Rickards was born on 24 January 1812 in London. He died suddenly at Hawkley Hurst, Hampshire on 23 September 1889. He was the eldest son of George Rickards of Ripley in Surrey, and his wife, Frances Kettilby. On 10 July 1823 Rickards was admitted at Westminster School. In 1824 he left Westminster to go to Eton and then to Oxford. He entered Balliol College, Oxford on 6 April 1829 and was elected a scholar of Trinity College Oxford in the same year. He won the Newdigate prize in 1830 and graduated with a second in literae humaniores (greats) in 1833. He was awarded an MA in 1836.
From The Biographical Dictionary of British Economists in Oxford Reference.