Dictionary of National Biography, 1885-1900/Nicholson, George (1760-1825)

NICHOLSON, GEORGE (1760–1825), printer and author, born in 1760, was the son of John Nicholson, bookseller, who removed from Keighley in Yorkshire to Bradford in the same county in 1781, and set up the first printing press in Bradford. George began business with a brother at Bradford about 1784, and afterwards acted on his own account successively at Bradford, Manchester, Poughnill, near Ludlow, and at Stourport in Worcestershire. He possessed great taste and originality as a typographer, and many of the productions of his press, especially those written or edited by himself, although published at a low price, were models of neatness and even of beauty. Many of them were illustrated by pretty vignettes on wood by Thomas Bewick and others, and on copper by Bromley. Some of his first publications at Bradford were chap-books. He produced a series of 125 cards, on which were printed favourite pieces. These cards were sold at a penny and three halfpence each. When he removed to Manchester in 1797, or earlier, he commenced the publication of his ‘Literary Miscellany, or Selections and Extracts, Classical and Scientific, with Originals, in Prose and Verse.’ Each number consisted of a distinct subject, and the whole series extended to about sixty parts, or twenty volumes. Nicholson, who was a convinced vegetarian, died at Stourport on 1 Nov. 1825.

He was author or compiler of the following works: 1. ‘On the Conduct of Man to Inferior Animals,’ Manchester, 1797. 2. ‘On the Primeval Food of Man; Arguments in favour of Vegetable Food,’ Poughnill, 1801. 3. ‘On Food,’ 1803. 4. ‘The Advocate and Friend of Woman.’ 5. ‘The Mental Friend and Rational Companion.’ 6. ‘Directions for the Improvement of the Mind.’ 7. ‘The Juvenile Preceptor, or a Course of Rudimental Reading,’ 1806, 3 vols. 8. ‘Stenography, or a New System of Shorthand,’ Poughnill, 1806. This was written with the assistance of his brother Samuel, schoolmaster, of Manchester. The system is Mavor's. 9. ‘The Cambrian Traveller's Guide,’ Stourport, 1808, 12mo; 2nd edition, 1812; 3rd edition, revised by the author's son, the Rev. Emilius Nicholson, incumbent of Minsterley, Shropshire.

[Gent. Mag. 1825, pt. ii. p. 642; Timperley's Dict. of Printers, 1839, p. 896; Biog. Dict. of Living Authors, 1816, p. 251; Manchester Guardian, 23 Nov. 1874; Bradford Antiquary, 1888, p. 281; Williams's Catena of Authorities on Flesh Eating, 1881, p. 190; Westby-Gibson's Bibliogr. of Shorthand, 1887, p. 142.]

C. W. S.