The Twickenham Museum
People : Lawyers and Clergy

Ferdinando Nicolls
Temporary Vicar of Twickenham
1598 - 1662

St Mary's tower, Ironside

Ferdinando Nicolls was appointed temporary vicar of Twickenham in 1645 after the ejection of the Royalist Dr Thomas Soame and before the appointment of Thomas Willis in 1646. He was strongly devoted to the Parliamentary cause. Married in 1631 he had two sons and three daughters. He was unpopular in Twickenham to the extent that the parishioners refused to pay their contributions to his stipend and petitioned Parliament for his removal. His immediate predecessors had hardly fared better: after Dr Soame, John Greene occupied the post for a few months. His departure led to a proposal to appoint Samuel Basford but this was resisted by the parish and Nicholls was selected.

In the meantime the vicarage had been leased to Henry Mildmay Esq, possibly for a term of 14 years from 1742. Thomas Goose, Soame's predecessor had died in 1640 and it seems unlikely that Dr Soame, vicar of Staines since 1616 actually came, as a pluralist, to live in Twickenham.

Nicolls was educated at Magdalen College, Oxford, matriculating in 1615. He became an able, fluent and intolerant preacher of firm Presbyterian persuasion.

Most of his ecclesiastical life was spent in Exeter where he was Rector from 1634 until his ejection in 1662. He is said to have died on 14 December that year of an apoplectic fit while in church.

Further reading:

ACB Urwin, The Vicars of Twickenham, 1640-1661, Borough of Twickenham Local History Society Paper no18, 1970

back to top