FINCH, George (1794-1870), of Burley-on-the-Hill, nr. Oakham, Rutland
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Family and Educationb. 2 Sept. 1794, illegit. s. of George Finch, 9th earl of Winchilsea, and Mrs. Phoebe Thompson (formerly Thackray) of Brompton, Mdx.1 educ. Harrow 1805-11; Trinity Coll. Camb. 1811; M. Temple 1817. m. (1) 7 June 1820,2 Jane (d. 13 Feb. 1822),3 da. of R.-Adm. John Richard Delap Halliday (afterwards Tollemache) of Cumberland Place, Mdx., s.p.; (2) 22 Oct. 1832, Lady Louisa Elizabeth Somerset, da. of Henry Charles Somerset†, 6th duke of Beaufort, 2s. 2da. suc. fa. to Burley 1826. d. 29 June 1870.
Sheriff, Rutland 1829-30.
In 1807, Joseph Farington recorded this bulletin from a recent visitor to Burley:
Lord Winchilsea does not reside there much as it would be too expensive for his circumstances, but lives in a high style when he is there. He is a bachelor ... and very agreeable in his manners ... His Lordship visits a lady, Mrs. Thomson, who resides at Brompton at a beautiful villa ... but always returns at night to his house in South St. He has a son, 13 years of age, who is called Finch or Thomson, and was with him at Burleigh.4
Winchilsea, ‘a nobleman of the old school’, whose mother was governess to the royal family for 30 years, was a favourite of George III and held household posts as a lord of the bedchamber, 1777-1812, and groom of the stole, 1804-12. By seconding Charles Lennox in his duel with the duke of York in 1789 he incurred the lasting displeasure of the prince of Wales, and after the establishment of the regency he was seldom seen at Court.5 His adopted son George entered Harrow in 1805 under the name of Thompson, but subsequently took that of Finch. He left Cambridge without taking a degree and his admission to the Middle Temple did not presage a legal career.
At the general election of 1820 he was returned for Lymington by its patron Sir Harry Neale*, who had served in the royal household with his father. On 6 June 1820 he took six weeks’ leave of absence, but in 1821 he proved a reliable supporter of the Liverpool ministry, with whom he voted in defence of their conduct towards Queen Caroline, 6 Feb., and against repeal of the additional malt duty, 3 Apr., electoral disqualification of ordnance officials, 12 Apr., and parliamentary reform, 9 May. He voted for Catholic relief, 28 Feb. He is not known to have spoken in debate in this period and in May 1821 he vacated his seat for its previous occupant. (He was subsequently returned three times to the reformed House.) In February 1825 the prominent huntsman Lord Frederick Cavendish Bentinck* noted with approval that Finch had ‘taken to the chase’.6 On Winchilsea’s death in 1826 the earldom passed to his Ultra Tory nephew George William Finch Hatton, but the bulk of his property was not entailed, and Finch was the major beneficiary of his will, inheriting Burley and other estates, together with ‘a large fortune’.7