Board of Trade: Albert Medal Register
The Board of Trade's Albert Medal Register which makes up this series contains until 1891 details of all Albert Medals awarded for gallantry at sea, and from that date details only of such awards made to civilians.
The Albert Medal was instituted by Royal Warrant on 7th March 1866, as a decoration to be awarded, on the recommendation of the President of the Board of Trade, to persons who 'in saving or endeavouring to save the lives of others from shipwreck or other peril of the sea, endanger their own lives'. A register of the awards was to be kept in the Board of Trade.
By Royal Warrants on 12th April 1867 and 30th April 1877 respectively, the scope of the medal was extended to cover firstly, cases of slightly lesser heroism than those originally considered worthy of the award by the division of the medal into the 'Albert Medal of the First Class' and the 'Albert Medal of the Second Class', and secondly, 'cases of gallantry in saving life on land'. This latter award was to be made on the recommendation of the Prime Minister.
The responsibility for making recommendations to the Sovereign respecting the award of the Medal was altered by a Royal Warrant on 13th September 1881, which ordained that in future all awards were to be made solely on the recommendation of the Secretary of State for the Home Department, although in the case of awards for gallantry in saving life at sea the 'preliminary steps and enquiry' were to be made by the President of the Board of Trade. A register of all medals awarded for heroism on land was to be kept in the Home Office, while the Board of Trade was to continue to keep the register of awards for heroism at sea.
These provisions were further amended by a Royal Warrant on 12th March 1891 which ordained that the 'preliminary steps and enquiry' leading up to the award of the Albert Medal to members of the Royal Navy and the Royal Marines were to be undertaken by the Lords Commissioners of the Admiralty, who were also to keep a register of such awards. All awards however were still to be made on the direct recommendation of the Secretary of State for the Home Department.
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