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Nicolls, Richardlocked

(1624–28 May 1672)
  • Geoffrey Gneuhs


Nicolls, Richard (1624–28 May 1672), the first English governor of New York, was born in Ampthill, Bedfordshire, England, the son of Francis Nicolls, a lawyer, and Margaret Bruce. His father, one of the squires of the bath to Sir Edward Bruce, died the year Nicolls was born. Amply provided for, the family continued to live at Ampthill Great Park, a royal chase. With the outbreak of the civil war when he was eighteen, Nicolls fought on the royal side against the forces of Oliver Cromwell, commanding a troop of horse. In 1648 Nicolls went into exile with the Stuarts in France, where he served in the household of James, the duke of York. Four years later, in the spring of 1652, he and the duke fought in the army of Marshall Turenne in the war of the Fronde. In 1660, when the monarchy was restored in England under Charles II, the duke, who was the king’s brother, named Nicolls a groom of his bedchamber....

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