Daniel Finch, 2nd Earl of Nottingham

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
The Right Honourable
The Earl of Nottingham
PC
Daniel Finch, 2nd Earl of Nottingham and 7th Earl of Winchilsea by Jonathan Richardson.jpg
Lord President of the Council
In office
1714–1716
Monarch George I
Preceded by The Duke of Buckingham and Normanby
Succeeded by The Duke of Devonshire
Secretary of State for the Southern Department
In office
1702–1704
Monarch Anne
Preceded by The Earl of Manchester
Succeeded by Sir Charles Hedges
Secretary of State for the Northern Department
In office
1692–1693
Monarch William III and Mary II
Preceded by The Viscount Sydney of Sheppey
Succeeded by Sir John Trenchard
Secretary of State for the Southern Department
In office
1690–1693
Monarch William III and Mary II
Preceded by The Earl of Shrewsbury
Succeeded by Sir John Trenchard
Secretary of State for the Northern Department
In office
1689–1690
Monarch William III and Mary II
Preceded by The Viscount Preston
Succeeded by The Viscount Sydney of Sheppey
First Lord of the Admiralty
In office
1681–1684
Monarch James II
Preceded by Sir Henry Capell
Succeeded by Charles II
Personal details
Born 2 July 1647
London, England
Died 1 January 1730(1730-01-01) (aged 82)
Burley on the Hill
England
Political party Tory

Daniel Finch, 2nd Earl of Nottingham, 7th Earl of Winchilsea PC (2 July 1647 – 1 January 1730), was an English Tory statesman during the late seventeenth and early eighteenth centuries.

Early life[edit]

Nottingham's father, the 1st Earl of Nottingham

Daniel Finch was the son of Heneage Finch (later the first earl of Nottingham and Lord Chancellor of England) and Elizabeth Harvey, daughter of Daniel Harvey.[1] Little is known about his upbringing. He entered the Inner Temple and Westminster School in 1658, where he boarded for three years at the house of Dr. Richard Busby, the headmaster and his father's tutor at Christ Church, Oxford. Finch went to Christ Church too and the excellence of his studies made his father doubt their authenticity. He matriculated at Christ Church as a Gentleman Commoner on 26 July 1662.[2] In April 1663 his father wrote to him, advising that he "loose not the reputation which I am told you have gayn'd of diligence and sobriety".[3] His father also advised him a month after he had arrived in Oxford "to frequent the publique prayers, and study to reverence and defend, as well as to obey, the Church of England" and when his first Easter away from home was approaching: "Nothing can make you truly wise but such a religion as dwells upon your heart and governs your whole life". However Finch suffered from illness and it may be due to this that he left Oxford without graduating.[4]

Finch went on his Grand Tour from 1665 to 1668, visiting Frankfurt, Munich, Venice, Florence, Naples, Rome, and Paris.[5] After he returned to England he was appointed a Fellow of the Royal Society and his cousin Sir Roger Twysden wrote to Finch's father that "every body speaks him a very gentleman, and one you and your lady are likely to have much comfort in".[6]

Political career[edit]

Daniel Finch, 2nd Earl of Nottingham, by Sir Godfrey Kneller, c. 1720

Daniel Finch entered parliament for Lichfield in 1679. He was one of the privy councillors who in 1685 signed the order for the proclamation of the Duke of York, but during the whole of the reign of James II he kept away from the court. At the last moment he hesitated to join in the invitation to William of Orange, and after the flight of James II he was the leader of the party who were in favour of James being King in name and William being regent.

He declined the office of Lord Chancellor under William and Mary, but accepted that of secretary of state, retaining it till December 1693. Under Anne in 1702 he again accepted the same office in the ministry of Lord Godolphin, but finally retired in 1704.

In 1711 during the War of the Spanish Succession, the Tory ministry of Robert Harley was attempting to negotiate peace with France. On 7 December Finch moved the 'No peace without Spain' amendment to the vote of thanks, which condemned any peace with France that left Spain and the West Indies in possession of a member of the House of Bourbon. Finch spoke for one hour, in which he declared "That though he had fourteen children, he would submit to live upon five hundred pounds a year, rather than consent to those dark and unknown conditions of peace".[7]

On the accession of George I he was made Lord President of the Council, but in 1716 he finally withdrew from office. He succeeded to the Earldom of Winchilsea (with which the Nottingham title now became united) on 9 September 1729, and died on 1 January 1730.

Marriages and children[edit]

Finch first married on 16 June 1674 Lady Essex Rich,[8] a daughter of Robert Rich, 3rd Earl of Warwick and Anne Cheeke. They had a single daughter: Mary Finch, later married to John Ker, 1st Duke of Roxburghe.[9] Mary was also a lover of William Savile, 2nd Marquess of Halifax, and later married him, following the death of his first wife Elizabeth Grimston.

Portrait of Anne Hatton by Jonathan Richardson, circa 1726

Finch's second marriage, on 29 December 1685, was to Anne Hatton (1668-1743), daughter of Christopher Hatton, Viscount Hatton. Lady Nottingham was appointed a Lady of the Bedchamber to Queen Mary II in 1691. She had over twenty pregnancies. [10]

The couple had ten surviving children:

Legacy[edit]

Daniel Finch, 2nd Earl of Nottingham, 1747, by Jacobus Houbraken
This portrait by Charles Jervas may possibly be Nottingham when older (c. 1720).

The Whig historian Lord Macaulay said of Lord Nottingham in 1848:

This son, Earl Daniel, was an honourable and virtuous man. Though enslaved by some absurd prejudices, and though liable to strange fits of caprice, he cannot be accused of having deviated from the path of right in search either of unlawful gain or of unlawful pleasure. Like his father he was a distinguished speaker, impressive, but prolix, and too monotonously solemn. The person of the orator was in perfect harmony with his oratory. His attitude was rigidly erect: his complexion so dark that he might have passed for a native of a warmer climate than ours; and his harsh features were composed to an expression resembling that of a chief mourner at a funeral. It was commonly said that he looked rather like a Spanish grandee than like an English gentleman. The nicknames of Dismal, Don Dismallo, and Don Diego, were fastened on him by jesters, and are not yet forgotten. He had paid much attention to the science by which his family had been raised to greatness, and was, for a man born to rank and wealth, wonderfully well read in the laws of his country. He was a devoted son of the Church, and showed his respect for her in two ways not usual among those Lords who in his time boasted that they were her especial friends, by writing tracts in defence of her dogmas, and by shaping his private life according to her precepts. Like other zealous churchmen, he had, till recently, been a strenuous supporter of monarchical authority. But to the policy which had been pursued since the suppression of the Western insurrection he was bitterly hostile, and not the less so because his younger brother Heneage had been turned out of the office of Solicitor General for refusing to defend the King's dispensing power.[11]

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ Henry Horwitz, Revolution Politicks. The Career of Daniel Finch, Second Earl of Nottingham, 1647–1730 (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1968), p. 2.
  2. ^ Horwitz, p. 2–3.
  3. ^ Horwitz, p. 3.
  4. ^ Horwitz, p. 4.
  5. ^ Horwitz, p. 4–5.
  6. ^ Horwitz, p. 6.
  7. ^ Horwitz, p. 232.
  8. ^ ODNB, "Daniel Finch"
  9. ^ Burke's Peerage (1939), s.v. Roxburghe.
  10. ^ "TWO AUTOGRAPH LETTERS SIGNED ("MARIE R"), TO ANNE, COUNTESS OF NOTTINGHAM,". Sothebys. 
  11. ^ Thomas Babington Macaulay, The History of England from the Accession of James the Second. Popular Edition in Two Volumes. Volume I (London: Longmans, 1889), p. 449.

References[edit]

  • Henry Horwitz, Revolution Politicks. The Career of Daniel Finch, Second Earl of Nottingham, 1647–1730 (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1968).
  • Henry Horwitz, ‘Finch, Daniel, second earl of Nottingham and seventh earl of Winchilsea (1647–1730)’, Oxford Dictionary of National Biography, Oxford University Press, 2004; online edn, Jan 2009, accessed 30 January 2011.
  • Thomas Babington Macaulay, The History of England from the Accession of James the Second. Popular Edition in Two Volumes (London: Longmans, 1889).
  • Burke's Peerage (1939 edition), s.v. Winchilsea
Parliament of England
Preceded by
Henry Clerke
John Trevor
Member of Parliament for Great Bedwyn
1673–1679
With: Henry Clerke
Succeeded by
Francis Stonehouse
John Deane
Preceded by
Sir Henry Lyttelton, Bt
Sir Michael Biddulph, Bt
Member of Parliament for Lichfield
1679–1682
With: Sir Michael Biddulph, Bt
Succeeded by
Thomas Orme
Richard Leveson
Preceded by
Sir John Holmes
Lemuel Kingdon
Member of Parliament for Newtown
1681–1682
With: Sir John Holmes
Succeeded by
Thomas Done
William Blathwayt
Political offices
Preceded by
Sir Henry Capell
First Lord of the Admiralty
1681–1684
Succeeded by
King Charles II
(Lord High Admiral)
Preceded by
The Viscount Preston
Secretary of State for the Northern Department
1689–1690
Succeeded by
The Viscount Sydney of Sheppey
Preceded by
The Earl of Shrewsbury
Secretary of State for the Southern Department
1690–1693
Succeeded by
Sir John Trenchard
Preceded by
The Viscount Sydney of Sheppey
Secretary of State for the Northern Department
1692–1693
Succeeded by
Sir John Trenchard
Preceded by
The Earl of Manchester
Secretary of State for the Southern Department
1702–1704
Succeeded by
Sir Charles Hedges
Preceded by
The Duke of Buckingham and Normanby
Lord President of the Council
1714–1716
Succeeded by
The Duke of Devonshire
Peerage of England
Preceded by
Heneage Finch
Earl of Nottingham
7th creation
1682–1730
Succeeded by
Daniel Finch
Baron Finch of Daventry
1682–1730
Preceded by
John Finch
Earl of Winchilsea
1729–1730
Viscount Maidstone
1729–1730
Baronetage of England
Preceded by
Heneage Finch
Baronet
(of Raunston, Buckinghamshire)
1682–1730
Succeeded by
Daniel Finch
Preceded by
John Finch
Baronet
(of Eastwell, Kent)
1729–1730