Adam Nicolson

Adam Nicolson, 5th Baron Carnock, FRSL, FSA (born 12 September 1957) is an English author who has written about history, landscape, great literature and the sea.

He is noted for his books Sea Room (about the Shiant Isles, a group of uninhabited islands in the Hebrides); God's Secretaries: The Making of the King James Bible; The Mighty Dead (US title:Why Homer Matters) exploring the epic Greek poems; and The Seabird's Cry about the disaster afflicting the world's seabirds.

Adam Nicolson
Born12 September 1957 (age 61)
Bransgore, England
Alma materMagdalene College, Cambridge
Period1981 to present
GenreHistory, memoir, nature, place
SpouseOlivia Fane (divorced)
Sarah Raven (m. 1992)
RelativesNigel Nicolson (father)
Philippa née Tennyson-d'Eyncourt (mother)


Adam Nicolson is the son of writer Nigel Nicolson and his wife Philippa Tennyson-d'Eyncourt. He is the grandson of the writers Vita Sackville-West and Sir Harold Nicolson, and great-grandson of Sir Eustace Tennyson d'Eyncourt and Arthur Nicolson, 1st Baron Carnock. He was educated at Eaton House, Summer Fields School,[1] Eton College where he was a King's Scholar, and Magdalene College, Cambridge. He has worked as a journalist and columnist on the Sunday Times, the Sunday Telegraph, the Daily Telegraph, National Geographic Magazine and Granta, where he is a contributing editor. He is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Literature, the Society of Antiquaries and the Society of Antiquaries of Scotland.

He has made several television series (with Keo Films) and radio series (with Tim Dee, the writer and radio producer) on subjects as diverse as the King James Bible, 17th-century literacy, Crete, Homer, the idea of Arcadia, the untold story of Britain's 20th-century whalers and the future of Atlantic seabirds.

Nicolson has three sons, Thomas (born in 1984), William (born 1986) and Ben (born 1988), from his first marriage to Olivia Fane.[2] Since 1992 Nicolson has been married to Sarah Raven. They have two daughters, Rosie (born 1993) and Molly (born 1996) and live at Perch Hill Farm[3] in Sussex.

Between 2005 and 2009, in partnership with the National Trust, Nicolson led a project which transformed the 260 acres (110 ha) surrounding the house and garden at Sissinghurst into a productive mixed farm, growing meat, fruit, cereals and vegetables for the National Trust restaurant.[4] And between 2012 and 2017, together with the RSPB, the EU and SNH, Nicolson and his son Tom were partners in a project to eradicate invasive predators from the Shiant Isles, Outer Hebrides, Scotland. In March 2018, the islands were declared rat-free.[5]

In December 2008 he succeeded his cousin David Nicolson, 4th Baron Carnock, as 5th Baron Carnock but he does not use the title.[6]

Awards and recognition


  • The National Trust Book of Long Walks (1981)
  • Long Walks in France (1983)
  • Frontiers (1985)
  • Wetland (1987)
  • Two Roads to Dodge City (1988) with Nigel Nicolson
  • Prospects of England (1990)
  • On Foot: Guided Walks in England, France, and the United States (1990)
  • Restoration: Rebuilding of Windsor Castle (1997)
  • Regeneration: The Story of the Dome (1999)
  • Perch Hill: A New Life (2000)
  • Mrs Kipling: The Hated Wife (2001)
  • Sea Room (2001)
  • Power and Glory: The Making of the King James Bible (US title: God's Secretaries) (2003) (reissued in 2011 as When God Spoke English)
  • Seamanship (2004)
  • Men of Honour: Trafalgar and the Making of the English Hero (US title: Seize the Fire: Heroism, Duty, and the Battle of Trafalgar) (2005)
  • Earls of Paradise (US title: Quarrel with the King) (2008)
  • Sissinghurst: An Unfinished History (2008/US revised edition 2010)
  • Arcadia: The Dream of Perfection in Renaissance England (a revised paperback edition of Earls of Paradise) (2009)
  • The Smell of Summer Grass (an updated edition of Perch Hill) (2011)
  • The Gentry: Stories of the English (2011)
  • The Mighty Dead: Why Homer Matters (US title: Why Homer Matters) (2014)
  • The Seabird's Cry: The Life and Loves of Puffins, Gannets and Other Ocean Voyagers (2017) (US subtitle: The Lives and Loves of the Planet's Great Ocean Voyagers (2018))
  • The Making of Poetry: Coleridge, the Wordsworths and their Year of Marvels (2019 forthcoming)


  • Atlantic Britain Channel 4, 2004
  • Sissinghurst BBC 4, 2009
  • When God Spoke English: The Making of the King James Bible BBC 4, 2011
  • The Century That Wrote Itself BBC 4, 2013
  • Britain's Whale Hunters BBC 4, 2014
  • The Last Seabird Summer? BBC 4, 2016


  • Homer's Landscapes 3 x 45 mins, BBC Radio 3, 2008
  • A Cretan Spring 5 x 15 mins, with Sarah Raven, BBC Radio 3, 2009
  • Dark Arcadias 2 x 45 mins, BBC Radio 3, 2011


  1. ^ Adam Nicolson. Prepared for Anything. The Times Magazine, 25 June 1994. pages 24–30.
  2. ^ Adam Nicolson, 5th Baron Carnock
  3. ^ Perch Hill Farm
  4. ^ Sunday Times, 8 February 2009
  5. ^ BBC: Shiant Islands in the Minch declared rat-free
  6. ^ Rex Features 31 January 2009, Adam Nicolson, 5th Baron Carnock at home at Sissinghurst Castle

External links

Peerage of the United Kingdom
Preceded by
David Nicolson
Baron Carnock
Heir apparent:
Hon. Thomas Nicolson
2007 CFL Draft

The 2007 CFL Draft took place on Wednesday, May 2, 2007. 47 players were chosen from among 911 eligible players from Canadian Universities across the country, as well as Canadian players playing in the NCAA. Of the 47 draft selections, 31 players were drafted from Canadian Interuniversity Sport institutions.

Adam Nicolson (Canadian football)

Adam Nicolson (born August 13, 1984) is a former wide receiver in the CFL. He wears the number 84, weighs 219 lbs. and is 6'4 tall. Nicolson attended the University of Ottawa and played for the Ottawa Gee-Gees. From 2004 to 2006, he played in 19 games, in which Nicolson had 88 catches for 1572 yards. He also scored 12 touchdowns. In his playoff career, Nicolson averaged 69 receiving yards per game. During the 2006 Mitchell Bowl, he had 6 catches for 109 yards and a touchdown versus the Saskatchewan Huskies. The Gee-Gees would lose the game, though. Nicolson was selected by the Lions in the first round (eighth overall) in the 2007 CFL Draft.

Andrew McNeillie

Andrew McNeillie is a British poet and literary editor. He was born at Hen Golwyn in North Wales, 12 August 1946, and educated at the primary school there, at Colwyn Bay Grammar School, and from the age of thirteen at John Bright Grammar School, Llandudno. He read English at Magdalen College, Oxford, as a mature student, 1971-1973. He is currently Literature Editor at Oxford University Press. He is the son of John McNeillie, also known as "Ian Niall".

His collection of poems Nevermore (2000), in the Oxford Poets series from Carcanet Press, was shortlisted for the Forward Prize for Best First Collection. His prose memoir An Aran Keening tells of his stay on Inis Mór, just short of a year through 1968-69. It was published in 2001 by The Lilliput Press, Dublin, and in 2002 in the USA by the University of Wisconsin Press. Adam Nicolson, choosing his book of the year for 2002, in The Daily Telegraph wrote: ‘I enjoyed nothing more this year than An Aran Keening, Andrew McNeillie’s soft, sharp, funny and often heart-wrenchingly nostalgic account of the 11 months he spent on Inishmore, the biggest of the Aran Islands, in the late 1960s.’ Tim Robinson in The Irish Times wrote: ‘…McNeillie’s prose can be as pristine and effervescent as the sea’s edge on a summer beach….Aran is once again a larger place than it was.’

In 2000 McNeillie founded the Clutag Press, in Thame, Oxfordshire. It has issued limited edition works by Seamus Heaney, Tom Paulin, and Geoffrey Hill among others. Its literary archive is now collected exclusively by the Bodleian Library, Oxford University.

Baron Carnock

Baron Carnock, of Carnock in the County of Stirling, is a title in the Peerage of the United Kingdom. It was created in 1916 for the former Permanent Under-Secretary in the Foreign Office, Sir Arthur Nicolson, 11th Baronet.

The Nicolson family descends from Thomas Nicolson. In 1636 he was created a Baronet, of Carnock in the County of Stirling, in the Baronetage of Nova Scotia. His great-grandson, the fourth Baronet, succeeded as the Fourth Lord Napier of Merchistoun in 1683. However, on his death three years later the barony passed to his maternal aunt Margaret Brisbane, while he was succeeded in the baronetcy by his cousin and heir-male, the fifth Baronet. He was succeeded by his son, the sixth Baronet. On the death of his younger son, the eighth Baronet, this line of the family failed. The latter was succeeded by his cousin, the ninth Baronet. He was a major-general in the Army, while his son, the tenth Baronet, was an admiral in the Royal Navy.

The latter was succeeded by his son, the eleventh Baronet. In 1916 he was raised to the peerage as Baron Carnock, of Carnock in the County of Stirling. His two eldest sons succeeded as second and third Baron, in 1928 and 1952; the fourth Baron succeeded his father in 1982. In 1984 Lord Carnock was recognised as thirteenth Baronet of that Ilk and of Lasswade and as Chief of Clan Nicolson by the Lord Lyon with the undifferenced arms of Nicolson. He was separately recognised in this title by the Registrar of the Baronetage. For earlier history of this title, see Nicolson Baronets. As of 2017 the titles are held by his cousin once removed, the fifth Baron. He is the son of the writer Nigel Nicolson and grandson of the famous diplomat Sir Harold Nicolson, who was the third son of the first Baron and husband of Vita Sackville-West.

The family seat is Perch Hill Farm, near Robertsbridge, East Sussex.


Bateman's is a 17th-century house located in Burwash, East Sussex, England. It was the home of Rudyard Kipling from 1902 until his death in 1936. The house was built in 1634. Kipling's widow bequeathed the house to the National Trust on her death in 1939. The house is a Grade I listed building.

Clan Nicolson

Clan Nicolson is a Lowland Scottish clan. The clan claims descent from an Edinburgh lawyer who lived in the 16th century and from a distinguished line of Aberdeen merchants who preceded him. During the mid-1980s David Nicolson, 4th Baron Carnock was recognised by the Lord Lyon King of Arms as the chief of Clan Nicolson. Around the same time, a Nicolson who claimed descent from the Highland clan of "Nicolsons" historically centred on Skye, petitioned the Lord Lyon King of Arms to be recognised as chief of his own clan. The Lord Lyon King of Arms accepted this man's petition on the condition he took the surname MacNeacail. In consequence there are two Scottish clans with similar names—the lowland Clan Nicolson and the highland Clan MacNeacail.

David Nicolson, 4th Baron Carnock

David Henry Arthur Nicolson, 4th Baron Carnock (10 July 1920 – 26 December 2008) was a British peer and solicitor.

The son of the 3rd Baron Carnock and Hon. Katharine Frederica Albertha Lopes, he was educated at Winchester College and Balliol College, Oxford. Nicolson served in the Royal Devon Yeomanry, reaching the rank of major and fought in the Second World War. From 1955 to 1986, he was a partner in Clifford Turner. On 2 October 1982, he succeeded to his father's titles and became Chief of Clan Nicolson. Two years later the dormant Baronetcy, of Lasswade in the County of Midlothian was revived in his favour. He was succeeded by his cousin, the writer Adam Nicolson.

Eilean an Taighe

"Eilean an Taighe", or "Eilean Taigh" is a fairly common island name

Eilean an T(a)ighe, meaning "House Island" (lit. "Island of the House"), is one of the Shiant Isles. It is joined to Garbh Eilean by an isthmus and both form part of a single island.

Henry Lascelles (1690–1753)

Henry Lascelles (1690 – 16 October 1753) was an English-born Barbados plantation owner. He was the son of Daniel Lascelles (1655–1734) and Margaret Metcalfe. He served as Collector of Customs for the British government in Barbados. He was a director of the British East India Company 1737-45, a financier, and Member of Parliament for Northallerton. He lived in his constituency, in Harewood, in Richmond-upon-Thames, and for periods in his twenties, at his family's plantation in Barbados.

John Duport

John Duport (died 1617) was an English scholar and translator.

Dr John Duport was born in Shepshed in Leicestershire. He was educated at Jesus College, Cambridge, where he became a Fellow in 1574. In 1583 he became rector of Fulham, and in 1585 precentor of St Paul's Cathedral. In 1590 he was appointed Master of Jesus College.

He served as Director of the "Second Cambridge Company" charged by James I of England with translating parts the Apocrypha for the King James Version of the Bible. In 1609 he added the prebendary of Ely to his income.

Duport married Rachel Cox, daughter of Richard Cox, Bishop of Ely. Their son, James Duport, a child when John Duport died, also became a scholar, and Master of Magdalene College.

John Oglander

Sir John Oglander (12 May 1585 – 28 November 1655) was an English politician who sat in the House of Commons from 1625 to 1629. He is now remembered as a diarist.

List of BC Lions first-round draft picks

The following is a complete list of first-round draft picks selected by the BC Lions of the Canadian Football League. The Lions began participating in the Canadian College Draft in 1956 when western teams were permitted to make selections. From 1960-1962, only eastern teams and the Calgary Stampeders participated in the draft as the other western clubs signed players from universities in their area. This list also includes all territorial exemptions from 1973, when teams were first permitted to selected players within their designated area, until 1985 when these exemptions were abolished.The BC Lions have had the first overall selection in the draft six times, most recently in the 1999 CFL Draft. Since 1966, the Lions have only ever lost their first round pick five times, in the 1959, 1963, 1966, 1997, and 2014 CFL Drafts, due to trades. Not including territorial exemptions, the most first-round picks the Lions have had in one year is three, which first occurred in the 2006 CFL Draft and then again in the 2009 CFL Draft.


Nicolson is a patronymic surname meaning "son of Nicholas". There are alternate spellings. Notable people with the surname include:

Adam Nicolson, British writer, son of Nigel Nicolson

Adela Florence Nicolson, British poet writing as "Laurence Hope"

Arthur Nicolson, 1st Baron Carnock, British diplomat and politician

Benedict Nicolson, British art historian and author, son of Harold Nicolson and Vita Sackville-West

Dan Henry Nicolson, American botanist

David Nicolson, 4th Baron Carnock, British peer and solicitor.

Eric James Brindley Nicolson, Royal Air Force officer

Gerda Nicolson, Australian actress

Harold Nicolson, British diplomat, politician and writer, son of Arthur Nicolson

James Nicolson (bishop) (died 1607), Moderator of the General Assembly of the Church of Scotland & Bishop of Dunkeld.

John Nicolson (disambiguation), multiple people

Marjorie Hope Nicolson (1894-1981), American literary scholar

Mark Nicolson, American tenor and voice teacher

Nigel Nicolson, British publisher, writer and politician, son of Harold Nicolson and Vita Sackville-West

Phyllis Nicolson, mathematician

William Nicolson, British bishop

Ondaatje Prize

The Royal Society of Literature Ondaatje Prize is an annual literary award given by the Royal Society of Literature. The £10,000 award is for a work of fiction, non-fiction or poetry that evokes the "spirit of a place", and is written by someone who is a citizen of or who has been resident in the Commonwealth or the Republic of Ireland.The prize bears the name of its benefactor Christopher Ondaatje. The prize incorporates the Winifred Holtby Memorial Prize, which was presented up to 2002 for regional fiction.

Sissinghurst Castle Garden

Sissinghurst Castle Garden, at Sissinghurst in the Weald of Kent in England, was created by Vita Sackville-West, poet and writer, and her husband Harold Nicolson, author and diplomat. It is among the most famous gardens in England and is designated Grade I on Historic England's register of historic parks and gardens. It was bought by Sackville-West in 1930, and over the next thirty years, working with, and later succeeded by, a series of notable head gardeners, she and Nicolson transformed a farmstead of "squalor and slovenly disorder" into one of the world's most influential gardens. Following Sackville-West's death in 1962, the estate was gifted to the National Trust for Places of Historic Interest or Natural Beauty. It is one of the Trust's most popular properties, with nearly 200,000 visitors in 2017.

The gardens contain an internationally respected plant collection, particularly the assemblage of old garden roses. The writer Anne Scott-James considered the roses at Sissinghurst to be "one of the finest collections in the world". A number of plants propagated in the gardens bear names related to people connected with Sissinghurst or the name of the garden itself. The garden design is based on axial walks that open onto enclosed gardens, termed "garden rooms", one of the earliest examples of this gardening style. Among the individual "garden rooms", the White Garden has been particularly influential, with the horticulturalist Tony Lord describing it as "the most ambitious ... of its time, the most entrancing of its type."The site of Sissinghurst is ancient and has been occupied since at least the Middle Ages. The present-day buildings began as a house built in the 1530s by Sir John Baker. In 1554 Sir John's daughter Cecily married Thomas Sackville, 1st Earl of Dorset, an ancestor of Vita Sackville-West. By the 18th century the Baker's fortunes had waned, and the house, renamed Sissinghurst Castle, was leased to the government to act as a prisoner-of-war camp during the Seven Years' War. The prisoners caused great damage and by the 19th century much of Sir Richard's house had been demolished. In the mid-19th century, the remaining buildings were in use as a workhouse, and by the 20th century Sissinghurst had declined to the status of a farmstead. In 1928 the castle was advertised for sale but remained unsold for two years.

Sackville-West was born in 1892 at Knole, the ancestral home of the Sackvilles. But for her sex, Sackville-West would have inherited Knole on the death of her father in 1928. Instead, following primogeniture, the house and the title passed to her uncle, a loss she felt deeply. In 1930, after she and Nicolson became concerned that their home Long Barn was threatened by development, Sackville-West bought Sissinghurst Castle. On purchasing Sissinghurst, Sackville-West and Nicolson inherited little more than some oak and nut trees, a quince, and a single old rose. Sackville-West planted the noisette rose 'Madame Alfred Carrière' on the south face of the South Cottage even before the deeds to the property had been signed. Nicolson was largely responsible for planning the garden design, while Sackville-West undertook the planting. Over the next thirty years, working with her head gardeners, she cultivated some two hundred varieties of roses and large numbers of other flowers and shrubs. Decades after Sackville-West and Nicolson created "a garden where none was", Sissinghurst remains a major influence on horticultural thought and practice.

Somerset Maugham Award

The Somerset Maugham Award is a British literary prize given each year by the Society of Authors. Set up by William Somerset Maugham in 1947 the awards enable young writers to enrich their work by gaining experience in foreign countries. The awards go to writers under the age of 35 with works published in the previous year to the award, the work can be either non-fiction, fiction or poetry.

Since 1964, multiple winners have usually been chosen in the same year. In 1975 and in 2012, the award was not given. The award has twice been won by the son of a previous winner: Kingsley Amis (winner in 1955) was the father of Martin Amis (1974), and Nigel Kneale (1950) the father of Matthew Kneale (1988).

Summer Fields School

Summer Fields is a fee-paying boys' independent day and boarding preparatory school in Summertown, Oxford. It was originally called Summerfield and used to have a subsidiary school Summerfields, St Leonards-on-Sea (known as "Summers mi").

Wainwright Prize

The Wainwright Prize is a literary prize awarded annually for the best work of general outdoors, nature and UK-based travel writing. It celebrates the legacy of British guidebook writer Alfred Wainwright. The prize was established by Frances Lincoln Publishers and The Wainwright Society, in association with The National Trust and is sponsored by Thwaites Brewery, who produce a beer called Wainwright Ale. The prize was first awarded in 2014 to Hugh Thomson for his The Green Road Into The Trees: A Walk through England. The winner receives a cheque for £5,000.

Wasdale Head

Wasdale Head is a scattered agricultural hamlet in the Lake District National Park in Cumbria, England. Wasdale Head claims to be home of the highest mountain (Scafell Pike), deepest lake (Wastwater), smallest church and biggest liar in England. The last of these claims refers to Will Ritson, who paradoxically proclaimed himself as such.

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