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Nicholson, Sir Charles (1808–1903)

from Sydney Morning Herald

Sir Charles Nicholson, by Thomas Woolner

Sir Charles Nicholson, by Thomas Woolner

State Library of New South Wales, 186447

The death is announced of Sir Charles Nicholson, a member of the first Legislative Council of New South Wales, aged 91 years.

[Sir Charles Nicholson, Bart., M.D., D.C.L., LL.D., was within a few days of completing his 95th year. He was the only son of the late Charles Nicholson, of London, and was born on November 23, 1808. In 1833 he graduated M.D. at Edinburgh University, and the next year he emigrated to Sydney. Here he practised as a physician. In 1843 he was returned to the first Legislative Council of New South Wales as one of the five members for the Port Phillip district, now Victoria. He continued to sit till 1856, being elected Speaker of that body in 1846, and twice subsequently re-elected. He was knighted by patent in March, 1852. Sir Charles Nicholson took great interest in the advancement of education. He was appointed first Vice-Provost of Sydney University and delivered an inaugural address at its opening in October, 1852. In 1854 he was chosen first Chancellor of the University, and was one of its most liberal benefactors. In 1857 Sir Charles Nicholson was made an hon. D.C.L. of Oxford University, and two years later was created first baronet of Luddenham, New South Wales. Queensland having been constituted a separate colony, Sir Charles Nicholson was nominated to the Legislative Council, and acted as first President, filling the office for four months. In 1862 he returned to live permanently in England, in 1865 he married Sarah Elizabeth, eldest daughter of Mr. Archibald Knightley, of the Charter-house, London. In 1890 Sir Charles Nicholson was appointed to represent the interest of the Central Queensland Separation Leagues in London, and headed deputations to Lord Knutsford on the subject. He was the author of various official papers and reports connected with colonial, economic, and educational affairs, and had also written articles in the "Transactions of the Royal Society of Literature" (of which he was vice president), containing an account of exploration in Upper Egypt, and at Memphis, with descriptions of remains of "Disk Worshippers," now deposited in the museum of the University of Sydney. The heir to the baronetcy is his eldest son, Archibald Knightley Nicholson, who is 30 years of age.]

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'Nicholson, Sir Charles (1808–1903)', Obituaries Australia, National Centre of Biography, Australian National University,, accessed 30 September 2020.

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