RICKMAN, THOMAS (1776-1841), architect and writer on the styles of the Middle Ages, was born in 1776 at Maidenhead, Berkshire where his father practised as a surgeon, and was broughit up as a member of -the Society of Friends. In 1797 be was apprenticed to a London druggist as a step towards entering his father's profession, but finding the work distasteful he gave it up, and for several years tried one employment after another with little success. He married early, and lost his wife, who was his cousin, in 1808. At that time lib was a partner in a corn-factor's business in London, but he afterwards went to live in Liverpool as assistant to an insurance broker, and was soon led to take a, very keen interest in the study of ancient buildings, especially churches. All his spare time was spent in sketching and making careful measured drawings, till he gained a knowledge which was very remarkable at a time when but little taste existed for the beauties of the Gothic styles. In this way Rickman was led to make designs of his own, founded upon his study of old examples ; and, when a large grant of money was made by the Government to build new churches, he sent in a design of his own which ,was successful in an open competition; thus he was fairly launched upon the profession of an architect, for which his natural gifts strongly fitted him. Rickman then moved to Birmingham, and at first worked at his new profession with Mr H. Hutchinson as managing clerk ; and when he died in 1830 Rickman entered into partnership with Mr Hussey, having become one of the most successful architects of his time. He built an immense number of churches, chapels, and other buildings, among which some of the chief are churches at Hampton Lucy, Ombersley, and Stretton-on-Dunsmore, St George's at Birmingham, St Philip's and St Matthew's both in Bristol, two in Carlisle, St Peter's and St Paul's at Preston, St David's in Glasgow, Grey Friars at Coventry, and many others. He also designed the new court of St John's College, Cambridge, a palace for the bishop of Carlisle, and several large country houses. These are all in the Gothic style, but, though superior perhaps to the buildings of his predecessors, they show more know-ledge of the outward form of the medimval style than any real acquaintance with its spirit, and are little better than dull copies of old work, disfigured by much poverty of detail. Rickmann nevertheless was an important stage in the revival of taste for medimvalism, perhaps in that respect only second to Pugin. His book entitled An Attempt to Discriminate the Styles of Architecture in England is a work which deserves great credit for its painstaking research ; a great many editions of it were published, and it was eventually much improved and enlarged. Rickman died in 1841.