DODSON, Thomas (c.1666-1707), of Hayee, St. Ives, nr. Liskeard, Cornw.

Published in The History of Parliament: the House of Commons 1690-1715, ed. D. Hayton, E. Cruickshanks, S. Handley, 2002
Available from Boydell and Brewer



Dec. 1701 - by 24 Aug. 1707

Family and Education

b. c.1666, 1st surv. s. of Thomas Dodson of Hayee by Elizabeth, da. and coh. of William Sedley of Digswell, Herts.  m. 16 May 1684, Mary, da. of John Buller I*, 2s. 5da.  suc. fa. 1672.1

Offices Held

Ensign of ft. Sir Richard Atkins’* regt. 1694–6, Col. George Villiers’ regt. 1696; ?cmmdr. Bermuda Castle by Mar. 1702; capt. of ft. Col. Heyman Rooke’s regt. 1704–d.2


The Dodsons had settled in Cornwall in the 16th century, Thomas Tonkin* writing that they were descended from a London family. In 1694 Dodson received a commission in a newly raised regiment intended for service in Ireland. At the election of the following year he stood at Mitchell, and though he was involved in a double return on 14 Dec. 1695 the Commons seated his opponents. In early 1699 Dodson was reported to be claiming that he had been ‘reduced to a sorrowful condition for want of his wife’s fortune’, complaints aimed at his father-in-law, John Buller I. Further, being placed on half-pay on the Irish establishment would have done little to alleviate his financial worries. His relationship with his wife’s family had, however, improved sufficiently by December 1701 for them to secure his return at Liskeard. Dodson was classified as a Tory by Robert Harley*, and was also listed as having favoured the motion of 26 Feb. 1702 vindicating the Commons’ proceedings of the previous session against the Whig lords. He was re-elected to Queen Anne’s first Parliament, and on 23 Nov. was absent from a call of the House and ordered to be taken into custody. On 30 Oct. 1704 Dodson was forecast as a probable supporter of the Tack, but on 25 Nov. he was again absent from a call and was again ordered into custody. Consequently, he did not vote for this measure on 28 Nov. and was not released from custody until 8 Jan. 1705. Later that year he was listed as a placeman, and having retained his seat at the 1705 election was classed in an analysis of the new House as ‘Low Church’. On 25 Oct. Dodson voted for the Court candidate for Speaker. Though this may suggest that he had tempered his partisan instincts, perhaps in the hopes of advancement in the army, an analysis of the Commons from early 1708 classed him as a Tory. Dodson had, however, died the previous year. In January 1707 he had been ‘dangerously wounded’ in a duel with John Manley*, and later that year died from his wounds. He was buried on 24 Aug. 1707. One of his daughters married Thomas Vivian*.3

Ref Volumes: 1690-1715

Author: Eveline Cruickshanks


  • 1. Vivian, Vis. Cornw. 57–58, 140, 535.
  • 2. CSP Dom. 1694–5, p. 111; CSP Col. 1702, p. 118.
  • 3. Polsue, Complete Paroch. Hist. Cornw. ii. 244; Cal. Treas. Bks. xv. 154; xvi. 442; Cornw. RO, Buller mss BO/23/72/53, P. Lyne to Buller, 11 Feb. 1698–9; Folger Shakespeare Lib. Newdigate newsletter 29 Jan. 1707; Luttrell, Brief Relation, vi. 11, 211.