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Dormer, Robert (1649-1726) (DNB00)

DORMER, Sir ROBERT (1649–1726), judge, second son of John Dormer of Lee Grange and Purston, Buckinghamshire, by Katherine, daughter of Thomas Woodward of Ripple, Worcestershire, was born in 1649, and baptised at Quainton 30 May. His father was a barrister, and he was entered at Lincoln's Inn in May 1669, and called to the bar January 1675. He appears as junior counsel for the crown in 1680 on the trials of Sir Thomas Gascoigne for treason and of Cellier for libel, and soon after became chancellor of Durham. In 1698 he was elected with Herbert for Aylesbury. Maine petitioned, and in January 1699 the election committee divided in favour of Herbert and Dormer by 175 to 80. However, on 7 Feb. the house voted Herbert alone elected, and directed a new writ to issue, and at the new election at the end of February Dormer carried the seat against Sir Thomas Lee. (It was a kinsman John Dormer, not Sir Robert, who was elected for Banbury upon a double return in 1700, and whose election was rejected by the House of Commons.) Sir Robert was elected on 10 Dec. 1701 for the county of Buckingham, and on 28 Nov. 1702 for Northallerton, in place of Sir William Hustler. In the debates on the election proceedings which led to the leading case of Ashby v. White, Dormer opposed the privileges of the house. He was again elected for Buckinghamshire, and had that seat when, on the death of Sir Edward Nevil, he was raised to the bench of the common pleas, 8 Jan. 1706. He took his seat 12 Feb. He died 18 Sept. 1726, and was buried at Quainton, where there is a handsome tomb and full-sized statue of him. His wife and son are buried with him. In the spring of that year, on the death of his nephew, Sir William Dormer, second baronet, without issue, he inherited Lee Grange and Purston, and from his grandfather, Fleetwood Dormer, Arle Court, near Cheltenham. He married Mary, daughter of Sir Richard Blake, who survived him, dying in 1728, and had one son, Fleetwood, who died 21 June 1726, aged 30, to his father's inconsolable grief, and four daughters, of whom one married Lord Fortescue of Credan, and another John Parkhurst of Catesby, Northamptonshire.

[Foss's Lives of the Judges; Luttrell's Diary; State Trials, vii. 967, 1188; Raymond's Reports, 1260, 1420; Atkyns's Gloucestershire, 174; Lipscomb's Buckinghamshire.]

J. A. H.