NICHOLAS, Reginald (d.1613), of Prestbury, Glos.
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Family and Education
s. of Humphrey Nicholas. m. Winifred, da. of William Person of London, 3s. 3da.
?Servant of Sir Thomas Chamberlain (d.1580), of Earl of Essex by 1599.
This Member may or may not be connected with the Cornish family of Nicholls, to which belonged Philip Nicholls, Sir Francis Drake’s puritan chaplain. Nicholas had no apparent connexion with Plymouth and presumably owed his parliamentary seat there to a patron at court, possibly Sir Francis Drake, Lord Burghley, or Burghley’s secretary Henry Maynard, who was Nicholas’s brother-in-law. In 1599 he was a follower of the Earl of Essex, entrusted with the task of acquiring horses for service in Ireland, but even if he was already in Essex’s service ten years earlier, this would not help to explain his return for Plymouth.
Nicholas acquired the reversion of his land at Prestbury during the lifetime of Sir Thomas Chamberlain. After succeeding to the property he got into debt to the Crown. By the time of his death 1613 he had sold Prestbury, but was buried there, as he had directed in his will. His son Thomas continuted to live in Gloucestershire, becoming sheriff in 1627.
Vis. Glos. (Harl. Soc. xxi), 78, 106, 117; Vis. Cornw. (Harl. Soc. ix), 139 140, 156, 157; HMC Hatfield, ix. 125; Vis. Essex (Harl. Soc. xiv), 595; Vivian, Vis. Devon, 561; R. Atkyns, Ancient and Present State of Glos. 317; T. D. Fosbrooke, Glos. ii. 366-7; E178/947; Bristol and Glos. Arch. Soc. Trans. xvii. 235; W. B. Willcox, Glos. 1590-1640, 119; C142/335/27; PCC 87 Capell, 77 Lewyn.