Edward Nicholas

Sir Edward Nicholas (4 April 1593 – 1669) was an English office holder and politician who served as Secretary of State to Charles I and Charles II. He also sat in the House of Commons at various times between 1621 and 1629. He served as secretary to Edward la Zouche and the Duke of Buckingham and became a clerk of the Privy Council. He supported the Royalist cause in the English Civil War and accompanied the court into exile, before assuming the post of Secretary of State on the Restoration.

Sir Edward Nicholas by Sir Peter Lely
Sir Edward Nicholas.


Nicholas was the eldest son of John Nicholas of a Wiltshire family. He was educated at Salisbury grammar school, Winchester College and Queen's College, Oxford.

After studying law at the Middle Temple, in 1618 Nicholas became secretary to Edward la Zouche, 11th Baron Zouche, lord warden and admiral of the Cinque Ports. In 1621 he was elected as a Member of Parliament for Winchelsea. He was re-elected as one of the Members for Winchelsea in 1624 for what became known as the Happy Parliament. When Zouche resigned his office of lord warden to the Duke of Buckingham, the Duke, upon Zouch's recommendation, on 9 December 1624 appointed Nicholas as his secretary for the business of the Cinque Ports. In 1625 Nicholas became the first holder of the office of Secretary to the Admiralty; shortly afterwards he was appointed an extra clerk of the privy council, with duties relating to Admiralty business. In 1628 he was elected a Member for Dover and sat until 1629, when King Charles decided to rule without parliament and in the event did so for eleven years. Appended to a copy of Charles's speech at the dissolution of this parliament on 10 March 1629 is a poem of twenty-four verses in Nicholas's hand, beginning:

The wisest king did wonder when he spide
The nobles march on foot, their vassals ride
His majestie may wonder now to see
Some that would needs be king as well as he.

From 1635 to 1641 Nicholas was one of the clerks in ordinary to the council. In this situation he had much business to transact in connection with the levy of ship-money. When in 1641 King Charles I went to Scotland, he remained in London and was responsible for keeping the king informed of the proceedings of parliament. When Charles returned to London, Nicholas was knighted and appointed a privy councillor and a Secretary of State, in which capacity he attended the king while the court was at Oxford and carried out the business of the Treaty of Uxbridge.

Throughout the Civil War, Nicholas was one of Charles's wisest and most loyal advisers. He arranged the details of the king's surrender to the Scots, although he does not appear to have advised or even to have approved of the step. He also had the duty of treating for the capitulation of Oxford, which included permission for Nicholas himself to retire abroad with his family. He went to France, being recommended by the king to the confidence of the Prince of Wales.

In 1648 Nicholas wrote a pamphlet, An Apology for the Honorable Nation of the Jews, which called for the readmission of the Jews to England. It is one of the few examples of pro-admission writing that does not also call for the conversion of the Jews and is cited by Menasseh Ben Israel in his Humble Addresses, although Cecil Roth wonders whether the pamphlet might actually have been written by a Jew.[1]

After the king's death, Nicholas remained on the continent, concerting measures on behalf of the exiled Charles II with Hyde and other royalists, but the hostility of Queen Henrietta Maria deprived him of any real influence in the counsels of the young sovereign. He lived at the Hague and elsewhere in a state of poverty which hampered his power to serve Charles, but which the latter did nothing to relieve. Charles appointed him secretary of state while in exile in 1654. As an enthusiastic Royalist, in a letter dated 10 September 1657 to Sir Edward Hyde, Nicholas speaks of Cromwell,

... I conceive his Majesty should do well to set a good price on his head and all the heads of the chief commanders in Ireland and also in Scotland ...[2]

Nicholas returned to England at the Restoration and duly took office as Secretary of State along with William Morice, a former parliamentary supporter. Nicholas was soon retired, much against his own wishes, in favour of Charles's favourite Henry Bennet. He received a grant of money and the offer of a peerage, which he felt too poor to accept. He retired to a country seat in Surrey which he purchased from Carew Raleigh, son of Sir Walter Raleigh, and here he lived till his death in 1669.


Nicholas married Jane Jay, a daughter of Henry Jay, an alderman of London and had several sons and daughters. His eldest son was Sir John Nicholas, a Clerk of the Signet and Clerk of the Privy Council. His daughter Susannah married as his second wife the Irish statesman George Lane, 1st Viscount Lanesborough: like her father he spent years in exile with Charles II, and by 1659 the couple were almost destitute, but was well rewarded after the Restoration. Susannah died in 1671.

His younger brother Matthew Nicholas (1594–1661) was successively Dean of Bristol, canon of Westminster and Dean of St Paul's. His country seat was at Sunninghill in Berkshire.


The collected correspondences of Nicholas were published in three volumes by the Royal Historical Society in 1920.


  1. ^ Scult, Mel (1978). Millennial Expectations and Jewish Liberties: A Study of the Efforts to Convert the Jews in Britain, Up to the Mid Nineteenth Century. Brill Archive. pps.27.
  2. ^ 'The Nicholas Papers, Vol IV' p.13, London: Offices of the Society, 1920
  • Public Domain This article incorporates text from a publication now in the public domainChisholm, Hugh, ed. (1911). "Nicholas, Sir Edward". Encyclopædia Britannica. 19 (11th ed.). Cambridge University Press. p. 656.

Further reading

Parliament of England
Preceded by
William Binge
Thomas Godfrey
Member of Parliament for Winchelsea
With: Thomas Finch 1621–1622
John Finch 1624
Succeeded by
Roger Twysden
Preceded by
Sir John Hippisley
John Pringle
Member of Parliament for Dover
With: Sir John Hippisley
Succeeded by
Parliament suspended until 1640
Political offices
Preceded by
Sir Henry Vane
Secretary of State
With: Lucius Cary, 2nd Viscount Falkland 1642–1643
George Digby, 2nd Earl of Bristol 1643–1645
Preceded by
The Viscount Falkland
Lord Privy Seal
Succeeded by
The Earl of Bath
Preceded by
Sir Peter Wyche
Custos Rotulorum of Middlesex
Succeeded by
Preceded by
Custos Rotulorum of Middlesex
Succeeded by
The Earl of Craven
Preceded by
Secretary of State for the Southern Department
Succeeded by
The Lord Arlington
Adam Riley

Adam Edward Nicholas Riley (born 23 March 1992) is an English professional cricketer who plays for Kent County Cricket Club. Riley is an off break bowler who has also played first-class cricket for the England Lions team and for Loughborough MCC University.

Custos Rotulorum of Middlesex

This is a list of people who have served as Custos Rotulorum of Middlesex.

Sir Roger Cholmley bef. 1544 – aft. 1547

Edward Hastings, Baron Hastings of Loughborough bef. 1558 – 1571

Richard Goderick bef. 1562 – bef. 1564

Sir Thomas Wroth bef. 1564–1573

Sir Gilbert Gerard 1573–1593

Sir John Fortescue c. 1594–1607

Sir Thomas Lake c. 1608–1619

Sir Thomas Edmondes 1619–1639

Sir Henry Vane 1639–1642

Sir Peter Wyche 1642–1643

Sir Edward Nicholas 1643–1646


Sir Edward Nicholas 1660–1669

William Craven, 1st Earl of Craven 1669–1689

John Holles, 4th Earl of Clare 1689–1692

William Russell, 1st Duke of Bedford 1692–1700

Lord Edward Russell 1700–1701

Wriothesley Russell, 2nd Duke of Bedford 1701–1711

John Sheffield, 1st Duke of Buckingham and Normanby 1711–1714

Thomas Pelham-Holles, 1st Duke of Newcastle 1714–1762

Hugh Percy, 1st Duke of Northumberland 1762–1786


Henry Dundas 1793–1794

William Bentinck, Marquess of Titchfield 1794–1802For later custodes rotulorum, see Lord Lieutenant of Middlesex.

Ed Cole

Edward Nicholas Cole (September 17, 1909 – May 2, 1977) was an American automotive executive for General Motors.

Ed Crane (baseball)

Edward Nicholas Crane (May 27, 1862 – September 20, 1896), nicknamed Cannonball, was an American right-handed pitcher and outfielder in Major League Baseball for eight seasons. He played for the Boston Reds (1884), Providence Grays (1885), Buffalo Bisons (1885), Washington Nationals (1886), New York Giants (NL) (1888–89, 1892–93), New York Giants (PL) (1890), Cincinnati Kelly's Killers (1891), Cincinnati Reds (1891), and Brooklyn Grooms (1893). Crane was the first pitcher in the history of major league baseball to record 4 strikeouts in a single inning (New York Giants, 1888), and is one of the few players to play in four major leagues: the Union Association, the National League, the Players' League, and the American Association.

Born in Boston, Cannonball Crane was a man of uncommon strength. In his prime, he was described as "a giant in physical strength and proportions." He reportedly could throw a baseball 135 yards, farther than anyone else who played the game in his era. After his playing career ended, he died from what was officially declared an accidental overdose but was reported by others to have been a suicide.

Ed Slater

Edward Nicholas Slater (born 1 August 1988) is an English rugby union player for Gloucester Rugby.

Essentially a lock, his work-rate and physical presence helped him earn rave reviews at second row at Leicester Tigers, resulting in call ups to the senior England side.

Eddie Anderson (American football coach)

Edward Nicholas Anderson (November 11, 1900 – April 24, 1974) was an American football player and coach of football and basketball. He served as the head football coach at Columbia College in Dubuque, Iowa, now known as Loras College (1922–1924), DePaul University (1925–1931), the College of the Holy Cross (1933–1938, 1950–1964), and the University of Iowa (1939–1942, 1946–1949), compiling a career college football record of 201–128–15. Anderson was also the head basketball coach at DePaul from 1925 to 1929, tallying a mark of 25–21. Anderson played professional football in the National Football League (NFL) for the Rochester Jeffersons in 1922 and the Chicago Cardinals from 1922 to 1925. He was inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame as a coach in 1971.

Edward Braddon

Sir Edward Nicholas Coventry Braddon (11 June 1829 – 2 February 1904), Australian politician, was the Premier of Tasmania from 1894 to 1899, and was a Member of the First Australian Parliament in the House of Representatives. Braddon was a Tasmanian delegate to the Constitutional Conventions.

Both the suburb of Braddon in the Australian Capital Territory and the Division of Braddon in Tasmania are named after him.

Edward Cole

Edward, Ed or Eddie Cole may refer to:

Edward William Cole (1832–1918), Australian businessman, entrepreneur and publisher

Edward B. Cole (1879–1918), United States Marine Corps officer

Ed Cole (Edward Nicholas Cole, 1909–1977), American car manufacturer

E. Nelson Cole (Edward Nelson Cole, born 1937), Democratic member of the North Carolina General Assembly

Edward Cole (MP), for Winchester

Ed Cole (baseball) (Edward William Cole, 1909–1999), Major League Baseball pitcher

Ned Cole (1917–2002), Episcopal bishop in the USA, Bishop of Central New York

Eddie Cole (1910–1970), American musician

Eddie Cole (American football) (1919–2015), American football player and coach

Edward Nicholas Hopkins

Edward Nicholas Hopkins (October 3, 1854 – July 14, 1935) was a Canadian farmer, manufacturer and political figure in Saskatchewan, Canada. He represented Moose Jaw in the House of Commons of Canada from 1923 to 1925 as a Progressive Party member.He was born in Brownsville, Canada West (present-day Ontario), the son of Benjamin Hopkins, an Irish immigrant, and Margaret Loucks. He worked on the family farm until he was 14 and then was employed in cheese production. Hopkins came west in 1882, settling on land near Moose Jaw. He was president of the Grain Growers Association and of the Dairymen's Association of the Northwest Territories. Hopkins married Minnie Latham in 1889. She migrated to Moose Jaw with her parents from England six years earlier. Hopkins was first elected to the House of Commons in a 1923 by-election. He was defeated when he ran for reelection in 1925. Moose Jaw's restaurant Hopkins Dining Parlour is named after him.

Edward Nicholas Kendall

Edward Nicholas "Ned" Kendall, R.N. (October 1800 – 12 February 1845) was an English hydrographer, Royal Navy officer, and polar explorer. During one of his Arctic expeditions, Kendall discovered Wollaston Land.

John Gauden

John Gauden (1605 – 23 May 1662) was an English cleric. He was Bishop of Exeter then Bishop of Worcester. He was also a writer, and the reputed author of the important Royalist work Eikon Basilike.

Kendall Island

Kendall Island is one of the irregularly shaped, uninhabited Canadian arctic islands in the Northwest Territories, Canada. It is located in Mackenzie Bay at the northern tip of the Mackenzie River Delta. Richards Island is to the southwest of Kendall Island. Kugmallit Bay is bounded by Garry, Pelly Island and Kendall Islands. The northeast portion of the island is high.It is situated within the Inuvialuit Settlement Region and is notable for the Kendall Island Migratory Bird Sanctuary, an important waterfowl and shorebird breeding and staging ground. It was named by John Franklin after the English hydrographer Edward Nicholas Kendall. The Canadian ornithologist J. Dewey Soper visited the island less than a year before his retirement.

Lucius Cary, 2nd Viscount Falkland

Lucius Cary, 2nd Viscount Falkland (c. 1610 – 20 September 1643) was an English author and politician who sat in the House of Commons from 1640 to 1642. He fought on the Royalist side in the English Civil War and was killed in action at the First Battle of Newbury.

Moose Jaw (electoral district)

Moose Jaw was a federal electoral district in Saskatchewan, Canada, that was represented in the House of Commons of Canada from 1908 to 1953 and from 1968 to 1988.

This riding was created in 1907 from parts of Assiniboia West and Calgary ridings. It was abolished in 1952 when it was redistributed into Assiniboia, Moose Jaw—Lake Centre and Rosetown—Biggar ridings.

It was re-created in 1966 from parts of Assiniboia, Moose Jaw—Lake Centre, Rosetown—Biggar, Rosthern, Saskatoon, and Swift Current ridings. The electoral district was abolished in 1987 when it was redistributed into Moose Jaw—Lake Centre and Regina—Lumsden ridings.

Nicholas Fairfax, 14th Lord Fairfax of Cameron

Nicholas John Albert Fairfax, 14th Lord Fairfax of Cameron (born 4 January 1956) is a Scottish nobleman, peer, and politician. He is the current (as of 2015) holder of the title of Lord Fairfax of Cameron, succeeding his father, Thomas Fairfax, 13th Lord Fairfax of Cameron.

Paymaster of Pensions

In 18th century Britain, the Paymaster of Pensions was the official in charge of payments of Crown pensions and bounties. The first paymaster was Edward Nicholas in 1703, and the post was abolished in 1782 by the Civil List and Secret Service Money Act 1782 (22 Geo. III, c. 82).

Thomas Finch, 2nd Earl of Winchilsea

Thomas Finch, 2nd Earl of Winchilsea (13 June 1578 – 4 November 1639) was an English peer and Member of Parliament.

Finch was the son of Sir Moyle Finch, 1st Baronet and Elizabeth Heneage, 1st Countess of Winchilsea. He married Cecille Wentworth in 1609.Finch represented the constituencies of Winchelsea and Kent as a Member of Parliament.Finch inherited the earldom of Winchilsea from Elizabeth Finch, 1st Countess of Winchilsea on her death in 1634 and was succeeded on his own death in 1639 by his son Heneage Finch, 3rd Earl of Winchilsea.

Viscount Bangor

Viscount Bangor, of Castle Ward, in the County Down, is a title in the Peerage of Ireland.

Wollaston Peninsula

The Wollaston Peninsula (previously, Wollaston Land) is a west-pointing peninsula located on southwestern Victoria Island, Canada. It is bordered by Prince Albert Sound to the north, Amundsen Gulf to the west and Dolphin and Union Strait to the south. Most of the peninsula lies in Nunavut's Kitikmeot Region but a smaller portion lies within the Northwest Territories's Inuvik Region. The peninsula is 225 km (140 mi) long, and between 97 and 113 km (60 and 70 mi) wide. Its westernmost point is Cape Baring.In 1826, its south coast was seen by John Richardson. and his surveyor Edward Nicholas Kendall and was named Wollaston Land, in honor of William Hyde Wollaston. In 1851 John Rae (explorer) went along most of its coast and proved that "Wollaston Land" was connected to that was called "Victoria Land" to the east.

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