The Finch family had had a ironmongers business in Cambridge since 1688. Charles Finch was the last of the line. At his death in 1847 he was succeeded by his nephew, Swann Hurrell. Shortly before his life in 1866, Charles Finch sold his house in Sidney Street, opposite Jesus Lane, to Dr Whewell for the site of Whewell’s Court. The Finch family foundry has been established on what was to become the site of St John’s College chapel and the Master’s Lodge.
Whewell Court, Sidney Street entrance
There is an inscription on the oriel window above the gateway to the court commented on by Nancy Gregory in Cambridge Inscriptions Explained:
PACI 1860 SACRUM
Sacred to Peace 1860
William Whewell, Master of Trinity, paid for the Court and also endowed the professorship of International Law. Whewell’s will included the following about the role of international law:
to diminish the evils of war and finally to extinguish was between nations
The motto for the coat of arms granted to Whewell is LAMPADA TRADAM (I will pass on the torch), symbolising a professor passing on the torch of knowledge to his students. This is shown in the stonework.
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.
Thank you for exploring historical Cambridgeshire! We hope you enjoy your visit.
Did you know that we are a small, independent Museum and that we rely on donations from people like you to survive?
If you love Capturing Cambridge, and you are able to, we’d appreciate your support today.
Every donation makes a world of difference.
The Museum of Cambridge