Letters of Erskine Nicol (1825-1904)

Scope and Content

The correspondence relates to Nicol's pictures.

Administrative / Biographical History

The oil and watercolour painter Erskine Nicol was born in the Lochend area of Edinburgh on 3 July 1825. He was an apprentice to a house painter before entering Trustees Academy at the Royal Scottish Academy, Mound, Edinburgh, in 1838. He was then a drawing master at Leith High School, and in 1846 he went to Ireland where he became an art master. Nicol painted Irish life and character, often humourously. He returned to Edinburgh in 1849. He was a constant exhibitor at the Royal Scottish Academy. In 1862 he exhibited at the Royal Academy and settled in London but made annual visits to Ireland studying his subjects. Latterly too he turned to Scottish subjects and worked in Pitlochry for a while. In 1885 he retired to Middlesex. Erskine Nicol died in Feltham, Middlesex on 8 March 1904.

Access Information

Generally open for consultation to bona fide researchers, but please contact repository for details in advance.


The biographical/administrative history was compiled using the following material: (1) McEwan, Peter J. M. Dictionary of Scottish art and architecture. p.436. Woodbridge, Suffolk: Antique Collectors' Club, 1994.

Compiled by Graeme D Eddie, Edinburgh University Library, Special Collections Division.

Other Finding Aids

Important finding aids generally are: the alphabetical Index to Manuscripts held at Edinburgh University Library, Special Collections and Archives, consisting of typed slips in sheaf binders and to which additions were made until 1987; and the Index to Accessions Since 1987.


Check the local Indexes for details of any additions.