Biography of Archbishop John Dolben 1625-1686

Paternal Family Tree: Dolben

In 1625 Archbishop John Dolben was born.

Battle of Marston Moor

On 02 Jul 1644 the Battle of Marston Moor was fought near Tockwith [Map] in Yorkshire. Alexander Seton aka Montgomerie 6th Earl Eglinton (age 56) fought for the Royal army. Lionel Carey (age 22) was killed. John Hay 1st Marquess Teviotdale (age 18) fought for the Parliamentary army.

At the Battle of Marston Moor Lucas (age 31) swept Fairfax's Yorkshire horse before him, but later in the day he was taken prisoner, in a battle won decisively by Parliament.

John Dolben (age 19) fought for the Royalists.

William Eure was killed.

Philip Musgrave 2nd Baronet (age 37) fought for the Royalists.

John Fenwick (age 42) was killed.

Before 1658 Archbishop John Dolben (age 33) and Catherine Sheldon were married.

In 1658 [his son] Gilbert Dolben 1st Baronet was born to Archbishop John Dolben (age 33) and [his wife] Catherine Sheldon.

In 1661 Archbishop John Dolben (age 36) was appointed Prebendary London.

In 1662 Archbishop John Dolben (age 37) was appointed Dean of Westminster Abbey.

In 1662 [his son] John Dolben was born to Archbishop John Dolben (age 37) and [his wife] Catherine Sheldon.

In 1664 Archbishop John Dolben (age 39) was appointed Clerk of the Closet.

In 1666 Archbishop John Dolben (age 41) was appointed Bishop of Rochester.

Pepy's Diary. 14 Aug 1666. So to the chappell, and heard a piece of the Dean of Westminster's (age 41) sermon, and a special good anthemne before the King (age 36), after a sermon, and then home by coach with Captain Cocke (age 49), who is in pain about his hempe, of which he says he hath bought great quantities, and would gladly be upon good terms with us for it, wherein I promise to assist him. So we 'light at the 'Change [Map], where, after a small turn or two, taking no pleasure now-a-days to be there, because of answering questions that would be asked there which I cannot answer; so home and dined, and after dinner, with my wife and Mercer to the Beare-garden1, where I have not been, I think, of many years, and saw some good sport of the bull's tossing of the dogs: one into the very boxes. But it is a very rude and nasty pleasure. We had a great many hectors in the same box with us (and one very fine went into the pit, and played his dog for a wager, which was a strange sport for a gentleman), where they drank wine, and drank Mercer's health first, which I pledged with my hat off; and who should be in the house but Mr. Pierce the surgeon, who saw us and spoke to us.

Note 1. The Bear Garden was situated on Bankside, close to the precinct of the Clinke Liberty, and very near to the old palace of the bishops of Winchester. Stow, to his "Survey", says: "There be two Bear Gardens, the old and new Places". The name still exists in a street or lane at the foot of Southwark, Surrey [Map] Bridge, and in Bear Garden Wharf.

Pepy's Diary. 06 Feb 1668. Up, and to the office, where all the morning, and among other things Sir H. Cholmly (age 35) comes to me about a little business, and there tells me how the Parliament, which is to meet again to-day, are likely to fall heavy on the business of the Duke of Buckingham's (age 40) pardon; and I shall be glad of it: and that the King (age 37) hath put out of the Court the two Hides, my Chancellor's (age 58) two sons [Note. Henry Hyde 2nd Earl Clarendon and Lawrence Hyde 1st Earl Rochester (age 25)], and also the Bishops of Rochester (age 43) and Winchester (age 69), the latter of whom should have preached before him yesterday, being Ash Wednesday, and had his sermon ready, but was put by; which is great news.

Pepy's Diary. 24 Feb 1668. Thence to the Exchange [Map] and left her; while meeting Dr. Gibbons (age 52) there, he and I to see an organ at the Dean of Westminster's lodgings at the Abby, the Bishop of Rochester (age 43); where he lives like a great prelate, his lodgings being very good; though at present under great disgrace at Court, being put by his Clerk of the Closet's place. I saw his lady, of whom the 'Terræ filius' of Oxford was once so merry1 and two children, whereof one a very pretty little boy, like him, so fat and black. Here I saw the organ; but it is too big for my house, and the fashion do not please me enough; and therefore will not have it.

Note 1. A scholar appointed to make a satirical and jesting speech at an Act in the University of Oxford. Mr. Christopher Wordsworth gives, in his "Social Life at the English Universities in the Eighteenth Century", 1874, a list of terra-filii from 1591 to 1713 (pp. 296- 298, 680). The 'Terræ filius' was sometimes expelled the university on account of the licence of his speech. The practice was discontinued early in the eighteenth century.

Evelyn's Diary. 14 Nov 1668. To London, invited to the consecration of that excellent person, the Dean of Ripon, Dr. Wilkins (age 54), now made Bishop of Chester; it was at Ely House, the Archbishop of Canterbury (age 70), Dr. Cosin (age 73), Bishop of Durham, the Bishops of Ely (age 77), Salisbury, Rochester (age 43), and others officiating. Dr. Tillotson (age 38) preached. Then, we went to a sumptuous dinner in the hall, where were the Duke of Buckingham (age 40), Judges, Secretaries of State, Lord-Keeper, Council, Noblemen, and innumerable other company, who were honorers of this incomparable man, universally beloved by all who knew him.

Evelyn's Diary. 23 Aug 1669. I went to visit my most excellent and worthy neighbor, the Lord Bishop of Rochester (age 44), at Bromley, which he was now repairing, after the delapidations of the late Rebellion.

In 1675 Archbishop John Dolben (age 50) was appointed Lord High Almoner.

Evelyn's Diary. 27 Aug 1675. I visited the Bishop of Rochester (age 50), at Bromley, Kent, and dined at Sir Philip Warwick's (age 65), at Frogpoole.

Evelyn's Diary. 28 Apr 1676. The University of Oxford presented me with the "Marmora Oxoniensia Arundeliana"; the Bishop of Oxford writing to desire that I would introduce Mr. Prideaux, the editor (a young man most learned in antiquities) to the Duke of Norfolk (age 49), to present another dedicated to his Grace (age 49), which I did, and we dined with the Duke (age 49) at Arundel House [Map], and supped at the Bishop of Rochester's (age 51) with Isaac Vossius (age 58).

Evelyn's Diary. 11 Nov 1677. I was all this week composing matters between old Mrs. Howard (age 51) and Sir Gabriel Sylvius, upon his long and earnest addresses to Mrs. Anne (age 24), her second daughter, maid of honor to the Queen (age 38). My friend, Mrs. Godolphin (age 25) (who exceedingly loved the young lady) was most industrious in it, out of pity to the languishing knight; so as though there were great differences in their years, it was at last effected, and they were married the 13th, in Henry VII.'s Chapel [Map], by the Bishop of Rochester (age 52), there being besides my wife (age 42) and Mrs. Graham (age 26), her sister, Mrs. Godolphin (age 25), and very few more. We dined at the old lady's (age 51), and supped at Mr. Graham's (age 28) at St. James's.

Evelyn's Diary. 06 Nov 1679. Dined at the Countess of Sunderland's (age 33), and was this evening at the remarriage of the Duchess of Grafton (age 11) to the Duke (age 16) his Majesty's (age 49) natural son), she being now twelve years old. The ceremony was performed in my Lord Chamberlain's (age 61) (her father's) lodgings at Whitehall by the Bishop of Rochester (age 54), his Majesty (age 49) being present. A sudden and unexpected thing, when everybody believed the first marriage would have come to nothing; but, the measure being determined, I was privately invited by my Lady (age 45), her mother, to be present. I confess I could give her little joy, and so I plainly told her, but she said the King (age 49) would have it so, and there was no going back. This sweetest, most hopeful, most beautiful, child, and most virtuous, too, was sacrificed to a boy that had been rudely bred, without anything to encourage them but his Majesty's (age 49) pleasure. I pray God the sweet child find it to her advantage, who, if my augury deceive me not, will in a few years be such a paragon as were fit to make the wife of the greatest Prince in Europe! I staid supper, where his Majesty (age 49) sat between the Duchess of Cleveland (age 38) (the mother of the Duke of Grafton) and the sweet Duchess (age 11) the bride; there were several great persons and ladies, without pomp. My love to my Lord Arlington's (age 61) family, and the sweet child made me behold all this with regret, though as the Duke of Grafton (age 16) affects the sea, to which I find his father intends to use him, he may emerge a plain, useful and robust officer: and were he polished, a tolerable person; for he is exceedingly handsome, by far surpassing any of the King's (age 49) other natural issue.

Evelyn's Diary. 23 Nov 1679. Dr. Allestree (age 57) preached before the household on St. Luke xi. 2; Dr. Lloyd (age 42) on Matt. xxiii. 20, before the King (age 49), showing with how little reason the Papists applied those words of our blessed Savior to maintain the pretended infallibility they boast of. I never heard a more Christian and excellent discourse; yet were some offended that he seemed to say the Church of Rome was a true church; but it was a captious mistake; for he never affirmed anything that could be more to their reproach, and that such was the present Church of Rome, showing how much it had erred. There was not in this sermon so much as a shadow for censure, no person of all the clergy having testified greater zeal against the errors of the Papists than this pious and most learned person. I dined at the Bishop of Rochester's (age 54), and then went to St. Paul's to hear that great wit, Dr. Sprat (age 44), now newly succeeding Dr. Outram, in the cure of St. Margaret's [Map]. His talent was a great memory, never making use of notes, a readiness of expression in a most pure and plain style of words, full of matter, easily delivered.

Evelyn's Diary. 10 Feb 1681. I was at the wedding of my nephew, John Evelyn of Wotton (age 28), married by the Bishop of Rochester (age 56) at Westminster, in Henry VII's chapel [Map], to the daughter and heir of Mr. Eversfield, of Sussex, her portion £8,000. The solemnity was kept with a few friends only at Lady Beckford's, the lady's mother.

Note. John Evelyn of Wotton (age 28) and Catherine Eversfield were married.

Evelyn's Diary. 14 Jan 1682. Dined at the Bishop of Rochester's (age 57), at the Abbey [Map], it being his marriage day, after twenty-four years. He related to me how he had been treated by Sir William Temple, foreseeing that he might be a delegate in the concern of my Baroness Ogle (age 14) now likely come in controversy upon her marriage with Mr. Thynn (age 34); also how earnestly the late Earl of Danby (age 49) [NOTE. The word 'late' suggest the Earl being dead but may refer to his downfall around 1678], Lord Treasurer, sought his friendship, and what plain and sincere advice he gave him from time to time about his miscarriages and partialities; particularly his outing Sir John Duncomb (age 60) from being Chancellor of the Exchequer, and Sir Stephen Fox (age 54), above all, from being Paymaster of the Army. The Treasurer's (age 49) excuse and reason was, that Fox's (age 54) credit was so over great with the bankers and monied men, that he could procure none but by his means, "for that reason", replied the Bishop (age 57), "I would have made him my friend, Sir Stephen (age 54) being a person both honest and of credit". He told him likewise of his stateliness and difficulty of access, and several other miscarriages, and which indeed made him hated.

Evelyn's Diary. 29 May 1682. I gave notice to the Bishop of Rochester (age 57) of what Maimburg had published about the motives of the late Duchess of York's perversion, in his "History of Calvinism;" and did myself write to the Bishop of Winchester (age 84) about it, who being concerned in it, I urged him to set forth his vindication.

In or before 1683 [his son] Gilbert Dolben 1st Baronet (age 25) and [his daughter-in-law] Anne Mulso were married. A Marriage of Two Sets of Siblings; her sister [his future daughter-in-law] Elizabeth Mulso married his brother [his son] John Dolben (age 20). He the son of Archbishop John Dolben (age 57) and Catherine Sheldon.

In 1683 Archbishop John Dolben (age 58) was appointed Archbishop of York.

Evelyn's Diary. 12 Feb 1683. This morning I received the news of the death of my father-in-law, Sir Richard Browne (age 78), Knt. and Bart., who died at my house at Sayes Court [Map] this day at ten in the morning, after he had labored under the gout and dropsy for nearly six months, in the 78th year of his age. The funeral was solemnized on the 19th at Deptford, with as much decency as the dignity of the person, and our relation to him, required; there being invited the Bishop of Rochester (age 58), several noblemen, knights, and all the fraternity of the Trinity House, of which he had been Master, and others of the country. The vicar preached a short but proper discourse on Psalm xxxix. 10, on the frailty of our mortal condition, concluding with an ample and well-deserved eulogy on the defunct, relating to his honorable birth and ancestors, education, learning in Greek and Latin, modern languages, travels, public employments, signal loyalty, character abroad, and particularly the honor of supporting the Church of England in its public worship during its persecution by the late rebels' usurpation and regicide, by the suffrages of divers Bishops, Doctors of the Church, and others, who found such an asylum in his house and family at Paris, that in their disputes with the Papists (then triumphing over it as utterly lost) they used to argue for its visibility and existence from Sir R. Browne's chapel and assembly there. Then he spoke of his great and loyal sufferings during thirteen years' exile with his present Majesty (age 52), his return with him in the signal year 1660; his honorable employment at home, his timely Recess to recollect himself, his great age, infirmities, and death.

Evelyn's Diary. 06 Apr 1683. Good Friday. There was in the afternoon, according to custom, a sermon before the King (age 52), at Whitehall [Map]; Dr. Sprat (age 48) preached for the Bishop of Rochester (age 58).

Evelyn's Diary. 19 Aug 1683. I went to Bromley to visit our Bishop (age 58), and excellent neighbor, and to congratulate his now being made Archbishop of York. On the 28th, he came to take his leave of us, now preparing for his journey and residence in his province.

Before Dec 1683 [his son] John Dolben (age 21) and [his daughter-in-law] Elizabeth Mulso were married. A Marriage of Two Sets of Siblings; her sister [his daughter-in-law] Anne Mulso married his brother [his son] Gilbert Dolben 1st Baronet (age 25). He the son of Archbishop John Dolben (age 58) and Catherine Sheldon.

Evelyn's Diary. 06 Jan 1686. I din'd with ye Abp. of York (age 61), where was Peter Walsh, that Romish Priest so well known for his moderation, professing the Church of England to be a true member of the Catholic Church; he is us'd to go to our publiq prayers without scruple, and did not acknowledge the Pope's infallibility, onely primacy of order.

Evelyn's Diary. 15 Apr 1686. The Abp. of York (age 61) died of ye smallpox, aged 62, a corpulent man. He was my special loving friend, and whilst Bp. of Rochester (from whence he was translated) my excellent neighbour. He was an unexpressible losse to yc whole church, and that province especialy, he being a learned, wise, stoute, and most worthy prelate; I looke on this as a greate stroke to ye poore Church of England, now in this defecting period.

Around 18 Apr 1686 Archbishop John Dolben (age 61) died of smallpox. He had been returned from York to London when he came into contact with a person infected with small-pox. Becoming infected himself he died a few days later.

Around 1822. George Perfect Harding (age 41). Portrait of Archbishop John Dolben. Cleary not contemporary the source of the image unknown.