Dictionary of National Biography, 1885-1900/Dobson, John (1633-1681)

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DOBSON, JOHN (1633–1681), puritan divine, was born in 1633 in Warwickshire, in which county his father was a minister. He became a member of Magdalen College, Oxford, in 1653, taking his B.A. degree in October 1656, proceeding M.A. in 1659, and in 1662 being made perpetual fellow. He had prior to 1662 taken orders, and speedily became known as an eloquent preacher. His memory was so good that at Easter 1663 he repeated four Latin sermons in St. Mary's Church, Oxford. In September of that year he was expelled from the university for being the author of a libel vindicating Dr. Thomas Pierce against the strictures of Dr. Henry Yerbury, although Wood alleges that he did not write the libel, but only took the responsibility on himself to shield Dr. Pierce. Dobson was soon after restored, and in December 1667 obtained the degree of B.D., and in the year following was instituted to the rectory of Easton Neston in Northamptonshire. In 1670 he was presented to the rectory of Corscombe in Dorsetshire, and about four years later to that of Cold Higham in Northamptonshire, by Sir William Farmor of Easton Neston, who had been his pupil at Magdalen College. He died in 1681 at Corscombe, where he was buried and a monumental tablet erected to his memory. He wrote: 1. ‘Queries upon Queries, or Enquiries into certain Queries upon Dr. Pierce's Sermon at Whitehall, February the first,’ 1663. 2. ‘Dr. Pierce, his Preaching confuted by his Practice.’ 3. ‘Doctor Pierce, his Preaching exemplified by his Practice; or an Antidote to the Poison of a Scurrilous Pamphlet sent by N. G. to a Friend in London,’ 1663. 4. ‘Sermon at the Funeral of Lady Mary Farmor, relict of Sir William Farmor, bart.,’ 1670.

[Wood's Athenæ Oxon. (Bliss), iv. 1; Hutchins's Hist. of Dorset, vol. i.; Salisbury's Account of First-fruits; Bloxam's Registers of Magdalen College, Oxford, i. 46, ii. 197, v. 164.]

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