Poet. FH recounts how Dobson was responsible for killing his poetic ambitions: some time in the 1870s, at a dinner given by Froude in honour of FH, Froude recited one of FH's sonnets to some acclaim from the other guests. Pleased, FH left the room to get another poem from his coat, but on his return overheard Dobson telling another:-
"... the sonnet we heard was not bad. It showed good knowledge of verse form, very genuine feeling, but no new singing quality, not a new cadence in it."
FH recognised the truth of Dobson's criticism and abandoned poetry thereafter, though a small quantity of his poetry survives.