Finchley - Encyclopedia




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FINCHLEY, an urban district in the Hornsey parliamentary division of Middlesex, England, 7 m. N.W. of St Paul's cathedral, London, on a branch of the Great Northern railway. Pop. (1891) 16,647; (1901) 22,126. A part, adjoining Highgate on the north, lies at an elevation between 300 and 400 ft., while a portion in the Church End district lies lower, in the valley of the Dollis Brook. The pleasant, healthy situation has caused Finchley to become a populous residential district. Finchley Common was formerly one of the most notorious resorts of highwaymen near London; the Great North Road crossed it, and it was a haunt of Dick Turpin and Jack Sheppard, and was still dangerous to cross at night at the close of the 18th century. Sheppard was captured in this neighbourhood in 1724. The Common has not been preserved from the builder. In 1660 George Monk, marching on London immediately before the Restoration, made his camp on the Common, and in 1 745 a regular and volunteer force encamped here, prepared to resist the Pretender, who was at Derby. The gathering of this force inspired Hogarth's famous picture, the "March of the Guards to Finchley."

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