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Home: Surnames: Dolben Family Genealogy Forum

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Re: Dolben Family, England.
Posted by: Francis Pott (ID *****7485) Date: March 01, 2008 at 11:05:59
In Reply to: Dolben Family, England. by robert coutts of 7

Hello Robert,

My family name is Pott, but on my maternal grandmother's side I am descended partly from the Dolben family. My aunt's middle name was Mulso (surname Guiilaume)- and the name Dolben occurs as a middle name elsewhere -my uncle and one of my cousins, as well as others.

A key place you should investigate is the large village/small town of Finedon in Northamptonshire, which is intimately associated with their history and where many of them are buried. I have many photographs of the church and village under snow, taken a few years ago. The Dolben family lived in Finedon House. Either the Mulso relatives or the Mackworths (I forget which) were of Welsh extraction and one or other family is responsible for having made dubious neo-Gothic additions to what had been a fine tudor house (it is extensively written up in a book on neglected English houses by Marcus Binney). The house later underwent restoration and was divided up into many separate homes, one of which is still owned by one of my sisters.

Among significant Dolbens is another John (evidently not the one mentioned to you by the person who wrote previously): this one carried the Royalist standard at the infamous battle of Marston Moor in Yorkshire, in July 1644 during the English Civil War. Rather oddly (seeing you were supposed to defend the standard to the death, and Royalists lost the battle), he survived. He was only 20 at the time and he went on to become first Bishop of Rochester and later Archbishop of York; for the latter reason there is a large, unsightly and rather unflattering effigy of him on his tomb in York Minster.

Another Dolben was a poet, Digby Mackworth Dolben (the name DIgby features extensively in my family tree too). He was educated at Eton and was a close friend of the better known poet, Robert Bridges, who I think was a distant cousin; but DIgby drowned at the age of 19 in a swimming accident. His poems were published and I think we have a copy somewhere; one of them was set to music by a clergyman composer named Anthony Caesar (I am a composer myself).

I hope this is of some help to you, since it looks as though it opens up an angle on a different part of England which perhaps you may not have thought of investigating.

All best wishes,

Francis Pott
[Professor of Composition, London College of Music].

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