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Charles Wesley Nicholls was born at Feock on 21 April 1862, the eldest of 5 children of Penryn born commissioned coast guard James Tonkin Nicholls and his wife Elizabeth Hockin of Coverack. In 1881 he migrated to Iquique (then a part of Peru), perhaps to join his brother James Mayne Nicholls who had arrived there in 1872. He remained there until 1893 when he returned to Cornwall, only to re-migrate to Tocopilla Chile in 1895. He became a huge success as a a book-keeper, opening a business in 1902 at Calle Serrano 9.  

His business soon expanded to include the
purchase of copper ore, and he acted as agent for its shipment to Lota, Guayacán, Tacoma and New York. His firm also shipped nitrates to the principal agricultural centres of the world and imported general merchandise, particularly that required in the mining industry and held the representation of several insurance companies covering fire and maritime matters. 

Nicholls owned six mines situated some four miles from Tocopilla that formed a group consisting of the Bandera Chilena, Buena Esperanza and Pachamama Mines in the District of Rosario. The other three: Rosario, Huanaca and Santa Clara were situated near Cobija where the company established a branch office for the purchase of minerals. In addition Nicholls owned five launches and residential properties. In 1899 he succeeded fellow Cornishman William Henry Williams as the British Vice Consul, the same year in which he married Mrs Dewstone. He died at Tocopilla in 1944.

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