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Frances Finch, Countess of Winchilsea and Nottingham

Frances Finch, Countess of Winchilsea and Nottingham (c.1690 – September 1734),[1] was an English aristocrat and social reformer.

Biography

She was the daughter of Basil Feilding, 4th Earl of Denbigh, and his wife, the former Hester Firebrace,[2] and was the sister of the 5th Earl. She married Daniel Finch, 8th Earl of Winchilsea in December 1729.[1] They had one daughter, Charlotte, born in 1731.[1]

Few details of her life are known; however, she was notable in being one of the aristocratic women who were early supporters of Thomas Coram's efforts to establish a Foundling Hospital.[3] She signed the Ladies' Petition which was delivered to King George II to support the establishment of the Hospital on 25 April 1730, and she is the signatory of whom least is known.[4] This group of women not only lent their prestige and respectability to the endeavour, they made it 'one of the most fashionable charities of the day'.[5] As part of an exhibition celebrating the role of women in the establishment and administration of the Hospital, called Ladies of Quality and Distinction, the Foundling Museum held an exhibition in 2018 which included a family portrait of Francis.[4][6][7][8]

Through her marriage she was the aunt of another signatory, Selina Hastings, Countess of Huntingdon.[3]

The cause of her death is not known. She is buried at her husband's family seat of Ravenstone, Buckinghamshire.[2]

References

  1. ^ a b c The New Peerage; or present state of the Nobility of England containing an account of all the Peers ... Also their paternal coats of arms, etc. (Vol. 2. Scotland.-Vol. 3. Ireland.). W. Owen. 1784. p. 1.
  2. ^ a b Mosley, Charles, editor. Burke's Peerage, Baronetage & Knightage, 107th edition, 3 volumes. Wilmington, Delaware, U.S.A.: Burke's Peerage (Genealogical Books) Ltd, 2003, p.1087.
  3. ^ a b Gillian, Wagner, (2004). Thomas Coram, Gent., 1668-1751. Woodbridge, Suffolk: Boydell Press. pp. 199, 89. ISBN 1843830574. OCLC 53361054.CS1 maint: extra punctuation (link)
  4. ^ a b Palmer, Kathleen (2018). Ladies of Quality and Distinction (Exhibition catalogue). London: The Foundling Museum. p. 8.
  5. ^ Elizabeth Einberg, 'Elegant Revolutionaries', article in Ladies of Quality and Distinction Catalogue, Foundling Hospital, London 2018, pp. 14-15, p.15. https://foundlingmuseum.org.uk/events/ladies-of-quality-distinction/
  6. ^ "Ladies of Quality & Distinction Exhibition". Foundling Museum. Retrieved 17 November 2018.
  7. ^ Clinton, Jane (22 February 2018). "Help find Foundling 'mothers'". Camden New Journal. New Journal Enterprises. Retrieved 25 November 2018.
  8. ^ Sanderson, David (19 February 2018). "Race to honour first ladies of charity". The Sunday Times. London, England: Times Newspapers Limited. Retrieved 25 November 2018.

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