- Born: 1689 Died: 1765
Surveyor General from 1734 until 1743. Arthur Dobbs, the eldest son of Richard Dobbs of Castle Dobbs, Co. Antrim, was born in 1689. He was a man of wide and varied interests, as architect and engineer, as politician, economist and author, as promoter of two expeditions to find a North West passage to India, as a participant in the formation of the Ohio Company in Virginia, and finally as Governor of North Carolina, where he died on 28 March 1765.(1) Dobbs, who married Ann, daughter and co-heiress of Captain John Osborne of Drogheda, in 1719, built a new house for himself at Castle Dobbs, circa 1730.(2) He was one of the group of fourteen men who founded the Dublin Society in 1731.(3)
Following the death of EDWARD LOVETT PEARCE , Dobbs was appointed Surveyor General by patent dated 2 May 1734,(4)and as such was responsible for the completion of Pearce's new parliament house, which continued until 1739, and for creating a new passage to the Castle, 1735-1743.(5) He handed over his duties to ARTHUR JONES NEVILL in April or May 1743(6) on account of his involvement in other pursuits. He also succeeded Pearce as overseer of works at the Royal Hospital in 1735.(7)
Documents relating to Dobbs's period in office and including a list of his library are among the Dobbs family papers in the Public Record Office of Northern Ireland (D 162).
See WORKS aand BIBLIOGRAPHY.
(1) For a full account of Dobbs's life see Desmond Clarke, Arthur Dobbs, Esquire (1958); Dobbs's tenure of the post of Surveyor Generally is touched on only briefly on pp.42-3 and 63; a three-quarter-length portrait of Dobbs is in the collection of Richard Dobbs, Castle Dobbs, Co. Antrim.
(2) Mark Bence-Jones, Burke’s Guide to Country Houses. Volume I, Ireland. (London, 1978), 66; Severens (MS notes in IAA) gives date of house as c. 1752.
(3) James Meenan and Desmond Clarke, eds., Royal Dublin Society: The Royal Dublin Society 1731-1981 (1981), 1.
(4) NA/PRO (Kew) WO8/3 f89, 137-.
(5) Severens (MS notes in IAA).
(6) TCD Clements MS. 1741 (IAA, Edward McParland files, Acc. 2008/44).
(7) NA/PRO RHK 1/1/4 (IAA, Edward McParland files, Acc. 2008/44).
3 work entries listed in chronological order for DOBBS, ARTHUR
|Building:||CO. DUBLIN, DUBLIN, CIRCULAR ROAD SOUTH (KILMAINHAM), ROYAL HOSPITAL|
|Nature:||AD appointed overseer of works in succession to E.L. Pearce.|
|Refs:||NA/PRO RHK 1/1/4 (IAA, Edward McParland files, Acc.2008/44)|
|Building:||CO. DUBLIN, DUBLIN, COLLEGE GREEN, PARLIAMENT HOUSE|
|Nature:||AD supervises completion of Edward Lovett Pearce's design. Estimates, 1735; payments, 1739.|
JHCI 4, cxii-, cxiii, cxliii, clxv (IAA, Edward McParland files, Acc.2008/44); Desmond Clarke, Arthur Dobbs, Esquire (1958), 42-3; E. McParland, Public Architecture in Ireland: 1680-1760 (2001), 188; Christine Casey, The Buildings of Ireland: Dublin (2005), 380.
|Building:||CO. DUBLIN, DUBLIN, CASTLE STREET, DUBLIN CASTLE|
|Nature:||AD responsible for new entrance with tripartite gate, 1738-41, rebuilding of NE corner of Upper Yard, 1742, and extension of armoury, 1742|
NA/PRO (Kew) T1/208 ff 114-7, T1/328/77, T14/12/122, T/14/12, p.274, SO 1/18 fol. 285, SO 1/19 f.144 (IAA, Edward McParland files, Acc.2008/44); JHCI 5, x- (IAA, Edward McParland files, Acc.2008/44); E. McParland, Public Architecture in Ireland: 1680-1760 (2001), 95,106,219n76; Christine Casey, The Buildings of Ireland: Dublin (2005), 351,360.
|Clarke, Desmond||Arthur Dobbs Esquire, 1689-1765: Surveyor-General Of Ireland Prospector And Governor Of North Carolina||1958||London, 1958.|
|Rankin, D. Helen, & Nelson, E. Charles||Curious in everything, the career of Arthur Dobbs of Carrickfergus 1689-1765||1990||Carrickfergus & District Historical Society in association with the Society fo the History of Natural History, 1990.|