Robert Boyle Nicholas

1744-80. He was the son of William Nicholas of Froyle, Hampshire, and of his first wife, Harriet Boyle, the daughter of George, 1st Earl of Cork and Orrery. The family was descended from Sir Edward Nicholas, the secretary of state to both King Charles I and Charles II.

Nicholas was commissioned lieutenant on 5 June 1772, and in 1774 took the Hind 24 out to the Leeward Islands where Captain William Garnier assumed command of her. In August 1777 he became first lieutenant of the Portland 50, Captain Thomas Dumaresq, being based at Antigua, and he was promoted commander on 15 January 1778 upon joining the sloop Beaver 14 on the same station. He returned to England with the Grasshopper 14, and by October was serving at Guernsey. She was subsequently paid off at the end of the year after he had made complaints about damage sustained by her running aground in the West Indies.

He was posted captain of the Romney 50 on 19 April 1779 and briefly flew the broad pennant of Commodore George Johnstone. A month later he removed to the Scarborough 20, recommissioning her for service in the Channel and participating in the retreat from the allied armada during August. He retained her until the following February when he joined the Thunderer 74, flying the broad pennant of Commodore Hon. Robert Boyle Walsingham, and sailing for the Leeward Islands in May, but not arriving until July because of contrary weather. The Thunderer then continued on to Jamaica with Rear-Admiral Joshua Rowley’s reinforcements.

Nicholas lost his life when the Thunderer foundered without trace during the Great Hurricanes of October 1780.

He was unmarried, and upon his death his property, Newton Valence Manor House, passed to his sister, Charlotte.