Rickards, Samuel (DNB00)

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RICKARDS, SAMUEL (1796–1865), divine, son of Thomas Rickards of Leicester, was born in 1796. He matriculated from Oriel College, Oxford, on 28 Jan. 1813, graduating B.A. in 1817 and M.A. in 1820. He was a fellow there from 16 April 1819 to 6 Oct. 1822, being contemporary with John Keble [q. v.] and other leaders of the ritualistic movement. He was Newdigate prizeman, 1815, writing on the ‘Temple of Theseus,’ and English essayist, 1819, writing on ‘Characteristic Differences of Greek and Latin Poetry.’ From 1822 to 1832 he was the curate in charge of Ulcombe, Kent. J. H. Newman, while on a visit to him in September 1826, wrote his well-known verses, ‘Nature and Art,’ and, during a second visit in October 1827, ‘Snapdragon, a Riddle.’ In 1832 he was presented by a college friend, Henry Wilson, to the rectory of Stowlangtoft, Suffolk, where he passed the remainder of his life.

At an early period he parted company with the Oxford movement, and wrote expostulatory and warning letters to Keble and Newman. He was instrumental in the publication of Keble's ‘Christian Year,’ a duplicate manuscript copy of which was lent to him by Keble, and, when Keble's own copy was lost in Wales, this was printed. To Rickards, as a sound theologian of high character, many of his clerical brethren looked up for counsel and guidance in the controversies by which his times were marked.

He died at Stowlangtoft rectory on 24 Aug. 1865. He married on 6 Oct. 1821, and left a daughter Lucy. He was the author of: ‘Hymns for Private Devotion for the Sundays and Saints' Days,’ 1825; ‘The Christian Householder, or Guide to Family Prayer,’ 1830; and other small devotional works, besides ‘Poems,’ 1870.

[Rivington's Ecclesiastical Year Book, 1866, p. 332; Mozley's Reminiscences, 1882, ii. 78–91; Gent. Mag. 1865, ii. 650; Men of the Time, 1865, p. 694; Julian's Dict. of Hymnology; Foster's Alumni Oxon. 1715–1886; Literary Churchman, 1 Feb. 1858, p. 51; Notes and Queries, 3rd ser. 1865, viii. 249, 357, 8th ser. 1895, vii. 149, 454.]

G. C. B.