William Nicholson

Place of Birth
Co Derry Ireland

  • Born                      1830 or 1831
  • Died                       Between 1884 -1891?

William Nicholson was born in County Derry, Ireland in 1830 or 1831 and had emigrated to Manchester by the age of twenty. Although he initially appeared in the directories as a civil engineer, by 1853 he had added the professions of architect and surveyor and obtained his first known commission, a teacher’s house for St Chad’s School, in the Cheetham district of Manchester. All known subsequent works were for the Roman Catholic Church, including churches, schools, presbyteries etc. Most such commissions were in Manchester or south Lancashire, although he also designed Roman Catholic churches at Stranorlar, County Donegal (1856) and Glasgow.

William Nicholson’s relationships, both business and personal, with the older Edward Nicholson has yet to be established. The latter seems to have arrived in Manchester about 1844 and also practised as architect, surveyor and civil engineer for most of the same period. There is no evidence of any form of partnership between the two men, both being listed separately in the various directories, yet both shared the same office addresses for long periods.

About 1870, William Nicholson entered into partnership with John Mottram of Ashton-under-Lyne. Their only known joint commission was a club and bowling green, at Openshaw for Fairfield and Openshaw Club Limited (1877), probably obtained by John Mottram who lived in the area. In these later years William Nicholson took an increasing interest in local politics, an interest which continued until at least 1884.