FINCH, Hon. William (c.1651-1726), of the Inner Temple, London.

Published in The History of Parliament: the House of Commons 1660-1690, ed. B.D. Henning, 1983
Available from Boydell and Brewer



Oct. 1679

Family and Education

b. c.1651, 3rd s. of Heneage Finch, and bro. of Daniel Finch, Hon. Edward Finch and Hon. Heneage Finch I. educ. privately; Christ Church, Oxf. matric. 1 June 1666, aged 15; I. Temple 1662, called 1675. m. lic. 17 May 1681 (with £3,000), Anne, da. of Sir William Hoskins of Oxted, Surr., 1s. 1da.1

Offices Held

Solicitor-gen. to Queen Catherine of Braganza by 1682-92;2 bencher, I. Temple 1696, reader 1697.


As a child, Finch was too delicate to be sent to Westminster, where the great Dr Busby was at the height of his powers. He became a lawyer, though he is not known to have practised in the courts, and his political career was brief, obscure and involuntary. His brother Daniel secured his return for Great Bedwyn in the autumn of 1679 on the Seymour interest, but he seems to have been totally inactive in the second Exclusion Parliament. On his marriage he was given a court appointment, but for most of his life he was apparently confined by bodily infirmities to his chamber in King’s Bench Walk. He died on 26 Feb. 1726 as the result of a fall, so far forgotten that the obituarist, while correctly recording his place in the Finch pedigree, made a mistake in his name. His will, while providing for a jointure, mentions neither wife nor children.3

Ref Volumes: 1660-1690

Author: John. P. Ferris


  • 1. Mar. Lic. (Harl. Soc. xxx), 62; Manning and Bray, Surr. ii. 391.
  • 2. Cal. Treas. Bks. ix. 1391.
  • 3. HMC Finch, ii. 55; iii. 139; I. Temple Recs. iv. 34; The Gen. n.s. vii. 43; Temple Church Recs. 40; PCC 97 Plymouth.