Donne, Daniel (DNB00)

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DONNE or DUNN, Sir DANIEL (d. 1617), civilian, descended from John Dwnn of Radnorshire, was educated at Oxford, where he was a member of All Souls' College, and was admitted to the degree of B.C.L. 14 July 1572. Eight years later the higher degree was conferred on him, when he became principal of New Inn. He entered the College of Advocates 22 Jan. 1582, and in 1598 was appointed dean of arches and master of requests. In the following year he sat with Sir Julius Cæsar and others on two commissions which were appointed to inquire into the grievances of Danish and French fishermen and merchants respectively. He was also a member of the commission formed in 1601 with the object of framing measures for the suppression of piracy by English sailors, and as Whitgift's vicar-general he sat with five bishops on special commissions at the provincial synod and at convocation. About this time he was made a master in chancery, and was one of nine civilians who drew up an argument in support of oaths ex officio in ecclesiastical courts. In 1602 he was appointed commissioner, together with Lord Eure and Sir John Herbert, to confer at Bremen with commissioners sent by the king of Denmark concerning the feasibility of a treaty which should put an end to the frequent quarrels between Danish and English fishermen. On the successful termination of this mission Donne was rewarded with a knighthood. Shortly after the accession of James I he was placed on a commission under the Archbishop of Canterbury to inquire into heresies and offences against the marriage laws in the diocese of Winchester, with powers of summary jurisdiction, and he also attended the conference held at Hampton Court in reference to ecclesiastical courts. In the same year, when the universities were empowered to send representatives to parliament, he was one of the first two elected by Oxford, and he was reelected in 1614. As a further reward for his useful and faithful services a pension of 100l per annum was in the following year granted to him by royal warrant. The last commission on which Donne sat was that appointed in 1616 to conduct an examination on the marriage of the Earl of Somerset. As dean of arches he would appear to have been a recognised authority on questions of marriage law. In the Harleian MSS. (39, f. 16) there is a 'Discourse written by Sir D. Dunn of the whole prosecution of the nullity between the Earl of Essex and his wife, the Lady Frances Howard.' The same collection (4872) contains a 'Discourse written by the Earl of Devonshire in defence of his marriage with the Lady Rich,' in the margin of which is a note in Harley's handwriting saying, 'I have some reason to suspect this discourse was penned by Dr. Donne.' Donne published nothing, but in 'Letters from the Bodleian Library,' 1813, ii. 207-21, is an account of William Aubrey, LL.D. [q. v.], printed from a manuscript supposed to be in his writing. He had married one of Aubrey's six daughters, and had succeeded him in the headship of New Inn. He died 15 Sept. 1617. His bust is in the library at All Souls.

[Wood's Fasti Oxon. ed. Bliss, i. 216; Notes and Queries, 2nd ser. vii. 242; Rymer's Fœdera, xvi. 363, 412, 429, 465, 546, 600, 781; Burrows's Worthies of All Souls; Strype's Life of Whitgift, i. 398, 496, ii. 32. 444, 496; Le Neve's Fasti Eccl. Angl. vol. iii.; Coote's Civilians, p. 53.]

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