1812 ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION

Anne Finch

Alexander Chalmers, in General Biographical Dictionary (1812-17) 14:311-12.



Anne Finch, Countess of Winchelsea, a lady of considerable poetical talents, was the daughter of sir William Kingsmill, of Sidmonton, in the county of Southampton, but the time of her birth is not mentioned. She was maid of honour to the duchess of York, second wife of James II.; and afterwards married to Heneage, second son of Heneage earl of Winchelsea; which Heneage was, in his father's life-time, gentleman of the bed-chamber to the duke of York, and afterwards, upon the death of his nephew Charles, succeeded to the title of earl of Winchelsea. One of the most considerable of this lady's poems was that Upon the Spleen, printed in A new miscellany of original Poems on several occasions, published by Mr. Charles Gildon in 1701, 8vo. That poem occasioned another of Mr. Nicholas Rowe, entitled An Epistle to Flavia, on the sight of two Pindaric Odes on the Spleen and Vanity, written by a lady to her friend. A collection of her poems was printed in 1713, 8vo; containing likewise a tragedy called Aristomenes, never acted; and many still continue unpublished, a few of which may be seen in the General Dictionary, which Dr. Birch inserted there by permission of the countess of Hertford, in whose possession they were. Her ladyship obtained the good will of Pope, who addressed some verses to her which drew forth an elegant replication, printed in Cibber's Lives. She died August 5, 1720, without issue; as did the earl her husband, Sept. 30, 1726.