Dover, John (DNB00)

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DOVER, JOHN (d. 1725), dramatist, was the son and heir of John Dover of Barton-on-the-Heath, Warwickshire, and grandson of Captain Robert Dover [q. v.] It is said, on the authority of his daughter, Mrs. Cordwell, that he was born after his mother had passed the sixty-first year of her age. In 1661 he was admitted demy of Magdalen College, Oxford, matriculated on 12 July in the same year, but left the university in 1665 without a degree. He entered Gray's Inn on 19 May 1664, was called to the bar on 21 June 1672 (ib.), and, according to Wood, ‘lived at Banbury in Oxfordshire, and practised his faculty’ (Athenæ Oxon. ed. Bliss, iv. 597). Becoming tired of the law, he took orders about 1684, and four years later obtained the rectory of Drayton, near Banbury, ‘where,’ writes Wood, ‘he is resorted to by fanatical people’ (loc. cit.) Dover died at Drayton on 3 Nov. 1725, aged 81, and was buried on the 6th of that month in the chancel of the church (mon. inscr. in Bloxam, Reg. of Magd. Coll. Oxford, v. 240). He is author of ‘The Roman Generalls, or the Distressed Ladies,’ 4to, London, 1667 (another edition, 1677), an unacted tragedy in heroic verse, and written, he declares in dedicating it to Robert, lord Brook, to mitigate the severity of his legal studies, ‘for after I had read a sect or two in Littleton, I then to divert my self took Cæsar's Commentaries, or read the Lives of my Roman Generalls out of Plutarch.’ Wood, who states that Dover had ‘written one or two more plays, which are not yet printed,’ mentions another piece from his pen, ‘The White Rose, or a Word for the House of York, vindicating the Right of Succession; in a Letter from Scotland, 9 March 1679,’ fol., London, 1680.

[Bloxam's Reg. of Magd. Coll. Oxford, v. 239–240; Rawlinson MS. B. 400 F., f. 62; Baker's Biographia Dramatica (Reed and Jones), i. 195, ii. 219.]

G. G.