Historical information

This medal is one of only a few medals donated by a group of generous gentlemen as tokens of their appreciation of the talent and industry of high achieving students in the years 1869 - 1870. The medal was awarded to Charles J Henderson when he completed his Matriculation Examination at the very young age of 13 years.
The 1869 College annual report states that this examination, which granted entry into Melbourne University, was held in Ballarat for the first time in 1869. Candidates had to pass in at least six of the nine possible subjects in order to pass.
Charles Henderson (born 3/02/1856) was the eldest son of the Rev. William Henderson of St Anderw's Kirk, Ballarat, distinguished founder of Ballarat College. Charles was only the third student enrolled at Ballarat College in July 1864. The Ballarat College annual report 1869 states the medal was awarded in appreciation of his 'success in passing so creditably the Matriculation examination at the age of thirteen years'.


This medal has historic significance because it dates from the first decade of the history of the College. It has social significance because the recipient was the third student enrolled at Ballarat College, the eldest son of the founder of the College. The medal is unique and is one of only a few privately donated between 1869-1870 by a group of gentlemen affiliated with the college.

Physical description

This gold-plated round-shaped medal has front embossed with Minerva head, name of school and school motto. The rear of the medal is inscribed with names of medal donors. There is a straight metal pin hinged to the right side of the rear of the medal. There is a small catch attached to left side of the rear of the medal. The side edge of the medal is inscribed with name of the recipient and title of the award. The medal is housed in a rectangular cardboard box and nestled in cotton wool.The box has a blue lid and white base.

Inscriptions & markings

Embossed around inner edge of medal front "Studiis Claritudo Venit. Ballarat College". Inscribed on rear of medal 'Presented by T. Cowan Esq.. G. Duncan Esq.. / A. Smith Esq.. W. P Martin Esq.. / J. Bell Esq..J. williamson Esq.. / S. Pike Esq..'; Maker's mark stamped below rear side inscription 'J.T.S'. Inscribed around circumference of medal 'C. J Henderson Matriculation Examination, Nov 1869'.