Page:Dictionary of National Biography volume 19.djvu/14
shire (Cal. State Papers, Dom. 1625-6 p. 248, 1631-3 pp. 6, 207 ; Nichols, Progr. James I, iii. 768 ; Parl. Hist. ii. 41). Finch married twice. His first wife was Frances, daughter of Sir Edmund Bell of Beaupré Hall, Norfolk, and granddaughter of Sir Robert Bell [q. v.], chief baron of the exchequer and speaker of the House of Commons in the reign of Elizabeth. She died on 11 April 1627, and on 16 April 1629 Finch married, at St. Dunstan's in the West, Elizabeth, daughter of William Cradock of Staffordshire, relict of Richard Bennett, mercer and alderman of London, an ancestor of the Earls of Arlington. By his first wife Finch had issue seven sons and four daughters. His eldest son, Heneage [q. v.], was lord keeper and first earl of Nottingham. Another son, Sir John [q. v.], was a physician. For the hand of Mrs. Bennett, who brought Finch a fortune, he had several rivals, among them Sir Sackville Crow and Dr. Raven, a conjunction which afforded much amusement to the town. Another suitor was Sir Edward Dering(Coll. Top. et Gen. v. 218; Proceedings in Kent, 1640, Camden Soc.) By this lady Finch had issue two daughters only, viz. (1) Elizabeth, who married Edward Madison, and (2) Anne, who married Edward, viscount and earl of Conway.
Finch compiled 'A Brief Collection touching the Power and Jurisdiction of Bishops,' which remains in manuscript (Hist. MSS. Comm. 4th Rep. App. 353).[Morant's Essex, i. 47; Berry's County Genealogies (Kent), p. 207 ; Hasted's Kent, iii. 199, 387 ; Official Return of Lists of Members of Parliament; Inner Temple Books; Collins's Peerage, ed. Brydges, iii. 387 ; Manning's Lives of the Speakers.]
FINCH, HENEAGE, first Earl of Nottingham (1621–1682), successively solicitor-general, lord keeper, and lord chancellor, was born 23 Dec. 1621, probably at Eastwell in Kent (Wood, Athenæ Oxon.), and was the eldest son of Sir Heneage Finch [q. v.], knight, recorder of London, and speaker in Charles I's first parliament, and of Frances, daughter of Sir Edmund Bell of Beaupré Hall in Norfolk. He was grandson of Elizabeth, created Countess of Winchilsea by Charles I [see under Finch, Sir Thomas], and nephew of Sir John, lord Finch [q. v.], keeper of the seals to Charles I. He was educated at Westminster School, whence he went to Christ Church, entering in the Lent term of 1635. He then joined the Inner Temple, where he soon became a distinguished student, with special proficiency in municipal law. He took no part in the troubles of the civil war, and during the usurpation conducted an extensive private practice (Collins, Peerage). Of this, however, there does not seem to be any direct evidence. By the time of the Restoration he was evidently well known, for he was returned for the Convention parliament both for Canterbury and St. Michael's in Cornwall, electing to sit for the former. In honour of the occasion he was entertained by the city at a banquet (Hist. MSS. Comm. 9th Rep. 165 b). On 6 June 1660 he was made solicitor-general, and on the next day was created a baronet of Ravenstone in Buckinghamshire (Collins, Peerage). He at once became the official representative of the court and of the church in the House of Commons. In the great debate of 9 July 1660 on the future form of the church, Finch in an uncompromising speech treated the matter as not open to argument, since there was 'no law for altering government by bishops ;' he jeered at 'tender consciences,' and hoped the house would not 'cant after Cromwell.' On 30 July he urged the expulsion from their livings of all ministers who had been presented without the consent of the patrons, and opposed any abatement in the articles or oaths. In the matter of the Indemnity Bill he was deputed by the commons to manage the conference between the two houses on 16 Aug., and strongly supported the exclusion from pardon of the late king's judges, a compromise which he felt to be necessary to secure the passing of the measure so warmly desired by the king and Clarendon. On 12 Sept. he spoke against the motion that the king should be desired to marry a protestant, and on 21 Nov. proposed the important constitutional change whereby the courts of wards and purveyance were abolished, and the revenue hitherto raised by them was for the future levied on the excise. It is significant of the real objects of the court that as law officer of the crown he opposed (28 Nov.) the bill brought in by Sir Matthew Hale for giving effect to the king's declaration regarding ecclesiastical affairs by embodying it in an act. And in the debate regarding the ill-conduct of the troops, on 14 Dec., he spoke against the proposal to accompany the bill of supply with a complaint of grievances (Parl. Hist. vol. iv.) He was of course one of the prosecuting counsel in the trial of the regicides in October 1660, where he is described in one account as effectually answering Cooke, the framer of the impeachment of Charles I (Hist. MSS. Comm. 5th Rep. 181 b) though by the report in the state trials he appears only to have formally opened the case against the prisoner.
In April 1661 Finch was elected to Charles's second parliament, both for the university of Oxford and for Beaumaris in