Robert Finch (priest)

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Robert Poole Finch (1724-1803) was an English divine.


Finch was the son of the Rev. Richard Finch. He was born at Greenwich 3 March 1723-4, entered Merchant Taylors' School in 1736, and was admitted a member of Peterhouse, Cambridge, whence he graduated B.A. in 1743, M.A. in 1747 and D.D. in 1772.[1] He was ordained as a deacon in 1744,[2] and appointed a curate at Greenwich in 1748.[3] On becoming a priest he was chosen to be chaplain of Guy's Hospital, a position he held for 37 years. In 1755 he was appointed to the lectureship of St Bartholomew-by-the-Exchange, which he continued to hold to the time of his death.[2]

He was a preacher of some eminence. He published numerous sermons, and, in 1788, a treatise entitled Considerations upon the Use and Abuse of Oaths judicially taken, which passed through many editions and became a standard work among the publications of the Society for Promoting Christian Knowledge.[1] In it he insisted that oaths should be administered with solemnity, condemned common swearing, and advocated the death sentence for the crime of perjury.[4]

In 1771 he was appointed rector of St. Michael's, Cornhill, but resigned in 1784, on becoming rector of St. John the Evangelist, Westminster.[1] Between 1775 and 1802 he was one of the four treasurers of the Society for Promoting Christian Knowledge.[5] In 1781 he was made prebendary of Westminster, and retaining this appointment until his death, 18 May 1803, was buried in the abbey.[1]


  1. ^ a b c d "Finch, Robert Poole" . Dictionary of National Biography. London: Smith, Elder & Co. 1885–1900.
  2. ^ a b Smith, J.E. (1892). St John the Evangelist, Westminster: parochial memorials. Westminster: Wightman & Co. pp. 85–6.
  3. ^ Persons: Finch, Robert Pool (1744–1784) in "CCEd, the Clergy of the Church of England database" (Accessed online, 4 February 2014)
  4. ^ "Divinity". The Critical review: or, Annals of Literature. 69: 355. 1790.
  5. ^ Allen, William Osborne Bird; McClure, Edmund (1970) [reprinted from the 1898 edition]. Two Hundred Years: the history of the Society for Promoting Christian Knowledge, 1698-1898. New York: Lenox Hill. p. 132. ISBN 978-0-8337-0044-5.

 This article incorporates text from a publication now in the public domain"Finch, Robert Poole". Dictionary of National Biography. London: Smith, Elder & Co. 1885–1900.