Francis Dobbs

From A Compendium of Irish Biography, 1878

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Dobbs, Francis, a noted member of the Irish Parliament, who sat for Charlemont from January 1798 to the Union, was born, probably in the north of Ireland, 27th April 1750. He was called to the Bar in 1773, and first came prominently before the public as representative from a northern Volunteer corps to the Dungannon Convention, 15th February 1782. Barrington says: "His intellect was of an extraordinary description; he seemed to possess two distinct minds — the one adapted to the duties of his profession; the other, diverging from its natural centre, led him through wilds and ways rarely frequented by the human understanding — entangled him in a maze of contemplative deduction from revelation to futurity." He devoted much time to the exposition of the prophetical portions of Scripture, and repeatedly predicted the advent of the millenium. He published a Letter to Lord North (Dub. 1780), a Universal History in several volumes, and many tracts. In 1798 he had to do with bringing about the arrangement between the State-prisoners and the Government (detailed in the notice of the elder Emmet). In an extravagant speech against the Union (of which 30,000 copies are said to have been sold) he cited Daniel and Revelations to prove that a union between Great Britain and Ireland was specially forbidden by Scripture. He consistently voted against the measure. He is said to have sunk into "unmerited neglect and difficulties" before his death — 11th April 1811, aged 60.

Sources

21. Barrington, Sir Jonah, Historic Memoirs of Ireland. 2 vols. London, 1835.

87. Cornwallis, Marquis, Correspondence: Charles Ross. 3 vols. London, 1859.
Cotton, Rev. Henry, see No. 118.

104b. Directories, Dublin, from 1743.

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