By George Beccaloni
Wallace received an impressive number of honours during his lifetime, the most prestigious being the Order of Merit from King Edward VII in 1908. His greatest scientific honours were the 7 medals he was awarded, the most important of which was the Copley Medal of the Royal Society (their highest award).
Medals He Received
1868 (30 November): Royal Medal of the Royal Society. (Awarded "For his labours in practical and theoretical zoology", including his 1858 Ternate paper on natural selection. He was nominated by T. H. Huxley). For more information CLICK HERE
Wallace's Royal Medal. Copyright Wallace Memorial Fund.
1870: Gold Medal, Société de Géographie.
Gold Medal of the Société de Géographie. Copyright Wallace Memorial Fund.
1890 (1 December): Darwin Medal of the Royal Society. (Awarded "For his independent origination of the theory of the origin of species by natural selection". Wallace was the first recipient of this medal).
Wallace's Royal Society Darwin Medal. Copyright Wallace Memorial fund.
1892 (23 May): Founder's Medal of the Royal Geographical Society. (Awarded "...in recognition of the high geographical value of his great works, 'The Geographical Distribution of Animals,' 'Island Life,' and 'The Malay Archipelago.'")
Wallace's Founder's Medal. Copyright Wallace Memorial Fund.
1892 (24 May): Gold Medal of the Linnean Society (now known as the Linnean Medal). (Awarded in recognition of his contributions to the literature of zoology, and specially for his work on the origin of species.)
Wallace's Gold Medal of the Linnean Society. Copyright Wallace Memorial Fund.
1908 (1 July): Gold Darwin-Wallace Medal of the Linnean Society of London. (Wallace was the first recipient of this medal, and his was the only gold version ever made). More information about the medal can be found HERE
Wallace's Darwin-Wallace medal. Copyright Wallace Memorial Fund.
1908 (30 November): Copley Medal of the Royal Society (in silver and in gold). (Awarded "On the ground of the great value of his numerous contributions to natural history, and of the part he took in working out the theory of the origin of species by natural selection." This is the highest award of the Royal Society.)
Wallace's gold Copley Medal. Copyright Wallace Memorial Fund.
1908 (14 December): Order of Merit. (Awarded "in recognition of the great services which you have rendered to Science." The order has been described as "quite possibly, the most prestigious honour one can receive on planet Earth." There are only 24 living individuals in the order at any given time, not including honorary appointees, and new members are personally selected by the reigning monarch.) For more information click HERE
Wallace's Order of Merit. Copyright Wallace Memorial Fund.
Note that Charles Darwin was also awarded the Royal and Copley Medals of the Royal Society in 1853 and 1864 respectively. He also received two others: the Baly Medal of the Royal College of Physicians (1879) and the Wollaston Medal of the Geological Society (1859).
1879 (28 July): Freedom of the City of London.
1882 (26 April): Pall Bearer at Darwin's funeral at Westminster Abbey.
1882 (29 June): LL.D. (Doctor of Laws) from Trinity College, University of Dublin. On the recommendation of Rev. Samuel Haughton, senior lecturer in geology. See HERE
ARW in his LL.D. robes
1889 (26 November): D.C.L. (Doctor of Civil Law) from Oxford University.
Honorary (Elected) Memberships
American Ornithologists' Union: Elected an Honorary Member in 1883 and an Honorary Fellow in 1905. See HERE
Anthropological Society of Washington: Elected an Honorary Member on 15 February 1887. See HERE
Asiatic Society of Bengal, Calcutta: Elected an Honorary Member on 7 February 1883. See HERE
Austrian Zoological-Botanical Society, Vienna: Elected a Honorary Member on 1 March 1901. See HERE
British National Association of Spiritualists: Elected an Honorary Member in 1876. See HERE
Brooklyn Ethical Association: Elected an Honorary Corresponding Member in c. 1894-1895. See HERE
Central Association of Spiritualists, London: Elected an Honorary Member on 13 June 1882. See HERE
Cheshire Society of Natural Science: Honorary Member c. 1897. See HERE
Chester Society of Natural Science, Literature & Art, Chester, England: Elected as an Honorary Member in ? See HERE
Dorset Natural History and Antiquarian Field Club: Elected an Honorary Member in 1909. See HERE
Dutch Society of Sciences, Haarlem: Elected as a Foreign Member in 1883. See HERE
Essex Field Club, UK: Elected as an Honorary Member 10 January 1880. See HERE
Hertfordshire Natural History Society and Field Club: Elected an Honorary Member in 1896. See HERE
Indiana Academy of Science: Foreign Correspondent c. 1898. See HERE
New Zealand Institute (now Royal Society of New Zealand): Elected an Honorary Member of 3 February 1885. See HERE
Royal Batavian Society of Arts and Sciences, Jakarta, Indonesia: Elected a Corresponding Member on 1 June 1878. See HERE
Royal Irish Academy, Dublin: Elected an Honorary Member on 16 March 1908. See HERE
Royal Society of Edinburgh, Scotland (Societas Regia Edinensis): Elected an Honorary Member on 7 November 1910. See HERE
Royal Society, London: Elected a Fellow in June 1893. See HERE. He had at first refused fellowship, but Thistleton-Dyer and Huxley eventually persuaded him to accept.
Royal Society of New South Wales, Sydney: Elected an Honorary Member on 3 July 1895. see HERE
Royal Society of Sciences, Upsala: Elected a Member in 1893. See HERE
Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences (Regia Scientiarum Academia Suecica): Elected an Honorary Member 1 February 1907. See HERE
Société de Géographie, France: Elected a Corresponding Member on 22 April 1887. See HERE
Società Geografica Italiana, Italy: Elected an Honorary Member in c. 1890. See HERE
Société Scientifique "Antonio Alzate", Mexico: Elected an Honorary Member on 1 March 1896. See HERE
Society for Psychical Research: Elected an Honorary Member in c. 1903. See HERE
Zoological Society of London: Elected a Fellow in 1862. See HERE
Wallace was also an 'ordinary' member of a number of other societies and other organisations i.e. Anthropological Institute of Great Britain and Ireland (elected to the Council in 1873?); Anthropological Society of London; Anti-Vaccination League; British Association for the Advancement of Science (elected in 1863); British Ornithologists' Union; Croydon Microscopical and Natural History Club; Entomological Society of London (elected 1 June 1863); Ethnological Society of London (elected in 1866 and was a Council member in 1869-1870); Ethological Society (London); Humanitarian League (possibly - see HERE); Kington Mechanic's Institution (1840's); Land Nationalisation Society; Land Tenure Reform Assocation (member of their General Council); Linnean Society of London (elected a Fellow in 1872); London Spiritualist Alliance; Neath Mechanics Institute; Royal Geographical Society (elected a Fellow on 27 February 1854).
1996: Wallace became the seventh person whose name is enshrined at the Monument to Human Spiritual Rights at the Red Rock Consecrated Sanctuary in Nevada. Earlier enshrinees were Mohandas Gandhi, Pierre Teilhard de Chardin, Kahlil Gibran, Nikola Tesla, Gustaf Stromberg, and Carl Jung; since that time the names of Thomas Jefferson, Martin Luther King Jr., and Ralph Waldo Emerson have been added.