Nicholl, John (1790-1871) (DNB00)

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NICHOLL, JOHN (1790–1871), antiquary, born at Stratford Green, Essex, on 19 April 1790, was only son of John Nicholl, brewer, by Mary, daughter of Mathias Miller of Epping in the same county (Nichols, Topographer, iii. 562). Possessed of an ample fortune, he was enabled to pursue uninterruptedly his researches in heraldry and genealogy. On 16 Feb. 1843 he was elected F.S.A. In 1859 he served as master of the Ironmongers' Company. He died in Canonbury Place, Islington, on 7 Feb. 1871, and was buried in the churchyard of Theydon Garnon, Essex, on the 13th. By his marriage on 5 Oct. 1822 to Elizabeth Sarah, daughter and heiress of John Rahn of Enfield, Middlesex, he left three sons and two daughters.

Nicholl collected genealogical notes made in the churches of Essex in six folio volumes, and filled three folio volumes with Essex pedigrees, and three others with pedigrees of the various families of Nicholl, Nicholls, or Nichols. Of the latter he made three copies, two of which he bequeathed to his own children, and a third (of smaller dimensions) to the College of Arms. He likewise worked up, in three volumes, the gatherings formed in two tours he made on the continent in 1842 and 1843. He left besides, in manuscript, collections for the history of Islington and notes on biblical criticism.

From the archives of the Ironmongers' Company Nicholl compiled a history of the company in seven folio volumes, embellished with armorial bearings and illuminated initials, and illustrated with drawings of buildings and costumes. The first six of these volumes were presented to the company between 1840 and 1844. In 1851 he printed ‘Some Account of the Worshipful Company of Ironmongers’ (for private circulation), in imperial 8vo. In 1866 an improved edition was printed in 4to. The cost of both editions was defrayed by the company. Nicholl also attempted poetry, and printed a small private impression of his productions in 1863.

Nicholl's portrait was in 1851 painted at the expense of the Ironmongers' Company by Middleton, and placed in the court room.

[Proc. of Soc. Antiq. 2nd ser. v. 143; Nichols's Herald and Genealogist, vii. 83–5.]

G. G.