[India Office Records; Despatches; Kaye's Indian Officers; Kaye's Sepoy War; Malleson's Hist. Indian Mutiny; Notes on the Revolt in the North-West Provinces of India; An Officer's Narrative of the Siege of Delhi.]
NICHOLSON, JOSHUA (1812–1885), silk manufacturer and philanthropist, son of Joshua and Rachel Nicholson, was born on 26 Oct. 1812 at Luddenden Foot, near Halifax. He exhibited remarkable business aptitude during his apprenticeship to a draper at Bradford, and quickly filled a responsible position. From his earliest years he devoted much time to study. After leaving Bradford he resided for a short time in Huddersfield, and thence passed to Leek, Staffordshire, in 1837. For many years he travelled over the United Kingdom in the interests of the celebrated silk manufacturing firm, J. & J. Brough & Co., of Leek. He was soon indispensable to his employers; he was admitted to a partnership; the title was changed to J. & J. Brough, Nicholson & Co., and Nicholson ultimately became its head. He had worked up the business into the most important house in the trade.
Nicholson was a nonconformist from principle, and an earnest supporter of the independent or congregational churches. In politics he was a progressive radical, and for many years was president of the North Staffordshire Liberal Association. He believed in the efficacy of education, and in 1881 he announced his intention of building at Leek an institute, which was to include a free library, reading-rooms, art galleries, museum, and lecture-rooms and an art school, to be as nearly free as possible. The Nicholson Institute was completed in 1884 at a cost of 20,000l., and was opened in that year. In 1887 the town of Leek took it over in part under the Free Libraries Act, but Nicholson's family continued the endowment for ten years. The library contains eight thousand volumes, and 350 students attend the schools of art, science, and technology. Nicholson died on 24 Aug. 1885.
[Leek Times, 19 Nov. 1881; Staffordshire Weekly Sentinel, 16 Sept. 1882; Leek Times, 18 Oct. 1884; Staffordshire Advertiser, 18 Oct. 1884; Leek Times, 29 Aug. 1885; Leek Post, 10 Oct. 1891.]
NICHOLSON, Sir LOTHIAN (1827–1893), general, third son of George Thomas Nicholson of Waverley Abbey, Surrey, and Anne Elizabeth, daughter of William Smith, M.P. for Norwich, was born at Ham Common, Surrey, on 19 Jan. 1827. He was educated at Mr. Malleson's school at Hove, Brighton. In 1844 he entered the Royal Military Academy at Woolwich. On 6 Aug. 1846 he was gazetted a second lieutenant in the corps of royal engineers, and on 26 Jan. 1847 he was promoted first lieutenant. After going through the usual course of professional study at Chatham, he was sent, in January 1849, to North America, and spent the following two years between Halifax, Nova Scotia, and New Brunswick. On his return to England he was quartered at Portsmouth, and on 1 April 1855 was promoted second captain. In July he was sent to the Crimea. He served in the trenches during the last month of the siege in command of the 4th company royal engineers. He commanded the same company in the expedition to Kinburn, carried out the operations for the demolition of the docks of Sebastopol, was twice mentioned in despatches (Lond. Gazette, 21 Dec. 1858 and 15 Feb. 1856), and received for his services the war medal with clasp, the Turkish medal, and the fifth order of the Medjidie. While in the Crimea he was promoted brevet major on 2 Nov. 1855.
Nicholson returned home in June 1856, and was quartered at Aldershot, where he was employed in laying out the new camp. On 6 Oct. 1857 he embarked with the 4th company royal engineers for Calcutta to take part in the suppression of the Indian mutiny. On arrival in India he joined Lord Clyde, and served for some time on his staff. He repaired the suspension bridge over the Káli Naddi, on the road to Fathgarh, and so enabled a rapid march to be made on that place, and large quantities of stores and other government property to be secured. He was present at the engagement of the Alámbagh, and at the siege and final capture of Lucknow, when he was in command of the royal engineers on the left bank of the river, and constructed the bridges over the Gumti. Nicholson remained at Lucknow as chief engineer to Sir Hope Grant. He was engaged in the operations in Oudh, was present at the action of Bári, and took an active part in the subjugation of the Terai. He was superintending the construction of bridges and roads when, while out shooting, his gun exploded, and he permanently injured his hand. For his services in the mutiny he received the medal, and was promoted brevet lieutenant-colonel on 20 July 1858. He was five times mentioned in despatches by Lord Clyde, Sir James Outram, and Sir Hope Grant (Lond. Gazette, 3 March, 30 April, 25 May, 28 July 1858, and 24 March 1859). He was made a C.B. in 1859, and given the distinguished service reward.
Nicholson returned to England in May