Papers relating to the Nicholson Family

  • This material is held at
  • Reference
      GB 133 UCC/2/22
  • Dates of Creation
      All copies are 20th Century, originals date from 1754-1927 approx.
  • Physical Description
      6 Boxes

Scope and Content

Most of the collection consists of twentieth century handwritten copies of the correspondence of the Nicholson family, although it does contain a small number of eighteenth and nineteenth century originals. It is not known who made the copies. Likely contenders are Frances Nicholson (1843-1925) who was vice-president of the Unitarian Historical Society at its foundation in 1915, and Herbert McLachlan, the Unitarian College principal who donated a significant collection of Nicholson papers to the John Rylands Library in 1946.

No attempt has been made to match up these transcripts with the surviving copies of Nicholson family correspondence, but it is likely that the originals can be found among the two major collections of Nicholson family papers, one held at the John Rylands Library, Manchester and the other at the Liverpool Record Office:

Nicholson Papers GB 133 Eng MSS 1041-1053

Nicholson Papers GB 138 920 NIC

Administrative / Biographical History

The Nicholson's were wealthy merchants and one of Liverpool's leading Unitarian families in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries. Starting out as linen manufacturers, by the mid-eighteenth century they had branched into sugar, timber, chemicals and general merchandise.


These documents were sorted in the Unitarian College Library into bundles labelled 'Nicholson Letters I', 'Nicholson Papers I' etc. This system has been retained.