Arthur Dobbs

From A Compendium of Irish Biography, 1878

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Dobbs, Arthur, Governor of North Carolina, was born 2nd April 1689, at Girvan in Scotland, where his parents were for a short time refugees during disturbances in Ireland. He was for many years a member of the Irish Parliament for Carrickfergus, and in 1729 had published in Dublin an important work (reprinted by Alexander Thorn in 1861), entitled, An Essay on the Trade and Improvement of Ireland. In 1730 he was appointed Surveyor-General of Ireland. By his advice, in May 1741, two vessels sailed to discover a north-west passage to India, and during their voyage named a point of land on the north-west of Hudson's Bay, Cape Dobbs. He was the author of An Account of the Countries adjoining to the Hudson's Bay, London, 1748. In January 1753, he was appointed Governor of North Carolina. He was a man of letters and of liberal views, and as a politician adopted humane and conciliatory measures towards the Indian tribes. Drake says: "His administration was a continued contest with the legislature on important matters, displaying on his part an ardent zeal for royal prerogative, and an indomitable resistance on the part of the colonists." He died at Town Creek, North Carolina, 28th March 1765, aged about 75. Additional particulars relating to him will be found in Notes and Queries, 3rd Series.


37a. Biographical Dictionary—American Biography: Francis S. Drake. Boston, 1876.

229b. McSkimin, Samuel: History and Antiquities of Carrickfergus. Belfast, 1811.

183. Ireland, Tracts and Treatises concerning: Edited by Alexander Thom. 2 vols. Dublin, 1860-'1.

254. Notes and Queries. London, 1850-'78.
O'Callaghan, John C., see No. 186.

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