Sir William Robertson Nicoll - Encyclopedia

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SIR WILLIAM ROBERTSON NICOLL (1851-), Scottish Nonconformist divine and man of letters, was born at Auchindoir, Aberdeenshire, on the 10th of October 1851, the son of a Free Church minister. He graduated M.A. at Aberdeen in 1870, and studied for the ministry at the Free Church College there until 1874, when he was ordained minister of the Free Church at Dufftown. Three years later he moved to Kelso, and in 1884 became editor of the Expositor. In 1886 he founded the British Weekly, a Nonconformist organ which obtained great influence over opinion in the free churches. Robertson Nicoll secured many writers of exceptional talent for his paper, to which he was himself a considerable contributor, the papers signed "Claudius Clear" being among those from his hand. He also founded and edited the Bookman (1891, &c.), and acted as chief literary adviser to the publishing firm of Hodder & Stoughton. Among his other enterprises were The Expositor's Bible and The Theological Educator. He edited The Expositor's Greek Testament (18 9 7, &c.), and a series of Contemporary Writers (1894, &c.), and of Literary Lives (1 9 04, &c.). He wrote a history of The Victorian Era in English Literature, and edited, with T. J. Wise, Literary Anecdotes of the Nineteenth Century. The knighthood bestowed on him among the birthday honours in 1 9 09 was an apt recognition of his long and able devotion to the "journeyman work" of literature.

A list of his publications is included in a monograph on Dr Nicoll by Jane T. Stoddart ("New Century Leaders," 1903).

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