George Finlay England Greece Scotland

Biography of George Finlay

George Finlay enrolled in an Arts course at the University, and was registered in 1813 in the Latin class of William Richardson. It was around the same time when Finlay's Uncle, the cotton merchant Kirkman Finlay was elected Rector of the University (in 1819).

Finlay was born in Faversham in 1799, son of Captain John Finlay FRS, a Scottish officer in the Royal Engineers and also former student of the University of Glasgow (in 1770).

Finlay began his career as a law apprentice in Glasgow. He would become an ardent Philhellene, and joined Lord Byron in the attempt to free Greece, fighting in the war of independence between 1824-27. Finlay then purchased an estate in Attica, in 1828, and would run in to financial difficulties. He produced a History of Greece between 1843 and 1861, and was awarded an LLD from the University of Edinburgh in 1854.

Finlay died in Athens in 1875.


Archival Materials

  • Addison, W. Innes, A Roll of the Graduates of the University of Glasgow from 31st December, 1727 to 31st Decmeber, 1897, with short biographical notes, Glasgow : J. MacLehose & Sons, 1898.


George Finlay
Born 21 December 1799.
Died 26 January 1875.
GU Degree: Arts, 1813;
University Link: Student
Occupation categories: historians
English snippet: Arts student at the University of Glasgow, Historian of Greece
Record last updated: 25th Mar 2013

Country Associations

England England, Faversham
Place of Birth

Greece Greece, Athens
Place of Death

Scotland Scotland, Glasgow

University Connections

University Roles

  • Student