H. F. B. Lynch

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Henry Finnis Blosse Lynch
Member of Parliament for Ripon
In office
Personal details
Born(1862-04-18)18 April 1862
Died24 November 1913(1913-11-24) (aged 51)
Calais, France

Henry Finnis Blosse Lynch, MA, FRGS (18 April 1862 – 24 November 1913) was a British traveller, businessman, and Liberal Member of Parliament.[1]


Lynch was the only son of the Mesopotamian explorer Thomas Kerr Lynch, of a landed Irish family based at Partry House, County Mayo, and Harriet Taylor, the daughter of Colonel Robert Taylor, a British political resident at Baghdad, and his Armenian wife.[2][3] The Armenian ethnicity of his maternal grandfather may have played a role in his interest in Armenia.[4] The explorer Henry Blosse Lynch was his uncle. He was born in London and educated at Eton College, the University of Heidelberg,[5] and Trinity College, Cambridge, where he studied classics.[1] Although called to the bar from the Middle Temple in 1887, he eschewed a career in law in favour of working for his family business, Lynch Brothers, a commercial firm founded in Baghdad in 1841 which exported goods from Britain to Mesopotamia. He became the company's chairman in 1896.

Lynch was admitted as a freeman of the Worshipful Company of Bowyers of the City of London in 1888.

Lynch was elected at the 1906 general election as Member of Parliament (MP) for Ripon, but was defeated at the January 1910 general election.[6]

Lynch died, unmarried, of pneumonia in a hotel in Calais in 1913.[5] He left half of his estate to Trinity College.[7] He also bequeathed a large number of middle-eastern artefacts to the British Museum.[8] Photographs by Lynch are held by the British Library[9] and in the Conway Library at The Courtauld Institute of Art whose archive, of primarily architectural images, is being digitised under the wider Courtauld Connects project.[10]

Travels to Armenia[edit]

Lynch wrote a two-volume book on his travels to Russian Armenia and Turkish Armenia in 1893 and 1898, respectively. It was published in 1901.[11][12]

David George Hogarth, reviewed it for the journal Man, calling it a "magnificently printed and illustrated mixture of travel notes and impressions, historical and archaeological research, political ratiocination, and geographical information."[13] Another reviewer, Charles William Wilson, wrote in The Geographical Journal that while it is "full of information, but from a geographical point of view, it is somewhat disappointing. In the descriptions of scenery there is occasionally such a flow of words that the reader is apt to be wearied and lose the impression which the writer intends to convey."[14]

It continued to be praised in subsequent decades. Martin Conway described it in 1916 as a "classical work on the country" and added that his "journeys in Armenia and close study of the country made him beyond question the greatest recent authority upon it."[15] Charles Dowsett called it, in 1962, the "best book by an Englishman on any aspect of Armenian studies."[16] Jean-Michel Thierry wrote in 1987 that the publication, "with its lively style, good documentation, abundant illustrations, enjoyed the considerable success it deserved."[17] Christina Maranci noted that Lynch's travel contain the "first modern western study of Armenian architecture" and suggested that he "deserves much more attention than he has yet received."[4]

In 2015, a first edition of his two-volume book, Armenia. Travels and Studies, sold for £2,000 at Sotheby's.[18]


  1. ^ a b "Lynch, Henry Finnis Blosse (LNC880HF)". A Cambridge Alumni Database. University of Cambridge.
  2. ^ Arkun, Aram (16 October 2018). "Visiting Lecturer from England Sheds Light on Armenian Origins of English Travel Writer H. F. B. Lynch". The Armenian Mirror-Spectator. Retrieved 29 November 2021.
  3. ^ "Armenian Architecture - VirtualANI - Travellers' Accounts of Ani: H. F. B. Lynch in 1893". www.virtualani.org. Retrieved 29 November 2021.
  4. ^ a b Maranci, Christina (1998). Medieval Armenian Architecture in historiography: Josef Strygowski and His Legacy (PhD thesis). Princeton University. pp. 23, 28. OCLC 40827094.
  5. ^ a b 'Mr. H. F. B. Lynch', The Times, 26 November 1913, p. 11
  6. ^ Craig, F. W. S. (1989) [1974]. British parliamentary election results 1885–1918 (2nd ed.). Chichester: Parliamentary Research Services. p. 444. ISBN 0-900178-27-2.
  7. ^ Neild, Robert (2012). The Financial History of Cambridge University. London: Thames River Press. p. 66. ISBN 9780857285157.
  8. ^ "Collections Online | British Museum". www.britishmuseum.org. Retrieved 29 November 2021.
  9. ^ "akg-images -". www.akg-london.co.uk. Retrieved 29 November 2021.
  10. ^ "Who made the Conway Library?". Digital Media. 30 June 2020. Retrieved 29 November 2021.
  11. ^ Lynch, H.F.B.(1901). Armenia: Travels and Studies. Volume I: The Russian Provinces. London: Longmans, Green, and Co.
  12. ^ Lynch, H.F.B. (1901). Armenia: Travels and Studies. Volume II: The Turkish Provinces. London: Longmans, Green, and Co.
  13. ^ D. G. H. (1902). "Reviewed Work: Armenia: Travels and Studies. by H. F. B. Lynch". Man. 2. Royal Anthropological Institute of Great Britain and Ireland: 153–155. doi:10.2307/2840500. JSTOR 2840500.
  14. ^ C. W. W. (1901). "Reviewed Work: Armenia: Travels and Studies by H. F. B. Lynch". The Geographical Journal. 18 (6): 608–609. doi:10.2307/1775362. JSTOR 1775362.
  15. ^ Conway, Martin (19 February 1916). "Churches of northern Armenia". Country Life. 39: 245–247.
  16. ^ Dowsett, C. J. F. (1962). "A New Atlas of Armenia: Review". The Geographical Journal. 128 (3): 336–339. doi:10.2307/1794051. ISSN 0016-7398. In Armenia--travels and studies (London, 1901), in the reviewer's opinion the best book by an Englishman on any aspect of Armenian studies, H. F. B. Lynch noted...
  17. ^ Thierry, Jean-Michel; Donabédian, Patrick (1989) [1987]. Armenian Art. Translated by Celestine Dars. New York: Harry N. Abrams. p. 36. ISBN 0-8109-0625-2.
  18. ^ "(#798) Lynch, Henry Finnis Blosse". Sotheby's.

External links[edit]

Parliament of the United Kingdom
Preceded by Member of Parliament for Ripon
1906January 1910
Succeeded by