DOLBEN, John (1625-86)

DOLBEN, John (1625–86)

cons. 25 Nov. 1666 bp. of ROCHESTER; transl. 16 Aug. 1683 abp. of YORK

First sat 29 Nov. 1666; last sat 20 Nov. 1685

b. 20 Mar. 1625, eld. s. of Dr William Dolben (d.1631), preb. of Lincoln and rect. of Stanwick, Northants., and Elizabeth, da. of Capt. Hugh Williams of Cochwillan, Caern., niece of John Williams, abp. of York.1 educ. Westminster 1637-40; Christ Church, Oxf., matric. 1640, MA 1647, deprived 1648, ord. priest 1656, DD 1660; G. Inn, 1674. m. Catherine (1626-1706), da. of Ralph Sheldon of Stanton Derbys., niece of Gilbert Sheldon, later abp. of Canterbury, 2s. 1da. (d.v.p.) d. 11 Apr. 1686; admon. 20 Apr. 1686, to Catherine Dolben.2

Clerk of the closet 1664-68; ld. almoner 1675-84.3

Rect. Newington-cum-Britwell, Oxon. 1660; canon Christ Church Oxf. 1660-6,4 St Paul’s 1661-6; adn. London 1662-4; dean Westminster 1662-83; vic. St Giles, Cripplegate, London, 1662.

Commr. Rose Castle dilapidations 1669,5 rebuilding of St Paul’s bef. 1677.6

Ensign, royalist army, York 1644, Marston Moor, 1644; maj. 1645-6.7

Gov. Charterhouse 1675.8

Also associated with: var. lodgings in London incl. Red Lion, Aldersgate Street, 1685.

Likenesses: oil on canvas, by unknown artist, Christ Church, Oxf.; oil on canvas by Sir P. Lely c.1660 (Group portrait, with John Fell, later bishop of Oxford, and Richard Allestree), Christ Church, Oxf.; funeral effigy, attrib. J. Latham, York Minster; mezzotint, after J. Huysmans, c.1678-79, NPG D1651.

John Dolben was born into a clerical dynasty based in Wales. His family appears to have settled in Denbighshire under Henry VII but the place of Dolben’s birth is given variously as Denbighshire or Stanwick in Northamptonshire where his father was rector. His mother was niece to John Williams, archbishop of York.9 Dolben’s own marriage to a niece of Gilbert Sheldon was key to Dolben’s future career in the Church and offered him a wide network of supportive relatives.10 Dolben was also related to Sir Thomas Meres, a prominent supporter of the Country party (with whom he acted over tithes disputes in their Welsh properties) and to the Wynns of Gwydir.11 Although the majority of Dolben’s sermons have not survived in print, he left numerous personal papers. From the time of his translation to York, he engaged in lengthy exchanges of correspondence with his diocesan chancellor, Sir William Trumbull about a range of subjects including court gossip, diocesan affairs, and patronage.12

Dolben’s family wealth was augmented when his wife Catherine became a beneficiary under Sheldon’s will.13 By the time of Dolben’s death, he was able to leave a large estate to his son and heir, Sir Gilbert Dolben, bt.14 He had been allowed the deanery of Westminster in commendam with the bishopric of Rochester and united the see to the deanery, giving the impoverished bishopric a town residence and additional income.15 He spent considerable sums from his own pocket in repairing the bishop’s palace at Bromley and in 1683 consecrated a new chapel at the palace.16 His two sons each married co-heiresses to the Northamptonshire Finedon estates, thus handsomely augmenting the Dolben patrimony and extending the family’s political network.

Early career

Dolben took up arms for the royalists in the Civil Wars and was twice wounded in battle. He was deprived of his Oxford fellowship in 1647. Ordained covertly by Henry King, bishop of Chichester, until the Restoration, he lived with his Sheldon in-laws in Oxford, where he read the proscribed Anglican liturgy with Francis Turner, the future bishop of Rochester and Ely, Thomas Ken, the future bishop of Bath and Wells, and John Fell, the future bishop of Oxford: an act of loyalism of which he was able to make rhetorical use after the return of the king.17

At the Restoration, Dolben petitioned successfully for the canonry of Christ Church, Oxford.18 His military service and illustrious relations guaranteed him status at court (and as such he was satirized by Dryden).19 In 1662 he succeeded to the prestigious Westminster deanery, where he maintained the abbey’s jurisdictional independence from diocesan control.20 Dolben was also reputed to have made much of his place at court and to have behaved with marked familiarity in the king’s presence.21 At least three of the sermons he preached before the king during this period were subsequently printed by royal command.22 He also proved an effective leader at the outbreak of the Great Fire, when he assembled the king’s scholars at Westminster and organized them into an ad hoc fire-fighting force to protect the abbey.23 In October 1666 his emotive sermon before the Commons on the fire’s providential origins impelled the lower House to appoint a committee to examine the penal laws against atheism.24

Bishop of Rochester

On 31 Oct. 1666, the king directed Dolben’s election as bishop of Rochester. The following month, a warrant was issued granting him permission to retain his deanery in commendam.25 At least two observers hoped that Dolben would follow the career path of most bishops of that poverty-stricken see and achieve translation to something more attractive.26 Four days after his consecration, Dolben took his seat in the House of Lords. There he proved to be one of Sheldon’s most effective parliamentary allies. Having missed the first nine weeks of parliamentary business, he attended his first session for 51 per cent of all sittings and was named to 15 committees in addition to being nominated one of the lords commissioners for accounts (24 Jan.) and to a joint committee (28 Jan.) to wait on the king with an address relating to complaints from French merchants. His subsequent career in the House revealed that Dolben was a keen parliamentarian and political operator. Of 16 parliamentary sessions held during his episcopate he attended every one, none for fewer than half of all sittings, 13 for more than three-quarters of all sittings and, of those, eight for more than 80 per cent of sittings. He was always in his seat on the first day of business and for only two sessions failed to sit until an adjournment or prorogation. As such a regular presence at Parliament, he helped to manage conferences with the Commons, received several proxies in the course of his episcopate and also chaired and reported from both select committees and committees of the whole house. He also examined the journal on numerous occasions. In early January 1667 Dolben’s help was solicited by John Cosin, bishop of Durham, in the private bill to grant lead-mine leases to Humphrey Wharton.27 Dolben was subsequently named to the select committee on the bill and attended the committee on 3 and 16 January.28 On 4 Feb. he was nominated one of the reporters of a conference on a private bill concerning James Bertie, 5th Baron Norreys, later earl of Abingdon, and again on 7 Feb. on the bill to rebuild the city of London.

Dolben’s role as an important figure in Sheldon’s political and parliamentary strategy soon became clear. On 24 Aug. 1667 he assisted in the consecration at Lambeth of another of Sheldon’s political allies, Francis Davies, bishop of Llandaff.29 The following month John Hacket, bishop of Lichfield and Coventry, warning Sheldon of his possible absence from Parliament, informed the archbishop that he would register his proxy in favour of Dolben if necessary.30 On numerous occasions Dolben also held the proxy of Robert Morgan, bishop of Bangor, another Sheldon loyalist who was wracked by poor health and preferred to avoid a daunting journey from his bishopric in north Wales.

On 10 Oct. 1667 Dolben was present for the start of business. He continued to attend the session for 77 per cent of sittings. He was named to 21 committees and on 17 Oct. attended the committee on the bill to punish atheism, where he was asked to bring in a replacement clause ‘to make it more plain to a country jury’.31 On 27 Nov. Dolben was nominated one of the managers of the conference with the Commons on the impeachment of Edward Hyde, earl of Clarendon. Clarendon’s fall from grace had direct implications for those bishops most closely associated with the Restoration regime. It certainly provided a convenient excuse for removing Dolben from his post of clerk of the closet. Over the Christmas period, Sir Ralph Verney, bt. became aware of an ‘ugly, shameful report all over London (and I doubt the country too)’ explaining Dolben’s anticipated dismissal. Verney reported that it had greatly saddened Dolben’s uncle, Sheldon, and that ‘whether it be true, or false, it will be too much credited’.32 The rumours related to Dolben’s alleged homosexuality. A newsletter elaborating on the ‘very foul story’ about Dolben’s ‘being too familiar’ with Charles Mohun, 3rd Baron Mohun, deemed the rumours as ‘supposed false, the king having questioned him about it, and he denies it utterly, and is so much troubled at it, that he can hardly eat or drink’. The king, apparently wishing ‘to do right to the bishop of Rochester, who hath been brought under a most infamous and malicious scandal of late hath ... appointed to have the imputation heard and severely examined by a committee of the council’.33

In spite of the king’s public support for Dolben, at the beginning of February he was dismissed as clerk of the closet.34 Rumours of his sexuality continued to circulate. Samuel Pepys learned that the bishop had been accused of being ‘given to boys and of his putting his hand into a gentleman ... his codpiece while they were at table together’.35 The Italian diplomat Lorenzo Magalotti spared no details in his accounts of court life, while acknowledging the political context. Dolben had made, he reported:

a lively attempt ... to put his hand into the front of the hose of Lord Mohun, a boy on account of his age, but not on account of the beauty of his face, who is apt to confirm the evil interpretation given to the intentions of this prelate. The result is that the poor man is in a very miserable state because of the universal scandal that the indiscreet gossip of this young man has sown among that Presbyterian rabble, who have not only acted to have him dismissed from the office that he had ... but want to make him lose his church. It is quite true that if he had not been a close friend of the chancellor, the thing would not have been publicly known as much as it has; and they tell me that it is a fact, that this is not the first sign that there has been of the inclinations of this prelate. However, the thing is there, and from this standpoint he is paying more for his steadfastness to an old friend [Clarendon] than for his fragility towards the young man....’ 36

Dolben’s brother, William, attributed the rumours of the bishop’s sexual inclinations to those who envied Rochester’s position; he was certain that no sober man would give the story any credit.37 Once ignited, though, the story gave ample scope to satirists and continued to haunt Dolben for the remainder of his life. In 1680 one ballad made reference to this affair and how Dolben had been ‘cashier’d for carnal arsery’, another gloated how ‘fat Dolben loves Sodom for fear of a clap’.38 The scandal was also raised at Westminster. During discussions on the putative comprehension bill (being negotiated by Richard Baxter and a handful of bishops), it was said to have featured in the conversation of a ‘solemn Presbyterian’ with the bishop’s brother. The Presbyterian:

protested that the Catholics ought not to be excluded, maintaining this with effective reasons. When he had finished [Dolben’s brother] said to the man beside him, but in such a way that it could be overheard, “it seems that this man has the pope in his body”. The Presbyterian rose. “Certainly”, he replied, “I’d much rather have the pope in my body than the bishop in my backside”’.39

Dolben’s allies appear to have turned a blind eye to his supposed activities. Hacket, unwilling to move from his bishopric to attend Parliament, ignored the gossip (if indeed it ever reached him), informing Sheldon on 20 Jan. 1668 that he hoped for the archbishop’s approval in entrusting Dolben, his ‘most intimate friend’, with his proxy for the session.40 With Dolben’s uncharacteristic absence from the House until early February, Hacket’s proxy went instead to Benjamin Laney, bishop of Ely. Dolben returned to the bishops’ bench on 10 Feb., receiving the proxies of Bishop Morgan and Gilbert Ironside, bishop of Bristol. Later in February, Dolben was visited by Pepys, who found the bishop, despite being ‘under disgrace at court’, living ‘like a great prelate’ with his wife and two young sons, one ‘fat and black’ just like his father.41

Rehabilitation at court

On 24 Apr. 1668, Dolben was named as one of the conference managers on the impeachment of Sir William Penn. Adjournments from May 1668 to March 1669 absolved Dolben of parliamentary attendance and in September 1668 he conducted his primary visitation of the see of Rochester.42 By the close of the year his rehabilitation was well on the way. It became apparent that the court factions had been ‘reconciled’ when Sheldon returned to favour at Christmas 1668.43 Even so, it was not until 30 Aug. 1669 that Dolben returned to court.44 His rehabilitation was also signalled by his nomination as one of the 15 commissioners to examine the complex dilapidations case concerning Rose Castle.45

Three days before the next parliamentary session, Dolben again received the proxy of Bishop Ironside. Taking his seat at the start of business on 19 Oct. 1669, he attended the session for three-quarters of all sittings, but was named to only three select committees in addition to the standing committees. He was also one of those named on 9 Nov. to the committee considering papers submitted to the Lords by the commissioners for accounts. He chaired the committee on the charitable uses bill relating to John Warner, the previous bishop of Rochester. The committee met on several occasions throughout December and again the following March.46

On 7 Feb. 1670 Dolben again received Ironside’s proxy. A week later he resumed his seat in the House for the start of the new session, attended thereafter for 76 per cent of sittings and was named to nearly 50 select committees. On 17 Mar. 1670 when the House gave a second reading to the divorce bill of John Manners, styled Lord Roos, the future duke of Rutland, Dolben joined Sheldon and the majority of the bishops in opposing the bill on doctrinal grounds.47 He then dissented against the second reading. On 5 Apr. he was named as a conference manager for the bill to repair the harbour and piers at Great Yarmouth. At the end of October he again received the proxy of Bishop Morgan until cancelled by Morgan’s attendance on 23 Jan. 1671. On 10 Nov. 1670 Dolben and Joseph Henshaw, bishop of Peterborough, were added to the select committee for the bill to prevent the burning of corn and destruction of cattle. Dolben was present in the chamber on 3 Feb. 1671 but the same day a note was made that he was undertaking parochial visitations. He was back in his place the following day when he was added to the committee on the bill concerning brandy.48 On 27 Feb. he chaired the select committee on the bill to unite the vicarage and parsonage in the Herefordshire parish of Ross.49 On 1 Mar. he was named to the committee to prepare heads for a conference on the growth of Catholicism, a subject on which Dolben and George Morley, bishop of Winchester, harboured growing fears following the conversion to Rome of the duchess of York.50 The following day Dolben was nominated a manger of the conference on the subsidy bill. On 15 Mar., after an appeal to the House from a judgment in the court of king’s bench in Ireland, Dolben and Morgan were the only bishops to dissent against the resolution to suspend the judgment against John Cusack in Cusack v. Usher. The petition had caused ripples of unease since it was unclear whether the English Lords could hear an appeal from the Irish court of chancery and had sought the expert opinion of the Irish judiciary. Towards the end of the session, Dolben, together with Buckingham, Anthony Ashley Cooper, Baron Ashley (and later earl of Shaftesbury), and George Savile, Viscount Halifax, was said to have been one of those blamed for the loss of the foreign excise bill: Dolben was a member of the committee appointed on 29 Mar., and with Ashley and Halifax, was among the managers appointed on 10 April for a conference on the bill which ended in a series of acrimonious exchanges.51

Concerns about the duchess of York’s conversion were brought to an end by her death in the spring of 1671 and in early April Dolben, as dean of Westminster, presided at the burial service.52 The same year he participated in a more controversial interment involving the infant son of Buckingham, and the dowager countess of Shrewsbury, whom they had honoured (without authority) with the honorific title, earl of Coventry.53

Occupied throughout 1671 and 1672 on diocesan, deanery and pastoral affairs (including the correction of liturgical papers for under-secretary Sir Joseph Williamson), following the death of Bishop Cosin in January 1672, Dolben was considered for translation to Durham (which remained vacant until October 1674). ‘Great interest’ was made for him, not least by Sheldon, and at one point he was told by the earl of Shaftesbury to put on his boots and spurs for he was to go to the north. In spite of this, it was thought that the ambitious Dolben, ‘most fair’ to succeed Sheldon at Canterbury, would be loath to take up a post so far from court.54

Dolben took his seat at the opening of the new session on 4 Feb. 1673 and attended for 81 per cent of sittings; he was named to 13 select committees in addition to the standing committees. On 5 Feb. he was one of the Lords appointed to wait on the king to present the House’s thanks for the King’s Speech and on 18 Feb. he was added to the committee for the bill concerning Sir Ralph Bankes. Dolben was later added specifically to the committee for the bill concerning Bankes' trustees on 4 Feb. 1678. On 10 Mar. 1673 Dolben received the proxy of Bishop Morgan (vacated by Morgan’s death in September). On 15 Mar. the sub-committee for the anti-Catholic Test Bill included Dolben.55 Following a request from the Commons on 24 Mar. for a conference, Dolben was named as one of the conference managers.

Richard Baxter wrote that Dolben, with Seth Ward and Morley had talked late in 1671 about comprehension as a means of strengthening the Church against the threat of Rome, though Baxter was sceptical about their motives and true intentions, claiming that Dolben and his colleagues employed pious rhetoric never matched by their actions.56 Dolben was involved, though, in the proceedings on the bill for the ease of Protestant dissenters which was committed to the whole House on 21 March. After several sessions in committee, the House named Dolben as the only bishop among eight lords to manage both conferences with the Commons on the 29th. A prompt adjournment of Parliament the same day put the matter on hold and when the House resumed on 20 Oct. 1673, with Dolben in attendance, Parliament was prorogued. He was again in his seat on 27 Oct. 1673 for the first day of the week-long session, during which he attended on two days and was named to the sessional committees. 

Resuming his seat at the start of the session on 7 Jan. 1674, Dolben attended for 93 per cent of sittings and was named to seven select committees. On 16 Jan. he was ordered to preach a fast sermon in the abbey on 4 February. Two days after the start of the session, possibly in anticipation of two new bills (to secure the Protestant religion and to invite ‘sober and peaceably-minded Dissenters into the service of the Church’), Dolben received the proxy of Edward Reynolds, bishop of Norwich. That Reynolds, a former Presbyterian, should entrust his proxy to Dolben at this time might suggest either that Sheldon had specifically instructed Reynolds to do so, or that Reynolds knew of Dolben’s support for the comprehension bill. On 5 Feb. Dolben was thanked for his fast sermon of the previous day and on 6 Feb. he was one of a number of Lords appointed to oversee the complaint brought by the family of the young Charles Talbot, 12th earl of Shrewsbury, against Buckingham concerning the killing of Shrewsbury’s father and Buckingham’s co-habitation with Shrewsbury’s mother. Dolben was present on 13 Feb. when Bishop Morley introduced the comprehension bill. He lent Morley his support on the 19th, when the bill was read for a second time and the Lords had a ‘great debate’ in which Dolben was ‘for the commitment and spoke for the thing’.57 It was reported that Dolben was one of the bishops to support the propositions that no minister be obliged to wear the surplice or use the cross in baptism, and that the clauses in the Act of Uniformity relating to assent and consent to the liturgy, and the renunciation of the covenant, be repealed, and that the latter was carried by almost 20 votes.58 The bill was lost with the peremptory prorogation on 24 Feb., the day before the House was due to debate the comprehension bill in committee. Meanwhile, during February, Dolben had offered a clause on the performance of stage-plays in the bill to suppress atheism and profaneness, another bill scuppered by the prorogation.59

In January 1675 Dolben, with Sheldon, Morley, Ward and John Pearson, bishop of Chester, was present at the meeting at Lambeth initiated by Thomas Osborne, earl of Danby, to formulate proposals ‘to suppress popery and establish the Church of England’.60 The Venetian ambassador recorded that five bishops subscribed the outcome of their deliberations; Ward and Morley were the most enthusiastic, together with Danby and Heneage Finch, Baron Finch. Dolben, Sheldon and Pearson, ‘three good and quiet ones’, merely gave ‘silent consent’. The findings had a mixed reception at the Privy Council, where the allies of James Stuart duke of York perceived an opportunity to divide the episcopal bench and the resulting proclamation was perceived as very mild towards the nonconformists.61

Alliance with the duke of York

Dolben took his seat in the Lords on 13 Apr. 1675 at the start of the new session. He attended 92 per cent of sittings and was named to nine select committees, holding Bishop Reynolds’ proxy for the whole session. Dolben began to distance himself from the majority of the bishops in their hostility to Catholicism. On 30 Apr. he joined with York in seconding the amendment moved by Charles North, Baron Grey of Rolleston, to distinguish between legal and illegal methods of altering the government, in answer to Danby’s ‘no alteration’ bill. They were opposed by Danby and the amendment was rejected, but the bill was lost with the prorogation.62 Towards the close of the session Dolben was named a manager of the conferences of 17, 19 and 21 May over Sherley v. Fagg and again on 28 May for that concerning the Commons’ privileges.

In September 1675 fresh rumours circulated of Dolben’s expected promotion, this time to the see of London. In the event it was Danby’s candidate, Henry Compton, who was given the coveted bishopric. During the autumn Dolben, with Sheldon and Meres, became involved in a tithe dispute against Henry Bridgeman, bishop of Sodor and Man, and his predecessor Isaac Barrow, bishop of St Asaph, which involved his own aunt, Lady Grace Wynn. Dolben ‘mortified’ Bridgeman in a public forum and ‘made him promise her full satisfaction’.63

In advance of the next session, Dolben was again entrusted with Reynolds’ proxy. Five days after the start of business on 13 Oct. 1675, he also received that of Humphrey Lloyd, bishop of Bangor. He attended 91 per cent of sittings and was named to five select committees. Within days of the new session’s opening, Dolben’s influence at court was signalled by his appointment as lord almoner.64 On 19 Nov. he was again named manager of the conference on the preservation of good understanding between the two Houses (an attempt to head off a revival of the Sherley v. Fagg case). During the lengthy recess, he preached at court on 5 Nov. 1676.65 He also secured for his brother, William, the king’s nomination as recorder of London, despite the opposition of the City.66

Dolben took his seat in the House on 15 Feb. 1677, after the contentious long prorogation, in a session in which Danby’s programme of measures to secure the Church in case York succeeded to the throne was a prominent theme. Dolben attended the session for three-quarters of all sitting days and was named to nearly 60 select committees. He was present on 22 Feb. when the House debated heads of bills to secure the Protestant religion, but no evidence has been found to support the claim that on 1 Mar. it was Dolben who introduced one of these, the bill for further securing the protestant religion, which may have been Richard Sterne, archbishop of York.67

On 2 Mar. 1677 Dolben attended a select committee on the private bill for Sir Edward Hungerford, lodging a complaint on behalf of the Westminster deanery that Hungerford’s proposed leases would interfere with his own tenants’ passage to their houses. In the event a compromise was reached.68 Six days later he received the proxy of his old friend Bishop Fell of Oxford, which was cancelled on 21 May. On 13 and 15 Mar. Dolben was twice named as a conference manager on the address to the king for the preservation of the Spanish Netherlands. On 29 Mar. he reported from a committee of the whole House with the recommendation that the bill ‘for the better observation of the Lord’s Day, the baptizing of infants, and the exercise of catechism’ be divided into two separate bills and that the House go into committee the next morning to start with the bill to better observe the Sabbath. On 4 Apr. he reported from the committee on the naturalization of Jacob David and others, recommending that the bill pass without amendment. The same day he reported from the committee of the whole House on the Sabbath observation bill.

Dolben continued to attend the House until the adjournment on 28 May 1677 and subsequent adjournment 16 July. During the recess he was engaged in his usual round of ecclesiastical and personal activities, including mediating with William Sancroft, the new archbishop of Canterbury, over the contents of Sheldon’s library.69 He attended the House on 3 Dec. but Parliament was again adjourned to the following January. On Christmas Day he preached at Whitehall chapel before the king.70 Shortly after the resumption of the session, Dolben again received Bishop Lloyd’s proxy. In the new year, Dolben was in correspondence with John Paterson, bishop of Galloway, about the state of disaffected forces in Scotland.71 On 21 Mar. 1678 Dolben was one of three bishops added to the committee for the bills concerning servants and highways and on 26 June he was named as a conference manager on the bill to grant supply to the king for disbanding the forces raised since September of the previous year.

The increasingly poor health of James Margetson, archbishop of Armagh, through the summer of 1678 prompted James Butler, duke of Ormond, to raise the possibility of Dolben being translated to Ireland. In June Ormond mooted various possibilities that he hoped might appeal to Dolben and which he hoped the king would approve. One was Dolben’s promotion to the primacy in Ireland. Ormond thought that Dolben ‘would fit the place well and discharge it with great ability.’ Failing that he suggested Dolben might take on the archbishopric of Dublin and the office of lord chancellor in Ireland, with the present incumbent moving to Armagh. In spite of Ormond’s warm recommendation, and apparently to the surprise of the king, Dolben declined the offer.72 Dolben’s interest in the law was again hinted at on 5 July when he was the only bishop to join 18 protesters against the resolution in the cause Darrell v. Whichcot. The case clearly had implications for the judicial business of the House and during the first Exclusion Parliament, on 18 Mar. 1679, when Arthur Capell, earl of Essex, reported to the House from the committee of privileges concerning the validity of appeals and impeachments left over from the previous Parliament, Dolben maintained that they should read the reports of the House on the receipt of appeals in Darrell v. Whichcot the previous spring.73

Dolben was present, as usual, for the first day of the new session on 21 Oct. 1678, attending thereafter for 79 per cent of sittings. The session found him closely involved with committees relating to the Popish Plot, including that appointed on 23 Oct. to examine information regarding the Plot and witness statements regarding the murder of Sir Edmund Berry Godfrey, which he chaired from 23-30 Oct. and on 1 and 8 Nov, and from which he reported on 26, 30 Oct. and 1 November.74 On 8 Nov. he reported to the House that Robert Walsh should be acquitted of all suspicion regarding the plot, on 16 Nov. he was named to the committee considering which papers should be presented at Coleman’s trial and on 20 Nov. he was nominated to that concerning the Conyers attainder bill.

On 15 Nov. 1678 Dolben voted against making transubstantiation part of the Test bill, which would thereby disable Roman Catholics from sitting in Parliament. In this he was joined by Sancroft and Peter Gunning, bishop of Ely, Sir Robert Southwell opining that the Test had ‘it seems some new clause about idolatry or adoration which did so far stumble’ them that they voted against it.75 Although York was exempted from the new test in a later division, Dolben remained one of the bill’s ‘chief opposers’, leading to speculation as to why any bishop of the Church of England should oppose such a bill.76 On 26 Dec. he voted against a motion to insist on retaining the Lords’ amendment in the supply bill disbanding the army relating to the payment of money into the exchequer. The same day he joined his fellow bishops in voting against Danby’s committal. He attended for the prorogation on 30 Dec. but there is little detail of his activities during the recess apart from being contacted in his capacity as royal almoner by James Scott, duke of Monmouth.77

Dolben took his seat in the House at the start of the new Parliament on 6 Mar. 1679 and attended five sittings of the short-lived session, being named to the sessional committees and to the select committee on information regarding the Popish Plot. After a short prorogation, he returned to the House for the beginning of the next session on 15 Mar. 1679, during which he was present on 79 per cent of sitting days. He was named to nine select committees, including the committee on 17 Apr. to examine the bill for better securing the liberty of the subject (habeas corpus) preparatory for it being considered in a committee of the whole and on 24 Apr. to that considering objections raised by the Commons to the answers delivered by the five impeached lords. On 22 Mar., Dolben joined Bishop Compton in reporting to the House that the king had appointed the following Monday at the Banqueting House to receive a parliamentary address concerning a fast.78 He joined his fellow bishops in voting against Danby’s attainder on 1 and 4 Apr., and on 14 Apr. he opposed agreement with the Commons over the attainder bill.79 On 11 Apr. Dolben preached the fast sermon at the abbey and was thanked by the House the following day.80 The same month he spoke in Ormond’s defence over criticism of the duke’s administration in Ireland occasion for speech.81

During the involved debates that dominated the attention of the Lords between 6-20 May on the rights of bishops to vote in capital cases, Dolben spoke out for the bishops. He argued that they were:

not willing to have that power which it is thought [we] desire – we cannot say or do any thing in this case but it will offend a great many of you. My lord Shaftesbury gives with one hand and takes with the other. We are trusted not for our posterity but our successors ... my see is ennobled though my person is not. 

He later cited the legal precedent of the trial of Thomas Cromwell, earl of Essex. On the final day of the debate, when Buckingham maintained that judges could not vote in their own cases, Dolben responded that the Catholic lords had recently voted in a division that resulted in their own expulsion from the House. His statement was challenged by Philip Wharton, 4th Baron Wharton, and after further speeches Dolben and Wharton made the concluding remarks.82 Two days later, Dolben was named as a manager of the conference on the supply bill to pay arrears to the army and of the conference concerning the trials of Danby and the five lords imprisoned in the Tower. On the 10th he was appointed one of the managers of the conference on the petition received from Danby. On 26 May he was again nominated a manager of the conference to preserve ‘a good correspondence’ between the houses. 

Dolben continued to preach regularly, both at Whitehall and in prominent London churches. According to John Verney when he preached in the church at Covent Garden on 19 Nov. (at the height of the debates on the bishops’ role in trials) a gold fringe with tassels had been cut off from the cloth covering the pulpit.83 He attended the House for further prorogations throughout 1679 and 1680. During 1680 he was involved in a chancery dispute with his diocesan registrar John Stowell, who had charged him in the ecclesiastical court with financial irregularities.84 Dolben also found himself at odds with Ormond in the second half of the year over the office of high bailiff of Westminster. Ormond (on the authority of the Privy Council) sought the dismissal of Essex Strode from the post after Strode’s bungled invasion of the Savoy and arrest of Ormond’s kinsman, Sir James Butler. Dolben eventually capitulated, though with considerable reluctance, because he thought it an unlawful action, ‘it being a judicial as well as a ministerial office’.85

On 21 Oct. 1680 Dolben attended the House for the start of the new Parliament and attended the session for 86 per cent of sittings; he was named to three select committees. On 15 Nov. he voted to reject the exclusion bill on its first reading and on the 23rd opposed the appointment of a committee to consider, in conjunction with the Commons, the state of the kingdom. He then attended each day of the brief Oxford Parliament in March 1681. In May 1682 he foiled an attempt to dismiss his brother from the judiciary.86

Archbishop of York 1683-6

Dolben was said to have been second choice, after Nathaniel Crew, bishop of Durham, for translation to York, but by June 1683 news had reached the York chapter of Dolben’s nomination.87 Following the official directive from the king, Dolben was elected on 28 July and the news was widely known by the time of the royal assent in August.88 Bishop Fell was summoned to London to assist in the formalities of translation.89 In the week of 20 Sept. Dolben, always given to the high life, left London ‘with a very great train’.90 Five days later he entered York, where he met with an enthusiastic reception.91 Richard Grahme, Viscount Preston [S], sent Dolben warm congratulations when he learned of Dolben’s translation, noting that ‘the trouble of it will be to your Lordship, but the advantage will be to the Church and to us’.92 Dolben informed Sancroft by the end of October of his plans for the diocese, noting the need to prepare the bishop of Durham for what he wished to do. These included the weekly communions that he had previously rejected and additional celebrations of saints’ days. The latter resulted in his having to defend himself from ‘Romish superstition’.93 He had misgivings about his equally ‘furious’ deans at York and at Ripon, Tobias Wickham and Thomas Cartwright, later bishop of Chester, and predicted stormy relations between York Minster and the corporation.94 He was also at odds with Halifax; the governor of York, Sir John Reresby, bt., observing that differences between the two men were now expressed ‘with more animosity than before’.95

Within a week of arriving in the diocese, Dolben had appointed his son, Gilbert, to the office of seneschal of the liberty of Ripon for life at the salary of £6 a year.96 The following month he consolidated his family’s connection to the Mulso family of Finedon by securing the marriage of his second son, John Dolben, to Elizabeth Mulso, the daughter and coheir of Tanfield Mulso of Finedon: his eldest, Gilbert, had already married the other Mulso sister, Anne.97 By 16 Nov. 1683 Dolben had returned south from his diocese and surrendered his almoner’s place at Windsor. He had earlier expressed concerns about the choice of his successor, Francis Turner, bishop of Rochester, whose appointment so soon after being elevated to the bishopric he feared might ‘bring envy with it’. Once Turner had been confirmed, though, he welcomed him as his ‘successor throughout’. He proceeded to regale Turner with a detailed exposition of the workings of the office of almoner, recommending officials on whom he could rely while warning him that his deputies were ‘generally knaves’. Fearful that Yorkshire politics were ‘refining mightily’ on Danby’s ‘new honour’ and his alliance with Halifax, Dolben wanted Sancroft to use his influence to prevent Danby ‘from any design to the prejudice of the Church’. In March 1684, Dolben tried to secure the translation of the northern bred and ‘well-principled’ John Lake, the future bishop of Chichester, to Carlisle.98 He ‘invited and encouraged’ Lake to apply for the vacancy, but the ecclesiastical commissioners ignored Dolben and sent Lake to the politically volatile city of Bristol instead.99 Following a visitation of the West Ridng, he returned to York in May ‘disordered’ with diarrhoea to find that his innovation of weekly communion was still proving unpopular.100

By the beginning of June 1684 Dolben appears to have been regretting his elevation to York. He complained to Turner that the ‘little diocese’ of Ely (to which it was thought Turner would soon be translated) would have suited him much better ‘and you would better have traversed this vast tract of ground, much of which will not abide a coach’.101 Dolben was also unhappy at the elevation of Thomas Smith, bishop of Carlisle, on account of Smith’s suspected simony, even though he professed ‘both kindness and esteem’ for him. He was assisted by Lake and Crew in Smith’s consecration at York.102 By July, he was expecting the arrival at York of the lord chief justice, George Jeffreys, later Baron Jeffreys, ‘where they say he will do greater things as a privy councillor than as a judge’. He also hoped that Bishop Compton would visit him since they had much to discuss that Dolben would not commit to writing.103 It was rumoured across London in late July that Dolben was dead, because of his ill health.104 He blamed overwork, having ‘undertaken too much at once, to visit Chester diocese, metropolitically, and [his] own diocese together’.105 He learned from Sir Hugh Cholmley 4th bt., that Compton was definitely coming to York, but the anticipation of a visit did not dispel his gloom.106 He was also concerned that Reresby had become ‘a creature’ of Halifax.107

During the campaign to remodel corporations by quo warranto, it was decided to surrender Ripon’s charter into Dolben’s hands ‘to the use of his majesty’, it being judged by the aldermen that ‘to have the concurrence of the archbishop with them in this act was thought a good means, not to allay all jealousies, but to procure some advantages to the town’. In spite of this aspiration, by the time of the accession of the new king, Ripon was still without a charter, possibly on account of Dolben’s opposition.108 Probably with reference to an anticipated session of Parliament, Dolben corresponded with Bishop Turner in the autumn of 1684, noting that ‘coming up’ would be ‘very grievous to me in many respects’. He concluded that his vote ‘will be as useful in your hand, as my own presence can make it’ and also commented self-deprecatingly on his impetuousness in debate: ‘my bolt is soon shot, at random, and to small purpose’.109

Freed from the need to make another journey to London, Dolben concentrated on affairs in York. He relied on his wife’s mediation to improve his relations with Reresby.110 The period witnessed feverish activity in the city in preparation for a visit by the duke of York on his way north to preside over a planned Scottish parliament in the new year. All this was overtaken by events. Dolben was actively engaged in conducting a controversial visitation of the cathedral chapter shortly before learning from Reresby at a meeting in York Minster that the king was ill.111 The following day (6 Feb. 1685), they both processed to the castle yard with the gentry to proclaim the accession of James II.112 Dolben published the declaration ‘with tears’, but within days had warned Sancroft to ‘prepare for trouble’.113 He thought it best to remain in York where he could be of use in the imminent general election. On 16 Feb. a meeting of the gentry and clergy at York agreed to subscribe an address wherein both laity and clergy would express their thanks for the king’s declaration to preserve the Church of England. Universal agreement was not forthcoming. Although Dolben agreed to fall in with the majority of the country in the address, many were loathe to offer thanks. Others, such as the dean, seemed to Dolben to be acting without integrity, ‘designing to please, the later to vapour’. In March he ordered Bishop Smith of Carlisle to attend the coronation.114

In the general election campaign, Dolben put forward his son, Gilbert, for Ripon. On 6 Mar. 1685 he received an address from the inhabitants expressing their delight at the recommendation.115 On 20 Mar. Gilbert Dolben, was returned together with Sir Edmund Jennings, the archbishop having secured generous support for his son and promising to choose the second candidate of ‘good affections to the crown’.116 He also promised Henry Fairfax, 4th Baron Fairfax of Cameron [S], support for Hon. Thomas Fairfax insisting if his ‘little interest in Yorkshire can serve Captain Fairfax he is master of it’; he assured Fairfax that he had already helped Reresby by circulating his tenants in several places and would be ‘at least as zealously active for the captain’.117 Fairfax was duly elected for Malton; the city of York returned Reresby with Sir Metcalfe Robinson, bt.118 Early in May 1685 Dolben complained to Reresby about the lack of activity shown by Richard Boyle, earl of Burlington, in attempting to prevent some of the York aldermen being turned out of their places. By the close of the month, Dolben appears to have lost his appetite for the struggle too, leaving it to Halifax to defend them. The effort proved in vain and the aldermen were removed.119

Travelling to London to rejoin the bishops’ bench for the start of parliamentary business on 19 May 1685 (and to take his seat as primate of York), Dolben attended the session for 88 per cent of sittings and was named to nine select committees. He attended until Parliament was adjourned on 2 July, returning to Bishopthorpe on 17 July and instructing his clergy, in the wake of the Monmouth Rebellion, to preach ‘to make the people sensible of the great deliverance ... that they should exhort them earnestly to loyalty according to the principle of our common Christianity, and the peculiar doctrine of our church’. Despite having received no formal instruction to celebrate thanksgiving he went ahead anyway. The cathedral, he claimed, was never fuller; inclined to ‘tremble’ at the thought of more rebellions, he advised Sancroft to speak with the king privately as the latter was more likely to be susceptible to reason if not disturbed by onlookers. He reminded Sancroft that he had already succeeded with James in another (unspecified) personal matter.120

By August 1685, the king’s religious politics were alarming the episcopate. Dolben was anxious about the future: ‘no man hath more need of being assisted by worthy and able men, being so deficient in myself as I am’. He asked Sancroft to block the elevation of Thomas Cartwright, whose ambitions for the see of Chester were matched only by the noise of his boasting to friends in York before the formal announcement; Dolben wanted Cartwright posted ‘where he may do less harm’. He also sought Sancroft’s assistance in discouraging the presentation to ‘that excellent living at Prestwich’ of one Mr Ashton, through the patronage of John Digby, 3rd earl of Bristol, as Ashton already possessed a living in Nottinghamshire, which Dolben considered too far away to justify him holding both at once. A fellowship in Manchester, he considered, might be more suitable.121 By the end of September he confided in Trumbull that he wished he ‘were so fit to die, as I am unlike and indeed unfit to live, useless and unprofitable in my station’. It is unclear whether his mood reflected personal or pastoral concerns, but he clearly fretted for the future of the established Church, ‘notwithstanding all our provocations’ and wished Sancroft well in his attempts to protect them.122

Sir John Reresby, the governor of York, took the whole Dolben family to dine at the castle in early October, treating them to the diversion of a company of men exercising and firing grenade shells (Reresby noted that Dolben had himself been a military man).123 Despite his enervated mood and the trials of travelling, he was determined to attend Parliament ‘in obedience to his majesty’s commands’ and planned to leave York on 29 October.124 He met up with Reresby and Sir Henry Goodricke, 2nd bt., at Doncaster, where he learned that Halifax had been dismissed and that a bill in favour of Catholics might come before Parliament.125 By 4 Nov. Dolben had nearly reached London, bringing with him (according to Gilbert Dolben) ‘his good look and his good stomach’.126 Soon after his arrival in London, Dolben appears to have had a meeting with the king at which James informed him that he was relying on Dolben’s vote in favour of taking off the test, not least as Dolben had opposed its imposition previously. Dolben answered that although he had formerly been opposed to it, he now felt that it was important that the measure be retained. It was widely accepted that Dolben, Fell and Compton would support the London clergy in their opposition to the king’s religious policies.127 During the debate on the king’s speech on 9 Nov., Dolben and Compton ‘spoke much’ about retaining Catholic officers and it was reported that together they ‘did well in Parliament’.128 On 19 Nov. William Cavendish, 4th earl of Devonshire, backed by Halifax, moved the Lords to consider the king’s speech, but was opposed by Dolben on procedural grounds, as it had not been set down as the business for that day.129 The House was prorogued the following day.

Ten days later Dolben dined with Compton. He remained in the capital where, on 6 Dec. 1685, ‘the princess’ (presumably Anne) received the sacrament ‘with extraordinary devotion’ from Dolben. He enjoyed the usual social round, especially frequent visits from Turner.130 He also kept his ear to the ground for political gossip, informing Reresby, falsely, that Halifax was to be reinstated. More accurate was the news he received on the 29th about Compton’s dismissal from the Privy Council for his speech against Catholic officers.131 In January 1686, Dolben waited on the king to wish him well for the new year. The king informed Dolben of his intention to defer the sitting of Parliament until after the following autumn and explained his removal of Compton. Dolben finally left London on 22 Mar. 1686. According to Gilbert Dolben, he had only lingered in London as his daughter was on the verge of giving birth. The day after she had been churched, Dolben intended to head back to the north.132 On the journey back he stayed in an inn infected with smallpox. He preached at York Minster on Good Friday 1686, but fell ill the following week of a ‘lethargic distemper’. With an ‘utterly hopeless’ prognosis, he died in the early hours of 11 Apr. before his wife could return to York to be with him.133

News of Dolben’s condition remained confused for several days. Narcissus Luttrell had reported him dead several days before he finally expired.134 John Verney (later Viscount Fermanagh [I]) reported that Dolben had suffered an apoplectic fit; others thought him still alive but suffering from smallpox. Thomas Comber, his precentor at York, said that he had died ‘rather of grief at the melancholy prospect of public affairs, than of the smallpox’.135 The day after his death Dolben was buried in the south aisle of York Minster. A marble monument with Dolben’s effigy dressed formally in his episcopal cope and mitre was later erected to mark the place.136 Both Comber and the archbishop’s son, Gilbert (whose wife also contracted smallpox), informed Sancroft promptly of his death and within two days, the news had reached London.137 Although letters of administration were granted to Dolben’s wife, his son and heir Gilbert bore the brunt of probate duties and the removal of the household from Bishopthorpe to the family home at Finedon.138 Dolben’s second son, John, later became a driving force in the prosecution of Dr Henry Sacheverell.139

Dolben’s reputation, perhaps unsurprisingly, was mixed. Even Gilbert Burnet, bishop of Salisbury, whose customary bias against Tory Anglicans was almost certainly exacerbated when Dolben refused to assist his academic research, praised the archbishop, but not without some caveats: he was a ‘man of more spirit than discretion, an excellent preacher, but of a fine conversation, which laid him open to much censure in a vicious court’.140 Trumbull eulogized him as a great parliamentarian with greater ‘interest and authority’ in the House of Lords than any other bishop at this time. He had, Trumbull wrote,

easily mastered all the forms of proceeding. He had studied much of our laws, especially those of the Parliament, and was not to be brow-beat or daunted by the arrogance or titles of any courtier or favourite. His presence of mind and readiness of elocution, accompanied with good breeding and an inimitable wit, gave him a greater superiority than any other lord could pretend to from his dignity or office.141

Other eulogies did nothing to prevent scandal pursuing Dolben beyond the grave: the licenser of Anthony Wood’s Athenae Oxonienses found in it ‘horrible reflections’ on the archbishop.142


  • 1 Oxford DNB (William Dolben).
  • 2 Northants. RO, D(F)176; Borthwick, admon. 20 Apr. 1686.
  • 3 Bodl. Tanner 34, ff. 177-8.
  • 4 CSP Dom. 1660-1, p. 86.
  • 5 CSP Dom. 1668-9, p. 414; Harl. 3785, f. 263.
  • 6 Tanner 145, f. 223.
  • 7 VCH Northants. iv. 51-54.
  • 8 G.S. Davies, Charterhouse in London, 354.
  • 9 Tanner 41, f. 191.
  • 10 Cal. Wynn Pprs, 341; Evelyn Diary, iv. 140-2.
  • 11 HP Commons, 1660-90, iii. 48; NLW, Wynn of Gwydir, 2723, 2809.
  • 12 Add. 72481, ff. 2-51 passim.
  • 13 Tanner 40, f. 180; TNA, PROB 11/355.
  • 14 Borthwick, admon. 20 Apr. 1686.
  • 15 A.P. Stanley, Hist. Mems. of Westminster Abbey, 451.
  • 16 Tanner 34, f. 96.
  • 17 Plumptre, Life of Ken, i. 50-1; Oxford DNB.
  • 18 CSP Dom. 1660-1, p. 86; List of the Queen’s Scholars of St Peter’s College, Westminster, coll. J. Welch, 115-16.
  • 19 POAS, ii. 485-6.
  • 20 Tanner 48, f. 61; Stanley, Hist. Mems. of Westminster Abbey, 451.
  • 21 C.E. Whiting, Nathaniel Lord Crewe, Bishop of Durham, 24.
  • 22 J. Dolben, A sermon preached before His Majesty on Good-Friday at Whitehall, March 24. 1664/5 (1665); A sermon preached before the King on Tuesday, June 20th. 1665 (1665); A sermon preached before the King, Aug. 14. 1666 (1666).
  • 23 Stanley, Hist. Mems. of Westminster Abbey, 451-2.
  • 24 Milward Diary, 12-14, 73-75.
  • 25 CSP Dom. 1666-7, pp. 228, 257, 280.
  • 26 Tanner 45, f. 116; Bodl. Add. C 305, f. 9.
  • 27 Durham UL (Palace Green), Cosin letter bk. 1b, 162.
  • 28 PA, HL/PO/CO/1/2, pp. 139-41, 156.
  • 29 Stubbs, Registrum Sacrum Anglicanum, 101.
  • 30 Tanner 45, f. 214.
  • 31 PA, HL/PO/CO/1/2, p. 185.
  • 32 Verney, ms. mic. M636/22, Sir R. Verney to E. Verney, 26 Dec. 1667.
  • 33 Add. 36916, ff. 51-52, 56.
  • 34 HP Commons, 1660-90, ii. 218; Oxford DNB; Cam. Misc. ix, 8; NAS, GD 406/1/10,064; NLS, ms 14406, ff. 46-47.
  • 35 Pepys Diary, viii. 596.
  • 36 Lorenzo Magalotti at the Court of Charles II ed. W.E. Knowles Middleton, 50-51.
  • 37 Oxford DNB (Sir William Dolben); NLW, Wynn of Gwydir, 2527.
  • 38 POAS, ii. 193, 379.
  • 39 Lorenzo Magalotti ed. Knowles Middleton, 50-51.
  • 40 Tanner 131, f. 18.
  • 41 Pepys Diary, ix. 53, 89.
  • 42 Articles to be enquired of in the primary visistation of the Right Reverend Father in God John Lord Bishop of Rochester … in September, 1668 (1668).
  • 43 Add. 36916, ff. 121-2.
  • 44 Eg. 2539, f. 292; Tanner 44, ff. 146-7; HMC Le Fleming, 66.
  • 45 CSP Dom. 1668-9, p. 414; Harl. 3785, f. 263.
  • 46 PA, HL/PO/CO/1/2, pp. 189, 290, 294.
  • 47 Harris, Sandwich, ii. 318-24.
  • 48 PA, HL/PO/JO/5/1.
  • 49 PA, HL/PO/CO/1/2, p. 421.
  • 50 Reliquiae Baxterianae, iii. 84.
  • 51 Harris, Sandwich, ii. 333-7.
  • 52 CSP Dom. 1671, p. 177.
  • 53 POAS, ii. 193.
  • 54 CSP Dom. 1671-2, p. 276; Cam. Misc. ix, 14; Tanner 43, f. 27; Whiting, Nathaniel Lord Crewe, 42; Hatton Corresp. (Cam. Soc. n.s. xxii), 77-78.
  • 55 HMC 9th Rep. pt. ii. 29.
  • 56 Reliquiae Baxterianae, iii. 84.
  • 57 Add. 23136, f. 98.
  • 58 Tanner 42, f. 89; 44, f. 249.
  • 59 HMC 8th Rep. pt. 1, 112.
  • 60 Bodl. Carte 72, f. 253; CSP Dom. 1673-5, pp. 548-51; Verney ms mic. M636/28, Sir R. Verney to E. Verney, 25 Jan. 1675.
  • 61 CSP Dom. 1673-5, pp. 548-51; CSP Ven. 1673-5, pp. 337, 353-4, 357-8.
  • 62 Timberland, i. 150.
  • 63 NLW, Wynn of Gwydir, 2714-2716, 2721-2723, 2727, 2804.
  • 64 CSP Dom. 1675-6, p. 358.
  • 65 Add. 18730, f. 18.
  • 66 Verney, ms. mic. M636/30, J. Verney to E. Verney, 25 Jan. 1677.
  • 67 Pols. of Relig. ed. T. Harris et al, 84.
  • 68 HMC 9th Rep. pt. 1, 84.
  • 69 Tanner 38, f. 113.
  • 70 Add. 18730, f. 33.
  • 71 HMC Portland, ii. 44.
  • 72 HMC Ormonde, n.s. iv. 145; Oxford DNB.
  • 73 HMC Hastings, iv. 301.
  • 74 HMC Lords, i. 1, 5.
  • 75 Verney, ms. mic. M636/32, Dr W. Denton to Sir R. Verney, 18 Nov. 1678; HMC Ormonde, n.s. iv. 473.
  • 76 Browning, Danby, i. 298-9; Bodl. ms Eng. Lett. c. 210, f. 243.
  • 77 CSP Dom. 1679-80, p. 111.
  • 78 HMC 11th Rep. 94.
  • 79 Add. 28091, f. 134; Carte 81, f. 588; Add. 29572, f. 112.
  • 80 Add. 18730, f. 53.
  • 81 HMC Ormonde, n.s. v. 34.
  • 82 Carte 81, ff. 561, 564, 566-7.
  • 83 Verney, ms. mic. M636/32, J. Verney to Sir R. Verney, 19 May 1679; Add. 18730, ff. 55, 68-69.
  • 84 TNA, C 6/82/48.
  • 85 HMC Ormonde, n.s. v. 457, 462, 476-7; HP Commons, 1660-90, iii. 508-9; CSP Dom. 1680-1, p. 75.
  • 86 Morrice, Ent’ring Bk. ii. 316.
  • 87 Whiting, Nathaniel Lord Crewe, 125.
  • 88 CSP Dom. 1683, p. 130; Comber, Mems. 186; Morrice, Ent’ring Bk. ii. 375.
  • 89 Verney, ms. mic. M636/38, Dr H. Paman to Sir R. Verney, 16 Aug. 1683; Add. 29582, f. 47; TNA, C 66/3237.
  • 90 Morrice, Ent’ring Bk. ii. 382.
  • 91 Tanner 34, f. 149.
  • 92 HMC 7th Rep. pt. 1, 292.
  • 93 Oxford DNB; Tanner 32, f. 182; 34, f. 198.
  • 94 Tanner 32, f. 242.
  • 95 Reresby Mems, 318.
  • 96 Northants. RO, D(F) 125 a and b.
  • 97 Verney, ms. mic. M636/38, A. Nicholas to J. Verney, 17 Oct. 1683; HP Commons, 1690-1715, iii. 890, 896.
  • 98 Tanner 34, ff. 204, 275, 279; 32, f. 11; Bodl. Rawl. letters 94, f. 253.
  • 99 Tanner 32, ff. 10, 50; CSP Dom. 1684-5, pp. 13, 77, 121.
  • 100 Add. 72481, f. 24; Tanner 32, f. 47.
  • 101 Rawl. letters 94, f. 272.
  • 102 Tanner 32, ff. 28, 38, 50; Wood, Life and Times, iii. 97.
  • 103 Add. 72481, ff. 35, 36.
  • 104 Verney, ms. mic. M636/39, J. Stewkeley to Sir R. Verney, 24 July 1684, C. Gardiner to same, 25 July 1684.
  • 105 Tanner 32, f. 117.
  • 106 Add. 72481, f. 38; Tanner 32, f. 176.
  • 107 Add. 72481, f. 42.
  • 108 HP Commons, 1660-90, i. 485.
  • 109 Rawl. letters 94, f. 246.
  • 110 Reresby Mems. 343, 347.
  • 111 Kenyon, Sunderland, 103; Comber, Mems. 202; Reresby Mems. 351.
  • 112 Reresby Mems. 352.
  • 113 Comber, Mems. 202; Tanner 32, f. 222.
  • 114 Tanner 31, f. 27; 32, ff. 222, 223, 227.
  • 115 Northants. RO, D(F) 127.
  • 116 HP Commons, 1660-90, i. 484, ii. 217.
  • 117 Add. 4274, f. 262.
  • 118 HP Commons, 1660-90, i. 489, ii. 293.
  • 119 Reresby Mems. 367.
  • 120 Tanner 31, ff. 144, 150.
  • 121 Tanner 31, ff. 178, 180.
  • 122 Add. 72481, ff. 52-53, 57; Tanner 31, f. 215.
  • 123 Reresby Mems. 391.
  • 124 Tanner 31, f. 223.
  • 125 Reresby Mems. 393.
  • 126 Add. 72481, ff. 66-67.
  • 127 Morrice, Ent’ring Bk. iii. 51-52.
  • 128 Add. 70119, T. Harley to Sir E. Harley, n.d.; Morrice, Ent’ring Bk. iii. 51.
  • 129 Add. 72481, ff. 76-77.
  • 130 Add. 72481, ff. 60-61, 78-79, 83.
  • 131 Reresby Mems. 403-4.
  • 132 Add. 72481, ff. 98-99, 104-5; 72517, ff. 7-8; 72525, ff. 190-1.
  • 133 Tanner 30, f. 15; Add. 72481, ff. 122-3; 72516, ff. 21-22.
  • 134 Luttrell, Brief Relation, i. 374.
  • 135 Verney ms mic. M636/40, J. Verney to Sir R. Verney, 13 Apr. 1686; Add. 72523, ff. 111-12; Comber, Mems. 211-12.
  • 136 T. Moule, Descriptive account of the cathedral church of York (1851), 58; Hist. of York Minster ed. Aylmer and Cant, 443-5.
  • 137 Add. 72481, ff. 122-3; Verney ms. mic. M636/40, J. Verney to Sir R. Verney, 13 Apr. 1686; Add. 72523, ff. 111-12.
  • 138 Add. 72481, ff. 124-5; 72525, ff. 80-81.
  • 139 State Trial of Sacheverell ed. B. Cowan, 259; HMC Ancaster, 439.
  • 140 Burnet, History, ii. 439.
  • 141 N and Q (1970), 420-1.
  • 142 Tanner 25, f. 81; 30, f. 24.