1796-1865

August 24, 1865, in the rectory at Stowlangtoft, Bury Saint Edmunds, Suffolk, England.

Son of Thomas Rickards of Leicester, Samuel matriculated from Oriel College, Oxford, on 28 January 1813, graduating BA in 1817 and MA in 1820. He was a fellow there from 1819 to 1822, being contemporary with John Keble, among others. He was Newdigate prizeman in 1815, writing on the Temple of Theseus, took second class Classical Honors in 1817, and was English essayist in 1819, writing on Characteristic Differences of Greek and Latin Poetry.

Rickards’ marriage in 1821 obliged him to surrender his fellowship and seek a living. From 1822 to 1832 he was the curate in charge of Ulcombe, Kent. John Henry Newman, while on a visiting him in September 1826, wrote his well-known verses, Nature and Art, and, during a second visit in October 1827, Snapdragon, a Riddle.

In 1832 Rickards was presented by a college friend, Henry Wilson, to the rectory of Stowlangtoft, Suffolk, where he spent the rest of his life.

Rickards parted company with the Oxford movement early on, and wrote expostulatory and warning letters to Keble and Newman. He was nevertheless instrumental in the publication of Keble’s The Christian Year, a duplicate manuscript copy of which was lent to him by Keble, and, when Keble’s own copy was lost in Wales, it was Rickards’ copy that was printed.

Rickards had a reputation as a sound theologian of high character, and many of his clerical brethren looked up to him for counsel and guidance in the controversies by which his times were marked. Rickards’ works include:

  1. Though Rude Winds Usher Thee, Sweet Day
    • Bright Is the Day When Christ Was Born