On H.R. Nicholls: Obituary from The Worker 22 August 1912

Departed this life, at 83, Henry Richard Nicholls, editor of the Hobart “Mercury” since 1883. For all those intervening years he used a conspicuously able pen to bolster up the amazingly anti-social policy of the Davies’ paper. Born and educated in England, he scratched hard for a living with pick and on Ballarat. Was on deck, or thereabouts, when the Eureka boys were making history; edited the “Diggers’ News,” and later the Ballarat “Star”. Starting out on his career with strong democratic ideas he was so long writing to order on the “Mercury” that he eventually came to half believe that the scandalously reactionary policy of that moss-grown paper was really the only policy for Tasmania and died in the odour of complete capitalistic sanctity. But, apart from the dreadful “Mercury” associations, old man Nicholls was a fine journalist, a good conversationalist, and a man whose gospel was work, work, though that work was a ploughing of the sands or the holding of the brake on the wheels of progress. One son, formerly a politician of such dangerously democratic views that the old man’s paper often had to denounce him, is now a judge of the Supereme Court. Another son is a senior report on the “Murk” and something of an expert on the interesting habitat of the microscopical organisms that infest apples and similar vegetables.