Joshua King and Gerard Brown Finch – both from Lancashire – were Fellows of Queens’ College, and King its President. Both were “Senior Wrangler” (the highest-scoring student in the third year of the Mathematical Tripos).
Two women are memorialised on this stone cross, mother and daughter: Mary King was Joshua King’s wife, Margaret Elizabeth Finch, was Joshua and Mary King’s daughter and Finch’s first wife. Thus the two men – both buried elsewhere – are linked by this monument.
Gerard Brown Finch (1835-1913)
Born in Wigan, son of an innkeeper, and educated at Wigan Grammar School, Gerard Brown Finch was admitted to Queens’ College as a student in 1853, graduating Senior Wrangler in 1857, and was an elected Fellow of the College 1857-71. He became a barrister in 1864, later a QC.
In 1860 the University changed its statutes to allow fellows of colleges to marry, and in 1868 Gerard married Margaret Elizabeth, the daughter of Joshua and Mary King. The couple had at least six children. For some years they lived in London while Gerard was practising as a barrister, but returned to Cambridge in the mid-1880s, living in St Peter’s Terrace (Trumpington Street). Gerard was elected Professor of Law in the University, delivering his inaugural lecture “Legal Education, Its Aim and Method” in 1885. He was an Honorary Fellow of the College from 1886 to his death in 1913. Margaret died of tuberculosis in 1897, and Finch married again, to Amelia Janet Kelly; Gerard and Amelia later moved to a large house near Girton (now Hotel Felix).
Author of A Selection Of Cases On The English Law Of Contract (1886), Finch also served as a Councillor and Alderman of the Borough of Cambridge, Councillor and Vice-Chairman of Cambridgeshire County Council, and Governor of Addenbrooke’s Hospital. He had interests in Buddhism and faith healing, and was President of the Theosophical Society of London from 1884.
Parish : St Mary the Less
Queen’s Fellows 1800-99: King and Finch
Lucasian Professors: King
The Queens’ College Record (2004), pp. 17-18 (King)
The Queens’ College Record (2010), pp. 33-36 (Finch)
Material supplied by Jonathan Holmes, Dean of Chapel, Queens’ College