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Abel Rous Dottin, after Thomas Lawrence

Abel Rous Dottin (c.1768 – 17 June 1852) was a British army officer and politician, Member of Parliament for Gatton and Southampton.

Early lifeEdit

Dottin was born in St George Hanover Square,[1] the son of Abel Dottin, of Granada Hall, Barbados, who was High Sheriff of Oxfordshire in 1764, and his wife Sarah Rous of Barbados. On his father's death in 1784,[2] he inherited the Scotland plantation in Barbados. He matriculated at The Queen's College, Oxford in 1786, at age 17.[3][4][5]

Military careerEdit

Dottin became a cornet in the 2nd Life Guards in 1791, and was promoted to captain in 1794. In 1795, he was cited in the divorce case of William Townshend Mullins and his second wife, Frances.[5]

In politicsEdit

In 1818, Dottin, a Tory, entered Parliament for the rotten borough of Gatton. He failed to be elected in 1820 at Southampton, despite heavy expenditure. In 1826 he was returned there unopposed, and again in 1830. In 1831, he did not stand, for health reasons. Re-elected in 1835, in a contested election, he remained in Parliament until he retired in 1841.[5]

Railway directorEdit

Dottin was one of the founders of the Southampton and London Railway and Dock Company, in 1831, with George Walter, and Robert Johnston, from Jamaica and a relation. The company failed.[6][7] George Thomas Landmann in October 1831 brought Walter into planning for the London and Greenwich Railway, and an initial meeting was held in Dottin's house in Argyle Street, London.[6] He was chairman of the company when it opened in 1836.[8] In July 1837, Dottin and Walter resigned as directors.[9]

Later, Dottin was a director of the London and South Western Railway.[10]

Later lifeEdit

Bugle Hall, Southampton, sold by Abel Rous Dottin in 1844

Dottin received compensation for the Coverley estate in Barbados, under the Slave Compensation Act 1837;[11] he had disposed of the Scotland plantation, also called Greenland(s), by 1823, when it was owned by John Rycroft Best. He died in Argyle Street, London on 17 June 1852.[5]


Dorothy Dottin, portrait by John Hoppner

Abel Rous Dottin married in 1798, Dorothy, daughter of Robert Burnett Jones of Barbados.[5] She died on 30 October 1853.[12] By this marriage Dottin was connected to James Everard Arundell, 9th Baron Arundell of Wardour and David Richard Morier, his brothers-in-law.[13] His brother Samuel Rous Dottin, also an army officer, died c. 1797.[14]


  1. ^ 1851 England Census
  2. ^ Oxfordshire, England, Church of England Baptism, Marriages, and Burials, 1538-1812
  3. ^ s:Alumni Oxonienses: the Members of the University of Oxford, 1715-1886/Dottin, Abel (2)
  4. ^ s:Alumni Oxonienses: the Members of the University of Oxford, 1715-1886/Dottin, Abel Rous
  5. ^ a b c d e "Dottin, Abel Rous (?1768–1852), of Bugle Hall, Southampton, History of Parliament Online". Retrieved 9 April 2017.
  6. ^ a b Ronald Henry George Thomas (1986). London's First Railway: The London and Greenwich. B. T. Batsford Limited. p. 15. ISBN 978-0-7134-5414-7.
  7. ^ Mason, George Champlin (1884). "Reminiscences of Newport ...Extra Illustrated. Edition D." Internet Archive. Charles E. Hammett, Jr. p. 187. Retrieved 12 April 2017.
  8. ^ Opening of the Greenwich Railway on 14th December, 1836. Berger. 1836. p. 60.
  9. ^ Ronald Henry George Thomas (1986). London's First Railway: The London and Greenwich. B. T. Batsford Limited. p. 70. ISBN 978-0-7134-5414-7.
  10. ^ Hyde Clarke (1846). The Railway register and record of public enterprise for railways, mines, patents and inventions, ed. by H. Clarke. (Including [in vols. 4,5] The Railway portfolio. 1846; 1847, Jan.- Mar.). p. 244.
  11. ^ "Summary of Individual, Abel Rous Dottin 1769 – 7th Jun 1852, Legacies of British Slave-ownership". Retrieved 9 April 2017.
  12. ^ The Annual Register, Or, A View of the History and Politics of the Year. J.G. & F. Rivington. 1854. p. 266.
  13. ^ The Late Elections: An Impartial Statement of All Proceedings Connected with the Progress and Result of the Late Elections. To which is Affixed a Table Noting Every Change of Members and the Closing Numbers of the Contested Polls ... Such Biographical Notices are Added as May Enable the Country to Form a Judgement of the Influence Likely to Predominate in the New House of Commons. Bensley. 1818. p. 508.
  14. ^ "Summary of Individual, Samuel Rous Dottin, Legacies of British Slave-ownership". Retrieved 10 April 2017.