Founded in 1860, it was an annual award of "instruments or books of a professional character and of practical use to a Naval Officer" given to the Midshipman who scored highest in navigation and pilotage in examinations for promotion to the rank of Lieutenant.
The Wharton Testimonial
In 1907, the additional Wharton Testimonial was founded to commemorate the service of Rear-Admiral Sir William J. L. Wharton, K.C.B., F.R.S., who'd been Hydrographer of the Navy from 1884 to 1904. The Wharton prize was funded by about £950, the interest on a portion of that sum was added to the interest on the capital and the total amount will be employed in purchasing some instrument or work of a kind to be practically useful to a Naval Officer. The interest on the remaining sum will be used to purchase for the winner of the joint prizes a gold medal having on the obverse a bust of the late Sir William Wharton and on the reverse a suitable inscription.
The two awards for the same object were then given annually under the names of "The Beaufort Testimonial and the Wharton Testimonial," thus associating the names of two Hydrographers of the Navy.
The awardees are denoted in Navy Lists by a * appearing after their name in the Navy List's seniority list. If they also received the Wharton Testimonial, the designation is **.
- The Navy List. (January, 1921). p. 2333.