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by Sir Henry Finch

Sir Henry Finch, author and lawyer, was the third born but second surviving son of Sir Thomas Finch (d. 1563) of Eastwell, Kent, and his wife, Katherine, daughter of Sir Thomas Moyle. After the death of Henry's soldier father his mother married the puritan lawyer and member of parliament Nicholas St Leger, who in 1572 arranged for his stepson's admission to Christ's College, Cambridge, under Laurence Chaderton. Besides consolidating Finch's godly zeal, his tutor encouraged him to study Hebrew and embrace the dialectical method of the French philosopher Peter Ramus, whose influence pervades a Latin commentary on Horace's Odes presented to his stepfather in 1577. After graduating BA and serving briefly as sub-lector of Christ's, Finch entered Gray's Inn. There his legal studies led to the composition (c.1585) of ‘Nomotexnia’, a brief but ambitious treatise which sought to systematize English common law along Ramist lines, as well as bringing it into closer conformity with the laws of Moses...Nomotexnia; Cestascavoir: un description del common ley Dangleterre solonque les rules del art, a handsome law-French folio with a fulsome dedication to James I, expands the two books of the 1580s manuscript to four, adds copious explanatory material and citations, but drops all explicit reference to remodelling English law along Mosaic lines. [1]

Bibliographic Information

Author: Sir Henry Finch, (1558-1625)

Title: Nomotexnia: Cestascavoir, Vn Description del Common Leys Dangleterre Solonque les Rules Del Art: Parallelees ove les Prerogatives le Roy. Ovesque Auxy le Substance & Effect de les Estatutes (Disposes en Lour Proper Lieux) per le Quels le Common Ley est Abridge, Enlarge, ou Ascunment Alter, del Commencement de Magna Charta fait 9. H.3. Tanque a Cest Jour

Published: London: Printed for the Societie of Stationers, 1613.


Evidence for Inclusion in Wythe's Library

Description of the Wolf Law Library's copy

Bound in early calf, boards embossed with arabesqes. Rebacked and recornered in sheep, with remnants of the earlier back laid down. Purchased from Nostre Livers.


  1. Wilfrid Prest, ‘Finch, Sir Henry (c.1558–1625)’, Oxford Dictionary of National Biography, Oxford University Press, 2004 accessed 6 June 2013