Heneage Finch, 3rd Earl of Winchilsea

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The Right Honourable

The Earl of Winchilsea
British Ambassador to the Ottoman Empire
In office
MonarchCharles II
Preceded bySir Thomas Bendish
Succeeded bySir Daniel Harvey
Personal details
Heneage Finch

Died1689 (aged 60–61)
  • Diana Willoughby
    (m. 1645)
  • Mary Seymour
    (m. 1650; died 1673)
  • Catherine Norcliffe
    (m. 1673)
  • Elizabeth Ayres
    (m. 1681)
Childrenat least 16, including
EducationQueens' College, Cambridge
Arms of Finch: Argent, a chevron between three griffins passant sable

Sir Heneage Finch, 3rd Earl of Winchilsea (1628–1689) of Eastwell, Kent, was the 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 mother was Cecille Wentworth of Gosfield Hall, Essex, daughter of John Wentworth, High Sheriff of Essex and Cecily Unton. 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.[1] "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". Winchilsea, in an obvious reference to Charles' own brood of natural children, replied that after all, he was the King's representative.

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 1668 and 1672

Samuel Pepys first referred to him as the Lord Winchilsea.[2]

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[edit]

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 (1637 – 10 April 1673) the daughter of William Seymour, 2nd Duke of Somerset and Lady Frances Devereux, about 1650. Their children were:

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.


  1. ^ http://www.queens.cam.ac.uk/page-242
  2. ^ Note the difference in spelling from the modern place name, Winchelsea
  3. ^ Burkes' Peerage (1939).


External links[edit]

Diplomatic posts
Preceded by
Sir Thomas Bendish, 2nd Baronet
British Ambassador to the Ottoman Empire
Succeeded by
Sir Daniel Harvey
Honorary titles
English Interregnum Lord Lieutenant of Kent
jointly with The Earl of Southampton 1662–1667
The Duke of Richmond 1668–1672

Succeeded by
The Lord Teynham
Custos Rotulorum of Kent
Preceded by
The Duke of Richmond
Vice-Admiral of Kent
Preceded by
Robert Blake
Lord Warden of the Cinque Ports
Succeeded by
The Duke of York and Albany
Preceded by
The Duke of Somerset
Lord Lieutenant of Somerset
Succeeded by
The Duke of Somerset
Preceded by
The Earl of Feversham
Lord Lieutenant and Custos Rotulorum of Kent
Succeeded by
The Viscount Sydney
Peerage of England
Preceded by
Thomas Finch
Earl of Winchilsea
Succeeded by
Charles Finch
Viscount Maidstone
New title Baron FitzHerbert
Baronetage of England
Preceded by
Thomas Finch
(of Eastwell, Kent)
Succeeded by
Charles Finch