.

Iain is the fourteenth winner of this prize, which is named in memory of Magnus Magnusson KBE, scholar and journalist of the northern world. A call for submissions for the 2024 edition of the prize will open soon.


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