DIBBLE, John (d. 1728), of Daniells, Abinger Hammer, Surr.
Available from Boydell and Brewer
Family and Education
s. of Daniel Dibble of Daniells by his w. Susannah. m. by 1685, Alice (d. 1712), 4s. 2da; suc. fa. 1702.1
Dibble inherited a house called Daniells at the foot of the North Downs and a forge held under a lease from the Evelyn family, the local landowners, at a rent of £20 p.a. Much more lucrative, however, were his activities as a merchant in timber. He handled the sale of timber from the Evelyn family estate at Wootton in Surrey, although a major outpost of the business was established in the Okehampton area, and for a while prospered upon government contracts to supply timber to the navy. From the early 1700s, however, he was increasingly beset by cashflow problems, and was complaining, for example, to John Evelyn, the diarist, in January 1702: ‘it has been much to my grief, I am sure, that I have not been able to raise your money yet, though I hope I have given you security enough for it and will pay you the interest from the time the principal ought to have been paid to you’. He said he expected £800 from the building of a ship, now ready to launch, which would pay most of the debt. Then in July he offered ‘land security for £400’ for the unpaid money, pleading to pay the rest by Christmas. At the 1705 election he stood for Okehampton, where he employed many local people, and was caught in a double return which was resolved in his favour on 20 Dec. In the meantime he was listed as a placeman, presumably by virtue of his government contracts, and also, evidently in error, as having voted on 25 Oct. 1705 for the Court candidate as Speaker. Soon after the 1705 election he was added to the Devon commission of the peace. Subsequently he was classed as a Whig in 1708 and voted in 1709 for the naturalization of the Palatines. By this time Dibble had quite overstretched himself financially, having sold Daniells to the Countess of Donegall. Nicholas Morice† complained of a debt he owed, adding that ‘Mr Dibble hath no habitation nor settle