The Maltonian Web

The Maltonian Web - Biography

George Nicholson

Painter, 1787 - 1878

Old Malton Grammar School

A painting of the Old Malton Grammar School was unearthed in the art storeroom in June 2008. I believe it used to hang in the library until 1999, and previously in Mr Taylor's office.  The inscription reads The Old Grammar School Malton as it was in the 18th century. More about The Old Malton Grammar School painting.

George Nicholson

It was painted by local artist George Nicholson in the early 1800's. A George Nicholson, painter, is listed as living in Wheelgate in Baine's trade directory for Malton, 1823, and Pigot's directory for 1834. However, this could be his father, who was a house painter - a decorator - quite a skilled profession in those days. I think Malton Museum own two paintings by him - of a coronation parade in 1838. York City Art Gallery have many works by him in their store.

He is buried in the churchyard behind the Old School. He died at Filey, age 91, in 1878, and therefore would have been born around 1787.

St Mary's Old Malton

The gravestone in St Mary's Priory Church graveyard, Old Malton. It has a relatively clear inscription still readable. Anyone visiting might call in the church, where there is another copy of the Old Grammar School painting.

George Nicholson

to the Memory of
the beloved son of
of New Malton
who departed this life
April 23rd 1858
Aged 17 Years
Also of the above named
Landscape Painter
Who died at Filey June 7th 1878
In the 91st Year of his Age
Also of HANNAH
Wife of the above
Who died Dec 4th 1882
Aged 74 Years.

History of Malton Grammar School

Bill Hubbard is a watercolour artist who lives in Richmond, and has spent many years researching the life and works of George Nicholson.  I went to meet him at his house in Richmond one Saturday in September 2008, when he was kind enough to show me some of the drawings and paintings in his collection of George Nicholson's work.  He also had a small notebook of Nicholson's, crammed with newspaper clippings and notes.

Bill wrote an article about George Nicholson in The Dalesman, 1989.

Filey Brigg

A watercolour by Geoge Nicholson showing Filey Brigg

Kings Mill Malton

A watercolour by Geoge Nicholson showing Kings Mill in Malton, by the River Derwent.

St Mary's church, Old Malton

A watercolour by Geoge Nicholson showing St Mary's Priory church, with a house on Town Street in front of it.

St Mary's church, Old Malton

Another version of the Old Grammar School. This one hangs in St Mary's church, at the rear, and has more vibrant colours than the one that was found at Malton School.

Elain Burford emailed in 2017, following some research she was conducting into Thomas Ellerby, the man whose painting of George Nicholson is in York City Art Gallery. She came across the following description of Nicholson:

George Nicholson (1787-1878), the Yorkshire topographer, was born and died in Malton. He was stone deaf, very stubborn and reluctantly consented to exhibit at the Royal Academy. Very reserved, a ceaseless worker...He taught painting at Castle Howard (extract from the Evelyn Catalogue, York, 1933). The Gallery possesses three of his sketch books (Sheriff Hutton, 1821, Nr York, 1826, and Malton, 1835) and many other drawings dated between 1803 and 1837, all being views in and around York.

Elaine is trying to establish how he came to know Ellerby, who at the time of the painting (1828) was a student at the R.A. where he was being taught by another local artist John Jackson.