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date: 02 December 2020

Nicholson, Francislocked

(12 November 1655–05 March 1728)
  • Jacob Judd


Nicholson, Francis (12 November 1655–05 March 1728), colonial governor and soldier, was born in the parish of Downholme, in Yorkshire, England. While his parentage and early years remain obscure, a supposition developed among his contemporaries that he was the illegitimate son of Charles Paulet, who bore the titles of Lord St. John and, later, duke of Bolton and who became his patron. From Nicholson’s writings it is known that he had some local schooling, probably prior to becoming a page to Lady St. John during his teenage years. At twenty-three he joined the King’s Holland Regiment as an ensign and served in Flanders. By July 1680 Nicholson was in Tangier, a lieutenant in the King’s Own Regiment. There he developed a reputation for being a strict drillmaster and loyal adherent to King Charles II. Appointed an aide-de-camp to Colonel Percy Kirke, deputy governor of Tangier, he served as an envoy to the emperor of Morocco and as a courier. For exemplary service, he was brevetted captain....

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