Robert William Dibdin was born on 15 June 1848 in Bloomsbury, the second of the six children of the Reverend Robert William Dibdin (1805-1887) and Caroline Dibdin née Thompson (1812-1897). His paternal grandfather was Charles Dibdin.
He is shown in the 1851 census as living at 62 Torrington Square, Bloomsbury, with his parents, three siblings: Mary Ann Dibdin (1847-1918), Charles Dibdin (1849-1910) and Caroline Susan Dibdin (1851-1918), his paternal aunt Ann Augusta Dibdin (1810-1872), together with a nurse, a cook and the daughter of the cook. His father's occupation was recorded as a Clergyman of the West Street Episcopal Chapel, St Giles.
He was described as a scholar in the 1861 census, still living at 62 Torrington Square with his parents, five siblings: Mary, Charles, Caroline, Lewis Tonna Dibdin (1852-1938) and Emily Dibdin (1855-1938), his paternal aunt Ann Augusta Dibdin, together with two female domestic servants. His father was recorded as a Clergyman & Minister of West Street Episcopal Chapel, St Giles.
When the 1871 census was taken he was shown as a solicitor still residing at 62 Torrington Square with his parents, four siblings: Mary, Charles, Caroline and Lewis, together with two female domestic servants. The 1881 census confirmed he was still a solicitor at the same address living with his parents, four siblings: Mary, Lewis, Emily and Caroline, (who by now was married to the Reverend Alfred George Lawe 1845-1916), and his niece Caroline Anne Lawe (1876-1885), together with two female domestic servants.
On 5 July 1880 he applied to be admitted to the Freedom of the City of London by redemption into the Worshipful Company of Feltmakers and this was granted on 13 July 1880.
On 21 December 1882 he married Eugénie Emilie Schwartztrûb (1864-1925) in Christ Church, Fosbury, Wiltshire, where the marriage register shows him as a solicitor residing at 62 Torrington Square, whilst his wife was described as a spinster living at Fosbury Vicarage. They went on to have nine children: Eugénié Caroline Adela Dibdin (1883-1953), Mary Winifred Dibdin (1884-1977), Marguerite Emily Dibdin (1886-1948), Victoria Irene Dibdin (1888-1973), Augusta Constance Dibdin (1889-1971), Robert William Dibdin (1890-1890), Charles Dibdin (1893-1935), Dudley Hardwicke Dibdin (1895-1942) and Edward John Dibdin (1898-1946).
In the 1891 census he is shown as a solicitor living at 17 Russell Square, Bloomsbury, with his wife, five of their children: Eugénié, Mary, Marguerite, Victoria and Augusta, together with a cook, a nurse, a house-maid and a parlour-maid.
The 1901 census shows him as a solicitor residing at 56 Russell Square, Bloomsbury, with his wife, seven of their children: Mary, Marguerite, Victoria, Augusta, Charles, Dudley and Edward, together with a governess, a cook, a parlour-maid and a house-maid. He served as Mayor of Holborn in 1902-03.
When he completed his 1911 census return form he stated that he was a solicitor living a 14 roomed property at 56 Russell Square, London, WC, with two daughters: Eugénié and Victoria, together with a cook and a parlour-maid.
Various directories show that he was a Fellow of the Royal Geographical Society and a director of both Mssrs. Bridges, Sawtell & Co and the British Law Fire Insurance Co. Ltd. He served as the President of the Law Society for 1923-24 and in the 1925 New Year Honours List The King announced his intention of conferring upon him the honour of knighthood.
Probate records confirm that his addresses had been 23 Red Lion Square and 55 Redington Road, Hampstead; both in the county of Middlesex and that he died, aged 85 years, on 19 November 1933 at 55 Redington Road. He was buried on 23 November 1933 at Hampstead Cemetery, Fortune Green Road, London NW6 1DR. Probate was granted on 20 March 1934 to his three surviving sons, Charles who was of no occupation, Dudley and Edward who were both solicitors. His effects totalled £28,264-13s-5d.
Credit for this entry to: Andrew Behan.