Nicholas, Dr William
1838-1912; e.m. 1861

Theological professor and sixth President (1889-1908) of Methodist College, Belfast. Born of English parents at Wexford on 22 December 1838, he was a theological Prizeman at Trinity College, Dublin. An outstanding speaker, he attracted large crowds wherever he preached. He was also a writer of considerable ability and was chosen by the Evangelical Alliance to deliver papers at three international conferences. He was a traditionalist in his attitude to social issues and his theological outlook. He campaigned vigorously against Home Rule during the campaigns of 1886 and 1892 and became increasingly identified with the Ulster Loyalist cause. The Methodist Times saw in him all that was anathema to radical thinkers, dismissing the rhetoric of his Fernley Lecture on Christianity and Socialism (1893) and branding him an extreme individualist. He was a member of the Senate of the Royal University of Ireland and on its dissolution received an honorary LLD. He was elected Vice-President of MCI in 1894 and 1904. He died at Portrush on 23 September 1912.

  • ICA,27 Sept 1912