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Robert Finlay, 1st Viscount Finlay: Wikis

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The Right Honourable
 The Viscount Finlay 
GCMG, PC, QC, MD


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

Born 11 July 1842 (2010-07-11T18:42)
Newhaven, Edinburgh
Died 9 March 1929 (2010-03-09T19:30)
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.

Contents

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 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 Attorney General for England and Wales and also became President of the Edinburgh Sir Walter Scott Club and gave the Toast to Sir Walter at the clubs annual dinner. In 1902 was elected Lord Rector of Edinburgh University. For his services in representing the British Empire in a number of international legal arbitrations he was appointed 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.

In 1916, Finlay became Lord Chancellor in Lloyd George's coalition government, being at the same time created Baron Finlay, of Nairn in the County of Nairn. He sat on the Woolsack for three years, and in 1919, on his retirement, was created Viscount Finlay, of Nairn in the County of Nairnshire. 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.

Family

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.

References

Parliament of the United Kingdom
Preceded by
Charles Fraser-Mackintosh
Member of Parliament for Inverness Burghs
18851892
Succeeded by
Gilbert Beith
Preceded by
Gilbert Beith
Member of Parliament for Inverness Burghs
18951906
Succeeded by
John Annan Bryce
Preceded by
Sir John Batty Tuke
Member of Parliament for Edinburgh & St Andrews Universities
January 1910 – 1916
Succeeded by
Christopher Nicholson Johnston
Legal offices
Preceded by
Sir Robert Reid
Solicitor General
1895–1900
Succeeded by
Sir Edward Carson
Preceded by
Sir Richard Webster
Attorney General of England and Wales
1900–1905
Succeeded by
Sir John Walton
Political offices
Preceded by
The Lord Buckmaster
Lord Chancellor
1916–1919
Succeeded by
The Lord Birkenhead
Academic offices
Preceded by
The Marquess of Dufferin and Ava
Rector of the University of Edinburgh
1902–1905
Succeeded by
Richard Haldane
Peerage of the United Kingdom
New creation Viscount Finlay
1919–1929
Succeeded by
William Finlay
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