Dobbs, Arthur, 1689–1765, British colonial governor of North Carolina (1753–65), b. Co. Antrim, Ireland. A member of the Irish House of Commons (1727–30) and surveyor general of Ireland (1730), he wrote An Essay on the Trade and Improvement of Ireland (1729), in which he advocated certain land reforms. He also became interested in the search for a Northwest Passage and was largely responsible for the expedition (1741–42) under Christopher Middleton. He was appointed governor of North Carolina in 1753, arriving at the colony a year and a half later. His administration was marked by conflicts with the assembly arising out of his frequent arbitrary assertions of power. A capable administrator, he attempted to serve the interests of both the crown and the colonists and consequently drew the heavy criticism of both.
See biography by D. Clarke (1958).