News of Members of the Hakluyt Society

News of Members of the Hakluyt Society

News of Members of the Hakluyt Society

All members of the Hakluyt Society are invited to contribute to this page. Please let us know about any recent activities, appointments, awards, or books published, that you think might be of interest to other members and to the Society in general. Contributions should be sent to the website’s editor, Ray Howgego, at webeditor@hakluyt.com

Professor Charles Withers conferred as Geographer Royal for Scotland

Professor Charles Withers conferred as Geographer Royal for Scotland
Professor Charles Withers conferred as Geographer Royal for Scotland

The Hakluyt Society is delighted to report the recent conferment of Professor Charles Withers as Geographer Royal for Scotland. Professor Withers (Ogilvie Chair of Geography at the University of Edinburgh) has been a member of the Council of the Hakluyt Society since 2010; he is a world-renowned historical and cultural geographer, a fellow of the British Academy, and a fellow of the Royal Society of Edinburgh.

The title of Geographer Royal for Scotland, which has previously been held by only four individuals since 1682 and was last bestowed in 1897, was conferred by HRH The Princess Royal, Vice President of the RSGS, at a ceremony in Perth on 15 September 2015. The role of the Geographer Royal is that of an international and national ambassador for geography, helping to promote geography in research, education, and in society more widely. The president and trustees of the Hakluyt Society heartily congratulate Professor Withers on this exceptional appointment.

Professor Barry Gough awarded the SS Beaver Medal

Professor Barry Gough awarded the SS Beaver Medal
Professor Barry Gough awarded the SS Beaver Medal

Barry Gough, longstanding member of the Hakluyt Society and editor and contributor to a number of our volumes related to the exploration of the Northwest Coast of America, has been awarded the prestigious SS Beaver Medal for Maritime Excellence. The presentation was made by Lieutenant Governor Judith Guichon at Government House in Victoria, British Columbia. The award is made annually by the Maritime Museum of British Columbia, and the medals are made out of copper salvaged from the first steamship on the West Coast, the nineteenth century Hudson’s Bay Company SS Beaver. She was constructed in London in the mid-1830s and sailed round the Horn. Her engines were fitted at Nisqually, a port in Puget Sound near present-day Tacoma. She was a true workhorse for half a century, her legacy including important surveys of the northern coast. In 1888 she was wrecked on Siwash Rock just outside First Narrows, Vancouver Harbour. The people of British Columbia call her ‘the ship that saved the west’ and she played a prominent rôle in the maritime history that Professor Gough has recorded in a series of standard works produced during the career saluted with this award.
(Contributed by Mike Barritt)