Archives provinciales du Nouveau-Brunswick

Dictionary of Miramichi Biography

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NICHOLSON, ARTHUR, collector of customs, land surveyor, and JP; b. Co. Leitrim, Ireland, 1746; m. 1st, 1779, Ellen Henry, in Long Island, N.Y., and 2nd, 1787, Elizabeth Lawrence; d. Carleton Co., N.B., c1822.

Prior to the American Revolutionary War, Arthur Nicholson was a cornet in the 7th Light Dragoons, then serving in Ireland. His regiment was sent to America and he fought in the Battle of Bunker Hill. He had more than twenty years of army service when he came to New Brunswick after the war and settled with his regiment at Prince William.

In 1788 Nicholson was appointed collector of customs at Miramichi, as well as a deputy land surveyor and justice of the peace. He was one of the seven magistrates present at the first session of the Northumberland County Court of Quarter Sessions in 1789 and one of only two justices to attend all sessions of the court between 1789 and 1793. During this period he acted as county clerk, but he did not become a permanent settler.

Nicholson was named adjutant of the King's New Brunswick Regiment when it was raised in 1794. He settled near the Presque Isle garrison but retired permanently from army life a few years afterwards. He later taught school in Northampton and Wakefield parishes in Carleton County. He died before 25 March 1822, when a notice concerning his estate was dated for publication in The Royal Gazette.

There were two children born of Nicholson's marriage to Ellen Henry and nine of his marriage to Elizabeth Lawrence, three of whom were born on the Miramichi. Grace V. Nicholson, the second wife of Sir William Ritchie, chief justice of the Supreme Court of Canada, was a granddaughter.


[b/m] Raymond / Nicholson family data; Royal Gazette 9 Apr 1822; Spray (ENC)