Nichols, Philip (DNB00)

NICHOLS, PHILIP (fl. 1547–1559), protestant writer, was possibly related to John Nichols, rector of Landewednack, or to the Nichols of Trereife in Madron (Boase, Collect. Cornub. p. 621). On 24 March 1547 Richard Crispyn, prebendary of Exeter and rector of Woodleigh (Cranmer's Letters, Parker Soc., p. 183), preached a sermon at Marledon against Luther's doctrine that the scriptures are the touchstone of truth. Nichols was present, and wrote Crispyn a letter of remonstrance. A conference followed ‘the Sunday after Corpus Christi day,’ at Herberton, near Totnes, where Crispyn was beneficed; and subsequently Nichols published: (1) ‘The Copie of a Letter sente to one Maister Chrispyne, chanon of Exeter, for that he denied ye Scripture to be the Touche Stone or Trial of all other Doctrines: Whereunto is added an Apologie and a Bullwarke in Defence of the same Letter.’ Colophon: ‘written the vii Novr. 1547. Imprinted at London.’ Dedicated ‘to his singular good maister, Sir Peter Carewe,’ who had instigated the printing. The work is strongly protestant and outspoken. Nichols afterwards issued in a like spirit: (2) ‘Here begynneth a godly newe Story of XII Men that Moyses by the Commandment of God sent to spye out the Land of Canaan, of which XII only Josua and Caleb were found faythful Messengers.’ Colophon: ‘Inprinted at London, 10 May 1548.’ On the thirty-third (unpaged) leaf he says: ‘The Lord hath given us a young Josias, which … shall … finish the building of the Holy Temple.’ In the later form of the work this passage is altered thus: ‘God hath given us a gracious Judith, which shall finish the building of the Holy Temple which her father began, according to the pattern that the Lord hath prescribed in the Gospel.’ This fixes 1558–9 as the date for this later edition, which bears the title: ‘The History of the XII Men that were sent to spye out the Land of Canaan; no less fruitful than true, and worthy to be read of all.’ No place or date; identical with No. 2, with the stated exceptions. Tanner also ascribes to Nichols the following: (3) ‘Ad Angliæ protectorem Edwardum,’ and (4) ‘Contra Cornubiensium Rebelliones,’ 1558. In their rebellion the Cornish papists had demanded that Richard Crispyn, Nichols's earliest opponent, should be sent to them (Strype, Cranmer, p. 265).

There was apparently another Philip Nichols, who was instituted to the church of Kympton (Kineton), diocese of Wells, 23 Nov. 1562, on the presentment of Sir Francis Knollys. Tanner credits him with the authorship of the ‘Relation of the Third Voyage of Sir Francis Drake,’ prepared for publication by Sir Francis Drake himself, with a dedication to Elizabeth, dated 1592. The work was first published by Drake's nephew, Sir Francis Drake, in 1626, with a dedication to Charles I, as ‘Sir Francis Drake Revived,’ &c., London, 1626, 4to; London, 1628, 4to; and a much altered edition, London, 1652, 4to.

[State Papers, Henry VIII, No. 6247, p. 153; Watt's Bibl. Brit.; Tanner's Bibl. Brit.-Hib.; Bibl. Cornub. pp. 1117, 1451; Hazlitt's Bibliogr. Coll. and Notes, ii. 428; Ames's Typogr. Antiq. (Herbert), iv. 49, 322; Works in Brit. Mus.]

W. A. S.