Hicks, William

. Wood gives two authors of these names, of which some brief notice may be taken. The first, the son of Nicholas Hicks, a Cornish gentleman, was born in 1620, and was for some time a commoner of Wadham college, but removed thence by his relations to join the parliamentary forces. He was a captain of the train bands, and an enthusiast and fifth monarchy man in which spirit he wrote a folio entitled “Revelation revealed | being a practical exposition on the Revelation of St. John,” Lond. 1659 but this not succeeding, a new title page and a portrait of the author were added in 1661. He died iti 1659. The other William Hicks became also a captain, apparently in the recruiting service, in the beginning of Charles Il.'s reign. With some it may be thought an honour, that he was the first compiler of & jest-book, under the title of “Oxford Jests,” which was followed by others called Oxford Drollery,“and” Coffee-house Jests,“and these byCambridge Jests,“London Jests,“&c. down to our own times. Anthony Wood, who thought it no honour that Oxford should be suspected of first inventing these vulgar collections, or of educating men to compile jest-books, takes care to inform us that capt. Hicks, as he was called, owed nothing to his education there, being born in St. Thomas’s parish, of poor and dissolute parents, afterwards bred a tapster at the Star inn, then a clerk to a woodmonger at Deptford, where he was living in 1669 as capt. Hicks, but while at Oxford” was a sharking and indigent fellow,“who wrote” little trivial matters merely to get bread, and make the pot walk." 1


Ath. Ox. vol. II.