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The Dictionary of Australasian Biography/Finch-Hatton, Hon. Harold

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Finch-Hatton, Hon. Harold, is the son of the 9th Earl of Winchelsea and Nottingham, by Fanny Margaretta, eldest daughter of Edward Royd Rice, of Dane Court, Kent. He is the younger brother of the 11th and present Earl, and was born at Eastwell Park, Kent, in 1856, and educated at Eton and Balliol College, Oxford. When nineteen, Mr. Finch-Hatton went out to Queensland, where he remained until 1883, engaging, in the first instance, in pastoral pursuits in the Mackay district, and subsequently going in for hard work as a practical miner on the Nebo goldfields. A pleasant record of his colonial experience is to be found in "Advance, Australia!" a book from his pen, which has gone through two editions. Mr. Finch-Hatton is a warm upholder of the integrity of the empire, and was one of the founders of the Imperial Federation League, of which he has been treasurer since its start. In politics he is a staunch Conservative, and at the general election in 1885 contested Nottingham in this interest against Mr. Arnold Morley, the Liberal whip. The contest was in the nature of a forlorn hope, and Mr. Finch-Hatton was defeated by a majority of 991. In 1886 and 1892 he again stood but was beaten by his former opponent. Mr. Finch-Hatton is an ardent advocate of the development of the Pacific route to Australia and the East, and has been secretary of the Pacific Telegraph Company, formed for the purpose of laying a line from Vancouver Island to Australia, since its establishment. When the North Queensland Separation League extended its organisation to the Metropolis, Mr. Finch-Hatton was appointed permanent delegate and chairman of the London committee. These offices he still holds, and it is in a great degree owing to his energy in the cause that it has arrived at its present prominence in the eyes of the Colonial Office, and of English public men.