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Heneage Finch, 1st Earl of Aylesford

(1647?-1719), Lord Chancellor

Sitter in 11 portraits
Called to the Bar in 1677, Finch moved into politics two years later, and was appointed Solicitor General. Although loyal to the new king, James II, Finch also supported the anti-Catholic cause. In 1686, the king dismissed him as solicitor after he refused to pass a warrant appointing a Catholic to the mastership of an Oxford college. In 1688, he successfully defended the seven bishops who petitioned James against his Declaration of Indulgence. After James fled the country in 1688, Finch was consulted about the prevailing legal situation. He argued that the king's departure had not made the throne vacant, and recommended offering a regency rather than the crown to William and Mary.

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The Bishops' Council, by and published by Robert White - NPG D43262

The Bishops' Council

by and published by Robert White
line engraving, 1688
NPG D43262

The Bishops' Council, possibly published by John Smith, after  Unknown artist - NPG D11943

The Bishops' Council

possibly published by John Smith, after Unknown artist
mezzotint, 1688
NPG D11943

Heneage Finch, 1st Earl of Aylesford, by Isaac Taylor, after  Thomas Stothard - NPG D29855

Heneage Finch, 1st Earl of Aylesford

by Isaac Taylor, after Thomas Stothard
line engraving, late 18th to early 19th century
NPG D29855

Web image not currently available

The Bishops' Council

possibly published by John Smith, after Unknown artist
mezzotint, 1688
NPG D20235


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