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 memorialized 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.
Joshua King (1798 -1857)
Born 16 January 1798 near Ulverston in Lancashire, and educated at Hawkshead Grammar School, Joshua King came first to Trinity College Cambridge in 1815 but moved to Queens’ College in February 1816 as a sizar (i.e. a student receiving some financial assistance), and graduated Senior Wrangler in 1819. He was elected a Fellow of the College in 1820, and served as its President from 1832 to his death – the first person not in holy orders to be so elected.
In the University, he was Lucasian Professor of Mathematics from 1839, resigning because of ill-health in 1849 having given no lectures and published only one paper. His interests seemingly shifted from mathematics to law and politics, although he declined to stand as Tory candidate for Parliament for either the town or the University. He served on many committees, and was Vice-Chancellor in 1833/34. He died on 1 September 1857 aged 59, and was buried in the antechapel of the College.
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