William Edward Hickson, commonly known as W. E. Hickson, was a British educational writer. He was the author of "Time and Faith" and was the editor of The Westminster Review. He wrote an "improved" version of the British national anthem whose verses were included in the version of God Save the King published in the English Hymnal.
Hickson was the son of William Hickson, a boot and shoe manufacturer of Smithfield, London. Having studied schools in The Netherlands and Germany, he retired from the family business in 1840 to concentrate on philanthropic pursuits: particularly the cause of elementary education. He became editor and proprietor of The Westminster Review which was notable for its commitment to legislative reform and popular education.
He is credited with popularizing the proverb:
The proverb can be traced back to the writings of Thomas H. Palmer in his 'Teacher's Manual' and 'The Children of the New Forest' by Fredrick Maryat. Hickson died at Fairseat, Stansted, Kent, where he was buried.