George Finch, 9th Earl of Winchilsea

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The Right Honourable
The Earl of Winchilsea
FRS KG PC
9thEarlOfWinchelsea.jpg
Lord Lieutenant of Rutland
In office
12 April 1779 – 2 August 1826
Preceded by The Earl of Exeter
Succeeded by The Marquess of Exeter

George Finch, 9th Earl of Winchilsea KG PC FRS (4 November 1752 – 2 August 1826) was an important figure in the history of cricket. His main contributions to the game were patronage and organisation but Winchilsea, an amateur, was also a very keen player.

Early life[edit]

Venus with a Satyr and Cupids by Annibale Carracci Raphael, Madonna della Sedia (Madonna of the Chair), c.1514 Guido Reni, Charity, 1607 Raphael, St John the Baptist Reni, Madonna Madonna della seggiola Correggio, Madonna and Child Justus Sustermans, Galileo Raphael, Madonna of the Goldfinch Franciabigio - Madonna of the Well Guido Reni, Cleopatra, 1635–40 Holy Family, then attributed to Perugino Rubens, Justus Lipsius with his Pupils, c.1615 Portrait of Leo X with two Cardinals by Raphael Tribute Money? by Carravagio? Rubens, Justus Lipsius with his Pupils, c.1615 Raphael, Pope Leo X with Cardinals Giulio de’ Medici and Luigi de’ Rossi, 1518 Niccolini-Cowper Madonna by Raphael Large central painting Holbein, Sir Richard Southwell, 1536 Cristofano Allori, Miracle of St Julian Holy Family, attributed to Niccolò Soggi ummm Raphael, Niccolini-Cowper Madonna, 1508, then in Lord Cowper’s possession, having bought it from Zoffany, now National Gallery of Art, Washington, DC Titian, Venus of Urbino, 1538 Cupid and Psyche, Roman copy of a Greek original of the 1st or 2nd century BC The ‘Arrotino’ (Knife-Grinder), a Pergamene original of 2nd or 3rd century BC Dancing Faun, marble replica of a bronze of the circle of Praxiteles, 4th century BC The Infant Hercules Strangling the Serpents The Wrestlers, marble copy of a bronze Permamene original, 2nd or 3rd century BC South Indian crater Etruscan helmet Chimera - Etruscan art 8 Oil lamps Egyptian ptahmose, 18th dynasty Greek bronze torso Bust of Julius Caeser Roman silver shield Head of Antinous South Italian crater Etruscan jug Octagonal table with pietra dura top made for the Tribuna, designed by Jacopo Ligozzi and Bernardino Poccetti. Charles Loraine Smith (1751–1835) Richard Edgcumbe, later 2nd Earl of Mount Edgcumbe (1764–1839) George, 3rd Earl Cowper (1738–89) Sir John Dick (1720–1804), British Consul at Leghorn Other Windsor, 6th Earl of Plymouth (1751–99) Johann Zoffany Mr Stevenson, companion to the Lord Lewisham George Legge, Lord Lewisham, later 3rd Earl of Dartmouth (1755–1810) unknown young man Valentine Knightley of Fawsley (1744–96) Pietro Bastianelli, the custodian of the gallery Mr Gordon Hon. Felton Hervey (1712–73) Thomas Patch (1725-82), Painter Sir John Taylor Bt., (d. 1786) Sir Horace Mann (1706–86), British Consul in Florence George Finch, 9th Earl of Winchilsea prob. Roger Wilbraham (1743-1829) Mr Watts Mr Doughty, travelling with Charles Loraine Smith Probably Thomas Wilbraham (b. 1751), brother of Roger The Medici Venus, Roman copy of a Greek original of the 2nd century BC James Bruce (1730–94), African explorer Use a cursor to explore or press button for larger image & copyright
Tribuna of the Uffizi by Johann Zoffany. Place cursor over artworks or persons to identify them.

Finch was the son of William Finch, who was in turn the second son, by his second marriage, of Daniel Finch, 2nd Earl of Nottingham (1647–1730), and Charlotte Fermor, daughter of Thomas Fermor, 1st Earl of Pomfret. His sister was Sophia Finch. His father died in 1766 and he inherited the Winchilsea title in 1769, from his childless Uncle, Daniel Finch, 8th Earl of Winchilsea and 3rd Earl of Nottingham. In the 1770s Finch was in Florence as appears as one the recognisable people on the right hand side of Johann Zoffany's painting the Tribuna of the Uffizi.[1] George Finch served with the 87th Foot in the American Revolutionary War from 1776 to 1780, finishing as a lieutenant-colonel.

Cricketer[edit]

Winchilsea, "who would go anywhere for a game of cricket",[2] is the winner of the title of Most Recorded Player of the 18th century, though he was far from the best. He has 128 recorded first-class appearances from 1785 to 1800, which just beats William Bullen (120) and William Beldham (117). This is remarkable given that Winchilsea was already 33 before he even played in a major match. Even so, Winchilsea on the field was something of a liability, despite using a bat that weighed 4 lb 2oz.

Cricket clubs[edit]

In about 1784, Winchilsea was one of the prime movers in the foundation of the White Conduit Club (WCC), so–called because it played on White Conduit Fields. WCC was ostensibly an exclusive club that "only gentlemen" might play for, but the club did employ professionals and one of these was the bowler Thomas Lord, a man who was recognised for his business acumen as well as his bowling ability.

It was in 1785 that WCC first appeared in a major match. However White Conduit Fields was an open area allowing members of the public, including the rowdier elements, to watch the matches and to voice their opinions on the play and the players. The White Conduit gentlemen were not amused by such interruptions and decided to look for a more private venue of their own.

Winchilsea and Colonel Charles Lennox commissioned Lord to find a new ground and offered him a guarantee against any losses he may suffer in the venture. So Lord took a lease from the Portman Estate on some land at Dorset Fields in Marylebone, where Dorset Square is now sited; the ground was prepared and opened in 1787. The first match was on Monday 21 May 1787 was between the White Conduit Club and Middlesex.

This was Lord's first ground. It was originally called the New Ground but was soon renamed Lord's Cricket Ground and, since it was in Marylebone, the WCC on relocating there decided to call themselves Marylebone Cricket Club. The Earl of Winchilsea was one of its early leading lights.

Personal life[edit]

Lord Winchilsea never married. His illegitimate son George Finch was a politician.

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ A key to the people shown, oneonta.edu, retrieved 11 June 2014
  2. ^ Thomson: Odd Men In, p. 15.

References[edit]

External links[edit]

Honorary titles
Preceded by
The Earl of Exeter
Lord Lieutenant of Rutland
1779–1826
Succeeded by
The Marquess of Exeter
Peerage of England
Preceded by
Daniel Finch
Earl of Winchilsea
1769–1826
Succeeded by
George Finch-Hatton
Earl of Nottingham
7th creation
1769–1826
Baronetage of England
Preceded by
Daniel Finch
Baronet
(of Raunston, Buckinghamshire)
1769–1826
Succeeded by
George Finch-Hatton
Baronet
(of Eastwell, Kent)
1769–1826