RepositoryJesuits in Britain Archives
Ref NoABSI/SJ/119
TitleFr James Nicholson SJ (1855-1934)
DateEarly 20th century
LevelSub fonds
DescriptionThis collection contains Nicholson's retreat notes and papers.
Admin_HistoryFr James Nicholson was born 2 November 1855, Birkenhead. He studied for the secular priesthood at Ushaw College where he received the tonsure and Minor Orders, however he left before completing his studies and became a barrister. Later, in 1880, he decided to join the Society of Jesus, and entered at Manresa, Roehampton, 16 September 1880. Being older than his contemporaries, he was put through his philosophy immediately after his Vows, did three years' teaching at Beaumont, and was ordained at St Beuno's 21 September 1890.

Nicholson was involved with the founding of the Jesuit colleges at Wimbledon and Stamford Hill. Wimbledon College opened 17 January 1892 with two pupils in a room of the presbytery in Cranbrook Road, before the College on the Hill was acquired. By 1893 the College staff consisted of Herbert Thurston SJ, in place of Fr Nicholson, who was now a tertian, with Frs Sybrandt and Colchester and a laymaster. The Month and Directorship of the Apostleship of Prayer had also come under its roof.

At the end of his Tertianship, Nicholson went to Stamford Hill. In 1895 he became Vice-Rector which a staff of five masters, and the Missions of Bury St Edmunds and Yarmouth suffragans. For 14 years he was Missioner 'Excurrens', at the call of all and sundry, in and out of the Society, for retreats, missions, and special sermons. In between his two 'Excurrens' periods, Nicholson interpolated four years as Rector of the Holy Name, Manchester.

Leaving Manchester in 1912, he went to Stonyhurst as Spiritual Father. He carried out more 'Excurrens' work before joining the parish at Edinburgh. At the end of 1924 he was taken ill with cardiac asthma and left Edinburgh the following February for his last post at New Hall. He died 7 November 1934 at New Hall following a heart attack. A Solemn Requiem was sung in the Convent chapel by his Redemptorist brother, Fr George, and was buried in the Convent cemetery.
Related MaterialArchives:
- Three letters to the Provincial about a new school in Manchester, dated 25, 26 & 27 November 1910 (RX/4)
- Letter to John Pollen SJ, 1905 (RD/2)
- Letters in Stamford Hill correspondence etc. dated 22 February & 30 April 1896 (DH/3)
- Papers connected to the legacy to Nicholson at Stamford Hill by Miss L D Gibson, 1920, of property in London (25/3/15)
AccessConditionsThe papers are available subject to the usual conditions of access to archive material in the Jesuits in Britain Archives.
DS/UK/659Nicholson; James (1855-1934); Jesuit Priest1855-1934

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