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'Dobbs' can also refer to...

Arthur Dobbs (1689—1765) colonial governor and writer on trade

Bobby Dobbs (1858—1930)

Francis Dobbs (1750—1811) politician and barrister

Kildare Dobbs (b. 1923)

Mattiwilda Dobbs (b. 1925)

Roland Dobbs

Sir Henry Robert Conway Dobbs (1871—1934) administrator in India

William Cary Dobbs (1806—1869) barrister and politician


Quick Reference

These are regional nicknames for various supernatural beings, probably short for ‘Robin’. Dobbs was used for a brownie in Sussex, dobby in Yorkshire and Lancashire, and dobie in Northumberland. The latter was proverbially stupid, according to Henderson (1866: 209). However, according to Francis Grose (late 18th century), a dobie was a wild moorland spirit who could control deer, and jumped upon travellers. Outdoor ghosts were also sometimes called ‘dobbies’ in Lancashire (Bowker, 1883: 152); some haunted the sands and coves of Morecambe Bay. In County Durham, the Shotton Dobby appeared at births or deaths in the village, as a goose, dog, horse, donkey, or cow (Brockie, 1886: 50–1). In the Yorkshire Dales, holed stones are called ‘dobbie stones’; small ones are hung at doors and windows, larger ones built into drystone walls.

Reference entries