Biography of John Nichol
John Nichol (1833-1894) was the first Regius Professor of English Language and Literature at the University, from 1862 to 1889. The Nichol Memorial Prize was founded in 1895 by his sister, Lucy Jack.
Born in Montrose, Nichol was the son of the University's Regius Professor of Astronomy John Pringle Nichol (1804-1859). He studied at the University and then at Balliol College, Oxford as a Snell Exhibitioner. As Regius Professor at Glasgow, he gained a reputation as an inspiring lecturer and joined the Dialectic Society. He was an enthusiastic Americanist and wrote the ground-breaking American Literature: An Historical Sketch, 1620 to 1880 (1882).
Nichol's portrait was presented to the University in 1891 and a window in the Bute Hall was dedicated to him. John Nichol's Inaugural Lecture (MS Word, 17 pages, 96kb) to the course of English Language & Literature in the University of Glasgow on the 17th November 1862, is available using the link provided.