8 Oct., he was formally reappointed secretary of state by Charles, and accompanied the court to Cologne (see Egerton MS. 2542, f. 233, ‘Instructions for Sir Edward Nicholas for the Conduct of the Royal Household’). It is quite apparent, however, that Nicholas was not taken into confidence, and was overshadowed by Hyde (ib. pp. 141–235), who during Nicholas's long suspension from office had transacted the work of secretary (ib. p. 176, 16–26 Jan. 1654–5; Clarendon, xiv. 156). Clarendon speaks of himself as having kept the privy seal out of friendship for Nicholas, and in order that it might be restored to him. Their relations certainly continued friendly to the last. Late in February 1655 Charles secretly removed from Cologne to Düsseldorf and Middleburg to be ready to take part in the intended royalist rising in England, and only Hyde and Nicholas were conversant with the step. Charles removed from Cologne again in the following April, but Nicholas appears to have resided there till December (1655), when he was present at the examination of Thurloe's spy, Henry Manning (Clarendon, Rebellion, xiv. 145). In September 1657 he was at Bruges; in the following June at Brussels entreating Hyde to accept the office of lord high chancellor (ib. xv. 84). He was in the chancellor's company at Brussels in November 1659 (see Ormonde Papers, ii. 215, 279).
At the restoration Nicholas returned to England with Charles II, and in June 1660 was granted lodgings in Whitehall (Hist. MSS. Comm. 12th Rep. vii. 26). On 16 May 1661 he received from Frederick III of Denmark a grant of a yearly pension of fifteen hundred thalers (Egerton MS. 2543, f. 47). On account of his extreme age and ‘late sickness,’ however, he was set aside from the secretaryship on 15 Oct. 1662, and succeeded by Sir Henry Bennet (afterwards Earl of Arlington) [q. v.], a creature of Lady Castlemaine's, to whose influence Pepys covertly attributes the dismissal of Nicholas (Diary, ii. 364–5, 375). He still continued in attendance as a privy councillor (Egerton MS. 2543, ff. 143–56). On 12 Oct. 1662 Charles ordered him to receive a gift of 10,000l. under a privy seal, to be advanced on the farm of the London excise (see grant in Hoare, Wiltshire, ubi supra), and further offered him a barony, which Nicholas declined as an honour which his small estate could not bear. He retired to East Horsley, Surrey, where he bought Sheep-Leze from Carew Raleigh, son of Sir Walter Raleigh (Manning and Bray, Surrey, iii. 36), and where he formed a collection of pictures. Here in September 1665 Evelyn paid him a visit (Evelyn, i. 420). Nichols died on 1 Sept. 1669, and was buried in the chancel on the south side of the parish church of West Horsley, where an inscription was placed to his memory. His wife Jane, third daughter of Henry Jay of Holston, Norfolk, esquire and alderman of London, whom he married at Winterbourne Earls on 24 Nov. 1622, died on 15 Sept. 1688, aged 89, and was buried in her husband's grave. Of his children there is mention in the Winterbourne Earls Register of John (afterwards Sir John), baptised on 19 Jan. 1623; Edward, baptised on 6 March 1624 (Nicholas Correspondence, i. 318); Susannah, baptised on 15 May 1627, and buried on 21 June 1640; Matthew, born at Westminster and baptised at Winterbourne Earls on 4 Feb. 1630; Henry, baptised on 22 June 1632. Of three other daughters, Susannah married George Lane, who was knighted at Bruges on 27 March 1657, and created Viscount Lanesborough in 1676 (ib. ii. 325); a second daughter married to Lieutenant-general Middleton (ib. ii. 93); and a third to Lord Newburgh (see Harl. MS. 2535, f. 165).
Matthew Nicholas (1594–1661), dean of St. Paul's Cathedral, London, younger brother of Sir Edward, was born on 26 Sept. 1594, and elected scholar of Winchester College in 1607. He matriculated as scholar of New College, Oxford, on 18 Feb. 1613–14, graduated B.C.L. on 30 June 1620, and D.C.L. on 30 June 1627. He became rector of Westden, Wiltshire, in 1621; of Boughton, Hampshire, in 1629; master of St. Nicholas hospital in Hernham, Wiltshire, in 1630; prebendal rector of Wherwell, Hampshire, in 1637; vicar of Olveston, Gloucestershire, canon of Salisbury and dean of Bristol in 1639; canon of Westminster in 1642, being deprived at the rebellion; and canon and dean of St. Paul's in 1660. He died on 15 Aug. 1661, and was buried at Winterbourne Earls, Wiltshire, having married in February 1626–7, Elizabeth, daughter of William Fookes, by whom he had two sons, George and John (Foster, Alumni Oxon. 1500–1714; Le Neve, Fasti Eccl. Angl.)
[The main outline of Nicholas's life is sketched in a short paper entitled Memoirs of the Life of Sir Edward Nicholas, written by himself, and a paper of ‘Memoranda in my course of life,’ referred to in the text above as ‘notes,’ both of which are printed in the Appendix to the Preface of Warner's Nicholas Correspondence (Camden Soc.). The first paper, transcribed by Dr. Thomas Birch from the original manuscript, is in Addit. MS. 4180. The second paper is in Egerton MS. 2558, f. 19, partly in shorthand. The originals of Nicholas's correspondence, only