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first earl of Nottingham, and lord high chancellor of England, the

, first earl of Nottingham, and lord high chancellor of England, the son of sir Heneage Finch, knt. recorder of London, was born Dec. 21 or 23, 1621, in the county of Kent. He was educated at Westminsterschool, and became a gentleman commoner of Christ church in Oxford, 1635. After he had prosecuted his studies there for two or three years, he removed to the Inner Temple, where, by diligence and good parts, he became remarkable for his knowledge of the municipal laws, was successively barrister, bencher, treasurer, reader, &c. Charles II. on his restoration, made him solicitor general, and advanced him to the dignity of a baronet. He was reader of the Inner Temple the next year, and chose for his subject the statute of 39 Eliz. concerning the payment and recovery of the debts of the crown, at that time very seasonable and necessary, and which he treated with great strength of reason, and depth of law. Uncommon honours were paid to him on this occasion, the reading and entertainment lasting from the 4th to the 17th of August. At the first day’s entertainment were several of the nobility of the kingdom, and privy counsellors, with divers others of his friends at the second, were the lord mayor, aldermen, and principal citizens of London at the third, which was two days after the former, was the whole college of physicians, who all came in their caps and gowns; at the fourth, all the judges, advocates, doctors of the civil law, and all the society of Doctors’ Commons at the fifth, the archbishops, bishops, and chief of the clergy and at the last, which was on August 15, his majesty king Charles II. did him the honour (never before granted by any of his royal progenitors) to accept of an invitation to dine with him in the great hall of the Inner Temple.