NICHOLSON, WILLIAM (1784-1844), portrait-painter, was born at Newcastle-on-Tyne in 1784. Having settled in Edinburgh, he became, along with Thomas Hamilton the architect, one of the founders and most vigorous promoters of the Scottish Academy, of which in 1826 he was appointed the first secretary, a position which he held for about seven years. He is known by his life-sized portraits in oils, and still more favourably by his very delicate and faithful likenesses in water-colours. In 1818 he published a series of etchings entitled Portraits of Distinguished Living Characters of Scotland. They are executed in an effective and painter-like fashion, mainly from the artist's own water-colours, and include portraits of Sir Walter Scott, Lord Jeffrey, Robert Burns, and Professor Wilson. Nicholson died at Edinburgh on August 16, 1844.