Dictionary of National Biography, 1885-1900/Dolben, Gilbert

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DOLBEN, Sir GILBERT (1658–1722), judge, eldest son of John Dolben [q. v.], archbishop of York, born in 1658, was educated at Westminster School and at Oxford, taking, however, no degree, and was called to the bar of the Inner Temple in 1681. He sat for Ripon in the parliament of 1685, and for Peterborough in the Convention parliament of 1688–9. In the debate on the state of the nation (January 1689) he argued with great force that the conduct of the king in quitting the realm amounted to an abdication. He represented Peterborough from 1689 to 1698 and from 1700 to 1710, usually supporting the tories. He opposed Fenwick's attainder in 1696, on the ground that his conduct, though treasonable, was not heinous enough to justify parliamentary proceedings, but ought to be tried by a court of law. He was appointed a puisne judge in the court of common pleas in Ireland in 1701. In the debate on the Aylesbury election case (Ashby v. White) in 1704, he supported the claim of the House of Commons to exclusive jurisdiction in all questions arising out of elections. He was created a baronet in 1704, and elected a bencher of his inn in 1706, and reader in 1708. In 1710 and 1713 he was returned to parliament for Yarmouth, Isle of Wight. Concerning his life in Ireland little is known except that he was on bad terms with the Earl of Wharton during that nobleman's viceroyalty. He retired from the bench in 1720, and died 22 Oct. 1722. He cherished scholarly tastes; Dryden mentions in the postscript to his translation of the ‘Æneid’ that Dolben had made him a ‘noble present of all the several editions of Virgil, and all the commentaries of these editions in Latin.’ Dolben married Anne, eldest daughter of Tanfield Mulso of Finedon, Northamptonshire, by whom he had one son, John [q. v.], who succeeded to the title.

[Welch's Alumni Westmonast.; Inner Temple Books; Wotton's Baronetage; Smyth's Law Officers of Ireland; Luttrell's Relation of State Affairs, iii. 543, v. 49; Parl. Hist. iv. 1347, v. 30, 37, 545, 962, 1123–6, 1230, 1327, vi. 43, 290–4, 448, 593, 923, 1252; Swift's Works, ed. Scott, iv. 165.]

J. M. R.