Botetourt Medal
Original Author: Cornelius Janssen
Created: ca. 1775
Medium: Gold medal
Publisher: Virginia Historical Society

Botetourt Medal

A gold medal issued in 1775 by the College of William and Mary features the likeness of King George III in profile. The medal was given to John Camm White of King William County for "his superior skill in mathematics and natural philosophy." An article that appeared in the Virginia Gazette on March 22, 1770, reported that Norborne Berkeley, baron de Botetourt, who was royal governor of Virginia and rector of the college, had announced his intention to present "annually, two gold medals for the honour and encouragement of literary merit in that Seminary." The first Botetourt medals—among the earliest college medals issued in North America—were awarded in 1772. The Royal Mint in London created the original dies for the medal in 1771. The Latin inscription surrounding the image of the king reads, in translation: "In the reign of George III, the friend of the muses." The two-line legend below reads, "Sought for his merits."