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Nottingham, Daniel Finch

Daniel Finch Nottingham, 2d earl of, 1647–1730, English politician, son of Heneage Finch, the 1st earl. A staunch supporter of the Church of England, he disapproved of James II's pro–Roman Catholic policies, although he remained loyal to him as king. He accepted the Glorious Revolution, however, and became secretary of state (1689–93) under William III. Holding that religious penalties for dissenters detracted from the integrity of the Anglican church, he pressed for the Toleration Act (1689). On the other hand, he favored civil disabilities for dissenters and long advocated a bill against occasional conformity (i.e., the practice of many dissenters of qualifying for office by merely occasionally receiving communion in the Church of England). In 1711, Nottingham made a bargain with the Whig leaders to oppose Tory proposals for peace in the War of the Spanish Succession in return for their support of his bill against occasional conformity. President of the council on the accession (1714) of George I, he retired in 1716 because he opposed the severe treatment meted out to some of the Jacobite rebels of 1715. In 1729 he inherited the earldom of Winchilsea, which title then became united with that of Nottingham.

See H. Horwitz, Revolution Politicks (1968).

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Nottingham, Daniel Finch, 2nd earl of

Nottingham, Daniel Finch, 2nd earl of (1647–1730). A Tory politician, the sober Lord Nottingham was the chief standard-bearer of ‘high-church’ politics during the reigns of William III and Anne. He disapproved of James II's pro-catholic measures, but only when James fled in 1688 did he align with William of Orange. Appointed secretary of state, Nottingham's Toleration Act (1689) ensured the preservation of Anglican supremacy after the revolution, though his plan to include presbyterians and other nonconformists in a broadened church proved unacceptable. He lost office in 1693. During his second term as secretary, 1702–4, his independent-mindedness again made him a difficult colleague and his campaign for a bill against OCCASIONAL Conformity endangered the ministry's war measures in Parliament. A leader of the Hanoverian Tories, and excluded from the 1710–14 Tory ministry, he was made lord president by George I in 1714 but quarrelled with the Whig ministers in 1716 and was dismissed.

Andrew Hanham

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