The Right Honourable
The Earl of Winchilsea
|English Ambassador to the Ottoman Empire|
|Preceded by||Sir Thomas Bendish|
|Succeeded by||Sir Daniel Harvey|
|Died||28 September 1689 (aged 60–61)|
Hon. Diana Willoughby
(m. 1645; died 1648)
Lady Mary Seymour
(m. 1650; died 1673)
(m. 1673; died 1678)
|Education||Queens' College, Cambridge|
Heneage Finch, 3rd Earl of Winchilsea (c. 1628 – 28 September 1689) was an English peer and diplomat who served as the English ambassador to the Ottoman Empire from 1660 to 1669.
His paternal grandparents were Sir Moyle Finch, 1st Baronet and Elizabeth Finch, suo jure 1st Countess of Winchilsea. His father inherited his grandfather's baronetcy from his uncle, Sir Theophilus Finch, 2nd Baronet, who died without issue in 1619. His maternal grandparents were John Wentworth, High Sheriff of Essex and Cecily Unton. His first cousin was Heneage Finch, 1st Earl of Nottingham.
On his return from Ottoman territory in June 1668, King Charles II remarked to Finch, "My Lord, you have not only built a town, but peopled it too". Winchilsea, in an obvious reference to Charles' own brood of natural children, replied that after all, he was the King's representative.
Lord Finch was appointed by his friend George Monck, 1st Duke of Albemarle a Governor of Dover Castle, and Lord Warden of the Cinque Ports in July 1660. He was also Lord Lieutenant of Kent and afterwards ambassador to the Ottoman Empire, and served in this capacity between 1668 and 1672.
King Charles II had landed at Kent on his way to London to secure the throne on 25 May 1660. The King arrived in Dover with 20 ships and frigates, the Lord General and his lifeguard were accompanied by the Earl of Winchelsea to the cheer of the crowding locals gathered upon the beach to witness a salute fired from the guns of Dover Castle. The King created him Baron FitzHerbert, of Eastwell in the County of Kent, on 26 June 1660.
|Earl of Winchelsea's Estate Act 1660|
|Act of Parliament|
|Long title||An Act for the settling of the Priory of Watton, and other Lands belonging to the Earl of Winchilsea, in the County of Yorke, in the Hands of Trustees, for the Payment of Debts.|
|Citation||12 Cha. 2. c. 5|
|Royal assent||13 September 1660|
Finch was married four times and was the father of at least sixteen children. His first marriage was on 21 May 1645 to the Hon. Diana Willoughby, the eldest daughter of Francis Willoughby, 5th Baron Willoughby of Parham and Elizabeth Cecil (a younger daughter and co-heiress of Edward Cecil, 1st Viscount Wimbledon). She died and was buried at Eastwell on 27 March 1648.
His second marriage was in c. 1649 to Lady Mary Seymour (1637–1673), the second daughter of William Seymour, 2nd Duke of Somerset and Lady Frances Devereux eldest daughter of Robert Devereux, 2nd Earl of Essex). Before her death in 1673, their children included:
- William Finch, styled Viscount Maidstone (c. 1651–1672), who died at sea aboard the Royal Charles during the Battle of Solebay; he married Elizabeth Wyndham, a daughter of Thomas Wyndham, of Felbrigg Hall.
- Lady Frances Finch (d. 1712), who married Thomas Thynne, 1st Viscount Weymouth.
- Heneage Finch, 5th Earl of Winchilsea (1657–1726), who married Anne Kingsmill, the daughter of Sir William Kingsmill.
- Hon. Thomas Finch (b. 1658), who was born before the family went to the Ottoman Empire.
His third marriage was to Catherine Norcliffe on 10 April 1673. The daughter of Sir Thomas Norcliffe and Hon. Dorothy Fairfax (fifth daughter of Thomas Fairfax, 1st Viscount Fairfax), she was twice a widow from her marriages to Christopher Lister, of Thornton, York, and Sir John Wentworth, of Elmshall, York. She died in c. 1678.
- Debrett's Peerage, Baronetage, Knightage, and Companionage: Comprising Information Concerning All Persons Bearing Hereditary Or Courtesy Titles, Companions of All the Various Orders, and the Collateral Branches of All Peers and Baronets. Dean and son. 1888. p. 743. Retrieved 21 December 2022.
- Genealogical and Heraldic Dictionary of the Peerage and Baronetage of the British Empire. Burke's Peerage Limited. 1830. p. 831. Retrieved 21 December 2022.
- "Eminent alumni | Queens' College".
- Note the difference in spelling from the modern place name, Winchelsea
- Burkes' Peerage (1939).
- l'ANSON, B. (1933). THE HISTORY of the FINCH FAMILY - Chapter 9 The Winchilsea Pedigree (PDF). Janson & Co London. Retrieved 11 November 2023.
- Hamilton, James (10 August 2017). Gainsborough: A Portrait. Orion. ISBN 978-1-4746-0053-8. Retrieved 21 December 2022.