NICHOLAS, EDWARD°, author of a famous 17th-century plea in favor of the resettlement of the Jews in England. Entitled An Apology for the Honourable Nation of the Jews, and all the Sons of Israel, and published in London in 1648, it was translated into Spanish, perhaps by *Manasseh Ben Israel, and made a profound impression. However, since the author is otherwise unknown, there is reason to believe that the publication was inspired or even written by a Jew. Its theme was that England should make amends for her former maltreatment of the Jews by readmitting them to the country. Some scholars believe that its actual author was Rev. Henry Jessey (1601–1663), a philo-semitic Nonconformist minister. Little is known about Edward Nicholas himself beyond the fact that he was apparently a young man reading for the bar in 1648. He is sometimes confused with Sir Edward Nicholas (1593–1669), a government official who was in exile with Charles II in 1648, but this man was 55 when An Apology appeared.
Roth, England, 153, 286; Roth, in: V.D. Lipman (ed.), The Centuries of Anglo-Jewish History (1961), 3. ADD. BIBLIOGRAPHY: E. Samuel, "Oliver Cromwell and the Re-admission of the Jews to England in 1656," in: idem., At the Ends of the Earth: Essays on the History of the Jews in England and Portugal (2004), 180.
[Vivian David Lipman /
William D. Rubinstein (2nd ed.)]
Source: Encyclopaedia Judaica. © 2008 The Gale Group. All Rights Reserved.