Born in Britain to a banking family with 300 years of history and a strong offshoot in books, Nicholas alternated between Stowe, with its gardens by Capability Brown, and a haunted, 15th-century Elizabethan house in Suffolk even older than the family bank. Built of ships' timbers, lathe and plaster, and surrounded by books, plants and music, this remarkable home fostered a lifelong passion for food and wine, gardening and the arts.

Setting up in Canada, and specialising in British books that were largely unknown at the time, he opened his first branch in Montreal while still in his twenties, catering mainly to libraries, before expanding to Toronto and Ottawa thereafter.

C. Hoare & Co. at the Sign of the Golden Bottle is a subject in itself (q.v. "Messrs Hoare Bankers" reviewed under "History"). Suffice to say that the bank's benevolent, panelled influence is perhaps visible in our manicured stores, each of which was built, to our own design, by a family firm of cabinetmakers to exacting standards, which still obtain today.

Ruled by his cats, Nicholas lives in both Montreal and Annapolis Royal; maintains strong ties to the U.K.; and is the only member of his colourful clan to settle in the Colonies.
      Nicholas as scribe
(James Simon pinxit)