Person:Daniel Nicholls (2)

Daniel William Nicholls
m. 5 Dec 1819
  1. William Nicholls1820 - 1822
  2. Mary Nicholls1823 - 1837
  3. Daniel William Nicholls1831 - 1901
  • HDaniel William Nicholls1831 - 1901
  • WSusan WarnerAbt 1835 - 1871
  1. William Abraham Nicholls1857 - 1891
  2. Jesse Nicholls1859 - 1935
  3. Frederick Nicholls1861 - 1892
  4. Mary Ann Nicholls1863 - 1935
  5. Alfred Nicholls1866 - 1910
  6. Sarah Nicholls1868 - 1940
  7. Arthur Daniel Nicholls1871 - 1947
  • HDaniel William Nicholls1831 - 1901
  • WMaria Hornet1832 - 1906
m. 24 Dec 1871
  1. Clara Nicholls1872 - 1935
  2. George Nicholls1874 - 1931
  3. James Nicholls1876 - 1878
Facts and Events
Name Daniel William Nicholls
Gender Male
Christening[1] 29 May 1831 Luton, Bedfordshire, EnglandSt Mary
Census[2] 6 Jun 1841 Harpenden, Hertfordshire, EnglandCold Harbour
Census[3] 30 Mar 1851 Harpenden, Hertfordshire, EnglandBack Lane
Census[4] 7 Apr 1861 Wheathampstead, Hertfordshire, EnglandNomansland
Census[5] 2 Apr 1871 Wheathampstead, Hertfordshire, EnglandNomansland
Marriage 24 Dec 1871 St Albans, Hertfordshire, EnglandRegister Office
to Maria Hornet
Census[6] 3 Apr 1881 Wheathampstead, Hertfordshire, EnglandBrewhouse Hill
Census[7] 5 Apr 1891 Wheathampstead, Hertfordshire, EnglandHamwell Cottage
Census[8] 31 Mar 1901 Harpenden, Hertfordshire, EnglandWest Common
Death[9] 10 Apr 1901 Harpenden, Hertfordshire, EnglandPimlico, West Common
Burial[10] 13 Apr 1901 Harpenden, Hertfordshire, EnglandSt Nicholas

Early life

Daniel William Nicholls' exact date and place of birth are uncertain. In the censuses he consistently gave his place of birth as the parish of Wheathampstead, Hertfordshire, and on one occasion (1881) specified the hamlet of Gustard Wood in Wheathampstead. However, he was not baptised at Wheathampstead, but in the nearby town of Luton, just over the border into Bedfordshire. He was also baptised just over a year after his father Daniel Nicholls' burial, implying that his mother Hannah was pregnant with him when Daniel senior died and that he must have been a few months old when baptised. How long Hannah lived in Luton is unclear, but she later moved with her two surviving children, Mary and Daniel William, back to Wheathampstead, living at Gustard Wood in 1837 when her daughter Mary died aged 14.

When Daniel was about nine years old his mother Hannah remarried to a John Maddox, a widower originally from Shillington in Bedfordshire. At the time of the marriage in 1839 the family was living in Snatchup Alley in St Albans, at the northern end of the town behind The Cricketers public house. They did not stay long in St Albans, moving to the Coldharbour area of Harpenden, which is where Daniel appears in both the 1841 and 1851 censuses with his mother Hannah and stepfather John Maddox. Indeed, in 1851 Daniel's name is recorded as "Daniel Maddox".


As a young man, Daniel had a couple of brushes with the law. In February 1854 he was tried at the Hertfordshire Epiphany Sessions, charged with stealing a coat and various other things belonging to a John Boyce. Witnesses gave evidence reporting that they had seen Daniel leading away Boyce's horse and cart from the Red Lion at Wheathampstead early on a Saturday evening. The horse and cart were later seen being driven very fast between Luton and Sundon, about ten to twelve miles away from Wheathampstead. The horse was later found near Peter's Green, with the horse standing asleep. Items from the cart were found in various fields. Daniel was found back at home in the early hours of Sunday morning, having not been in earlier in the night. He claimed to have slept in a field and not to know anything about the horse and cart. Daniel was found not guilty of theft, with the chairman deciding that although Daniel had taken the cart and distributed its contents, there was no felonious intent as Daniel had not kept any of the items himself.

Later that year, Daniel was involved in an altercation in Wheathampstead. He assaulted a John Handley, in retaliation for Handley assaulting Daniel's stepfather John Maddox at The Folly public house. Handley claimed that his attack on Maddox had been provoked by Maddox and another man calling "insulting and disgusting" names under his window after he and his wife were in bed. Handley was fined 5s plus 15s.6d costs, whilst Daniel was sentenced to six months' imprisonment for assault with intent to cause grievous bodily harm.

In the late 1850s, Daniel set up home with a lady named Susan Warner. They had presumably known each other from childhood, as they had been close neighbours at Coldharbour in the 1841 census. Susan and Daniel went on to have seven children together between 1857 and 1871 but, for reasons which are unclear, never actually married. The births of most of their children were registered under the surname Warner, with Nicholls being a middle name, although all the children later used Nicholls as their surname, not Warner. The baptisms of some of their children at Wheathampstead describe them as "Daniel Nichols, labourer, and Susan Warner, single woman". In the 1861 and 1871 censues Daniel and Susan were living at Nomansland - a hamlet in the south of Wheathampstead parish beside the large heath of Nomansland Common. Daniel's mother died in 1866.

Susan died on 17th June 1871, aged just 36. Just over six months later, on Christmas Eve that same year, Daniel married Susan's half-sister, Maria Wright (formerly Hornet), who had been widowed in 1868. Daniel and Maria's children from their previous relationships were therefore already cousins, and following Daniel and Maria's marriage became step-siblings as well. Particularly confusing must have been the fact that both Daniel and Maria had daughters called Sarah of very similar ages.

Daniel and Maria went on to have another three children between 1872 and 1876, although their youngest, James, died as a baby. In 1875 the inspector of nuisances from the Rural Sanitary Authority found several cases of overcrowding in the area, with Daniel's cottage at Nomansland being one of those specifically mentioned. Apparently the family of eleven people was living in a cottage with one small living room and one room for sleeping. The clerk of the authority was instructed to write to Daniel's landlord about the matter, although it is not clear whether any action was taken. However, by 1881 the family had left Nomansland and was living at Brewhouse Hill in Wheathampstead village.

Through the 1880s, five of Daniel's children from his relationship with Susan Warner emigrated to Australia, with four of them settling around Maryborough in Queensland. Only William and Mary Ann of Daniel's children with Susan stayed in England: William died as a young man in Derby in 1891, whilst Mary Ann remained near Wheathampstead but never married. Out in Australia, Daniel's son Frederick died as a young man in 1892. Daniel's two surviving children by Maria Hornet both stayed closer to home, settling in the Southdown area of Harpenden and eventually both living on Cravells Road.

By 1901, Daniel and Maria were living at West Common in Harpenden, apparently in the row of cottages known as Soapsud Alley, just north of Pimlico Place. Daniel died ten days after the 1901 census, aged 70, at Pimlico, of chronic heart disease. Maria outlived him by five years and died in 1906.

  1. Baptisms register, in Church of England. Parish registers of St Mary, Luton, 1603-1944. (Bedford: Bedfordshire and Luton Archives and Record Service).
    BAPTISMS solemnized in the Parish of Luton in the County of Bedford in the Year 1831
    No.When BaptizedChild's Christian NameParents' NameAbodeQuality, Trade, or ProfessionBy whom the Ceremony was performed
    2072May 29Daniel William son ofDaniel & HannahNicholsLutonLaborerTho[ma]s Sikes, Curate
  2. England. General Register Office. The National Archives (abbreviated TNA): 1841 Census Schedules for England and Wales, Isle of Man and the Channel Islands. (Kew, Richmond, Greater London TW9 4DU, United Kingdom)
    Class HO107; Piece 441; Book 4; Folio 31; Page 15, 6 Jun 1841.

    Address: Cold Harbour, Harpenden, Hertfordshire
    John Maddock, male, 45 [1791-6], Ag Lab, b. outside Hertfordshire
    Hannah Maddock, female, 30 [1806-11], b. Hertfordshire
    Charles Maddock, male, 20 [1816-21], Ag Lab, b. outside Hertfordshire
    Elizabeth Maddock, female, 25 [1811-16], Pl[aiter?], b. outside Hertfordshire
    Ann Maddock, female, 11 months [1840], b. Hertfordshire
    Daniel Nicols, male, 9 [1831/2], b. Hertfordshire

  3. General Register Office. The National Archives (abbreviated TNA). England and Wales. 1851 Census Schedules. (Kew, Richmond, Greater London TW9 4DU, United Kingdom)
    Class HO107; Piece 1713; Piece 97; Page 4, 30 Mar 1851.

    Address: Back Lane (listed immediately after Cold Harbour), Harpenden, Hertfordshire
    John Maddox, head, married, male, 70 [1780/1], Ag Lab, b. Barton le Clay, Bedfordshire
    Hannah Maddox, wife, married, female, 41 [1809/10], Straw plaiter, b. Wheathampstead, Hertfordshire
    Daniel Maddox, son, unmarried, male, 17 [1833/4], Ag labr, b. Wheathampstead, Hertfordshire

  4. General Register Office. The National Archives (abbreviated TNA). 1861 Census Schedules for England and Wales, Isle of Man and the Channel Islands. (Kew, Richmond, Greater London TW9 4DU, United Kingdom)
    Class RG9; Piece 927; Folio 43; Page 10, 7 Apr 1861.

    Address: No Mans Land, Wheathampstead, Hertfordshire
    Daniel Nichols, head, married, male, 27 [1833/4], Labourer, b. Wheathampstead, Hertfordshire
    Susan Nichols, wife, married, female, 26 [1834/5], Wife of labourer, b. Harpenden, Hertfordshire
    William Nichols, son, male, 3 [1857/8], b. Wheathampstead, Hertfordshire
    Jesse Nichols, son, male, 2 [1858/9], b. Wheathampstead, Hertfordshire

  5. General Register Office. The National Archives (abbreviated TNA). England and Wales. 1871 Census Schedules. (Kew, Richmond, Greater London TW9 4DU, United Kingdom)
    Class RG10; Piece 1376; Folio 51; Page 18, 2 Apr 1871.

    Address: No Man's Land, Wheathampstead, Hertfordshire
    Daniel Nichols, head, married, male, 37 [1833/4], Ag Labourer, b. Wheathampstead, Hertfordshire
    Susan Nichols, wife, married, female, 36 [1834/5], Straw plaiter, b. Harpenden, Hertfordshire
    William Nichols, son, male, 13 [1857/8], Ag Labourer, b. Wheathampstead, Hertfordshire
    Jessie Nichols, son, male, 11 [1859/60], Ag Labourer, b. Wheathampstead, Hertfordshire
    Frederick Nichols, son, male, 9 [1861/2], Ag Labourer, b. Wheathampstead, Hertfordshire
    Mary Ann Nichols, daughter, female, 7 [1863/4], Straw plaiter, b. Wheathampstead, Hertfordshire
    Alfred Nichols, son, male, 5 [1865/6], b. Wheathampstead, Hertfordshire
    Sarah Nichols, daughter, female, 3 [1867/8], b. Wheathampstead, Hertfordshire
    Arthur Nichols, son, male, 1m [1871], b. Wheathampstead, Hertfordshire

  6. General Register Office. The National Archives (abbreviated TNA). 1881 Census Schedules for England and Wales, Isle of Man and the Channel Islands: . (Kew, Richmond, Greater London TW9 4DU, United Kingdom)
    Class RG11; Piece 1429; Folio 48; Page 7, 3 Apr 1881.

    Address: Brewhouse Hill, Wheathampstead, Hertfordshire
    Daniel Nichols, head, married, male, 47 [1833/4], Farm labourer, b. Gustard Wood, Hertfordshire
    Maria Nichols, wife, married, female, 48 [1832/3], Straw plaiter, b. Batford Mills, Hertfordshire
    Frederick Nichols, son, unmarried, male, 19 [1861/2], Farm labourer, b. Nomansland, Hertfordshire
    Mary Ann Nichols, daughter, unmarried, female, 17 [1863/4], Straw plaiter, b. Nomansland, Hertfordshire
    Sarah Nichols, daughter, unmarried, female, 12 [1868/9], Scholar, b. Nomansland, Hertfordshire
    Arthur Nichols, son, male, 9 [1871/2], Scholar, b. Nomansland, Hertfordshire
    Clara Nichols, daughter, female, 8 [1872/3], Scholar, b. Nomansland, Hertfordshire
    George Nichols, son, male, 6 [1874/5], Scholar, b. Nomansland, Hertfordshire
    Sarah Wright, daughter, female, 13 [1867/8], Scholar (2nd family), b. Folly, Hertfordshire

  7. General Register Office. The National Archives (abbreviated TNA). 1891 Census Schedules for England and Wales, Isle of Man and the Channel Islands. (Kew, Richmond, Greater London TW9 4DU, United Kingdom)
    Class RG12; Piece 1114; Folio 47; Page 15, 5 Apr 1891.

    Address: Hamwell Cottage, Nomansland, Wheathampstead, Hertfordshire
    4 rooms occupied
    Daniel Nicholls, head, married, male, 57 [1833/4], Agric[ultura]l Labourer, employed, b. Wheathampstead, Hertfordshire
    Maria Nicholls, wife, married, female, 58 [1832/3], b. Wheathampstead, Hertfordshire
    Charlotte Nicholls, daughter, single, female, 18 [1872/3], b. Wheathampstead, Hertfordshire
    George Nicholls, son, single, male, 16 [1874/5], Agric[ultura]l Labourer, b. Wheathampstead, Hertfordshire

  8. General Register Office. The National Archives (abbreviated TNA). England and Wales. 1901 Census Schedules: also for the Isle of Man and the Channel Islands. (Kew, Richmond, Greater London TW9 4DU, United Kingdom)
    Class RG13; Piece 1310; Folio 20; Page 32, 31 Mar 1901.

    Address: West Common, Harpenden, Hertfordshire
    2 rooms occupied
    Daniel Nichols, head, married, male, 70 [1830/1], General farm labourer, b. Wheathampstead, Hertfordshire
    Maria Nichols, wife, married, female, 69 [1831/2], b. Wheathampstead, Hertfordshire

  9. Death certificate, in General Register Office. England and Wales Civil Registration. (London: General Register Office).
    1901 DEATH in the Sub-district of Harpenden in the County of Hertford
    No.When and where diedName and surnameSexAgeOccupationCause of deathSignature, description and residence of informantWhen registeredSignature of registrar
    282Tenth April 1901
    West Common
    Harpenden Urban U.D.
    Daniel NichollsMale67 yearsAgricultural LaboruerChronic Heart Disease
    Pulmonary Oedema
    Certified by W.H. Blake M.B. (Lond)
    Clara Seabrook
    In attendance
    Upper Cravells Road
    Harpenden Urban
    Eleventh April 1901L.C. Gifkins, Registrar
  10. Burials register, in Church of England. Harpenden Parish Registers.
    BURIALS in the Parish of Harpenden in the County of Hertford in the year One thousand nine hundred and one
    NoNameAbodeWhen buriedAgeBy whom the Ceremony was performed
    1379Daniel NichollsWest Common, HarpendenApril 13th 190167 yearsW.K. Suart, Assist[ant] Curate
  11.   Hertford Mercury and Reformer, in United Kingdom. The British Newspaper Archive
    25 Feb 1854.

    MONDAY, February 20th.
    Wheathamstead.-Singular Case.
    Daniel Nickols, aged 20, labourer, Wheathamstead, was charged with stealing on the 11th February, a coat and a wooden box, and a variety of other articles, the property of John Boyes, at Wheathamstead.
    John Boyes, the prosecutor, examined: On Saturday, 11th February, I went with a horse and cart to Wheathamstead. I put the horse and cart up at the Red Lion; a young man named Armstrong was with me; it was about six o'clock in the evening; we stayed there about half an hour; when we went out of the house to go away we found that the horse and cart were taken away. I gave notice to the police, and I went about all night in search of the horse and cart. I had drapery goods in my cart. I did not see the horse and cart again till Sunday evening; everything that the cart had contained was taken away. I afterwards saw some of the property at Luton and some at St. Alban's. I could positively identify several articles, more particularly a dress and a coat. [A variety of articles were produced and identified.]
    Amelia Nash examined: I live with my father and mother at the Red Lion, at Wheathamstead. On Saturday, the 11th February, the prisoner was in my father's house about two or three hours in the afternoon.
    Esther Fitzjohn examined: I live at Wheathamstead. On the 11th February, a little after six in the afternoon, I saw the prisoner in the shed at the Red Lion, where the horse and cart were standing. The prisoner was doing something to the horse's head; and when I returned, in about ten minutes, the prisoner and the horse and cart were gone. I know the prisoner very well. I believe his character is not a very good one.
    Caroline Pike examined: I live next door to the Red Lion, at Wheathamstead. I saw the prisoner take the prosecutor's horse and chaise out of the shed at the Red Lion, on the afternoon of the 11th February. He went with it in the direction of Gustard Wood and Luton; he was not driving, but leading the horse. I thought he was taking out form Mr. Boyes, or I should have gone and told him what had happened. The prisoner was not drunk.
    Police-constable Knight examined: On Saturday night, the 11th of February, about half-past seven o'clock, in consequence of information I received, I went to the prisoner's house with the prosecutor, but he was not at home. I went again about five minutes to ten, and he was not at home then. I went again about a quarter before three on Sunday morning; when I arrived at a little distance from the house I saw a light up stairs; but just before I got to the house the light disappeared. The prisoner lived with his mother and his father-in-law. When I knocked at the door, the father-in-law came down and let me in. I went up to the bed-room of the prisoner, where I found him. I asked him where he had been from the time he left the Red Lion on the previous afternoon. He said he had been in a field, where he laid down and went to sleep. I told him the charge against him, and he said he knew nothing about the horse and cart. He got up and dressed himself at my request. I noticed that his knuckles were cut, and his hand was smothered with fresh blood. He accounted for the blood by saying that he knocked his nose when he was thrashing, and that he had cut his knuckles by falling down when he was drunk. On Monday I went, in company with police-constable Townsend, and a man named Odell, to a field, where we found the box produced, and identified by the prosecutor. There were footsteps near the box, which corresponded with the prisoner's shoes. I have since received a parcel from James Webb, which contained about three quarters of a pound of tea, and some articles of drapery; there were some stains of blood on the paper containing the tea.
    Thomas Scrivener, examined: I am a labourer, and live at Luton. On Saturday night, the 11th of February, as I was coming home from my work, I met the prosecutor's cart coming from Luton to Sundon. It was about half-past seven; I could not tell who it was in the cart; the man was driving very fast. Shortly after I met him I picked a chaise lamp up on the road. [The lamp was produced, and identified by the prosecutor.] The place where I picked up the lamp is about ten or twelve miles from Wheathampstead. The man driving the cart was going from Luton.
    John Gathard, examined: I found the horse and chaise in Kimpton-road, between Peter's-green and Kimpton. The horse was standing asleep, as if it had been over-driven.
    James Webb, a labourer, examined: Yesterday morning I found a parcel containing some silk ha[n]dkerchiefs and some tea, in a ditch about thirty yards from the road, and covered over with dirt. It was about two miles from Wheathamstead. I took the parcel to the police. I did not see any footmarks near the place where I found the parcel.
    Police-constable Townshend, examined: On Monday, the 13th of February, I went to Sundon with the prisoner's shoes, which I found corresponded with some footmarks in the field near where the box had been broken open. There was also a small piece of wood, which had been broken off the prosecutor's cart, and which had some spots of blood on it.
    The CHAIRMAN, in summing up the evidence, said it was doubtful whether the prisoner, in taking away the prosecutor's cart, and distributing the contents in various fields, was actuated by felonious intention. The prisoner did not appear to have appropriated any of the property to himself, and therefore his conduct might have been a mere drunken frolic. Verdict-Not Guilty!

  12.   County Press
    Page 3, 5 Sep 1854.

    St Albans Liberty Petty Sessions

  13.   Herts Guardian, in United Kingdom. The British Newspaper Archive
    Page 4, 12 Sep 1854.

    ST. ALBAN'S.-Liberty Petty Sessions, September 2nd.-Present: Capt. Fosket, and Rev. Dr. Bowen.-Daniel Nicholls of Wheathamstead, who a short time since was charged with stealing a horse and cart, and acquitted, was committed to the Hertford sessions for trial, on a charge of committing a most violent assault with a large stick, on the person of John Hanley, on the night of the 26th ult., near to the Folly Farm.-The complainant's head exhibited some marks of severe punishment.
    ...John Hanley of Wheathamstead was ordered to pay 18s 6d and expences within a fortnight, or 3 weeks imprisonment, for having on the 22nd ult., assaulted John Maddock.

  14.   County Press
    Page 3, 17 Oct 1854.

    Hertfordshire Michaelmas Quarter Sessions

  15.   Hertford Mercury and Reformer, in United Kingdom. The British Newspaper Archive
    21 Oct 1854.

    Daniel Nicholls, aged 21, pleaded guilty to assaulting John Handley, at Wheathamstead, with intent to do him grevious bodily harm.-Sentence to be imprisoned for six months.

  16.   Herts Guardian, in United Kingdom. The British Newspaper Archive
    28 Nov 1857.

    Herts. Adjourned Michaelmas Sessions.
    Daniel Nickols, (24), labourer, of Wheathampstead, charged with stealing six bushels of acorns, the property of Henry Willmott of Harpenden; also with being the receiver of the acorns.
    Henry Willmot: I am a farmer at Harpenden: on the 8th Nov. I missed eight bushels of acorns from a standing in a stable in my farm-yard: It was not locked: I had last seen them on Friday night, the 6th inst: there was some tre-foil, chaff, and wheat eavings below where I laid them: these produced in a sack have similar chaff and eavings mixed; prisoner lives at Pickford Mills, about a mile from my house.
    James Bunyan: I work for Mr. Willmott, and had the care of his stable: saw the acorns there a little after five o'clock on Saturday night: on Sunday morning eight bushels were gone.
    P.c. John Richard Bennett: On the 10th inst., I went to prisoner's house at Pickford Mill: I searched it and found half a bushel of acorns in a pail: I produce them: there is tre-foil, and wheat chaff mixed with them.
    Amos Attwood: I saw prisoner on the morning of Nov. 9: he asked me to go with him to take some acorns to Mr. Groom's: Amos Day was standing with me, and he asked him also: George Arnold and Daniel Nickols helped to carry them: Mrs. Groom gave Nickols 5s. for four bushels, at 1s. 3d. per bushel: Nickols and Day emptied them in the barn, and brought the bag away: I don't know what was done with the bag.
    Anne Groom: My husband keeps a beershop: I bought some acorns of prisoner: did not ask where he got them: we have been a buying ever so many acorns, and in course I thought he had been a picking on 'em up.
    Sarah Mead: I keep the Folly beerhouse: on the 10th Nov. prisoner, Arnold and Day came into my house: they had a pint of beed each: after they had gone I looked under the seat, and found a bag: next day we examined it, and found a sack in it with Mr. Brown's name, of Luton, on it.
    P.c. W. Cox: I found some acorns in Mrs. Groom's barn shot in a heap, with trefoil, chaff, wheat eavings, and hanlin mixed: Mr. Willmott and p.c. Knight were with me: I went to Mrs. Mead's on the 11th, and found loose chaff seed, and a few acorns corresponding with Mr. Willmott's, to whose place I went on Monday morning early: near the back window of the stable I saw the distinct footmarks of two persons: examined prisoner's shoes (produced), and they correspond exactly.
    Prisoner in defence said he had no work for three or four weeks before, and he and Arnold went round the fields picking up acorns, and they were those he sold.
    His Lordship briefly summed up.
    The jurymen, after wasting above half an hour the time in their box said they could not afree, were locked up and another jury were sworn. After being locked up three-quarters of an hour the jury returned into court with a verdict of not guilty.

  17.   Herts Advertiser, in United Kingdom. The British Newspaper Archive
    7 Aug 1875.

    Mr LUNBY, inspector of nuisances reported that at a house situated at No. 1, No-man's-land, in the parish of Wheathampstead, tenanted by Daniel Nichols, there was only one small living room and one sleeping room, wherein eleven persons lived. The same state of things he observed at a cottage in High-street, Wheathamstead with only two rooms, occupied by a person named Newberry, where there were eight in family living, and no back premises.
    Mr. Brabant, the clerk, was directed to write the owners of the property, calling their attention to the subject.

  18.   Herts Advertiser, in United Kingdom. The British Newspaper Archive
    Page 8, 20 Apr 1901.

    NICHOLLS.-April 10, at Pimlico, Harpenden, Daniel Nicholls, aged 67.