Search for the name, locality, period or a feature of a locality. You'll then be taken to a map showing results.

Mr John Nicholl

Sir John Nicholl, knighted as king's advocate in 1798 and an Admiralty court judge from 1833, was a highly valued supporter of the government in the early-1800s.

Sir John Nicholl was a prominent British jurist and statesman of the late 18th and early 19th centuries, known for his significant contributions to the field of maritime law and his distinguished career in both legal and political spheres.

Early Life and Education: John Nicholl was born on September 29, 1759, in Llanmaes, Glamorgan, Wales. Little is known about his early life, but his intellect and passion for the law became evident during his education. He attended Pembroke College, Oxford, where he excelled in his studies and later entered the Inner Temple to pursue a legal career.

Legal Career: Nicholl was called to the bar in 1784, marking the beginning of his illustrious legal career. His expertise in maritime law quickly gained recognition, and he became a leading authority in the field. His notable cases and scholarly writings earned him a reputation as a distinguished legal mind. He was knighted as king's advocate in 1798.

One of his significant contributions to maritime law was his involvement in the famous case of "The Maria" in 1801. Nicholl's judicious interpretation of maritime principles in this case set a precedent and solidified his standing in the legal community.

Public Service and Political Career: Nicholl's legal acumen did not go unnoticed in political circles. In 1807, he was elected as the Member of Parliament for Great Bedwyn, beginning his foray into politics. His legal expertise found application in parliamentary committees, and he became a key figure in debates on legal and constitutional matters.

In 1813, Sir John Nicholl was appointed as the Judge of the High Court of Admiralty, a position he held until 1834. His tenure on the bench further enhanced his reputation, as he continued to contribute to the development of maritime law.

Legacy: Sir John Nicholl's legacy is enduring, primarily through his legal writings and landmark decisions that shaped maritime law. His commitment to justice and legal scholarship paved the way for future generations of jurists.

Later Years and Death: After retiring from the bench in 1834, Sir John Nicholl spent his remaining years in reflection and continued engagement in legal matters. He passed away on November 26, 1838, leaving behind a legacy that extended beyond his lifetime.


  1. Bell, William Henry. (1850). "The Judges of England: With Sketches of Their Lives, and Miscellaneous Notices Connected with the Courts at Westminster." London: Longman, Brown, Green, and Longmans.
  2. Campbell, John. (1857). "The Lives of the Chief Justices of England: From the Norman Conquest till the Death of Lord Tenterden." London: John Murray.
  3. Smirke, Edward. (1839). "Memoirs of the Late Sir John Nicholl, Judge of the High Court of Admiralty." London: John Hatchard and Son.

Associated Places