FINCH, Hon. Henry (?1694-1761).
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Family and Education
b. ?1694, 4th surv. s. of Daniel Finch, 2nd Earl of Nottingham and 7th Earl of Winchilsea, and bro. of Daniel, Lord Finch, and Hon. Edward, John and William Finch. educ. Eton 1707; Christ’s, Camb. 19 Aug. 1712, aged 17. unm.
Receiver gen. of revenues of Minorca 1729-43; surveyor gen. of works 1743-60.
Henry Finch was nominated by his father a fellow of Christ’s on the Finch and Baines foundation before taking his degree. In 1720 he stood unsuccessfully for the University on the Whig interest. After he had been over ten years at Cambridge his brother Lord Finch wrote to Lord Nottingham on 4 Feb. 1724:
As for Harry I can only tell your Lordship this, that I think him capable of anything but the seat of the muses or retirement at Burley, which can lead to nothing nor contribute to no good. It is more than sufficient hardship that he has remained so long in the bosom of his Alma Mater after she proved so unnatural to him in disappointing him of his just pretensions to her favour ... I have now in terms a direct offer from my brother W. of a seat at Malton ... But though upon discourse with your Lordship you seemed ... to think a provision out of Parliament most agreeable to his circumstances, upon discoursing with my Lady upon what I wished for him, which is to send him abroad, she did not approve of it. I must beg leave to lay down my scheme for him before your Lordship, and [know] whether he shall be chose at Malton or shall now immediately go abroad. His going abroad to learn languages is not all, but to rub off the academical improvements and habits which in the course of ten years he must have made and contracted and to see a little of the world is the end I propose he should attain, and thereby qualify himself to make these future advantages of being in Parliament more than barely securing an employment ... Otherwise Harry has not had fair play in the world.
And on 11 Feb.:
I don’t pretend to fix any particular way for Harry, but I do desire he may be in the way of fortune in some manner or other, for I cannot agree that because he has no profession he therefore will never be able to live. Let him be tried as others have been before him, and if he fails he cannot be worse than in the way he is.1
Returned for Malton on the interest of his brother-in-law, Thomas Watson Wentworth, he secured a ‘provision out of Parliament’ as receiver-general of the revenues of Minorca, where he for some time resided. In 1726 he was deprived of his college fellowship on the grounds of non-residence, and that as an M.P. he possessed more property than was permissible for a fellow; but soon afterwards he was reinstated. Unlike his brothers, he voted with the Government in every recorded division. In 1743 he was appointed surveyor of works on Pelham’s recommendation, in preference to his brother Edward, Carteret’s candidate.2 He was classed in 1747 as Old Whig and by the 2nd Lord Egmont about 1750 among ‘the most obnoxious men of an inferior degree’ in the House. He died 26 Apr. 1761.