Elizabeth Finch, Countess of Winchilsea

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Elizabeth Finch (Heneage), Countess of Winchilsea

Birthdate: (76)
Birthplace: Copt Hall, Epping, Essex, UK
Death: March 13, 1633 (76)
Eastwell, Kent, England
Place of Burial: Eastwell, Kent, England
Immediate Family:

Daughter of Sir Thomas Heneage and Anne Heneage (Poyntz)
Wife of Sir Moyle Finch, MP, 1st Baronet
Mother of Sir Theophilus Finch, MP, 2nd Baronet; John Finch, MP; Sir Heneage Finch, MP, Speaker of the House of Commons; Catherine Wentworth; Francis Finch, MP and 2 others

Managed by: Christine Joy Le Mouton
Last Updated:

About Elizabeth Finch, Countess of Winchilsea

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Elizabeth Finch, née Heneage, 1st Countess of Winchilsea (9 July 1556 – 23 March 1634) was an English peeress. A portrait of Elizabeth Finch, by Marcus Gheeraerts the Younger, c.1600

Elizabeth was the daughter and heiress of Sir Thomas Heneage, who was Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster and Vice-Chamberlain of the Household in the latter years of the reign of Elizabeth I. At 16 years old, she was married to Moyle Finch on 14 November 1572 and they had six children:

   * Theophilius (1573-1619), later 2nd Baronet.
   * Heneage (born 1576, died young)
   * Hon. Thomas (1578-1639), later 2nd Earl of Winchilsea.
   * Hon. Heneage (d. 1631), later Speaker of the House of Commons.
   * Hon. Francis, a barrister.
   * Lady Catherine, married Sir John Wentworth, 1st Baronet and had issue.

Her husband became a politician soon after their marriage and was knighted in 1584 and given a baronetcy in 1611. When Sir Moyle died in 1614, Elizabeth and her sons made considerable efforts to have the family's status elevated and almost nine years later, James I created her Viscountess Maidstone, with a remainder to her heirs male. In 1628, she was further elevated by Charles I as Countess of Winchilsea. On her death in 1634, her titles passed to her eldest surviving son, Sir Thomas (who had already inherited his elder brother's baronetcy in 1619).

Elizabeth and Sir Moyle are depicted in repose in a monument commemorating members of the Finch family, sculpted by Nicolas Stone ca 1630. The piece was created after Sir Moyle's death during Elizabeth's lifetime, and is now displayed at the Victoria and Albert Museum, London. It was originally in the church of St Mary, Eastwell, Kent which became a ruin in the 1950s and is now owned by the Friends of Friendless Churches.

At her father’s death, she made a settlement on her stepmother, Mary Browne, dowager Countess of Southampton, in return for the Countess’s agreement to pay all of Heneage’s debts. Elizabeth was at the courts of Elizabeth I and James I, and was in the Queen’s funeral procession in 1603. After Sir Moyle's death Elizabeth and her sons made considerable efforts to have the family's status elevated. On 8 Jul 1623 Elizabeth was created a peeress as Viscountess Maidstone, supposedly in remembrance of the good services of her father. In fact, she transferred the family seat, Copt Hall, Essex, to the Lord Treasurer, Sir Lionel Cranfield, to secure the honor. She was further elevated to Countess of Winchelsea on 12 Jul 1628; the titles devolving upon her male heirs.
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Elizabeth Finch, Countess of Winchilsea's Timeline

July 9, 1556
Epping, Essex, UK
July 9, 1556
October 29, 1573
Age 17
June 13, 1578
Age 21
November 22, 1579
Age 23
December 15, 1580
Age 24
March 24, 1586
Age 29
Age 31
Eastwell, Kent, England
March 13, 1633
Age 76
Eastwell, Kent, England