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Portrait of John Gough Nichols, 


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by Maclise 


Herrick Cup .... 

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Portrait of John Gough Nichols, 

1864 , 


View of House at Holmwood . 

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Silver Wedding Medal . 


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Silver Wedding Cup 


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Brass in Holmwood Church 



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The subject of the present Memoir was the representative of a 
family, whicli, while carrying on successfully the business of 
printing, has for three generations more or less distinguished 
itself in the sphere of literature and archaeological research. His 
grandfather, John Nichols, F.S.A., was the well-known author 
of the Literary Anecdotes of the Eighteenth Century, the com- 
piler of one of the greatest of our local histories, Tlie History of 
Leicestershire, and for forty-eight years the editor of the Gentle- 
man's Magazine. As a printer, he was the pupil, partner, and 
successor of William Bowyer, a learned typographer and author, 
himself the son and successor of another William Bowyer, who 
carried on the business of a printer in London from a period 
shortly preceding the Revolution of 1688.' It may be of interest 
to observe that the younger Bowyer and the successive j\Icssrs. 
Nichols have held the appointment of Printers of the Votes and 
Proceedings of the House of Commons from the time of Speaker 
Onslow to the present day. 

John Bowyer Nichols, F.S.A. the son of John Nichols by 
his second marriage with Martha, daughter of Mr. William 

' See the Memoir of .John Nichols in The Gcntlcmnn's .Viit//i:inciov Dec. 182G, 
written hy Mr. Alexander Chahncrs, F.S.A. 


2 THP: late JOHN GOUGII NicnoT.s. 

Green, of Hinckley in Leicestershire, was from an early age tlie 
coadjutor of his father in editing The Gentlemaris Magazine. He 
completed his father's Illustrations of the Literary History of the 
Eighteenth Centwy, the sequel to the Literary Anecdotes, and, in 
addition to other literary work, superintended the passage 
through the press of the greater part of the County Histories 
which appeared during the first half of the present century, ren- 
dering by his great topographical knowledge, and by his industry 
and attention, the greatest service to their authors. He married, 
in 1805, Eliza, eldest daughter of Mr. John Baker,' of Salisbury 
Square, Fleet Street, surgeon, afterwards of Hampstead, by 
whom he had fourteen children, of whom, however, six died 
in infancy. He died on the 19th of October, 1863, and was 
buried in Kensal Green Cemetery. A memoir of him, from the 
pen of John Gough Xichols, appeared in The Gentleman's Maga- 
zine for December 1863, of which a few copies were reprinted, 
with some additions, for private circulation in March 1864, and 
illustrated with a photographic portrait taken in 1860. 

John Gough Nichols, the eldest son of John Bowyer Nichols, 
was born at his father's residence in Red Lion Passage, Fleet 
Street, on the 22nd of May, 1806. He was named Gough after 
the distinguished antiquary Richard Gough, who was his god- 
father and the intimate friend of his father. While he was yet 
in his earliest infancy, on the 8th of February, 1808, the printing- 
office adjoining the house in Red Lion Passage was destroyed 
by fire, and during its re-building his father took a house in 
Thavies Inn, Holborn, which became the scene of John Cough's 
earliest recollections. He used to tell in later days how he once 
strayed from home there, and was lost for a whole day, being 

' See a Memoir in The Gentlemaii's Magazine, for 1825, ii. 642. 


found in the evening, by an acquaintance of liis fatlier, sitting 
in tears on the steps of St. Andrew's church. On the com- 
pletion of the new building his father resumed his residence 
in Red Lion Passage, where he remained until his removal to 
Parliament Street in 1818. 

In the early part of 1811 he was placed at a school at Islington 
kept by Miss Koper. Hero he had among his young school- 
fellows a boy who was his senior by a few months, the son 
of his father and grandfather's valued friend Mr. Isaac Disraeli, 
the author of The Curiosities of Literature. This son, destined 
in later years to eclipse his father's fame and to attain the highest 
distinction not only as an author but as a statesman, was Ben- 
jamin Disraeli, the present Prime Minister. 

In the summer of 1814 he was sent to the school of Dr. Waite 
at Lewisham, where he remained until the end of 1816, and in 
January 1817 was placed at Merchant Taylors'. 

In letters written to Mr. J. B. Nichols respecting his late pupil, 
shortly after his leaving, Dr. AVaite speaks highly of his talents 
and capacity. Unfortunately, however, he was placed, on his 
entrance at Merchant Taylors', though some years older than many 
of his schoolmates, in the lowest class in the school, owing to a 
wish to that effect injudiciously expressed to the Head Master 
by his father's brother-in-law, the Rev. John Pridden, who 
accompanied him, in loco parentis, on his first going there. 
This put him at a disadvantage, compared with others of his 
age, which he was never able altogether to recover, and it was 
always a point of which he spoke with regret. Dr. James Hessey, 
who in later years became the Head Master of the school, was at 
Merchant Taylors' as a pupil during part of the time when Mr. 
Nichols was there, and we take the liberty of quoting liom a 
kind and sympathetic letter, written by him to Mrs. Gough 


Nichols the day after her husband's death, the following passage, 
in which lie refers to those old school-days. " Personally I 
grieve for one who is connected with my very earliest recol- 
lections, who took me, day by day, when I was a very little 
boy, most kindly to Merchant Taylors^ school, and with whom 
I have frequently had friendly intercourse since that distant 
date, 1823, for fifty years. I remember being struck, even in my 
childhood, with his kindness, and I cannot refrain from express- 
ing to you my respect for his memory." 

Journals kept by him during his school -days are still in 
existence, and indicate already the bent of his mind. He makes 
notes on churches, and copies inscriptions and epitaphs. The 
following extract seems worth recording: — " 1823, May 7. I 
went in the evening (for the first time) with my father to the 
meetings of the Antiquarian and Royal Societies. Saw there 
(m^er alios) Sir Humphry Davy, Mr. Hudson Gurney, ]\Ir. Ellis, 
Mr. Taylor Combe, Mr. Davies Gilbert, IMr. Cayley, Mr. Wm. 
Tooke, &c. &c. We inspected in the library of the Royal 
Society Wickliflfe's copy of his English translation of the Bible, 
two MS. vols, folio (about coeval with the invention of printing), 
and a Greek MS. of the Testament of the 9th century; that is, as 
old as the Alexandrian MSS. in the Antiquaries Library." 

A letter from Mr. Isaac Disraeli to Mr. J. B. Nichols, dated 
June 7, 1823, contains this testimony to John Gough's early 
sagacity. He says, " I am gratified to find that your son treads 
in your footsteps, by the readiness with which he has been able 
to ascertain our unknown blunder." It appears that he had 
succeeded in assio'ning to its actual writer a letter which the 
author of The Curiosities of Literature had supposed to have been 
by some other person. 

Notwithstanding tlic drawbacks to which we have alluded, 


young Nichols made sucli good progress at Merchant Taylors' 
tliat, had his birtliday {"alien a month or two later, he would have 
obtained the removal to St. John's, Oxford, which he so much 
desired. But, with a numerous family growing up, his father did 
not then feel himself justified in sending him to the University 
without the aid of" the Merchant Taylors' scholarship, and in the 
summer of 1824 he left school to join in the business and literary 
labours of his father and grandfather. 

Even before his school-days were over John Gough had been 
the useful assistant of the latter, under whose competent direction 
he commenced those historical and antiquarian studies in which 
he afterwards attained such high distinction. His first literary work 
after leaving school was to help in tlie compilation of the Pro- 
gresses of King James the First, the latest work of John Nichols; 
after whose death, on the 26th Nov. 1826, it was John Gough, 
although his name does not appear on the title, who completed and 
superintended the publication of the Progresses in the year 1828. 
He began also to take an active part in the editorial management 
of The Gentleman's Magazine, to which he had already been an 
occasional contributor. From this time to the year 1856, when 
the proprietorship of The Gentlemaiis Magazine was relinquished 
by ]\Iessrs. Nichols, he continued either as joint or sole Editor to 
have a large share in the literary direction of the ]\Iagazine, as 
well as contributing to its pages many historical essays of con- 
siderable value, and compiling its copious obituary. The Avriter 
of a memoir of ]\Ir. Nichols in lite Antiquary, a publication 
which not unworthily endeavours to fill in some respects the 
place formerly occupied by The Gentlemaiis Magazine, truly 
observes that this department of the ]\lagazine has " in itself 
rendered that work invaluable to the fiiture biographer and his- 
torian." The direction thus given, however, by Mr. Nichols and 


his coadjutors to The Geidlemaiis Magazine was less popular than 
intrinsically solid and valuable, and its proprietors had the mor- 
tification to find it not only outstripped in circulation by its 
modern rivals, but gradually tending to become an actual loss. 

In 1829 he published his first separate work, a collection of 
Autographs of Royal, Noble, Learned, and Remarkable Person- 
ages, accompanied by Biographical Memoirs. The fac-similes 
were engraved by C. J. Smith, from originals, most of which 
are in the British Museum. In addition to a Prefatory Essay, 
the volume contains short memoirs of between four and five 
hundred persons, and exhibits extensive research and historical 
knowledge in its young author. 

In August, 1830, he paid a visit to Mr. Kobert Surtees, 
at Mainsforth, near Durham, at whose suggestion he joined 
the Rev. James Raine (the historian of North Durham), and his 
brother-in-law, the Rev. George Peacock, F.R.S., of Trinity 
College, Cambridge, afterwards Dean of Ely, and his sister. Miss 
Peacock, in a Scottish tour. They visited Edinburgh, Stirling, 
the Trosachs, Dumbarton, Glasgow, Lanark, Melrose, and Ab- 
botsford (where they were disappointed at finding Sir Walter 
Scott absent from home), thence returning to Durham and 
Mainsforth. In a letter to Mr. J. B. Nichols, dated Sept. 17, 
1830, Mr. Surtees writes that John Gough has just left them 
on his return home, and adds : " We are sorry to part with him; 
but I hope this little northern tour has established an intimacy 
between us which will only end with my life." 

Mr. J. G. Nichols continued a constant correspondent of Mr. 

Surtees until his early death in 1834; and several of the letters 

addressed by Mr. Surtees to him are printed in the Life by Mr, 

Raine.^ On the formation of the Surtees Society, in that year, 

' Life of Robert Siu'tees, published by the Surtees Society, 1852. 


N Z4 '. ^ Y L .-, R 


AUTOTV PE, s s a & c? 


he was appointed one of its Treasurers ; an office which he con- 
tinued to hold until his death. 

Ill 1831 he published an octavo volume on London Pageants, 
which was received with considerable favour. It contained an 
account of all the Eoyal Processions and Entertainments in the 
City of London from the time of Henry the Third, and of the 
Lord ^Layors' Pageants from that of King John to the year 1827. 

In June, 1833, Messrs. Nichols commenced the publication 
in quarterly parts of the Collectanea Topographica et Genealogica, 
for the collection and preservation of original and inedited mate- 
rials of value to the topographer and genealogist. Of this work, 
which was completed in eight volumes in 1843, ]\Ir. John Gough 
Nichols was one of the original Editors ; and, latterly, the sole 

In 1834 we find him engaged in assisting the Rev. W. L. 
Bowles in the preparation of a History of Lacock Abbey, 
Wilts. From the correspondence which took place between 
them relative to this work we extract the following passage from 
a letter of Mr. Bowles : — 

Rev. W. L. Bowles to J. G. Nichols. 
My dear Sir, Bremhill, May 16, 1834. 

if H. * * it if if 

Age, anxietie.s, and a mind not capable of wandering in the perplexed mazes 
of heraldic antiquities, or indeed fitted to laborious research of any kind, admo- 
nish mo that I had better end at Old Sarum, and leave to younger hands the con- 
clusion of the History of Lacock. 

The pains you have taken must have been infinite, and the accuracy of the 
information is in itself an important addition to English heraldry and genealogy, 
and as such might make the first portion of the History of Lacock interesting and 
most valuable .... I see no reason why what is written may not directly appear 
as the First Part of the History of Lacock Nunnery, in the county of Wilts, by 
the Rev. W. L. Bowles, assisted by John Gough Nichols, esq., and I shall leave 
to you to insert or omit what you think proper in the last sheets. 


In a subsequent letter, however (Aug. 1834), Mr. Bowles says: 
" You have given to this interesting chapter, colour, life, and 
language, as well as historic knowledge, far far greater than any- 
thing to which I can pretend. It is, therefore, a matter of diffi- 
culty in what manner my name can appear as author of the 
History of Lacock." 

The work was published in the succeeding year as the joint 
production of Mr. Bowles and Mr. Nichols, under the title of 
Annals and Antiquities of Lacock Ahhexj. 

On December 3, 1835, he was elected a Fellow of the Society 
of Antiquaries. He had previously been a constant visitor at 
their meetings, and on Feb. 3, 1831, had communicated a short 
paper on a monumental brass plate from Tours, which, as v/ell 
as many subsequent communications, in the course of his life, to 
the meetings of the Society, has been printed in the Archceo- 
logia. As Printer to the Society he carefully read every sheet of 
that work ; and not a few of the authors of the various commu- 
nications will acknowledge the value of suggestions received 
from him. A list of his contributions to the Archceologia 
will be found in the list of works at the conclusion of this 

Among the various occasions on which he took a promi- 
nent part in the proceedings of this Society may be mentioned 
the discussion which took place in 1862 respecting the produc- 
tions of Holbein and his contemporaries, which arose on the dis- 
covery of Holbein's will, and of the date of his death, Oct. or 
Nov. 1543, communicated to the Society by Mr. W. H. Black 
in 1861. Mr. Nichols contributed a valuable paper on the con- 
temporaries and successors of that painter, whose works are so 
frequently confounded with his own ; and another in the 
succeeding year on Holbein's portraits of the Koyal Family. 


lie naturally took a great interest In the question which was 
raised in I860 by Mr. Herman Merivale, whose deafli has so 
soon followed that of ^Ir. Nichols, respecting the aullienticity 
of tlie famous " Paston Letters." A paper in tlieir defence 
having been read before the Society of Antiquaries, on Novem- 
ber 30, by Mr. Bruce, the matter was referred by the Society, on 
December 12, to a Committee of eight Fellows, of whom Mr. 
Nichols was one, for their investigation. The result of their 
labours was reported to the Society on ^lay 10, 1866, and pub- 
lished in the forty-first volume of tlie Archaologia, pp. 38-74. 
'I'he facts brought out by this discussion fully established to the 
satisfaction of the Society, and, among others, of Mr. jMcrivale 
himself, the genuineness of the letters. 

His active participation in the labours of the Society con- 
tinued to the time of his death. On the 8th May, 1873, he read 
a paper at the Society of Antiquaries' meeting on Religious and 
Social Gilds and the College at Walsoken ; and on the 15th ol 
the same month another paper on some Portraits by Quintin 
Matsys and Holbein. 

The latter of these will appear in the Archccologia, and the 
former in the Transactions of the Norfolk and Norwich Archaeolo- 
gical Institute, to which it was also communicated. 

To return to his earlier literary avocations — One of the most 
important works which passed through the press of Messrs. 
Nichols during the first years of Mr. John Gough Nichols's 
connection with it was The History of Modern Wiltshire, by 
Sir Richard Colt Hoare, Bart. In the different divisions of 
the County Sir llichard availed himself of the assistance of 
several gentlemen whose names arc associated with his own in 
the authorship uf the various parts of the work. Mr. J. G. 
Nichols undertook the Hundred of Aldcrbury ; and this part, 



forming- the first Part of Volume V., was just finished, but not 
published, at the time of" the death of Sir Richard on INIay 19, 
1838. The Hundred of Frustfield, which had been undertaken 
by George Matcham, esq., and the History of Old and New 
Sarum by Robert Benson, esq. and Mr. Hatcher, were still incom- 
plete. The progress of this work occasioned several visits by 
Mr. Nichols to Wiltshire, of which we may especially note one 
undertaken in the September following the death of Sir Richard 
for the purpose of making arrangements for the completion of 
the history. 

In 1838 he published "^ Description of the Frescoes dis- 
covered in 1804 in the Guild Chapel at Stratford-on-Avon, and 
of the Records relating thereto,^' being an account of some very 
curious mediaeval paintings, written to accompany a reissue of 
the careful drawings by Thomas Fisher, first published in 1808 ; 
and a Description of the Church of St. Mary, Warivick, and of 
the Beauchamp Chapel; and the Monuments of the Beaicchamps 
and Dudleys. 

In the same year he suggested, and in conjunction with his 
friends. Sir Frederic Madden, the Rev. J. Hunter, Mr. J. Payne 
Collier, Mr. John Bruce, Mr. W. J. Thorns, and other gentlemen 
whose names he has recorded in the passage below quoted, esta- 
blished the Camden Society, the objects of which were announced 
to be " to perpetuate and render accessible whatever is valuable, 
but at present little known, amongst the materials for the Civil, 
Ecclesiastical, or Literary History of the United Kingdom." 

" By the popularity of this plan " (we quote from Mr. Nichols's 
preface to his Catalogue of the Society's Works, 1872,) " and by 
the influential advocacy of several powerful friends (among 
whom the late Mr. Amyot, Treas. S.A., the late Rev. Dr. Bliss, 
of Oxford, and Mr. Purton Cooper, Q.C., were especially active), 



the Camden Society rapidly atchieved a triumph beyond the 
hopes of its projectors. Of its first book, 500 copies having been 
taken, a second impression was shortly required; and a thousand 
copies were printed of" the other works of the year. By the 
anniversary in 1839 the members were beginning to exceed the 
copies thus provided, and it was then determined to admit 1,200 
^lenibers, and to limit the Society to that maximum. This large 
number also was quickly attained, and there was besides a book 
of Candidates waiting for future vacancies." 

The success of the Camden Society led to the formation of the 
.^Ifric, the Shakespeare, the Percy, the Parker, and several 
similar societies, most of which it has survived. 

Of the hundred and ten volumes illustrative of our national 
history, issued by the Camden Society up to the time of Mr. 
Nichols's death, many were edited by himself. But, as has been 
observed by the writer of the short memoir in the AthencBum 
(Xov. 22, 1873), " There is scarcely a volume among the long 
series which does not bear more or less marks of his revision, and 
more or less acknowledgment of the value of that revision on 
the part of their respective editors. It was the same with the 
majority of the writers' connected with works on history or 
genealogy which passed through the press under the careful eyes 
of Mr. Nichols." 

His first contribution to the Society's publications was a paper 
entitled Notices of Sir N'icholas Lestvange, prefixed to Mr. W. 
J. Thoms's Anecdotes and Traditions, published in 1839. He 
subsequently edited for the Society the following works : The 
Chronicle o/ Calais, published in 1846; Chronicle of the Rebellion 
in Lincolnshire in 1470, and Journal of the Siege of Rouen 1591, Z*^ 
Sir Thomas Coningsby, 1847 ; Tlte JHary of Henry Macliyn from 
1550 to 1563, 1848 ; The Chronirle <f Queen Jane and two years 



of Queen Manj, 1850; The Discovery of the Jesuits^ College at 
Clerkenwell in March 1627-8, 1853 ; Grants, ^x. from the Crown 
in the reign of King Edward V., 1854; lnve>itories of the Ward- 
robes, ^-c, of Henry Fitz-Roy Duke of Richmond, and of the Ward- 
robe Stuff at Baynard's Castle of the Princess Doioager, 1855; 
The Letters of Pope to Atterbury ivhen in the Tower of London, 
and Nan^atives of the Days of the Reformation {chiefly from the 
Manuscripts of Fox the Martyrologist), 1859; Wills from Doctors^ 
Commons (edited in conjunction with John Bruce, Esq.), 1863; 
and in 1867 and IS6S History fi'om Afarble, compiled in the reig?i 
of Charles IL, by Thomas Dingley, Gent., of the introduction, 
notes, and literary illustrations of which, by Mr. Nichols, it is 
remarked by the AthenaBuui writer that it may truly be said that 
they doubled the value of that remarkable book. 

In 1862 he published a Descriptive Catalogue of the Works of 
the Camden Society, comprising the eighty-six volumes which 
had been issued up to that date, which he subsequently com- 
pleted and re-issued in 1872 as a Catalogue of the First Series 
of the Wo7'ks of the Camden Society, one hundred and five in 

Mr. Nichols's death found him still with work on hand for 
this Society, having made considerable progress with the Auto- 
biography of Lady Ann Halket, in the reigns of diaries 1. and 
Charles II., and 2\ro Sermons preached by Child-Bishops at St. 
Paul's and at Gloucester, with other Documents relating to that 
Festivity, which have been for some time announced for publica- 
tion by the Society, and the completion of which has now been 
undertaken, the former by S. E. Gardiner, Esq., the present 
Director of the Society, and the latter by Edward Eimbault, 
Esq., LL.D. 

About 1840 he contemplated writing an account of the Monu- 


incuts nnd Brasses of the Brookes and Cobhams in Cobliam 
Church, Kent. These were at that time in a melancholy state 
of dilapidation, but Mr. Francis C. Brooke, the present repre- 
sentative of the family, before leaving England in 1H.39, had 
commissioned Mr. D. E. Davy to have them put in a state 
of repair at his expense. j\Ir. Davy had recourse to the assist- 
ance of Mr. Nichols and Mr. Spence, then of Kochester, to whom 
the idea of restoration, or rather repair and the prevention of 
further mischief, had already occurred, and under their super- 
intendence the scattered liagments of the brasses were restored 
to their places, the inscriptions completed, the stonework of the 
fine monument of George Lord Cobham repaired, and, at a 
trifling cost, the whole put in tolerable condition, and the pro- 
gress of further damage stopped.^ A much more thorough and 
complete restoration was afterwards effected by Mr. Brooke be- 
tween 1862 and 1868, at a cost of nearly 700/. The progress 
of this work occasioned frequent visits to Cobham and much 
correspondence both with Mr. Spence and Mr. Davy from 1840 
to 1843. i\Ir. Nichols's letters on the subject to Mr. Davy have 
found their way to the British Museum (Add. MS. vols. xvii. 
xviii.), and contain much interesting matter relating to these 
remarkable monuments. From some of these letters it appears 
that he abandoned his intention of writing his Memorials of the 
Cobhams, on account of his being dissatisfu'd with the plates 
intended to illustrate the work. 

In 1841 he edited for the Berkshire Ashmolean Society the 
Union Inventories, with a memoir of the Unton family; and in 
the same year he commenced the publication of a series of 
Examples of Decorative Tiles, the original puipose of which was 

' A short account of the wmk done at Cobham will be found in The Gentleman s 

Mi((j(i:inr for March, isll, |). lidfi. 


to recommend the revival of the art, and to furnish patterns to 
those who might undertake the manufacture of ornamental pave- 
ments. Four Parts of this work were issued, the last in 1845, 
and in it Mr. Nichols was able to say that its object had been 
fully accomplished. Messrs. Chamberlain, of Worcester, and 
Minton and Co., of Stoke-upon-Trent, had produced a few tiles, 
and the adoption of this kind of pavement in the restoration 
of the Temple Church had been already decided upon by the 
time that the first number had appeared; but a considerable 
impetus to the revival was given, and the best examples made 
generally known, by the publication of this work. 

In 1843 he undertook, at the request of his kind friend 
Mr. William Perry Herrick, of Beaumanor, to arrange his 
valuable series of papers and manuscripts, comprising, inter alia, 
Manor Rolls of Beaumanor as far back as the time of Edward I., 
and the Exchequer Records of the period (1616 to 1623) during 
which Sir William Plerrick (who purchased Beaumanor) was 
Teller of the Exchequer. These last were completed and a 
Calendar of them made in 1858, and the family letters and 
papers in 1862. A full account by Mr. Nichols of these interest- 
ing documents and papers appeared in The Athenaiwn of August 
27, 1870. He also directed and superintended for Mr. Herrick 
the execution of a Genealogical and Armorial Stained-glass Win- 
dow in the Hall at Beaumanor, a description of which he printed 
in 1849.^ 

' A handsome silver gilt Cup, a photograph of which is here given, was 
presented to Mr. Nichols in 1860 by Mr. Herrick, and is thus inscribed: — 




A.D. 1860, 


^^^Ib / -^'^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^ 

^^r^ '^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^H 

^^^■k '''I^^^^^^^^^^M 



AD I860 


The concliuliiig part of" tlie Collectanea Topographica et Gettea- 
logica, published in 1843, contains an announcement of the com- 
tnenccment of The Topographer and Genealogist^ a work on the 
same model and of similar contents. The parts of this work, 
of which six form a volume, were intended to be issued at inter- 
vals of two months, but the state of Mr. Nichols's health and 
the multiplicity of his engagements caused considerable delays, 
and it was only in 18j8 that Part 18, completing the third 
volume, made its appearance. As we shall hereafter have occa- 
sion to relate, he then decided to close the series and to commence 
The Herald and Genealogist. 

In 1844 he contributed an historical introduction to a hand- 
some volume, printed for the Fishmongers' Company, The Fish- 
mongers' Pageant on Lord Mayor's Day, 1616. A second edition 
of this work was printed in 1859. 

On the formation of the Archaeological Institute, under the 
name of the Archaeological Association, in 1844, ]\Ir. J. G. 
Nichols became an original member, and adhered to that Society 
on its disruption and the foundation of the rival " Association" 
in 1845. 

While taking a very decided part with the majority of the 
Central Committee, and contending that they, if not regarded as 
representing the original Association, were clearly not seceders^ 
as termed by ]\Ir. Pettigrew, but were expelled by the minority 
(see Gent. Jfag 1845, vol. xxiii. p 631, and vol.xxiv. p. 289), he 
nevertheless remained on good terms with many archaeological 
friends who took the other side. !Mr. Nichols attended most of 
the annual meetings of the Institute, and communicated to it 
many valuable papers. 

In connection with the Archaeological Institute we must not 
omit to mention the long friendship in which kindred tastes and 


pursuits bound together Mr. Nichols iind Mr. Albert Way, from 
its foundation the Director of that Society, who has survived 
him so short a time. All who partake in any degree of their 
love for history and antiquities will feel that they have seldom 
lost within a few months two such valuable associates. 

In 1849 he published the Pilgrimages of Walsingham and 
Canterbury by Erasmus, an original translation, with an introduc- 
tion and extensive notes. Tliis little book met with very general 
approval, and the impression was soon exhausted. He lately 
had it in contemplation to issue a second edition, and had revised 
with this object a considerable part of the text, but his numerous 
other engagements caused it to be deferred. It is hoped that 
it may shortly be published. 

In the same year, in pursuance of the will of his friend Mr. 
John Stockdale Hardy, F.S.A. Registrar of the Archdeaconry 
of Leicester, who died on the 19th July in that year, he under- 
took to edit the Literary Remains of that gentleman, which 
were published in 1852 in a handsome 8vo. volume, prefaced by 
a memoir by Mr. Nichols, and illustrated by a portrait and 
several engravings. 

His health had never been strong, and in 1856 he found 
the strain of the editorial work of The Gentleman's Magazine, 
of which, since 1851, he had supported the whole burden, 
in addition to his other literary undertakings, too great for 
liim. Mr. J. H. Parker having expressed a wish to take up the 
magazine, the property in it was transferred to him for a nominal 
consideration, and Mr. J. G. Nichols ceased to be the Editor. 
As long as it remained in Mr. Parker's hands the high character 
of the magazine sustained no derogation. Special attention 
continued to be paid to history and antiquities, and architectural 
topics became particularly prominent. Mr. Nichols continued 


to take an interest in the magazine, and among other contribu- 
tions furnished its pages with the Autobiography of Silvanus 
Urban, Gent., an ^interesting account of matters and persons 
connected with the early history of the magazine from its first 
establishment by Edward Cave at St. John's Gate, Clerkenwell, 
in 1731, to the death of its founder in 1754. 

The use made by Mr. Nichols of the time thus set free from 
the toil of a monthly publication is seen in his Literary Remains 
of King Edward the Sixth, edited by him in two volumes 
4to. for the Roxburghe Club in 1857-8. A. great part of the 
first volume consists of an introductory biographical memoir, 
evidencing throughout the careful and accurate research for 
which its author was so remarkable, and the Literary Remains 
themselves are illustrated by copious notes. It is perhaps to be 
resrretted that this work should have been destined for so limited 
a circulation as the hundred copies printed for the club, and the 
publication of the Biographical Memoir, in a more popular form, 
would be very desirable. 

In 1859 he wrote an account of The Armorial Windows hi 
Woodhouse Chapel, by the Park of Beaumanor, in Cliarnwood 
Forest f which was read at the Annual JMeeting of the Leicester- 
shire Architectural and Arcbgeological Society at Loughborough, 
July 27, and printed for private distribution at the expense of 
William Perry Herrick, esq. of Beaumanor. 

A new edition of Hutchins's History of Dorset having been 
undertaken in 1860 by Mr. William Shipp of Blandford, ]\Ir. 
Nichols, though not assuming the nominal responsibility of 
editorship, engaged to give a general superintendence to the 
work. It had originally been proposed that this should be 
merely a reprint of Hutchins, but, owing to J\Ir. Nichols's repre- 
sentations, and in a great measure by his assistance, the History 



has been extended to the present time. The concluding part of 
this work is now in the press, the whole of the topographical 
portion having already been published. 

In 1860 he edited, for presentation to the Roxburghe Club by 
Lord Delamere, The Boke of Noblesse addressed to Edward IV. 
on his Invasion of France. In Mr. Nichols's own interleaved 
copy of this work (in which he has written, " This copy I wish 
to be presented after ray death to the Library of the British 
Museum ") he has prefaced it by this note : '^ The following pas- 
sage of a leading article in the Times of June 2, 1860, is an evi- 
dence how much the invasion of France by Edward IV. is for- 
gotten : ' We have no intention of invading France, and if, since 
the days of Heniy VI. we have ever set foot in France, it has 
not been to threaten her independence or to substitute one 
dynasty for another, but simply to keep France from molesting 
her neighbours and unsettling Europe.' " 

In the Introduction to The Boke of Noblesse (written to excite 
the people of this country to commence an unprovoked attack 
upon their neighbours), after a review of the contents of the 
work, the story of this forgotten war is told at length, an inter- 
esting chapter of History, but, though not actually disastrous, 
not one which flatters national vanity, and therefore perhaps the 
more instructive. 

At the time of his death he was engaged, and had made con- 
siderable progress, in editing for Mr. Paul Butler for presentation 
to the Eoxburghe Club a curious old poem, which he proposed 
to call Throckmorton s Ghost, but which has now been printed 
with the title of The Legend of Sir Nicholas Throckmorton. 

In the autumn of 1861, on the occasion of the visit of the 
ArchiEological Institute to Windsor, an arrangement was made 
that a History of Windsor Castle should be undertaken as the joint 

1 Hi: LATi: JOHN goucmi niciiols. 19 

task of a number of literary men then there assembled, of whom 
Mr. Nichols was one. The leading portion of the work was to 
have been written by Mr. Woodward, at that time ller ^Majesty's 
Librarian. The department undertaken by Mr. Nichols was 
" The Royal Funerals." The proposal was one in which the late 
Prince Consort took much interest, and, subsequently to his 
death, on a wish being expressed by Her Majesty to jNlr. Wood- 
ward that he should undertake such a history, Her Majesty was 
pleased to express her gratification on hearing that it was already 
in contemplation. This work was unfortunately never carried 
out, and on ]\lr. Woodward's death, in 1869, the plan seems to 
have dropped; but Mr. Nichols had prepared considerable ma- 
terial for his portion, and it may be hoped that his notes, which 
are now in the hands of the Dean of Windsor, may ultimately 
in some form or other be made useful for their intended purpose. 
The termination of Mr. Nichols's connection with the manage- 
ment of Tlie Gentleman's Magazine, after a continuance for 
upwards of thirty years, had been rendered urgently necessary by 
the state of his health, and had produced in this respect a most 
satisfactory effect. But it was with great reluctance that he 
renounced the editorial task, and little more than a year elapsed 
before we find him planning the establishment of another peri- 
odical, which ultimately took the form of The Herald and 
Genealogist. At first it was proposed that this publication should 
be simply a continuation of Tlie Topographer and Genealogist, 
but at regular two-monthly intervals, as had been originally in- 
tended with that publication, and at a reduced price. A proposal 
to this effect was inserted in the concluding part of 'The Topo- 
grapher, vol. iii., and dated Dec. 15, 1857, but the plan re- 
mained for some time in abeyance, and it was not until September 
1862 that the first number of the Herald made its appearance. 


It was received witli a good deal of favour, and its eight volumes 
contain ample evidence of ]\Ir. Nichols's industry and research, 
and his appreciation of these qualities in others, as well as of 
"his oavn earnest love of 'the truth, the whole 
truth, and nothing but the truth,' in historical 
inquiries, and an unflinching opposition to all 
attempts to set up unfounded claims to honours, 
and to foist cooked-up pedigrees and genealogies 
upon the public."' 

It is at the particular request of the writer of these words that 
Ave have given them especial prominence, inasmuch as they were, 
he says, intended for the express object of pointing out one of 
the marked characteristics of the late Editor of this publication, 
in a field of literature which called forth as much the moral 
sense of duty as the historical knowledge of the writer. 

But, in his insatiable appetite for work, he was only too apt 
to overburden his own physical powers, and other engage- 
ments and uncertain health interfered seriously with the intended 
regularity of the publication. This again tried the patience of 
subscribers, many of whom dropped off, and the work was 
only continued at a considerable pecuniary sacrifice. At the 
time of his death seven Volumes and five Parts of the eighth 
had been published, but the remainder of that Volume was far 
advanced and the greater part of it had already been put in type 
and revised by Mr. Nichols. The publication of the concluding 
Part was only delayed in order that it might be accompanied 
by a Notice of its Editor. 

In editing The Herald he was frequently in communication 
with many of those American genealogists who have for some 

' Athciuciim, Not. 22,, 1873. 


years past pursued their researches, on both sides of the Atlantic, 
with great industry and intelligence. His pages were always 
open to American correspondents, and he had the opportunity 
of making known in this country many valuable American con- 
tributions to "cnealorjical literature. In return he was honoured 
by being elected a Corresponding Member of the New England 
Historic- Genealogical Society and of the Massachusetts Historical 
Society; and at the meeting of the latter Society, on December 
11, 1873, the President, in announcing his decease, submitted a 
short memoir of him, prepared by Mr. Whitmore, from which 
we extract the following passages : — 

Here, in America, we have reason to regret his loss as being one of the few 
English genealogists who felt an interest in the Transatlantic branches of 
English families. Mr. Nichols was one of the leaders of the new school of 
genealogists; one of those who seek the truth in all things, and who subject 
everything to analysis and proof. No longer content to repeat the fables of the 
heralds of the seventeenth century, the genealogist of to-day traces out and uses 
the original records, which alone are of value. Of course the judicious liberality 
of the British Government, both in opening the great Record OfBces to the 
public and in publishing selections from the National Archives, has enabled 
antiquaries to work with advantages denied to their predecessors. Still the 
movement began with the students, and Mr. Nichols was one of the leaders in 
the improvement. 

We have every reason, therefore, to lament that our late associate has thus 
been stopped in his career of usefulness, and to join in the most sincere expres- 
sions of regret. To many of us the notice of his death was a shock as great 
as the loss of any of our immediate circle, and we feel it to be as great a calamity 
to American as to English literature.' 

The compilation of the Obituary of The Gentlemaii s Magazine 
was, as has already been stated, a department of that work to 
which he had given special attention, and to which he attached 
great importance. Its discontinuance, under the management 

' Jintrnal of thi Massachusetts Historical Suci^ty, 1873, jt. 122. 


of Mr. Parker, was regretted by him as a public loss, and 
suffircsted tlie revival of an idea which he had before entertained 
of the publication of a magazine devoted solely to contemporary 
biography and the record of family events. Much against the 
counsel of his own immediate circle, though not without a good 
deal of encouragement from literary friends, Mr. Nichols at- 
tempted the realization of this idea in Tlie Register and Magazine 
of Biography^ the first number of which appeared on January 1, 
1869. He yielded, however, so far to advice as not to undertake 
the task of editor, though he contributed many articles to its 

Notwithstanding the almost universal expression of approba- 
tion which greeted the undertaking, the amount of public support 
which The Register received disappointed even those whose ex- 
pectations were less hopeful than those of its projector. After 
six months' trial IMessrs. Nichols abandoned the attempt. Every- 
body, it seemed, would be glad to be able to refer to such a work 
in a public library; scarcely two or three hundred would pay 
one shilling per month to possess or support it. 

In 1870 he undertook to edit a re-publication by Messrs. 
Eoutledge of Whitaker's History of Whalley. It was not at 
first proposed that any considerable modification of the original 
work should be attempted; but Mr. Nichols was never satisfied 
to do anything which he took in hand in an imperfect or per- 
functory manner. He had not a very high opinion of Dr. 
Whitaker's history, and his principal inducement to undertake 
this task was the hope that he might make the new edition some- 
what more satisfactory than the old. The work was so much 
enlarged that it was thought better to divide it into two volumes, 
the first of which was published in 1871, and the second, though 
far advanced, was not quite finished at the time of his death. 


^Ir. Nichols joined the London and Middlesex Archoeolofrical 
Association on its first establishment in 1855, and was elected a 
Member of its Council in 1857, and a Vice-President in 1865, 
which offices he retained until his death. The Transactions of 
this Society also bear witness to his untiring industry and exten- 
sive knowledsre. A list of his communications to it will be 
found at the end of this Memoir. 

In July 1871 he presided as Chairman at the annual meeting 
of the Surrey ArchoBological Society, held at Cranley; and at 
their visit to Newdcgate from the meeting at Charlwood on July 4, 
1872, he communicated an elaborate paper on the Newdigate 
Family, which has since been printed in the Society's Proceed- 
ings, having been revised for the press by him in the summer 
of 1873. He was also an Honorary Fellow of the Societies of 
Antiquaries of Scotland and of Newcastle-on-Tyne. 

The biography of a student and man of letters affords little to 
tell of a personal character. Mr. Nichols's habits were influenced 
by the fact that his health was never robust. In his younger 
days especially he led a very quiet and retired life. As a bachelor 
he resided in his father's house, and he remained unmarried until 
his thirty-eighth year. In a life marked for the most part only 
by successive labours of the pen, even an excursion on the 
neighbouring continent was an event. On August 18, 1841, 
he started with his friend ]\Ir. John Rivington for a short tour 
on the Continent. They went from London to Hamburg 
by steamer, thence by Wittenberg and Magdeburg to Berlin 
and Dresden, visiting the Saxon Switzerland, and returning by 
Weimar, Leipzic, Frankfort, the Rhine, and Antwerp. His 
letters and journals give a full and interesting account of this 
excursion, which, to his regret, was the only one he was ever 
able to make in Germany — though he made several and some- 
times lengthened visits to France. 


Retiring as were his liabits, he did not decline to take part 
in such business as his literary or other associations naturally 
threw upon him. He was elected in 1836 a member of the 
General Committee of the Royal Literary Fund, of which his 
father was, as his grandfather had previously been, one of the 
Registrars. From this time to the close of his life he con- 
tinued to take an active part and interest in its affairs. He was 
appointed a member of the Council in 1845, a trustee of the 
Newton Estate in 1850, and again elected on the General Com- 
mittee in 1852, retaining that office until his death. He had 
also been from the year 1845 one of the Trustees of the Printers' 
Pension Corporation. 

He was for several years a governor of the Grey Coat School, 
Westminster, until ousted by the new scheme of the Endowed 
Schools Commissioners. He was a governor of the Westminster 
Blue Coat School, which has fortunately escaped from being 
reformed out of existence. He had been also for many years a 
director, and was latterly chairman and treasurer, of the York 
Buildings Waterworks Company. 

John Gough Nichols married, on the 22nd July, 1843, Lucy, 
eldest daughter of Frederick Lewis, Esq. Commander R.N., by 
whom he had one son, John Bruce Nichols, B.A., born Nov. 18, 
1848, lately of St. John's College, Oxford, and now of Parlia- 
ment Street and Holmwood, whose name was joined in 1873 to 
those of his father and uncle as Printers of the Votes and Pro- 
ceedings of the House of Commons ; and two daughters, 1. Lucy- 
Burgess, who was born June 8, 1844; married June 1, 1869, to 
Percy Mortimer, Esq., younger son of Charles Mortimer, Esq., of 
Wigmore, Capel, Surrey, and has issue one son, John Hamilton, 
born Aug. 13, 1872 ; and 2. Anna-Eliza, born Aug. 27, 1855, 
died Sept. 16, 1856. 

For four years after his marriage he resided at 27, Upper 

»uroTri-E, s> s f t C 




Pliilliiuore Pluco, Kensington, afterwards for a short time at 
AVandsworth, and subsequently for a long period at 28, Upper 
Harley Street, and at Brighton. In 18G8 he took a lease of 
Ilolinwood Park, near Dorking, a residence belonging to the 
family of Larpcnt, from whom he purchased the freehold shortly 
before his death. 

His house was always a cheerful and hospitable home, and 
seldom without its guests, to whom Mrs. Nichols was a genial 
and entertaining hostess. In the midst of all the distractions of 
society he pursued his literary work in a persevering but un- 
ostentatious manner, ready however at all times to take a kindly 
interest in the lighter occupations of those around him. 

Several photographs of i\Ir. J. G. Nichols, taken at various 
periods, have preserved a not unsatisfactory record of his personal 
appearance in the later years of his life. Two of those accompany- 
ing this memoir are enlarged from cartes de visite by Hcnnah and 
Kent, taken in 1864 and 1866. Ilis portrait at the age of 24 is also 
contained in a family group in water-colours by D. ]\Iaclise, R.A.,^ 
an early work of that painter, executed for i\Ir. J. B. Nichols in 
1830, and representing his eight children ; and a medallion by 
Leonard Charles Wyon, Medallist and Engraver to Her Majesty's 
Mint, from which a number of medals both in silver and bronze 
were struck, has an excellent likeness of himself and his wife in 
1868. He had been from boyhood a great admirer and to some 
extent a collector of coins and medals, and had long been a 
member of the Numismatic Society. But such medals as had 
reference to family history had an especial interest for him, and 
he had recently been in correspondence with his friend Mr. 
Richard Sainthill of Cork on the subject of foreign medals struck 
in commemoration of silver and golden weddings. Mr. Wyon'u 
medal was designed as a memorial of Mr. Nichols's silver 
' For a photograph of the head of Mr. Nichols from this picture see p. (5. 



wedding, on July 22, 1868, and the reverse lias an inscription 
recording the event.^ 

It may not be without interest to mention that, on the 22nd of 
July, 1843, eighty guests assembled in a tent at Chiswick at the 
wedding breakfast of John Gough Nichols and Lucy Lewis. On 
July 22, 1868, seventy of those guests met again to celebrate the 
twenty-fifth anniversary of that day. Of the other ten six had 
passed away and four were in distant lands. The oldest friend of 

' Mr. Saintliill described this medal in the following letter, which appeared in 
the Art Journal for Januai-y 1869: 


" In Germany, when a married pair have been united for twenty-five years, the 
era is termed " The Silver Wedding ; " and when fifty years are reached the era 
becomes " The Golden Wedding." The events are celebrated with all the 
festivities of the original espousals. This custom is not unknown in England. 
A friend of mine, in Bristol, mentioned to me that his " Silver Wedding " was 
commemorated with all the gay doings of year number one, excepting that the 
orange blossoms were omitted on the plum-cake. In Germany it is very cus- 
tomary, also, to have a medal struck to record the joyful event. I have before 
me the Silver Wedding Medal of the present King and Queen of Prussia, of 
great artistic merit, designed by Daege and engraved by Kullrich. On the 
obverse are the portraits of the then Prince and Princess of Prussia. On the 
reverse, they stand before an altar, their right hands clasped, and a winged 
figure is about to place wreaths on them; below, "1829 — 1854." I have now 
to record the striking of a " Silver Wedding" medal in England— probably the 
first of its class — engraved by Leonard Charles Wyon. On the obverse are the 
portraits, from the life, of the happy couple, inscribed " John Gough Nichols. 
Lucy Lewis." Beneath, " L. C. Wyon." Fortunately for the artist, his originals 
presented a striking contrast, of which he has made the most. Quiescent 
loveliness and living energ}': the broad, smooth brow, topped with its silken 
shading, relieving the slightly-lined forehead, deep-set eye, massy clustered locks 
and heavy moustache, are all realised in their varied shades with the highest 
artistic ability. The Idea of the medal was so close to the era, that there was 
not time to engrave a figure reverse, which therefore presents this very happj' 


XXV. 22 JULii, 1868. dec gratias." The diameter of the medal is IJ in. — 





L^ \ 

r-' I 

A. D. 1868. 


Captain Lewis's family, the Rev. John Gore, ^"icar of Slialbourne 
and Minor Canon of St. George's Chapel, Windsor, who twenty- 
five years before had joined their hands, still survived ^ to be the 
spokesman of the party in wishing them a continuance of the 
happiness they had so long enjoyed together.- 

' Mr. Gore died December 7, 1871. 

• The nccompanying photograph represents an antique silver gilt cup 
presented to Mr. and Mrs. Nichols, on this occasion, by the members of his 
family. It bears the following inscription: — 

lOiiAXNi • GouGH ■ ET • Luci.«; • Nichols 


The Rev. Arthur Lewis Gore, only son of the Rev. John Gore, also contributed 
the following verses in honour of the day: — 


I sing the day which gives yon 

A i-ecord of time past: 
A day of joyaunce to you 

As long as life shall last. 
A day which calls around you 

Friends bound by blood and love: 
A day whose thoughts will tell you 

Your ties were formed above. 

The summer time which gildeth 

Your gladsome Silver Day, 
Would say, No sun dcdineth 

When Love is wont to stay. 
You've trod Life's road together, 

'Twere pain for you to part ; 
You've proved that nought can scvci- 

Those linked in hand and heart ! 

As friends are gathering round you 

To join your festive board. 
Believe our hearts arc with you 

To hail their kindly word — 
The word which says, " God bless you," 

To llim we're glad to pray, 
May He, in adding to you, 

.iVtld yet — the Golden Day ! 


For a few years longer these wishes were to be fulfilled. j\Ir. 
Nichols remained tolerably well, and showed the marks of time 
as little as any man of his age. Twice again, on June 1, 1869, 
and April 26, 1870, a wedding party assembled at Holmwood. 
The first was the occasion of the marriage of Mr. Nichols's 
daughter Lucy, already referred to, and the second that of his 
niece, Mary Elizabeth Griffiths, to William Macdonald Bird. 

But throughout the summer of 1873 his friends observed with 
regret a decided falling-off in his health and strength. This, how- 
ever, was not indicated by any diminution of his energy or appetite 
for work. He continued to bestow an immense amount of labour 
upon Tlie History of Whalley as well as on The Herald and Gene- 
alogist and other undertakings. To such an extent was this 
carried as to cause the impression on his medical advisers that he 
was injuring his health by overwork. On the 5th of August he 
attended the Court of the Company of Stationers, of which he had 
just been chosen one of the Wardens, and dined at the Hall, and 
on the next day he was present for the first and only time at the 
Meeting of the Stock Board of the Company. He had always 
taken a great interest in the City Companies. One of his earliest 
works had been that on London Pageants, and he had subse- 
quently written upon subjects connected with the Fishmongers', 
the Vintners', the Mercers', and other London Companies. The 
Stationers' Company, with which his name had been long 
connected, was of course especially interesting to him, and on the 
occasion of the visit of the London and Middlesex Archgeological 
Association to Stationers' Hall in 1860 he read a paper on its 
history, which was afterwards printed both in the Transactions 
of the Society and separately. He had frequently expressed his 
regret that the period at which he might expect to serve the 
higher offices of the Company should be at a time in his life 
when he could hardly anticipate health and strength to go 
through them. 


On the 2Gth of August he was in town for the last time. lie 
was then feeling unwell, and shortly afterwards went down to 
Brighton, partly in order to avail himself of the advice of his 
friend Dr. Pickford. Early in October he returned to Holm- 
wood without having much improved ; but, in writing to 
excuse his non-attendance at the Court of the Stationers' Com- 
pany on Oct. 7, he was able to say that his medical advisers 
promised him that a fortnight's entire rest would restore him 
to health. An incapacity to follow out this prescription, vain 
as the result proved that it would have been, was, however, 
one of the symptoms of his malady. His family became 
seriously alarmed, and, on the 14th, Sir William Gull was 
called in and saw hira several times, as did afterwards another 
London physician. These great authorities concurred in still 
taking a favourable view of the case ; but the patient con- 
tinued to sink. So late, however, as ^ov. 3rd he was able to 
walk from his own room to another, and to read a proof of the 
new edition of Mr. Evelyn Shirley's Stemmata ShirJeiana, on 
which he wrote a memorandum tliat he would have read more 
if he had had it. From this time, however, he rapidly sank ; 
and, after much suffering in the last days, expired about 4 a.m. 
on the 14th of November, 1873. 

A post-mortem examination showed the real cause of his 
illness and death to have been an internal cancer, supposed to 
have been of about eight months' growth, and beyond the power 
of medicine to alleviate or cure. 

The writer of these pages might not unreasonably be suspected 
of partiality were he to attempt to do justice to the personal worth 
and character of John Gou^h Nichols. But he cannot refrain 
from quoting the words of one in no way connected with him 
by kindred, yet well enough acquainted with him to appreciate 
his merits: — " I have often thoufdit of his pireat worth, his re- 


tiring modesty, his quiet, unobtrusive ways, his perfect gentle- 
ness, his opinion, mildly tendered, often browbeaten, but always 
true in the end, on a point of learning — in fact, I looked on him 
as a living lesson of a gentle spirit from which I might draw 

A large number of friends and dependents followed him to his 
last resting-place on Wednesday the 19 th of November He 
was buried in a grave at the east end of Ilolmwood Church, 
now marked by a coped slab of granite, on which is inscribed: 





BORN MAY 22nd, 1806. 

I heard a voice from heaven saying, Blessed 
are the dead wliicli die in the Lord 
that they may rest from their labours ; and 
their works do follow them. 

Rev. xiv. 13. 

A monumental brass has been prepared from the design of 
his friend Mr. Waller to be placed in the church, bearing the 
following inscription : — 





BORN MAY 22nd, 1806, 


NOVEMBER 14th, 1873. 


Whatsoever thy hand findeth to do, do it with thy might ; for there is no worl;, nor device, nor 
knowledge, nor wisdom in the grave whither thou goest. 

Ecclesiastes, ix. 10. 


jfj^-npt-: r )J»' •' ■" ■'■ 



Soc. Antiq. Lond., 

Somerset House, 
Mv i.EAii Mr. Nichols, Nov. 28, 1873. 

1 am instructed by the President and Conncil to send you the 
accompanying Resohition, wliich I would ask you to communicate to 
the other members of the family of the late Mr. Nichols. 

LH my o^yn personal sympathy in your loss I have already assured 


Believe me yours truly, 

R. C. Nichols, Esq. 

At a fleeting of the Council of The Society of Antiquaries of 
London, held at Somerset House, Tuesday, November 25th, 1873, 
Frederic Ouvry, Esq. Treasurer, in tlic chair. 

It was resolved: — 

The President and Council of the Society of Antiquaries have 
learnt the decease of their Fellow Member, J. G. Nichols, Esq. with 
very sincere regret. They feel that a void not easily to be supplied 
has been made in the ranks of Antiquarian Science, and, while desirous 
to put on record their high sense of his character and services, they 
wish also to convey an expression of their sympathy to his surviving 

By Order, 




Public Record Office, 

Chancery Lane, London, 
]\Iy dear Sir, ' 5 December, 187.3. 

I am directed by the Council of the Camden Society to forward to 
the family of your late brother, with the strongest possible expressions 
of sympathy on their behalf, a copy of a Resolution directed to be 
entered on the minutes of the Council held on the 3rd inst. : — 

" Resolved, unanimously, That the Council, before proceeding to the 
" business of the day, desire to record their sense of the great loss which 
" the Camden Society has sustained by the death of Mr. John Gough 
" Nichols. The obligations which he has conferred upon the Society 
" have been great and various. Mr. Nichols was one of the most active 
" of those by whom the Society was originally established ; the works 
" edited by him for the Society have been alike numerous and valuable ; 
" and of the volumes issued by the Society, exceeding one hundred, 
" there are few which have not been benefited by his careful revision and 
" deep historical knowledge. 

" The Council feel assured that the Society at large will share their 
" regret at the death of an amiable and accomplished gentleman with 
" whom they have been so long associated, and the sincerity with which 
" they desire to convey to his widow and family their deep sympathy 
" with them in their great bereavement," 

I feel deeply sensible, I assure you, how poor words are to convey 
the sorrow which all the friends of the late Mr. John Gough Nichols 
must feel when remembering th-at he is lost to them. The friendly 
and able help he was always ready to offer to all who applied to him 
for assistance, has left a host of pleasant memories, not only through- 
out the C- mden Society but all the literary world, and I hope, my 
dear Sir, that the few words in which the Council have sought to 
convey to you how great their appreciation of your brother has been, 


ami Imw deeply tlioy iloidoro his loss, may pruve y;ralefal to y<ju oven 
iiiider these very painful circunistimccs. 

Will you have the very great kindness to communicate this letter to 
Mr. Niehols's family, as I am not personally acquainted with them, 
and know no one, except yourself, to whom to address myself. 
I am, my dear Sir, witli deep sympathy, 
Yours very faithfully, 

Robert C. Nichols, Esq. Hon. Sec. 

At the General Meeting of the Camden Society, held May 2, 1874, 
it was resolved : — 

" That the Members fully concur with the Council of the Camden 
" Society in recording their sense of the great loss the Society has 
" sustained through the death of the late Mr, John Gougli Nichols, 
" and their grateful reniorabrance of the valuable help he was ever 
'• ready to all'ord them. 


London and Middlesex ARCHiEOLOGicAL Society, 

University College, Gower Street, London, W.C, 
Mad.\m, 4 December, 1873. 

At the last Meeting of the Council of this Society the members 
present expressed a deep sense of the loss this Society and the science 
of Archa'ology had then so recently sustained by the death of your 
lamented husband ; and we were directed, on the motion of Mr. 
AValler, to convey to yon the unanimous condolence and sincere sym- 
pathy of the Council with yourself and family in your bereavement. 

They did not fail to recollect that Mr. Nichols was never called 
upon in vain for that assistance which his deep learning ([ualified him, 
and his ready kindness always impelled him, to give, by any among 



them; and their feelings of respect for his memory as a profound and 

accomplished Archaeologist are equalled by their regret for his loss as 

a kind friend and loyal colleague. 

May we add, as we both saw much of him, and experienced his 

readiness at all times either to aid the Society or to render assistance 

in any inquiry in which we might ourselves be engaged, our desire to 

join personally in this expression of condolence. 

We are, Madam, 

Your faithful servants, 


Mrs. Nichols. 


Stationers' Hall. 

At a Court of Assistants, held on Tuesday, the 2nd 
day of December, 1873, 

It was unanimously resolved: — 

" That this Court deeply regret the great loss they have sustained 
by the death of John Gough Nichols, Esq. F.S.A. Warden of this 
(Company, who, while distinguished for his literary attainments, 
always evinced an anxious and active interest in the welfare of this 
Company, and this Court desire to record their sense of the great 
respect and esteem in which his memory must ever be revered by the 
Members of the Stationers' Company. 

" And that a Copy of the above Resolution be sent to Mrs. Nichols." 

Extracted from the Minutes. 





Copy Resolution: — 

" The Council desire to express their sense of the loss which this 

Corporation has sustained by the decease of John Gough Nichols, 

Esq. since 1845 one of their Trustees, and to record their grateful 

acknowledgments of the kind and valuable assistance which he 

rendered to the objects of the Institution for a period of nearly thirty 



Deccmljer, 1873. 



Autographs of Ro3-al, Noble, Learned, and Remarkable Tersonages conspicuous 
in English History, from the Reign of Richard the Second to that of Charles the 
Second, with some Illustrious Foreigners. Engraved under the direction of 
Charles John Smith. Accompanied by concise Biographical Memoirs and inter- 
esting Extracts from the original Docmnents, by John Gough Nichols. Imp. 4to. 

London Pageants. I. Accounts of Sixty Royal Processions and Entertain- 
ments in the City of London; chieiiy extracted from contemporary writers. 
II. A Bibliographical List of Lord Mayors' Pageants. Royal 8vo. Pp.125. 1831. 

Annals and Antiquities of Lacock Abbey, in the county of Wilts, with Memo- 
rials of Ela the Foundress, the Countess of Salisbmy, and of the Earls of Salis- 
bury of the Houses of Salisbury and Longespe, Sec. by W. L. Bowles, M.A. and 
John Gough Nichols. 8yo. 1835. 

The Modern Histoiy of South Wiltshire, by Sir Richard Colt Hoare, Bart. 
Vol. V. I. The Hundred of Alderbury, by Sir R. C. Hoare and John Gough 
Nichols, F.S.A. Folio, Pp. 223. Date on Title of Part, 1837; on that of 
Volume, 184-1. 

Description of the Church of St. Mary, Warwick, and of the Beauchamp 
Chapel, and the Monuments of the Beauchamps and Dudleys ; also, of the 
Chanti-y Chapel of Isabella Countess of Warwick, in Tewkesbury Abbey. 4to. 
Pp. 40. Seven folio plates. JVa date (1838). 

An Abridgement of the same. 12mo. 

Ancient Allegorical, Historical, and Legendary Paintings in Fresco, discovered 
in 1804 on the walls of the Chapel of the Trinity at Stratford-upon-Avon, from 
drawings by Thomas Fisher, F.S.A. Avith Fac-similes of Charters, Seals, Rolls 
of Accounts, &c. Described by John Gough Nichols, F.S.A. Folio. Pp. 14. 
Plates 1838. 

Notices of Sir Nicholas Lestrange, Bart, and his Family Connexions. In 
Anecdotes nnd Traditions, edited by W. J. Thorns, Esq. F.S.A. Camden 
Society's Publications, No. V. 4to. pp. ix.-xxviii. 1839. 

The Unton Inventories, relating to Wadley and Faringdon, co. Berks, in the 
years 1596 and 1620, from the originals in the possession of Earl Ferrers. With 
a Memoir of the Family of Unton. Printed for the Berkshire Ashmolean Society. 
4to. Pp. Ixxxviii. 56. 1841. 


The Fislinioiif^crs' ragoant on lyjnl Mayor's Day, IGIG. Clirysanalcia, the 
Golden Fishing', tleviseil l>y Anthony Munday, Citizen and Draper. Represented 
in twelve phitcs by Henry Shaw, F.S.A., from contemporary drawin<,'.s in the 
possession of the Worshipful Company of Fishmongers. Aceompanied with 
various illustrative documents, and an Historical Introduction 1)}' John Gough 
Nichols. F.S.A. Lond. and Newc, Citizen and Stationer. Printed for the Wor- 
shipful Company of Fishmongers. Imp. folio. 1844. 

The same. Second edition. 1869. 

Examples of Decorative Tiles, sometimes termed Encaustic, engraved in fac- 
simile, chiefly in their original size, witli Introductory Remarks. 4to. Text 
pp. xxxii. Woodcuts 101 on pp. 97. 1815. 

The Chronicle of Calais in the reigns of Henry VII. and Henry VIII. to the 
year lo40. Edited from MSS. in the British Museum. C. S. No. XXXV. 4to. 
Pp. xlii. 228. 184G. 

Chronicle of the Rebellion in Lincolnshire 1470. Pp. 28. Journal of the 
Siege of Rouen, 1591. By Sir Thomas Coningsby of Hampton Court, co. Here- 
ford, pp. 84. In The Ckimdcn Miscellany, Vol. I. C. S. No. xxxix. 4to. 1847. 

The Diary of Henry Machyn, Citizen and Merchant Taylor of London. From 
A.D. 1550 to A.D. 1563. C. S. No. XLii. 4to. Pp. xxxii. 464. 1848. 

Pilgrimages to Saint Mary of Walsingham and Saint Thomas of Canterbury. 
By Desiderius Erasmus. Newly translated, with the Colloquy on Rash Vows 
by tlic same Author, and his Characters of Archbishop Warham and Dean 
Colet, and illustrated with Notes. 8vo. Pp. 6, xxiii. 248, and frontispiece. 1849. 

Description of the Armorial Window on the Staircase at Beaumanor, co. 
Leicester. Privately printed. 8vo. Pp. 8. Xo date (1849). 

The Literary Remains of John Stockdale Hardy, Fellow of the Society of 
Antiquaries, sometime Registrar of the Archdeaconry Courts of Leicester. 
Edited in pursuance of his will by John Gough Nichols, F.S.A. 8vo. 
Pp. xxiv. 487. Five Plates. 1852. 

The Chronicle of Queen Jane, and of two years of Queen Mary, and especially 
of the Rebellion of Sir Thomas Wyat. AVritten l)y a Resident in the Tower of 
London : with illustrative Documents and Notes. C. S. No. XLViii. 4to. 
Pp. viii. 196. 1850. 

Chronicle of the Grey Friars of London. C. S. No. Liii. 4to. Pp. xxxv. 
108. 1852. 

The Discovery of the Jesuits' College at Clerkenwell in March 1627-8; and 
a Letter found in their House (as asserted) directed to the Father Rector at 
Bruxelles. 4to. Pp. G4. 1852. In The Camden Mlsccllaiiy, Vol. 11. C. S. 
No. LV. 1853. 


Grants, &c. from the Crown during the reign of Edward the Fifth, from tlic 
original Docket Book, MS. Harl. 433; and two Speeches for opening Parliament, 
by John Russell, Bishop of Lincoln, Lord Chancellor. With an Historical Intro- 
duction. C. S. No. LX. 4to. Pp. Ixvii. 96. 1854. 

Inventories of the Wardrobes, Plate, Chapel Stuff, &c. of Henry PitzRoy 
Duke of Richmond; and of the Wardrobe Stuff, at Baynard's Castle, of 
Katharine Princess Dowager. With a Memoir and Letters of the Duke of 
Richmond. 4to. Pp. c. 55. In The Camden Miscellany, Vol. III. C. S. 
No. LXi. 1855. 

Literary Remains of King Edward the Sixth. Edited from his Autograph 
Manuscripts, with Historical Notes and a Biographical Memoir, by John Gough 
Nichols, F.S.A. Printed for the Roxburghe Club. 4to. 2 volumes. Pp. ccclx. 
636. 1857-8. 

The Letters of Pope to Atterbury when in the Tower of London. 4to. 
Pp. 22. In The Camden Miscellany, Vol. IV. C. S. No. LXXIII. 1859. 

Narratives of the Days of the Reformation, chiefly from the Manuscripts of 
John Foxe, the Martyrologist, with two Contemporary Biographies of Arch- 
bishop Cranmer, C. S. No. Lxxvil, 4to. Pp. xxviii. 366. 1859. 

The Armorial Windows erected in the reign of Henry VI. by John Viscount 
Beaumont and Katharine Duchess of Norfolk in Woodhousc Chapel, by the 
Park of Beaumanor, in Charnwood Forest, Leicestershire, including an in- 
vestigation of the differences of the coat of Neville. Read at the annual 
meeting of the Leicestershire Architectural and Archaeological Society at 
Loughborough, July 27th, 1859. Privately printed. 4to and 8vo. Pp. iv. 50, 
and Pedigree. 1860, 

The Boke of Noblesse : addressed to King Edward the Fourth on his Invasion 
of France in 1475. With an Introduction by John Gough Nichols, F.S.A. 
Printed for the Roxburghe Club. 4to. Pp. Ix. 96. (Presented to the Club by 
Lord Delamere). 1860. 

A Descriptive Catalogue (m Second Edition of the First Series) of the Works 
of the Camden Society, stating the nature of their principal Contents, the 
Periods of Time to which they relate, the Dates of their Composition, their 
Manuscript Sources, Authors, and Editors, accompanied by a Classified Ar- 
rangement and an Index, and Illustrative Particulars. 4to., uniform with 
Camden series, pp. xvi. 72. 1 862. 

Do. do. The Second Edition. 4to. Pp. xxiv. 92. 1872. 

The Family Alliances of Denmark and Great Britain from the earliest times 
to the present. Illustrated by Genealogical Tables and a plate of the Arms of 
Denmark. 8vo. Pp. 46. 1863. 


Wills fri)in Doctors' Commons. A selection of the Wills of Eminent Persons 
provcil in the Prorof^ativc Court of Ciinterhury 1495-1695. Edited by J. G. 
Nichols and John Bruce. C. S. No. LXXXIII. 4to. Pp. viii. 175. 1863. 

The Ilenilds' Visitations of the Counties of England and Wales. An account 
of what has lieen done towards their puhlication. 8vo. Pp. ii. 60. 186-1. 

llistor}' from Marble. Compiled in the reign of Charles II. by Thomas 
Dinglcy, Gent. Printed in Photo-lithography by Vincent Brooks from the 
original m the possession of Sir Tliomas Winnington, Bart., with an Intro- 
duction and Descriptive Table of Contents. C. S. Nos. XCIV. and XCVIi. Two 
volumes 4to. Pp. 196, ccccxvii. 1867-8. 

An History of the original Parish of Whalley and Honor of Clitheroe, in the 
counties of Lancaster and York, to which is subjoined an Account of the parish 
of Cartmell. By Thomas Dunham Whitaker, LL.D., F.S.A., Vicar of WTialley. 
The fourth edition, revised and enlarged. By John Gough Nichols, F.S A, 
Vol. I. Royal 4to. Pp. Ixvi. 362. 1870. 

The following works were left unfinished by Mr. Nichols at his 
death, but will shortly be completed and issued : — 

History of Whalley, Vol. II. 

Two Sennons preached by Child Bishopsat St. Paul's and at Gloucester: with 
other Documents relating to that Festivity. For The Camden Miscellany, Vol. VII. 

Autobiography of Ann Lady Halket in the reigns of Charles I. and Charles II. 
For tlie Camden Society. 

The Legend of Sir Nicholas Throckmorton. For the Roxburghc Club . 

Periodical Publications, edited by Mr. J. G. Nichols : — 

The Gentleman's Magazine and Historical Review, from December 1851. New 
Series, Vols. XXXVL to XLV. Demy 8vo. 1851-1856. 
Collectanea Topograph ica et Genealogica. 8 vols. Royal Svo. 1834-1843. 
The Topographer and Genealogist. 3 vols. Demy 8vo. 1846-1858. 
The Herald and Genealogist. 8 vols. Demy 8vo. 1863-1874. 

Papers communicated to the Society of Antiquaries : — 

Description of a Brass Plate from Tours with inscription. Read Feb. 3, 1831. 
Archaologia, Vol. XXIII. pp. 427-429. 

Observations on Ancient Paintings in St. Mary's Chm'ch at Guildford. Read 
Feb. 16, 1837. Vol. XXVIL pp. 413, 414. 

Remarks on a Specimen of Ancient Damask. Rcail March 9, 1837. Ibid, 
pp. 421-423. 


Observations on the Heraldic Devices discovered on the Effigies of Richard 
the Second and his Queen in Westminster Abbey, and upon the mode in which 
those ornaments were executed : including some Eemarks on the Surname Plan- 
tagenet and on the Ostrich Feathers of the Prince of Wales. Eead June 4, 
1840. Vol. XXIX. pp. 32-59. 

Description of the Silver Matrix of the Seal of Thomas de Prayers. Read 
June 10, 1841. Ibid. pp. 405-407. 

The second Patent appointing Edward Duke of Somerset Protector, temp. 
King Edward the Sixth : introduced by an Historical Review of the various 
measures connected therewith. Read March 21, 1844. Vol. XXX. pp 463- 

On an Amity formed between the Companies of Fishmongers and Gold- 
smiths of London, and a consequent Participation of their Coat-Amiour. Read 
February 22, 1841. Ibid. pp. 499-513. 

Description of an Ivory Diptych. Read Dec. 9, 1847. Vol. XXXII. p. 456. 

Some Additions to the Biographies of Sir John Cheke and Sir Thomas Smith: 
in a Letter addressed to Charles Henry Cooper, Esq. F.S.A., one of the Authors 
of the Atheuffi Cantabrigienses. Read March 31, 1859. Vol. XXXVIII. pp. 

Inventory of the goods of Dame Agnes Hungerford, attainted of miirder 
14 Henry VIII.; with remarks thereon by J. G. N. and the Rev. John Edward 
Jackson, M.A. F.S.A. Read May 19, 1859. Ibid. pp. 353-372. 

Notices of the Contemporaries and Successors of Holbein. Read March 13, 
1862. Vol. XXXIX. pp. 19-4G. 

Remarks upon Holbein'.s Portraits of the Royal Family of England, and more 
particularly upon the several Portraits of the Queens of Henry the Eighth. Read 
June 4, 1863. Vol. XL. pp. 71-80. 

An original Appointment of Sir John Fastolfe to be Keeper of the Bastille of 
St. Anthony, at Paris, in 1421. With Illustrative Remarks. Read Dec. 8, 1870. 
Vol. XLIIL pp. 113-123. 

Observations on Religious and Social Guilds suggested hy the Charters of Con- 
fraternity of the Pardon of Walsoken, and the History of the College or Hospital 
of Walsoken. Read May 8, 1873. To be printed in Transactions of the Norfolk 
and Norwich Archaological Society, Vol. VIII. (An Abstract in Proceedings 
S.A. Vol. VI. pp. 15-19.) 

On certain Portraits by Quintin Matsys and Holbein in the Collection of the 
Earl of Radnor, at Longford Castle. Read May 15, 1873. To be printed in 
Archceologia, Vol. XLIV. 


Papers coimnunicated to the Arch.eolooical Institute : — 

A Secret History of a rcniaiknhle Passage in the Life of Charles Brandou 
Duke of Suffolk. Read at the meeting at Winchester, Sept. 12, 1845, Itut not 
printed (?) 

Ou the Seals of the Earls ofWinchester, and Un the Seals of Winchester City, 
and on the Seals for the Recognizances of Debtors temp. Edw. III. Read at the 
same meeting on Sept. 13, 1845. Proceedings, ^-c. Winchester, pp. 103-110. 

On the Seals for Cloths used by the King's Aulnagcr. Read at the same time 
but not printed (?) 

On rrecatory or Mortuary Rolls, and particularly one of the Abbey of West 
Dereham, Norfolk. Read at Nonvich, August 3, 1847. Memoirs, Sfc. Norwich, 
pp. 99-114. 

The Descent of the Earldom of Lincoln, with Notices of the Seals of the Earls. 
Read at Lincoln July 31, 1848. Jhmoirs, <fc. Lincoln, pp. 253-279. 

The Earldom of Salisbury. Read at Salisbury, July 1849. Memoirs, &c. 
Salisbiir>/, pp. 211-234. 

On the Descent of the Earldom of Oxford. Read at Oxford on June 21, 1850. 
Arch. Journal. Vol. IX. pp. 17-28. 

The Descent of the Earldom of Gloucester. Read at Bristol, August 2, 1851. 
Memoirs, i^'c. Bristol, pp. G5-79. 

Papers communicated to the Londok and Middlesex Arch^.o- 
LOGicAL Association: — 

Answer filed in Equity respecting the Park and Common at Haworth, temp. 
Charles II. Transactions. Vol. I. pp. 183-191. 

The Brass of John Birkhede at Harrow. Vol. I. pp. 276-284. 

Biography of Richard Gough, Esq. Director S.A. (Abstract.) Vol. I. 
pp. 319, 320. 

The Ancient Mace or Jewelled Sceptre at Guildhall. Vol. I. pp. 355-6. 

Notices of the Stationers' Company, their Hall, Pictures, and Plate, and their 
Ancient Seal of Arms, Read at Stationers' Hall, April 12, 18G0. Vol. 11. 
pp. 37-61. 

(This was also separately printed under the title " Historical Notices of the 
Stationers' Company, &c." for private distribution. Demy 4to. 1861.) 

Pictures in the Deanery at Westminster. Ibid. pp. 167, 168. 

Henry de Yeveley, one of the Architects of Westminster Hall. Ibid. pji. 

Notices of Pictures in the Middle Temple Hall, the Parliament Chamber, and 
Inner Temple Hall, and Pictures at Bridewell. Ibid. pp. 65-74. 



Notices of John Lovekyn, four times Lord Mayor of London, and Master of 
Sir William Walworth. Vol. in. pp. 133-1.37. 

The Muniments of the Vintners' Company. Ibid. pp. 432-447. 

The Biography of Sir William Harper, Alderman of London, Founder of the 
Bedford Charities. Read Feb. 14, 1870. Vol. IV. pp. 70-93. 

Remarks on the Mercers' and other Trading Companies of London, followed 
by some account of the Records of the Mercers' Company. Read at Mercers' 
Hall April 21, 1869. Ibid. pp. 131-147. 

A Triple Civic Marriage in the year 1560 and other Notes in illustration of 
Machyn's Diary. Read March 13, 1871. Proceedings at Evening Meetings. 
pp. 30, 31. 

Papers communicated to the Surrey Arch j]:ological Society : — 

Bowyer of Camberwell. Surrey Archcsological Collections, Vol. III. pp. 

The Origin and early History of the Family of Newdigate so long as they 
remained connected with Surrey. Read at Newdegate on the visit of the 
Surrey Archteological Society, July 4, 1872. Vol. VI. 



Tlie Annual Address of Earl Stanhope, President, delivered 
on St. George's Day 1874, contained the following notice of 
Mr. Nichols — 

.loHN GouGH Nichols, Esq., was the eldest son of John Bowyer 
Nichols, Esq., F.S.A., and grandson of John Nicliols, Esq., F.S.A., 
author of the great History of Leicestershire, and of the well-knoAvn 
Literary Anecdotes of the Eighteenth Century, &c., the pupil, partner, 
and successor of William Bowyer, who belonged to a family of printers 
reaching back to a period shortly anterior to the Revolution of 1688. 
Mr. John Gough Nichols — so called from his godftxther, the distin- 
guished Antiquary, Richard Gough — was born at his father's resi- 
dence in London in 180G. His first work was to take part in the 
compilation of the "Progresses of King James the First; " he also 
assisted in the editorship of the " Gentleman's Magazine." This last 
was an office he continued to discharge up to the year 1856, when 
^lessrs. Nichols relinquished the proprietorship of that publication. 
I must, however, leave it to others to enumerate and describe the 
important literary labours which IMr. John Gough Nichols carried to 
a successful close outside the pale of this Society, and must confine 
myself to a few details as to the contributions he made to our own 
Transactions. He was elected a Fellow on the 3rd of December, 
183r», but his first communication to the Archa?ologia, vol. xxiii. 427, 
'' On an Inscription from a Chapel at Tours in France," bears the yet 
earlier date of February 24, 1831. In 1837 we find him describing. 



in the course of one month, some paintings from St. Mary's Church, 
Guiklford, and a Specimen of Ancient Damask Linen of the time of 
Henry VIII. (ArchcTologia, xxvii. 413 — 421.) One of the most 
important of his memoirs is entitled, " Observations on the Heraklic 
Devices discovered on the Effigies of Richard the Second and his 
Queen in Westminster Abbey, inchiding some remarks on the sur- 
name, Plantagenet, and on the Ostrich Feathers of the Prince of 
"Wales." (Archajologia, xxix. 32.) The thirtieth volume contains 
four memoirs, of which the most important is that on " The Second 
Patent appointing Edward, Duke of Somerset, Protector, temp. 
Edward the Sixth." In 1856 Mr. J. G. Nichols communicated, in a 
letter to George Scharf, Esq.^ F.S.A., an Account of some Old 
Tapestry in St Mary's Hall at Coventry (Archa^ologia, xxxvi. 448), 
and in the following year we find fi'om his pen an important contri- 
liution to biographical literature under the modest title of " Some 
Additions to the Biographies of Sir John Cheke and Sir Thomas 
Smith," two of the great Cambridge scholars who adorned the reign 
of Henry VIII. In 1862 Mr. J. G. Nichols added a valuable contri- 
bution to the materials which about that time were brought before 
the Society in connection with Holbein, in the shape of a Memoir 
entitled " Notices of the Contemporaries and Successors of Holbein." 
(Archseologia, xxxix, 19.) This Society having established on a 
firm basis the fact that Holbein died eleven years sooner than the 
date ordinarily assigned to his decease, it naturally became a question 
of great importance in the history of art in England to find out 
who painted the pictures which have hitherto passed as the works 
of Holbein, and to this question Mr, J. G. Nichols, in the paper 
I have named, attempted to furnish an answer. Of a somewhat 
similar scope was the memoir laid before the Society under the title 
" Remarks upon Holbein, Portraits of the Royal Family of England, 
and more particularly upon the several Portraits of the Queens of 
Henry the Eighth. (Archa?ologia, xl. 71.) In 1866 we find Mr. 
Nichols acting as a Member of the Committee appointed by the 
Society to examine and consider the authenticity, as impugned by the 
late Mr. Herman Merivale, of the Paston Letters. His Report on this 
interesting subject will be found in the Archa^ologia, vol. x. 41 — 72. 

III 1870 he laid before the Society a papiT on " An Original Appoint- 
ment of Sir John Fasti •Iff to he Keeper of the Bastille of St. Anthony 
at Paris in 1121." (Arcluvologia, xliv. ll.'B.) Still more recently, on 
till' 15th of May, 1873, he oontrilnited not the least valuable of his 
papers, under the heading " On certain Portraits by Quintin ^latsys 
and Holbein in the collection of the Earl of Radnor, at Longford 
Castle." This jiaper will be published in a future part of the 

As an Antiquary his death has made a void which it is no exaggera- 
tion to call irreparable as regards the particular line of inquiry to 
which he devoted himself. And, even were it otherwise, the mere 
fact that for more than a century the firm of Messrs. Nichols has been 
officially connected with this Society as the Society's Printers would 
alone entitle his name to expressions of affection and respect, and 
invest his death with some part, at least, of the mournful sympathy 
which attaches to a domestic bereavement. 

I may further mention that within these few days I have received 
from America a copy of the second part of the Massachusetts Historical 
Society for the past year. That part contains an able Obituary notice 
of Mr. Nichols, who was an honorary member of that Society ; the 
notice being from the pen of Mr. Whitniore, and going into full 
details. I feel great pleasure in extracting from it the following 
passage : " Here, in America, we have reason to regret his loss, as 
being one of the few English genealogists who felt an interest in the 
trans Atlantic branches of English families. Mr. Nichols was one of 
the leaders of the new school of genealogists, and one of those who 
seek the truth in all things and who subject every thing to analysis 
and proof. To many of us the notice of his death was a shock as 
great as the loss of any of our immediate circle, and we feel it to be 
as great a calamity to America as to English literature. 

Let me add that I design to place in our library, for permanent 
preservation, the whole of this interesting paper. 






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