William Dobyns 1646/7-1709

From Book Owners Online

William DOBYNS or DOBBINS 1646/7-1709

Bookplate of William Dobyns (British Museum, Franks Collection)

Biographical Note

Born in London, son of William Dobbins of Warmington, Gloucestershire. Admitted at Christ's College, Cambridge 1661, though there is no record of his graduation, and at Lincoln's Inn 1663. Acted as solicitor for Christ's College.


Dobyns used an armorial bookplate, Franks 8788/*267; the size and disposition of his library is not known. His will has no explicit mention of books, which would have been inherited by his widow Elizabeth as part of the residue of his estate; the will is largely concerned with monetary bequests around his family, and dealing with the financial impact of one of his sons (Henry) having died in India in the service of the East India Company. "Part of the library of William Dobyns Esq; late of Lincoln's Inn; and another gentleman" was sold by retail sale in London, beginning 20 March 1728; this, presumably, is the son of this William (there is a reference to a son called William in the will). Examples: Felbrigg Hall AA.2.20.


  • Will of William Dobyns The National Archives PROB 11/507/221.
  • Alston, R. C., Inventory of sale catalogues ... 1676-1800, St Philip, 2010.
  • A catalogue of books, being part of the library of William Dobyns, [London, 1728], ESTC t77349.
  • Gambier Howe, E. R. J. Franks bequest: catalogue of British and American book plates bequeathed to the ... British Museum. London, 1903.
  • Peile, J., Biographical register of Christ's College 1505-1905, Cambridge, 1910, vol.1 p.597.
  • Venn, J. & J. A. Alumni Cantabrigienses. Cambridge, 1922.