Published in The History of Parliament: the House of Commons 1715-1754, ed. R. Sedgwick, 1970
Available from Boydell and Brewer

Background Information

Number of voters:



26 Jan. 1715DANIEL FINCH, Lord Finch 
2 Nov. 1715FINCH re-elected after appointment to office 
21 Jan. 1719JOHN MANNERS, Mq. of Granby, vice Noel, deceased 
5 Apr. 1721SIR THOMAS MACKWORTH vice Granby, called to the Upper House 
 DANIEL FINCH, Lord Finch276
 Philip Sherard251
16 June 1725FINCH re-elected after appointment to office 
30 Aug. 1727DANIEL FINCH, Lord Finch 
4 Mar. 1728THOMAS NOEL vice John Noel deceased 
18 Feb. 1730WILLIAM BURTON vice Finch, called to the Upper House 
 Edward Smith 
7 May 1734JAMES NOEL 
20 May 1741JOHN FINCH 
8 July 1747BROWNLOW CECIL, Lord Burghley 
21 Jan. 1753THOMAS NOEL vice James Noel, deceased 
 William Marsh 

Main Article

Rutland politics were dominated by the Finches, earls of Winchilsea and Nottingham, the Noels, earls of Gainsborough, and the Cecils, earls of Exeter.

From 1715 to 1747 the representation was monopolized by the Finches and the Noels, except in years when they ran out of family candidates. In 1734 Noels, with the concurrence of the Finches, who were all provided for, took both seats. When in 1741 Lord Winchilsea put up his brother, John Finch, Lord Gainsborough wrote to him that he was

uneasy by an information that your Lordship had applied to Lord Exeter and some others of the county for Mr. Finch without so much as naming my brother [James] to them for his colleague at our next election. This I apprehend might have exposed my interest very much to danger and have prejudiced my brother in case any other person had been beforehand with me in their applications to those persons ... To my great surprise the other day I heard from good hand that Lord Exeter had declared himself to be under no engagement with any one, but that my cousin Noel, if he would, might have his Lordship’s interest. My kinsman, it seems, had the same information and accordingly went yesterday ... and obtained a promise from his Lordship for himself, and he afterwards told me that he was determined to despatch a letter to Lord Harborough [Philip Sherard, M.P. Rutland 1708-10] for his interest also. I must acquaint your Lordship by the by that I perceive Tom Noel is a good deal piqued at your Lordship’s laying him aside so suddenly and with so little notice to provide for himself elsewhere in case he had been desirous of a seat in Parliament, and I am pretty sure his application to Lord Exeter and Lord Harborough was grounded only upon that resentment.1

John Finch was returned unopposed with James Noel. In 1747 Lord Winchilsea, faced with an alliance between the Earls of Exeter and Gainsborough, appealed to the Duke of Rutland for support for John Finch, but later wrote that as he could not expect to meet with success, he would not desire the Duke ‘to quarrel with the Earls of Exeter and Gainsborough unnecessarily’.2 Thereafter the representation was shared by the Cecils and Noels to the exclusion of the Finches.

Author: Eveline Cruickshanks


  • 1. Finch mss at HMC.
  • 2. HMC Rutland, ii. 200.