FINCH, John I (1579-1630), of the Inner Temple and St. Mary, Aldermanbury, London

Published in The History of Parliament: the House of Commons 1604-1629, ed. Andrew Thrush and John P. Ferris, 2010
Available from Cambridge University Press



1624 - 18 Mar. 1624
25 Mar. 1624

Family and Education

b. 22 Nov. 1579, 4th but 3rd surv. s. of (Sir) Moyle Finch†, 1st Bt. and Elizabeth, suo jure 1st countess of Winchelsea, da. of (Sir) Thomas Heneage† of Copt Hall, Essex, chan. of Duchy of Lancaster 1590-5; bro. of Francis*, Heneage*, Sir Theophilus* and Sir Thomas, 3rd Bt.* educ. Emmanuel, Camb. 1594; I. Temple 1598, called 1606. m. by 1620, Anne (d. ?1624), da. of Thomas Walker, c. usher of exch. 1603-13, of Westminster, 2s. 1da. (d.v.p.).1 d. Sept. 1630.

Offices Held

Dep. recorder, London 1619-24.2

Freeman, Winchelsea 1624.3


Finch was born at the London house of his maternal grandfather at around 8 am on 22 Nov. 1579. Baptized six days later, his godparents were John, Lord Russell, William, 10th Lord Brooke (William Brooke alias Cobham†) and Anne, Lady Dacres.4 Though called to the bar in 1606, Finch admitted that he was ‘better acquainted with the streets than my chamber or study, and ... with taverns than the Temple Hall’. However in 1612 he hoped to improve his fortune and make himself ‘more fit for the study’ of law by accompanying Sir Henry Thynne on an Eastern voyage. In June 1618 the lord chief justice of Common Pleas, Sir Henry Hobart*, tried unsuccessfully to get him the reversion to one of London’s four common pleaderships.5 The following year he was appointed deputy to the recorder of London Robert Heath*, who had been appointed summer reader at the Inner Temple. The position was during pleasure’ and carried no salary.

Finch may have owed his marriage to his cousin, Thomas Heneage*. A family settlement drawn up in 1622 assured his two sons of an annual income of £150. He was returned for Winchelsea in 1624 on the family interest, but only through the gross partiality of the mayor; and his election was declared void on the petition of his opponent Sir Alexander Temple*. He was re-elected a week later, when three of the voters apparently changed sides, and he went on to survive another petition from Temple. Through his brother Heneage he obtained permission to resume his seat without receiving communion again; but he took no known part in the proceedings of the House. On his resignation as deputy recorder in November 1624 the City gave him £100 in recognition of his services. He drew up his will on 20 Aug. 1630, when he described himself as ‘being in perfect health’. He nominated as his executors his nephew Thomas Twisden† and his wife’s brother-in-law, Richard Lane of the Middle Temple. His will was published on 21 Sept. and proved on 25 Sept. by his two surviving brothers. His elder son, John, represented Winchelsea in the Short and Long Parliaments.6

Ref Volumes: 1604-1629

Authors: Peter Lefevre / Andrew Thrush


  • 1. B. l’Anson, Hist. Finch Fam. 41; Misc. Gen. et Her. ii. 337; W. Berry, County Genealogies. Peds. of Fams. in Kent (1830), p. 207.
  • 2. CLRO, Reps. 34, f. 162; 39, f. 10v.
  • 3. E. Suss. RO, WIN 55, f. 279.
  • 4. Soc. Antiq. ms 168, f. 186v.
  • 5. CLRO, Remembrancia 8/23.
  • 6. HMC Finch, i. 40-1; CJ, i. 726, 739b, 740a, 714b; ‘Pym 1624’, f. 44; PROB 11/158, f. 88v; Index to Admons. in the PCC, 1631-48 ed. M. Fitch (Brit. Rec. Soc. c), vi. 145.