Cover image for Reverend William M Nicholson
Reverend William M Nicholson
Agency Number:
Start Date:
01 Jan 1796
End Date:
01 Jan 1890
The Reverend William Nicolson, late of London, of the 'Scottish Free Church' arrived in Hobart from Otago, New Zealand on the ship 'Trition' on the 11 April 1851.
In July 1876 his large congregation celebrated his completion of twenty-five years as pastor of the Chalmers Church, Hobart and an effusive article reporting the event appeared in the Mercury.

He died 2 January 1890 at his residence in Smith Street (Hobart) in his 96th year and his obituary records that he was a native of St. Leonards, East Fifeshire, and was educated at St Andrew's University, He was appointed parish minister of the Presbyterian Church at Tayport near Dundee, and after filling that position for some years, in 1843 he identified himself with the Disruption. Following this, he instituted the Free Church in Tayport where he stayed for sixteen and a half years until he accepted an appointment for six years to a church in Blackwall, London.

When two of his sons went to New Zealand, he decided to go to the colonies himself. He spent a year in New Zealand, before being offered an appointment in 1851 by the Free Church in Hobart, then a very new organisation. Under his guidance and advice the Chalmers Free Church and manse were built. It opened in the 28 Aug 1852. Sadly this church building no longer exists today. He continued to preach there until 1876.
He also established churches in Launceston and Oatlands. He did not retire from church work until 1885 by which time he had helped create a strong Presbyterian Church presence in Tasmania and was regarded as one of the most eloquent preachers in the colony.

He had no family in Tasmania, but of four sons, three were still living at the itime of his death - one in Rio de Janiero, one in New Zealand and one in London. There were grandchildren in New Zealand.

Information Sources:
Archives Office of Tasmanian - correspondence file, 1972;;Mercury newspaper, Hobart - July 6, 1876 page 2 col 3 - 4;;Mercury newspaper, Hobart - Jan 3, 1890 - obituary article
Functions Performed:
Family archives