The Earliest Records
As with most genealogies of this period, the story of our family emerges slowly from fragments of information that cannot be placed within a definitive genealogy. The Finches from which we descend derived from the village of Redbourn, a few miles northeast of St Albans in Hertfordshire. The earliest record for this family we have comes from a subsidy (taxation) roll of 1295 when Ralph Finch paid eleven pence in tax as one of the inhabitants of Redbourn. It is difficult to say whether the Finches had been in Redbourn long before but it possible that they had already been there for centuries.
Figure 1: The Taxation list of 1307. The handwriting is difficult and the text written in Latin. However, the entry for Ralph Finch (“Rado fynch”) can be made out nearly halfway down.
Medieval taxation records give us our first clues about the Redbourn Finches. Taxation in those times was not a regular occurrence, nor was it necessarily raised with any interest in whether those taxed could pay! Instead, the king demanded money in response to events that had drained the royal purse. The period from 1295 to 1320 was a turbulent time. King Edward the First was waging successful (but expensive) wars against the French, Welsh, Irish and Scots. The wars against the Scots including William Wallace led to regular and heavy taxation. The misfortune of the time is today’s blessing, since we now have a relatively continuous series of taxation lists at ~5 year intervals across that period. In these lists, Ralph Finch pays taxes in Redbourn and Burstead (a nearby hamlet) until 1307 (See Figure 1), and in the next taxation list in 1314, Hugh Finch takes his place. It is tempting to suggest that Hugh is Ralph’s son, but he could just as easily be his brother or nephew – genealogy at this early period is beset with uncertainties.
In 1333, after the wars with Scotland had subsided, another set of taxes was imposed, this time by the Abbot of St Albans as Lord of the Manor of Redbourn. However, the inhabitants of Redbourn rebelled, assaulting the Abbot’s representative and insisting that taxation could not be imposed subject to his whim. Whatever the rights and wrongs of the situation, the Abbot won the day by sending armed representatives and insisting on payment against a threat of excommunication and imprisonment. The list of those who paid tax to the Abbot on that unusual occasion is preserved among the rolls of St Albans Abbey and includes Alice Finch and John Finch.
The middle part of the 14th century was a crucial turning point in the history of England. The so-called ‘Black Death’, a plague brought to Europe on board a trading vessel, began to sweep across the country. The first recorded cases of the ‘pestilence’ were in Venice in 1348 and by May 1349, the plague had reached London and the Home Counties. It is estimated that the Black Death killed up to a third of the population of Europe, and in some cases it annihilated entire villages. It is highly unlikely that our ancestors avoided bereavement at the hands of this most lethal of plagues. In addition to the personal tragedies that must have been all too common at that time, it must also be understood that the plague had no respect for social status. The years following 1349 were characterised in some cases by a breakdown in local administration, since so many of those in positions of responsibility had died without candidates to fill vacant posts. In 1352, a deed records the sale of a plot of land in Redbourn, the cottage of Margaret, widow of John Finch, now owned by Thomas Finch of St Albans. Thomas sold the land to Richard Rede on condition that he allow Margaret to remain in the cottage until her death. One possible interpretation of this is that John was a victim of the Black Death and Thomas inherited the cottage, either as John’s son or nearest blood relation.
A major boost to genealogy at this period is the registers of Wills in the Court of the Abbot of St Albans. When someone died, his or her will was presented to the nearest high church, in this case the Abbey of St Albans. The Abbot’s representative would examine the will to ensure it was valid and then pass letters of administration to the next of kin to carry out the wishes of the deceased. It had been common procedure for some time for the Abbot’s court to copy the entire text of the will into a register for later reference, but few medieval registers have survived. St Albans is unusual in that will registers survive from 1420, and are almost continuous until 1858 when the jurisdiction was dissolved. We have no record of Finches in Redbourn, fragmentary or otherwise, from the period between 1352 and the first entries in the wills register. The earliest Finch wills date from 1430, when two wills, those of William Finch junior and Alice his wife both of Redbourn, were proved. The wills of John Finch (1432), Thomas Finch (1433), Richard Finch (1442) and Walter Finch (1465) follow in the same volume, and these provide us with the barest information to sketch reliable genealogies. Many wills of this period are scanty, merely naming an executor and providing no other information, but they nevertheless represent an important and reliable genealogical source.
One important feature that evolves from a study of the wills is the manner in which the Finch family has spread outside Redbourn. The will of Richard Finch in 1442 states he is of Sandridge, about 10 miles from Redbourn, and a will in the register of the Bishop of London for Simon Finch yeoman of London (1439), informs us that Richard of Sadnridge is his brother. It seems clear that by this time, if not before, the Finch family had travelled beyond the limits of Redbourn and its environs and possessed land in a variety of places. In addition, the will of Simon Finch informs us that he had two other brothers in Hertfordshire; a Thomas in Codicote and a John at St Paul’s Walden. Importantly, we have no record of these men in the wills register and it seems clear that even though wills are a genealogical source of prime importance, they still only reflect a proportion of the deaths in an area.
1455-1538 The Beginnings of a Reliable Genealogy
The period after ~1455 represents a great improvement in our understanding of the family. The Abbot’s Chamberlain held the manor on behalf of the Abbot. Unfortunately, no very early records of the manor court have survived. The earliest record of Redbourn manor (termed a ‘rental’) is dated 1455. It is a highly detailed and informative list of every landowner in the manor, the rent they paid every year and the land for which that payment was made. The form of the rental is also informative since the land is described by the current owner and also by a previous owner, although when he was alive is often unclear. A comparison of the names of ‘previous owners’ and the list of those taxed by the Abbot of St Albans in 1333 shows some striking similarities. It seems likely that the 1455 document was drawn up to replace an older rental (then out of date) dating from ~1333. Similar records that survive for other manors such as Codicote (1332) suggest the Abbot made assessments of the value of all his lands around that time. It is a pity that the earlier Redbourn document has not survived, but the lists of ‘previous owners’ (which includes familiar names such as Hugh Finch) give us some idea of its contents. An image from the rental is given in Figure 2.
Figure 2 Representative part of the 1455 Redbourn rental Roll showing the entries for property owned by Henry HARRIS. The name of the previous owner, William STEVENACHE, can just be made out below (particularly ‘che’ after Harris’ name). The first entry reads in Latin:
I Henrico HARRES p uno mes & ei virgat tre qud Hugonis FYNCHE de iiij uxis sue ad ir p an … … … … … ix s ij d
I[tem] Henry HARRIS for a messuage and its virgate of land once owned by Hugo FYNCHE of 4 wives for rent per year… … … … 9s 2d
About 30 years later, the 1455 document also became out of date and the original entries on it were overwritten, so that despite the fact that the document bears the date 1455, it actually now reads from 1485. Many of the original entries can, however, still be made out. Of the original 1455 entries, about 6 entries are for Finches, and the way in which other Finches replace them allows us to follow the passage of lands from father to son in this 30 year period. One important caveat we must recognise – one of the Finches, a Thomas is recorded as ‘Thomas FINCH alias AT DENE’ indicating that even at this relatively recent period of history, many had interchangeable surnames.
The earliest Finch genealogies from Redbourn seem to resolve into about 3 main families listed separately. Although they were undoubtedly related, the details of those relationships have not yet been resolved.
FINCH of Hertfordshire and London
Unknown FINCH of Hertfordshire? born ~1350. He had four sons:
- Simon FINCH, yeoman of London, born ~1376, died 1439. Will Proved at the Commissary Court of London. Had land in Ayot St Lawrence, Hertfordshire, and is mentioned on the Redbourn Rental in 1455.
- John FINCH of Ayot St Lawrence, Herts. alive 1439.
- Thomas FINCH of Codicote, Hertfordshire, alive 1428-1439. Mentioned in Codicote Court Rolls.
- Richard FINCH of whom follows.
Richard FINCH of Sandridge, Herts. Died 1442, Will proved at the Archdeaconry Court of St Albans. Married to Isabel … Had two sons:
- William FINCH of Sandridge of whom follows.
- John FINCH
William FINCH of Sandridge, Herts. Died 1485, will proved 30 Apr 1485 at St Albans. Had at least three sons and two daughters. Executor of the will of William AT NASH of Sandridge in 1446 and beneficiary of the will of Robert NASH of Sandridge 1480.
- Thomas FINCH of Sandridge, died 1471, administration proved by the Archdeaconry Court of St Albans. In his administration he mentions his ‘brothers and sisters’.
- John FINCH, executor to father’s will in 1485.
FINCH of Redbourn (lineage 1)
This is one of the oldest traceable lineages and undoubtedly was linked to that of Redbourn lineage 2. It is also undoubtedly linked to Finch of Dunstable in which the name of ‘Roger’ appears and we present two suggestions as to how they are linked.
Henry FINCH of South End, Redbourn, Herts (~1400-1480). Executor of the will of William FINCH junior in 1430, who may have been a brother. Also executor to Thomas FINCH in 1433 (see lineage 2) and William WHITLOCK in 1454. Present on Redbourn Rental. Wife’s name unknown. He had at least one son:
Thomas FINCH of South End, Redbourn, Herts (~1430-1484). Mentioned on the Redbourn Rental. His will dated 1484 was proved at St Alban’s. He married Alice and had three sons:
- Roger FINCH of whom follows.
- Unknown FINCH, possibly father of Thomas FINCH of Dunstable (see FINCH of Dunstable).
- Unknown FINCH.
Roger FINCH of Wood End, Redbourn, Herts (~1455-1533). Executor to father’s will. Took over lands that Thomas had owned on the 1455 rental. Own will proved 1533 at St Alban’s. Roger’s will was made when all of his children were adult, hence it may only refer to those children to whom he felt he had not already given a full share of his estate. References in Court Rolls for Redbourn. Married Katherine and had at least two sons and a daughter:
- John FINCH (~1480-1545) of Wood End, Redbourn. Relationship to Roger conjectural. He married Alice (who died 1545 and had will proved at St Albans). They had at least one son (Roger) and four daughters who married and had children. John died in 1545 and had a will proved at St Albans, which was challenged in the Archdeaconry court. His eldest son Roger had land in Spencers Field, part of the manor of Agnells in Hemel Hempstead, once Roger FINCH (possibly his grandfather). Roger died sp ~1557 passing his land to his four sisters.
- Thomas FINCH of Dunstable (~1482-1558) (See FINCH of Dunstable)? Possibly a son of Roger since he named his second son Roger.
- Walter FINCH (~1490-1531) of South End, Redbourn. Married Agnes and had a son Richard FINCH. William died 1531 and had a will proved at St Albans.
- Ellen FINCH. Received bequest in will of Walter FINCH (1502). Married Thomas WANLONS of Redbourn who died 1540 and had a will proved at St Albans.
- William FINCH of whom follows
William FINCH, husbandman of Redbourn (1495-1558). Date of birth determined from his age on a deposition in 1545 on the will of his brother and sister-in-law. Married Joan c. 1535. He died 1558 with a will proved at St Albans, Joan’s will in 1581 was proved at the same court. They had 9 children:
- Roger FINCH of Park Street, St Stephens, St Albans (c. 1538-1603). Married Elizabeth and had at least two sons and a daughter. Roger died 1603 leaving an administration at St Albans. Their children were Thomas FINCH, Richard FINCH (c. 1561 Redbourn) and Joan.
- William FINCH of Nicholls (c. 1540-1603) married Susan. In 1596 publicly rebuked her through the Archdeaconry of St Albans. Administration there 1603. He had a son Richard christened 1575 at Redbourn.
- John FINCH of whom following.
- Richard FINCH (?-1581). Married Joan and had one daughter, Katherine. She married Thomas GOTHERAM (?-1633) and had issue.
- Robert FINCH
- Joan, married RICHARDSON.
John FINCH of Nicholls and Butlers Farm. Married ~1558 Christian PEACOCK of Finchley. He received a new grant of Arms for Finch from the heralds, was a factor for the estate at Gorhambury and appears in letters of Anthony Bacon, lord of the manor. Finch died of plague in Oct 1593 and Bacon’s mother, Anne, wrote to her son Anthony “I pray God kepe yow saffe from all infection of synne and plage. Yt hath pleased the Lorde to put me in remembrance on both sydes of me by taking two of the sycknes, very necessary persons to me, a wydow, specially the goodeman Fynch whose want I shall have cause to lament dayly. His careful, skillful and very trustye husbandyng my speciall rurall busynesses every way procured me, and that even to the very last, much qwiett of mynde and leasure to spende my tyme in godly exercises, both publick and private. I confess I am so hartely sory for his death as I cannot chuse but moorne my great loss therby and now in my weakysh, syckly age“. John had an administration from the Prerogative Court of Canterbury, which was later cancelled. They had 8 children:
- Thomas FINCH (?-1631) of whom following.
- Richard FINCH of Redbourn. Died before 1593.
- William FINCH (1567-?) moved to St Michael’s by St Albans. Married Joan and had issue: Catherine (1599-1635), Elizabeth, Mary, Matthew FINCH of Kings Langley (?-1680), Thomas FINCH, John FINCH (1595-?) miller of Childwick.
- Robert FINCH of Redbourn (?-1621). Married 1599 Joan SMITH at Redbourn and had issue Robert FINCH (1595) and Walter FINCH (c.1601).
- Walter FINCH of Croydon, Surrey (1574-1626). Christened at Redbourn. Died without issue 1626. Will proved at Prerogative Court of Canterbury. Entered Arms in Surrey visitation 1625.
- Francis FINCH (?-1631), citizen and tallow chandler of London. Lived in Fleet Street, St Dunstan’s in the West, London. Married Elizabeth (possibly from Shenley) and had issue John FINCH, James FINCH and Margaret. Will proved at Prerogative Court of Canterbury. Removal examination at Shenley in 1634 discusses fate of daughter Margaret who was then described as an orphan.
- Ann (1577-?). Christened at Redbourn.
Thomas FINCH of St Michael’s, St Albans (?-1631). Married 1588 Dorothy PACE at Flamstead. He died 23 May 1631 and had a will proved at St Albans. An Inquisition post Mortem took place into his estate. They had 6 sons, baptised at St Stephens:
- Thomas FINCH (1590-?), died in adulthood without issue.
- Richard FINCH (1592-?), died young.
- Daniel FINCH (1595-?), Chancery Equity Suit against uncle William FINCH dated 1646.
- Samuel FINCH (1597-?), died young.
- John FINCH (1599-?), married Blanche GWYNNE, daughter of Richard GWYNNE of Clewer, Berks.
- Joseph FINCH, died young.
FINCH of Redbourn (Lineage 2)
John FINCH of Redbourn (?-1432). Brief will proved at St Alban’s, Walter FINCH (presumably son) was executor. His wife survived him and he had at least two sons:
- Walter FINCH of whom following
- Thomas FINCH (?-1433). Will proved 1433 at St Alban’s. Executor was brother Walter.
Walter FINCH alias AT DEAN (~1400-1465). Will proved at St Alban’s. Mentioned on Redbourn Rental as Walter FINCH senior alias AT DEAN. Married Joan (who died as Joan AT DEAN with will dated 1479) and had children:
- Unknown FINCH (of whom following)
- Thomas FINCH alias AT DEAN (c. 1430-1485) Will proved at St Alban’s. Married Margaret and had three sons and a daughter: John FINCH, William FINCH, (who possibly moved to Watford and was antecedent of Watford Finches – see FINCH of Watford), Thomas FINCH, Alice.
Unknown FINCH (d <1465). Existence speculative but would explain the passage of lands subsequently via Thomas FINCH alias AT DEAN to Robert FINCH (below). Walter passed lands to his son Thomas, but the lands were subsequently passed to Robert and not Thomas’ own children. An explanation of this anomaly is that Thomas had an elder brother who died with heirs before their father in 1465. Walter would then have left his lands to his younger son for the minority of his eldest grandson.
Robert FINCH alias A DEAN (c. 1440-1512). Will proved at St Alban’s. Exact relationship to Walter above is unclear – Robert is not mentioned in Walter’s will but was executor to his widow Joan alongside Thomas. Robert is not expressly stated as a son of Thomas (above), but is nevertheless his executor. The most likely explanation is that Thomas and Robert were either brothers or uncle and nephew, but clearly Robert was significantly younger. Married Katherine (?-1517) and had two sons and two daughters:
- John FINCH of whom following.
- Nicholas FINCH (c. 1490-1554) of Dean End, Redbourn. Married Alice LAWNEY (?-1554) and had issue (see Lineage 2c).
- Joan/Jane FINCH (c. 1480->1502) married John MARTIN ~1500 had had a son John b. ~1501. Husband died 1502.
- Agnes (c. 1480->1517)
John FINCH of Flowers, Redbourn (c. 1480-1524). Will proved at St Alban’s. Married ~1505 Isabel (Elizabeth) BEECH (1485-?), sister of John BEECH, the Abbot of Colchester. They had 7 sons and a daughter:
- Nicholas FINCH of whom following.
- John FINCH (~1506-1552). In 1538 received a bequest of land in Brightlingsea in Essex from his uncle, John BEECH, who was Abbot of Colchester. The grant of land took place just before the dissolution of Colchester Abbey and John’s right to hold the land was contested. Administration at Consistory Court of London, leaving estate to brother Nicholas.
- Walter FINCH (alive 1553). Lived in Flowers Farm whilst Nicholas lived in Harpenden.
- Robert FINCH (alive 1538), clerk. Plaintiff in equity suit levied by brother Nicholas.
- William FINCH, known as William FINCH the younger (c. 1510-1558) (see Redbourn lineage 2b).
- Thomas FINCH (1511-~1530). Owned land in trust from father’s will. Died without issue ~1530.
- Marion, possibly also known as Margaret.
- Alban FINCH (1524-1553). Married Agnes and by her had one son, Edward (1552-1619). A holograph letter remains for Edward, who married Agnes PEACOCK and had issue.
Nicholas FINCH of Flowers, Redbourn (c. 1505- ~1585). ~1542 married Elizabeth CRESSY, (~1510-~1585) , moving to Harpenden in 1540 and renting land in Northfield in Harpenden. Whilst in Harpenden, he filed an equity suit against his brother Robert for lands once owned by the Abbey of St Albans. Took over Flowers Farm in Redbourn ~1545. He was executor to his brother John in 1552, and then sold the lands in Brightlingsea to John CLARE. Clare then found himself a defendant in an equity suit initiated by John LOCKE who had acquired the manor of Brightlingsea in Essex after the dissolution of the monasteries. Nicholas had inherited land from his brother John in 1552, which has been given to them by their uncle, the Abbot of Colchester, but their right to inherit the land was questioned. Nicholas was alive in 1585, but probably died soon afterwards. He and his wife had two sons and four daughters:
- William FINCH of whom following.
- Grace (~1545->1621), married 1570 Richard KIMPTON and had issue Philip (1576-1638) and Ann (1583). Married 2nd Thomas FINCH of the Cock Inn in Redbourn.
- Ann (~1548-1619), married 1570 Daniel DEACON of Abbots Langley, died without issue.
- Martha (~1550-1630), married 1577 Thomas SUMPTER alias MARSHALL and had issue Thomas (~1580), Elizabeth (1583), Mary (1586), Martha and John. He died 1597 after which she married 2nd 1599 William BEAUMONT. She died in Great Gaddesden.
- Mary (~1552-?), married 1580 John HARDING at Great Gaddesden. He died and she married 2nd 1594 Richard BIRCH and has issue Richard BIRCH (b. 1595).
- John FINCH (~1555-1618), plaintiff in equity suit initiated by nephew (see below). Later John FINCH of Flowers. Married -1584 Audrie HATCH (d. 1631) and had issue at least three daughters. Administration at Archdeaconry Court of St Albans.
William FINCH of Redbourn (1544-~1612). Gardener, godson of William CRESSY of Harpenden, from whom he received a bequest in 1559. Married Isabel. Imprisoned for the murder of Dorothy FORD in 1573 and spent three years with his wife in Hertford Gaol. Finally freed after a petition to the Queen by justices of the peace for Hertfordshire. Holograph signature survives on the depositions from an equity suit initiated by his son William against his brother. A letter written by him also survives. Had at least one son and two daughters:
- William FINCH of whom following.
- Elizabeth FINCH (1570-?) christened at Redbourn.
- Rebecca, married 1595 Henry FOSTER, but marriage appears to have been annulled. Probably remarried William MUNNE in 1597 by licence of the Archdeaconry Court of St Albans.
William FINCH of Redbourn (~1577-1630). Married 1st Joan BIRCH ~1600 and had issue:
- William FINCH of Redbourn (~1602-1631). Married Agnes ~1621 and had a daughter Mary christened 1623 at Redbourn. Will proved St Alban’s.
- Mary FINCH (~1604).
Joan died ~1605 and William married 2ndly Anne FINCH, daughter of John FINCH of Norrington End (see Redbourn lineage 3). Moved to Ayot St Lawrence ~1610, and returned soon afterwards. Initiated Equity suit against uncle John FINCH for lands once owned by his father and seceded during his imprisonment. Had at least two sons and two daughters:
- John FINCH (1611-1670) of whom following.
- Rebecca, buried at Redbourn 1621.
John FINCH, labourer of Redbourn, Herts and Barton-le-Cley, Beds. (1611-1670). Born in Ayot St Lawrence, baptised 1610. Moved back to Redbourn with parents. Married first 1638 Joan MUNNE who died in childbirth 1641. In 1638 he was rebuked for his ungodly conduct in church. Married second Joan PRIOR of Barton-le-Cley in 1642 at which point he moved to Barton. She died without issue 1646. The absence of children from this marriage may indicate that John was away fighting in the English Civil War? Married third Mary who died 1662, but by whom he had two sons and three daughters:
- John FINCH of whom following.
- Mary (1651-1654)
- Henry FINCH (1656-1656)
- Sarah (1659-?) married Henry CRAWLEY of Luton 1679 and had issue.
- Ann (1661-1684)
He married fourth in 1663 Elizabeth BRIDGEMAN of Luton. John FINCH died 1670 leaving an administration proved by the Archdeaconry Court of Bedford. They had a further two daughters and a son:
- Elizabeth (1663-1664)
- Jane (1665-?), married 1688 Edward NORTH of Luton, Beds.
- Jeremiah FINCH (1669-1677).
John FINCH of Luton (1648-1688). Born in Barton-le-Cley, married 1684 Sarah LAWRENCE (1659-1688) at Shillington Church, daughter of Thomas LAWRENCE and Sarah CRAWLEY. Moved to Luton soon after marriage. They both died in September 1688 with their youngest son of an epidemic, probably Small Pox. They had two sons:
- Thomas FINCH (see FINCH of South London).
- John FINCH (1688-1688).
Redbourn lineage 2b
William FINCH of Redbourn, Herts (~1485-1525). Owned land in South End and married Ellen by whom he had two sons:
- Walter FINCH of whom follows.
- Nicholas FINCH of Caddington (~1525-~1558). Possibly married Alice, and had a son William FINCH who may be of Flamstead. In 1576 that William took his uncle Walter to the Court of Requests over land left him by his grandfather William. Alice may have remarried Edmund DAVYE 1560 at Caddington and had further issue.
Walter FINCH of Redbourn, Herts (~1523-1583). Plaintiff in Court of Requests equity suit, lodged by nephew William FINCH. Had two sons and a daughter:
- Thomas FINCH, alive 1583.
- John FINCH (1556-<1583). Baptism 1556 at Flamstead church. Had a son William FINCH and a daughter Marion.
- Elizabeth, alive 1583, married Giles MARSON and had issue.
FINCH of Redbourn Lineage 2c
Nicholas FINCH of Dean End, known as the elder (~1490-1554). Son of John FINCH of Flowers (see lineage 2). Very close to the CARPENTER family. He married Alice LAWNEY and had 8 children:
- Robert FINCH of Dean End, Redbourn (~1520-1588) of whom following.
- Alice (~1535-?), alive 1554.
- John FINCH of Norrington End (~1520-1590, see lineage 3b).
- Nicholas FINCH, of Finches-on-the Hill Farm, Redbourn (~1540-1605?). He married Margaret and has at least three sons, Robert FINCH (1570-?), George FINCH (1574-?) and Thomas FINCH. Robert was an apprentice and freeman of the Stationers’ Company in London.
- Margaret (~1530-1558) married Thomas CARPENTER and had issue.
- Agnes, alive 1554. Did she marry George CARPENTER and pass land to John FINCH of Norrington End?
- Ellen, alive 1554.
- Elizabeth, alive 1554.
Robert FINCH of Dean End, Redbourn (~1520-1588). Married Margaret ~1550 and they had 7 children. Plaintiff in equity suit for mother’s lands in Therfield (1558). Administration in 1588 proved at St Albans, inventory of estate survives.
- Nicholas FINCH (~1551-?)
- Alice (~1553-?)
- Marion (~1555-?)
- Ursula (~1557-?)
- Elizabeth (~1561-?). Married ~1585 Thomas WETHERED who fell into debt and was the subject of an equity suit.
- Denise (~1563-?)
- Thomas FINCH (~1564-1610) of Dean End.
Redbourn lineage 3b
John FINCH of Norrington End (~1520-1590). Owned land in Harpenden in 1540 at which time he was known as ‘John Finch of Nirrington End’. In 1564, bought further lands in Norrington End from George CARPENTER and Agnes his wife. Married Jane (?-1584) and they had at least one son. Administration at St Albans 1590.
John FINCH of Norrington End (~1560-1617). Married Margaret BURTON alias SAUNDERS in 1574 at Redbourn. Inherited land from father 1590. In 1594 was named in a defamation case made against Richard FINCH (see Redbourn lineage 4). Richard had said that he had caught John in flagrante with a married woman called Rose. Moved to the George Inn in Redbourn High Street ~1609, passing land at Norrington End to his eldest son John, possibly as part of a marriage settlement. Died 1617 and had administration with wife at St Albans 1617.
- Joan (~1580-1648), married 1598 William HAYWARD at Redbourn and had issue. Administration proved at St Albans.
- Ann, also known as Agnes and Annis (1582-1630), married 1607 by licence of St Albans William FINCH and had issue (see Redbourn lineage 2).
- John FINCH of Norrington End (1583-1612). Christened at Redbourn, married 1609 Elizabeth CLARK at Sandridge, the daughter of George CLARK. They had a daughter Elizabeth (b. 1611). John died 1612 leaving a will proved at St Albans. Wife Elizabeth married 2ndly 1614 John KILBY at Flamstead and to whom guardianship of daughter Elizabeth passed.
- Margaret (~1595-?), married 1623 Abraham STEVENS at Campton, Beds and had issue.
- Jeremiah FINCH of whom follows.
Jeremiah FINCH of Hexton and Hemel Hempstead (1600-1664). Born in Redbourn, married 1627 Ellen HART at King Langley, Herts. Moved to Campton, Bedfordshire, and thence to Hexton, Herts. Finally settled in Hemel Hempstead. Will proved 1664 at Archdeaconry Court of Huntingdon. They had three daughters:
- Mary (1628-?) christened at Campton, Beds, married 1650 Richard ROBINSON at Aldenham, Herts.
- Ellen, (1632-1632) born and buried at Campton, Beds.
- Anne (1635-?) christened 1635 at Hexton, Herts, married 1661 to Edmund NEELE by licence of St Albans.
FINCH of South London
Thomas FINCH, Chandler of East Sheen in Mortlake, Surrey (1685-1744). Present on Redbourn lineage 2 of FINCH. Born in Luton, was orphaned in 1688, and seems to have been brought up by mother’s family (LAWRENCES) in Shillington. Moved to Mortlake ~1719. Married 1720 Elizabeth FREEMAN (?-1767) by licence of the bishop of London and died 6 May 1744. Will proved by Prerogative Court of Canterbury. They had three sons and two daughters:
- Lawrence FINCH (1723-1723)
- Thomas FINCH of whom following.
- Elizabeth (1726-?)
- Henry FINCH (1727-1727)
- Ann (1732-1753)
Thomas FINCH of Roehampton, Putney, Surrey (1724-?). Born in East Sheen, married 1758 Ruth WHITCHURCH (1730-1767), the widow of John SKELTON (?-1754). Adopted Ruth’s children James (1753-1826) and Sarah SKELTON (1755-1763). Whereabouts unknown after death of wife. They had a son and a daughter:
- Thomas FINCH of whom following.
- Elizabeth FINCH (1761-?). Possibly married Benjamin BOWERMAN in Putney 1783.
Thomas FINCH, shoemaker of Roehampton, Putney, Surrey (1760-1837). Born in Roehampton, possibly apprenticed to his uncle the shoemaker George TICKNER (1716-1797) around 1774. Thomas married 1787 his cousin Elizabeth UMNEY (1765-1850), daughter of John UMNEY of Ratcliffe, Ropemaker. He lived after his marriage in High Street in a cottage next to the Angel Inn rented from John PLANK. In 1792, his uncle George TICKNER was given permission to build a house next to the land called ‘Frog Hall’, where he built two cottages and outhouses. Thomas moved into one of the cottages and inherited his uncle’s estate in 1801. Thomas died in 1837 leaving a will proved by the Prerogative Court of Canterbury. Elizabeth remained in the cottages until at least her death in 1850. They had sons and daughters:
- John Thomas FINCH (1788-?). Possibly the John Thomas FINCH living in Finsbury on the 1841 census who had issue John Henry FINCH (1820-?).
- Elizabeth FINCH of whom following.
- Frances, (1792-1871) mentioned in the wills of her uncle James SKELTON (d. 1826) and her father Thomas (d. 1837). Lived in Roehampton throughout life, possibly born in the cottages built by her great uncle George TICKNER which her parents shared. In later years she looked after her aged mother (who d. 1850) in the cottages until ~1860 when they were demolished to make way for the Earl Spencer Public House. The family moved a few 10s of metres to 7 Elizabeth Place which was shared with her nephew John JONES and her brother James FINCH. Frances died without issue.
- Thomas (1793-?)
- Anne (1796-?)
- Richard (1801-?)
- Mary Elizabeth (1805-?). Married John JONES (?-1828) in 1827 at St Luke’s Church, Chelsea. Latterly lived in Roehampton. Son John JONES (1828->1871) lived with aunt Frances in 1871 census at 7 Elizabeth Place and had issue.
- James (~1805-1888). No baptism found but living with sister Frances in 1871 census in 7 Elizabeth Place. Died unmarried 1888 in Clapham and Wandsworth Union Workhouse.
Elizabeth FINCH of Roehampton and Putney, Surrey (1790-1866). Born in Roehampton 20 Feb 1790, possibly in the small cottage next to the Angel Inn on the High Street that her father rented. Became a domestic servant in house of Charles PAYNE in East Sheen, but fell pregnant and returned to parents. Seems to have left parent’s house and had a succession of illegitimate children whilst living in Putney workhouse. She had a son by William ROBERTS of White Hart Yard, Drury Lane:
George FINCH, bootmaker of Clapham (1830-1893). Was born in Putney workhouse and apprenticed as a bootmaker. Married 1853 Mary Clara SHARMAN (1830-1904) daughter of John SHARMAN and Elizabeth ALLMAN. They had had four sons and a daughter:
- William George FINCH (1853-1930). Married Emma Elizabeth and had issue. Moved to Fulham.
- Elizabeth Clara (1856-?), married 1876 William CROUCH at Holy Trinity Church, Clapham and had issue including Matilda Jane CROUCH who married Henry FINCH (1881-?) below.
- Sydney James Baker FINCH (1858-?), joined the Navy in 1879. Married Alice Jane BELLAIRS in 1886 in Stoke Demarel, Devon. Moved to Fulham in in the 1890s, and then to Higham in Kent. Died 1912 without issue.
- John FINCH of whom following.
- Albert Henry FINCH (1863-1864). Buried in South Metropolitan Cemetery, South London.
John FINCH, dustman of Clapham (1861-1932). Born in Clapham, married 1881 Amy MERRETT (1862-1939). They had sons and daughters and a further two children not recorded below who died without issue before 1911:
- Henry FINCH (1881-?) Joined Royal Navy aged 16 and in later years professional boxer, married cousin Matilda Jane (Ginnie) CROUCH in 1903 and had issue. Won Army and Navy boxing championship in 1915. Later worked for the post office, living at 36 Crescent Road, Clapham, the house inhabited by his grandfather George FINCH (1830-1893).
- Harriet Amy (1882-?) born in Clapham, married Arthur PRITCHARD and had issue at least 6 children. Lived next to BARNETT family in 1901 census, whom Harriet’s brother John Sidney then married into.
- John Sidney FINCH (1883-1955). Married first Alice BARNETT (1886-1913) who was the neighbour to his sister Harriet’s family. She married 2ndly Eleanor Maria MOFFATT and had issue by both marriages.
- George William FINCH of whom following.
- Clara Elizabeth (1891-?), married Joseph William CLAYTON and had issue: Joseph William (Jumbo) CLAYTON (1913-1941), Elsie M CLAYTON (1914-?), Alfred George CLAYTON (1916-1940) and William CLAYTON (1924-1941). All children died without issue.
- Caroline Amy (1893-1894) died young without issue.
- Elizabeth Clara (Diddy) (1898-?). Married three times: first (1918) to Henry James DRY, 2nd to BURKE and had issue and 3rd to Harry FLYNN and had issue by each marriage.
- Jane Amy (Ginnie) (1902-1980), married 1920 Walter Ernest Charles WARD (1900-~1929) and had issue one son and 4 daughters. Married 2nd Frank DRY. Died in Clapham Common, South London.
George William FINCH, of Balham (1888-1946). Born Clapham 1888, married 1909 to Sarah Ann GWYTHER (1886-1952) at Wandsworth registry office. Moved to Zennor Road in Balham. Died in 1946. They had sons and daughters:
- George Edward FINCH (1910-?). Married 1931 Gertrude GREEN at Clapham Park church and had issue.
- Ernest Herbert FINCH (1912-?) Married Helen Scotland STEWART (1906-1982) and had a daughter. My dad visited him in Scotland in 1960 and this visit is described here.
- Lily Elizabeth FINCH (1914-1982) who married James TEBBIE and had issue one son and one daughter.
- John Sidney FINCH (1916-1982) who married 1934 Elsie May PETTLEY and had issue 4 sons and 3 daughter.
- Ivy Elizabeth (1920-1996), married 1939 Christopher MATTHEWS and had issue three daughters.
- Harry Frederick FINCH (1922-1929), died without issue.