1812 ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION

Richard Niccols

Alexander Chalmers, in General Biographical Dictionary (1812-17) 23:173.



RICHARD NICHOLS, or NICCOLS, whom Mr. Headley considers as a poet of great elegance and imagination, and one of the ornaments of the reign of Elizabeth, was born in London, of genteel parents, in 1584. In 1602 he entered a student of Magdalen college, Oxford, whence, after a short time, he removed to Magdalen hall, and took the degree of B.A. in 1606. After remaining at the university some years, and being esteemed among the most ingenious men of his day, according to Wood, he quitted Oxford for London, where he "obtained an employment suitable to his faculty." What this employment was, we are left to conjecture. The time of his death is also uncertain, but he appears to have been alive at least in 1616, and was then but young. The most material of his works are his additions to The Mirror for Magistrates, a book most popular in its time (see HIGGINS), containing a series of pieces by Sackville, Baldwyne, Ferrers, Churchyard, Phayer, Higgins, Drayton. It was ultimately completed, and its contents new arranged by Nichols, whose supplement to the edition of 1610 is entitled A Winter Night's Vision. To this likewise is improperly subjoined England's Eliza; or the victorious and triumphant reigne of that virgin Empress, &c. Elizabeth, queen of England, &c. His other writings are, The Cuckow, a Poem, London, 1607; Monodia, or Waltham's complaint upon the death of the most vertuous and noble lady, late deceased, the lady Honor Hay, ibid. 1615; a play called The Twynnes Tragedye is attributed to him in the Biographia Dramatica; but we can, on better authority, add London's Artillery, briefly containing the noble practice of that worthie Society, &c. &c. 1616, 4to; The Three Sisters' Tears, shed at the late solemne Funerals of the royal Henry, prince of Wales, &c. 1613, 4to; and The Furies, with Vertue's encomium, &c. in two books of epigrammes, satirical and encomiastic, 1614, 8vo. Ample specimens of his poetry are given in Headley's Beauties, and the [British] Bibliographer.