Heneage Finch, 3rd Earl of Winchilsea
Finch was the son of Thomas Finch, 2nd Earl of Winchilsea, and the grandson of Elizabeth Finch, 1st Countess of Winchilsea. His first cousin was Heneage Finch, 1st Earl of Nottingham. He married four times and was the father of at least 16 children. He was educated at Queens' College, Cambridge. "His contemporaries called him 'amorous', and in Turkey he was reputed to have 'had many women' and 'built little houses for them'. "
On his return from Ottoman territory in June 1668, King Charles II remarked to Finch, "My Lord, you have not only built a town, but peopled it too".
Lord Finch was appointed by his friend George Monck, 1st Duke of Albemarle a Governor of Dover Castle, and Lord Warden of the Cinque Ports in the July 1660, also Lord Lieutenant of Kent and afterwards ambassador to the Ottoman Empire and served in this capacity from between 1660–69.
King Charles II had landed at Kent on his way to London to secure the throne on 25 May 1660. The King arrived in Dover with 20 ships and frigates, the Lord General and his life guard was accompanied by the Earl of Winchelsea to the cheer of the crowding locals gathered upon the beach to witness a salute fired from the guns of Dover Castle.
Marriages and children
He married his first wife Diana, daughter of Francis Willoughby, 5th Baron Willoughby of Parham and Elizabeth Cecil, on 21 May 1645.
His married his second wife Mary Seymour the daughter of William Seymour, 2nd Duke of Somerset and Lady Frances Devereux, about 1650. Their children were:
- William Finch (born before 1654, later died in battle at sea, bore the courtesy title of the Lord Maidstone; his son, Charles Finch, 4th Earl of Winchilsea, succeded him);
- Frances (who wed Thomas Thynne, 1st Viscount Weymouth; Finch's grandson Henry Thynne (1675–1708) was the son of his daughter Frances);
- Heneage Finch, 5th Earl of Winchilsea (born 11 January 1657, married to Anne, the daughter of Sir William Kingsmill.);
- Thomas (born in 1658, before the family went to the Ottoman Empire).
He married thirdly, Catherine Norcliffe, daughter of Sir Thomas Norcliffe, on 10 April 1673.
He married his fourth wife Elizabeth Ayres on 29 October 1681. She was the mother of John Finch, 6th Earl of Winchilsea, who died unmarried and without issue.
- Burkes' Peerage (1939).