Nicholson was born on 9 November 1850 at Wrawby, Lincolnshire, and died 12 May 1927 at Edinburgh. The son of an Independent minister, he was educated at Congregational schools before matriculating and graduating at King's College, London (BA Honours in logic and metaphysics). After a year at Edinburgh University (1872–3), he went to Trinity College, Cambridge and graduated there with first-class honours in moral philosophy in 1876. In 1877 he won the Cambridge Cobden Club prize for an essay on ‘The Effects of Machinery on Wages’, beating John Neville keynes into second Place, and passed the London MA winning the Gerstenberg Prize for special distinction in political economy. He had time to indulge in rowing and chess, later composing problems for The Times.
From The Biographical Dictionary of British Economists in Oxford Reference.