John Rickman, the son of the vicar of Newburn, Northumberland, was educated at Magdalen Hall, Oxford, and Lincoln College, before working as a tutor at Christchurch in Hampshire.
In 1796 Rickman wrote a paper on the necessity for conducting a census of the population. This paper was shown to MP Charles Abbot (later speaker of the House of Commons), who steered the census bill through Parliament. Rickman was appointed to oversee the implementation of the census and would also oversee the censuses of 1811 and 1821. In 1801 he was appointed Chief Secretary for Ireland.
Throughout his career Rickman published works on political, social and archaeological subjects. He married Susannah Postlethwaite (died 1836)~in 1805 and the couple had one son and two daughters.
In 1836 Rickman’s daughter, Frances, married Anglican priest and author, the Reverend Richard Brindley Hone (1805-1881), vicar of Halesowen, in Shropshire. This bust passed by descent to the Reverend Evelyn Joseph Hone (born 1878), of Esher Rectory, Surrey, whose brother, Canon Henry Evelyn Hone (born 1876), presented the work to the Government in 1956. The bust is made of plaster and is probably a cast of a marble original. However, the original work has yet to be located.
John Rickman (1771-1840) statistician and civil servant
Painted plaster bust
height: 74.50 cm, width: 53.00 cm, depth: 29.00 cm
Presented by Canon Henry E Hone through the Speaker's Office, House of Commons, December 1956
Collection of Evelyn Joseph Hone (born 1878; descendant of the sitter) of Esher Rectory, Surrey; collection of his brother, Canon Henry Evelyn Hone (born 1876); by whom presented to the Ministry of Works in December 1956
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