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Robert Finlay, 1st Viscount Finlay

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Title: Robert Finlay, 1st Viscount Finlay  
Author: World Heritage Encyclopedia
Language: English
Subject: Inverness Burghs (UK Parliament constituency), Stanley Buckmaster, 1st Viscount Buckmaster, Viscount Finlay, Edward Carson, Robert Reid, 1st Earl Loreburn
Collection: 1842 Births, 1929 Deaths, Alumni of the University of Edinburgh, Attorneys General for England and Wales, Liberal Party (Uk) Mps, Lord Chancellors of Great Britain, Members of the Judicial Committee of the Privy Council, Members of the Parliament of the United Kingdom for Scottish Constituencies, Members of the Parliament of the United Kingdom for University Constituencies, Members of the Permanent Court of Arbitration, People from Edinburgh, Permanent Court of International Justice Judges, Rectors of the University of Edinburgh, Scottish Lawyers, Solicitors General for England and Wales, Uk Mps 1885–86, Uk Mps 1886–92, Uk Mps 1895–1900, Uk Mps 1900–06, Uk Mps 1910, Uk Mps 1910–18, Viscounts in the Peerage of the United Kingdom
Publisher: World Heritage Encyclopedia

Robert Finlay, 1st Viscount Finlay

The Right Honourable
The Viscount Finlay
Lord Chancellor
In office
10 December 1916 – 10 January 1919
Monarch George V
Prime Minister David Lloyd George
Preceded by The Lord Buckmaster
Succeeded by The Lord Birkenhead
Personal details
Born Robert Bannatyne Finlay
11 July 1842 (1842-07-11)
Newhaven, Edinburgh
Died Did not recognize date. Try slightly modifying the date in the first parameter.
Kensington, London
Nationality British
Political party Liberal
Liberal Unionist
Spouse(s) Mary Innes (d. 1911)
Alma mater University of Edinburgh
Middle Temple

Robert Bannatyne Finlay, 1st Viscount Finlay GCMG, PC, QC, MD (11 July 1842 – 9 March 1929) was a British lawyer, doctor and politician who became Lord Chancellor of Great Britain.


  • Background and education 1
  • Legal and political career 2
  • Judicial career 3
  • Family 4
  • References 5
  • External links 6

Background and education

Finlay was born in Newhaven, Edinburgh, the son of William Finlay, a physician, and Ann, daughter of Robert Bannatyne. He was educated at the Edinburgh Academy and Edinburgh University, graduating in medicine in 1863.

Legal and political career

After entering Middle Temple as a student in 1865, Finlay was called to the bar two years later and built up a successful practice, becoming a Queen's Counsel in 1882. Three years later he was elected Liberal Member of Parliament for the Inverness Burghs, but broke with William Ewart Gladstone over Irish Home Rule and joined the Liberal Unionists in 1886. He lost his seat in 1892 but regained it three years later, the same year he was appointed Solicitor General and knighted.

In 1900, Finlay became GCMG in 1904, and the following year became a Privy Counsellor. However, in the 1906 general election he again lost his seat, and it was to be another four years before he returned to Parliament as representative for Edinburgh and St Andrews Universities.

Judicial career

In 1916, Finlay became Nairn in the County of Nairn.[1] He sat on the Woolsack for three years, and in 1919, on his retirement, was created Viscount Finlay, of Nairn in the County of Nairn.[2] The following year he was appointed a British member of the Court of Arbitration at The Hague, and in 1921 was elected a Judge of the Permanent Court of International Justice established by the League of Nations.


Lord Finlay married Mary, daughter of Cosmo Innes, in 1874. She died in June 1911. Lord Finlay died in March 1929, aged 86, at his home in Kensington, London, and was buried at Nairn. He was succeeded in his titles by his son, William.


  1. ^ London Gazette no. 29870 p. 12339
  2. ^ London Gazette no. 31271 p. 4414

External links

  • Hansard 1803–2005: contributions in Parliament by Robert Finlay, 1st Viscount Finlay
Parliament of the United Kingdom
Preceded by
Charles Fraser-Mackintosh
Member of Parliament for Inverness Burghs
Succeeded by
Gilbert Beith
Preceded by
Gilbert Beith
Member of Parliament for Inverness Burghs
Succeeded by
John Annan Bryce
Preceded by
Sir John Batty Tuke
Member of Parliament for Edinburgh & St Andrews Universities
January 19101916
Succeeded by
Christopher Nicholson Johnston
Legal offices
Preceded by
Sir Robert Reid
Solicitor General
Succeeded by
Sir Edward Carson
Preceded by
Sir Richard Webster
Attorney General of England and Wales
Succeeded by
Sir John Walton
Political offices
Preceded by
The Lord Buckmaster
Lord Chancellor
Succeeded by
The Lord Birkenhead
Academic offices
Preceded by
The Marquess of Dufferin and Ava
Rector of the University of Edinburgh
Succeeded by
Richard Haldane
Peerage of the United Kingdom
New creation Viscount Finlay
Succeeded by
William Finlay
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