Dictionary of National Biography, 1885-1900/Dod, Charles Roger Phipps

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DOD, CHARLES ROGER PHIPPS (1793–1855), author of the ‘Parliamentary Companion,’ only son of the Rev. Roger Dod, vicar of Drumlease, Leitrim, by his second wife, Margaret, daughter of Matthew Phipps of Spurrtown, was born at Drumlease 8 May 1793. He entered King's Inns, Dublin, 30 July 1816, with the intention of studying for the bar, but soon devoted his undivided attention to literature. After having been part proprietor and editor of a provincial journal, he settled in London in 1818, where for twenty-three years he was connected with the ‘Times.’ Under his guidance the reports of parliamentary debates were improved, while his management of the reporters was marked by firmness and courtesy. He succeeded Mr. Tyas as the compiler of the summary of the debates for the ‘Times,’ a most useful compilation originated by Horace Twiss. Dod contributed to the same newspaper obituary memoirs, often very hurriedly composed. The life of Lord George Bentinck was written in a railway carriage between Ramsgate and London, whence Dod was summoned by telegraph on the death becoming known, 22 Sept. 1848, and it received only the addition of a few dates before it was printed. Dod's name was universally known as the compiler of the ‘Parliamentary Companion’ and the ‘Peerage, Baronetage, and Knightage,’ both of which he originated. The former dates from the winter of 1832 and includes the first reformed parliament, since which period it has been revised and continued annually, with special editions for each new parliament and for great ministerial changes. The latter publication dates from the winter of 1841, and its revision is annual only. In both cases the type has been kept standing since the first day of publication. Until 1847 he spelt his name Dodd, but after that time he resumed his proper name, Dod, as borne by his father and his ancestors, the Dods of Cloverley, Shropshire. He died at 5 Foxley Road, North Brixton, Surrey, 21 Feb. 1855, having married, 24 Oct. 1814, Jane Eliza, eldest daughter of John Baldwin of Cork. He was the writer of: 1. ‘The Parliamentary Pocket Companion,’ 1832, which became ‘The Parliamentary Companion’ on its eleventh issue in 1843. 2. ‘The Peerage, Baronetage, and Knightage of Great Britain and Ireland,’ 1841. 3. ‘A Manual of Dignities, Privileges, and Precedence,’ 1842. 4. ‘The Annual Biography, being lives of eminent or remarkable persons who have died within the year 1842;’ only one volume appeared. 5. ‘Electoral Facts from 1832 to 1852, impartially stated,’ 1852, 2nd ed. 1853.

Dod's only son was Robert Phipps Dod, who was educated at King's College, London, entered the 54th Shropshire regiment of militia, and served as a captain in that regiment from 26 Jan. 1855 to his decease. He assisted his father in the compilation of ‘The Parliamentary Companion’ and ‘The Peerage, Baronetage, and Knightage,’ and took the chief part in the management of these works after 1843. ‘Birth and Worth, an Enquiry into the Practical Use of a Pedigree,’ was printed by him in 1849 for presentation to his friends. He died at his residence, Nant Issa Hall, near Oswestry, Shropshire, 9 Jan. 1865, from the effects of an accident while shooting in the previous December. He married, 9 Feb. 1859, Catherine Emma, eldest daughter of the Rev. John Robert Nathaniel Kinchant.

[Gent. Mag. April 1855, pp. 431–2, February 1865, p. 260; Times, 24 Feb. 1855, p. 10, 18 Jan. 1865, p. 11.]

G. C. B.