Finney, Samuel (DNB00)

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FINNEY, SAMUEL (1719–1798), miniature-painter, born at Wilmslow, Cheshire, 13 Feb. 1718-19, was eldest son of Samuel Finney of Fulshaw, Cheshire, and Esther, daughter of Ralph Davenport of Chorley. His family being in pecuniary difficulties, Finney came up to London to study law, but quitted that profession for painting. He established himself as a miniature-painter, working both in enamel and on ivory, and was very successful. He exhibited miniatures at the Exhibition of the Society of Artists in 1761, and in 1765 exhibited a miniature of Queen Charlotte, having been appointed 'enamel and miniature painter to her majesty.' He was a member of the Incorporated Society of Artists, and in 1766 subscribed the declaration roll of that society. Having amassed a fortune sufficient to pay off the encumbrances on the old family estate, Finney in 1769 retired to Fulshaw, became a justice of the peace, and devoted the remainder of his life to quelling the riots, then so prevalent in that part of Cheshire, and in local improvements. He also compiled a manuscript history of his family, part of which was printed in the 'Cheshire and Lancashire Historical Collector,' vol. i. A small portrait of Finney is in the possession of his descendant, Mr. Jenkins of Fulshaw; it was engraved by William Ford of Manchester, and the plate was destroyed after twelve copies had been struck off. He died in 1798, and was buried at Wilmslow. He was twice married, but left no children.

[Redgrave's Dict. of Artists; Graves's Dict. of Artists, 1760-1880; Earwaker's East Cheshire, i. 154.]

L. C.