Sir John Dolben:

Sir John Dolben

2nd baronet, son of Sir Gilbert Dolben, 1st baronet. Born at Bishopthorpe, Yorks., 12 Feb 1683/4. Christ’s Church Oxford matriculated 11 May 1702, aged 17. Student 1702. BA 22 Jan 1704/5. MA 1707. B. & D.D. 1717. Of the Inner Temple 1707. Vicar of Finedon, instituted 30 Sept 1714 – 56. Rector of Burton Latimer instituted 14 Mar 1718/9. Preb. of Durham 2 April 1718. Visitor of Balliol College Oxford 1728. died 20 Nov buried 11 Dec 1756 at Finedon.

Married 28 July 1720 Hon Elizabeth Digby, eldest daughter of William, 5th Baron Digby by his wife Lady Jane Noel daughter of Edward, 1st Earl of Gainsborough. She died at Aix in Provence, France, 4 Nov 1730, buried 12 Jan 1730/1 at Finedon, aged 40. Monumental Inscription at Aix, in the Cathedral.


  1. son John, b 1 April, Christened 18 April 1723 at Finedon, d at Aix 27 Nov 1730.
  2. son Sir William, 3rd baronet. Born & Christened 12 Jan 1726/7 at Finedon. Died at Bury St Edmunds 20 March, buried 27 March 1814 at Finedon, aged 87.
  3. son James, died an infant, buried in Aix Cathedral, aged 7 months. MI
  4. son Gilbert, born 14 Aug Christened 28 Aug 1728 at Finedon buried there 7 May 1730.
  5. son Gilbert, prematurely born, buried in Aix Cath aged 7 hrs. MI
  1. dau Elizabeth, b 7 Mar Christened 15 Mar 1721/2 at Finedon died 13 Feb buried 24 Feb 1810 at Faxton aged 87.
  2. dau Frances, b 12 July Christened 28 July 1724 at Finedon d 1797 aged 72 buried at Bath Hampton, Somerset.
  3. dau Anne, b 21 Aug Christened 11 Sep 1725 at Finedon d at Dalham Hall, Suffolk 30 Mar, buried 14 April 1820 at Finedon aged 94.

(Reference “Northamptonshire and Rutland Clergy from 1500” (1938-43) by Henry Isham Longden)

Thomas Mountagu’s hope that he should be succeeded by Sir John Dolben was fulfilled in 1719, by which time Sir John had been Vicar of Finedon five years. Sir John’s wife died of smallpox aged 40 in 1730, while on a visit to France, he did not marry again but four of their eight children survived into old age. He continued as Vicar of Finedon, residing at Finedon Hall and therefore most of the registers during his incumbency at Burton Latimer were signed by his curate. In 1736 a note in the burial register reads, “Several letters and also words in this old register being either thro’ length of time or the badness of the ink almost effaced and lost. I thought proper to new letter them which I here acknowledge to be as near the original as possible. Gilbert Walton - Curate of this Parish to Sir John Dolben Bt. D.D. Rector of the same.”  In 1750 Gilbert Walton noted in the Baptism Register that “The parsonage house was built this year.” This would probably have replaced the house mentioned in the Glebe Terrier of 1632. He also noted that on September 30: 1750 “A shock of an earthquake was felt here“. Sir John died in 1756 and is buried in the family vault at Finedon; no mention is made of his death in the Burton Latimer registers.