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John Finch Finch of Fordwich


FINCH OF FORDWICH, JOHN FINCH, BARON (I 584 166o), generally known as Sir John Finch, English judge, was born on Sept. 17, 1584, and was called to the bar in 1611. He became recorder of Canterbury in 1617. In 1626 he was appointed king's counsel and attorney-general to the queen, and was knighted. In 1628 he was elected speaker of the House of Commons. He was the speaker who was held down in his chair by Holles and others on the occasion of Sir John Eliot's resolution on tonnage and poundage. In 1634 he became chief justice of the court of common pleas, and zealously upheld the king's prerogative. As chief justice he displayed great brutality in the cases of William Prynne and John Langton. He presided over the trial of John Hampden for non-payment of ship-money. He became lord keeper in 164o and was created Baron Finch of Fordwich. One of the first acts of the Long Parliament, which met in the same year, was his impeach ment. He took refuge in Holland, and in 166o was one of the com missioners for the trial of the regicides. He died Nov. 27, 1660.