Finch, Heneage (d.1689) (DNB00)

FINCH, HENEAGE, second Earl of Winchilsea (d. 1689), was the son of Thomas, the first earl, whose mother Elizabeth had been created Countess of Winchilsea in her widowhood by Charles I (1628). Heneage, educated at Emmanuel College, Cambridge, succeeded to the title of Viscount Maidstone in 1633, and of Earl of Winchilsea in 1639. He distinguished himself on the royalist side during the great rebellion, providing auxiliary troops (horse and foot) at his own expense, and supplying 'with great hazard' Charles II's 'necessities in foreign parts.' He was a friend of Monck and was made governor of Dover Castle in 1660. Upon the Restoration he was created a baron, by the title of Lord Fitzherbert of Eastwell (from which family the Finches claimed descent), 26 June 1660, and on 10 July was appointed lord-lieutenant of Kent. Early in 1661 he went on an important embassy to Sultan Mahomet Chan IV, and published an account of it the same year. He remained as English ambassador at Constantinople eight years, and on his return journey wrote from Naples to the king a description, which was afterwards printed, of the eruption of Mount Etna. He was reinstated on his arrival in England lord-lieutenant of Kent and governor of Dover Castle, but was, with a long list of other lieutenants, dismissed from the former post in 1687. When James II was stopped at Feversham by the Kentish fishermen, he wrote to Winchilsea, who was at Canterbury, asking him to come to him. The earl arrived before night (12 Dec.), and interposed on behalf of the king besides moving him to a more suitable lodging in a private house (Add. MS. 32095, f. 298 ; Ralph, History, i. 1068). When James fled for the second time, Winchilsea was one of those who voted for offering the vacant throne to William and Mary, and in March 1689 was again made lord-lieutenant of Kent. He died in August the same year. He married four times : (1) Diana, daughter of Francis, fifth lord Willoughby of Parham ; (2) Mary, daughter of William Seymour, marquis of Hertford; (3) Catherine, daughter of Sir Thomas Norcliff ; (4) Elizabeth, daughter of John Ayres, esq. Out of twenty-seven children sixteen lived to 'some maturity.' His published works were : 1. 'Narrative of the Success of his Embassy to Turkey. The Voyage of the Right Honourable Heneage Finch from Smyrna to Constantinople. His Arrival there, and the manner of his Entertainment and Audience with the Grand Vizier and Grand Seignieur,' London, 1661.

  1. 'A true and exact Relation of the late prodigious Earthquake and Eruption of Mount Etna, or Mount Gibello, as it came in a Letter written to his Majesty from Naples. By the Right Honourable the Earl of Winchelsea, his Majesty's late Ambassador at Constantinople, who on his return from thence, visiting Catania, in the Island of Sicily, was an eye-witness of that dreadful spectacle. Together with a more particular Narrative of the same, as it is collected out of several relations sent from Catania. With a View of the Mountain and Conflagration,' London, 1669, fol.

[Collins's Peerage, ed. 1779, iii. 280; Walpole's Royal and Noble Authors, ed. Park, iii. 316; Rycaut's Hist. of the Turks, ii. 97, &c.; Luttrell's Relation of State Affairs, i. 422, 575; Brit. Mus. Cat.; Doyle's Baronage.]

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