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Welcome to the Cobbold Family History Trust website

This website is the primary point of free access for visitors wishing to know more about the Cobbold and related families.  The Trust is committed to collecting and conserving the family histories and providing free access so that future generations can delve, discover and deduce from what they find.



  • Lord Cobbold DL
  • Ivry, Lady Freyberg
  • Nicholas Cobbold OBE

Cobbwebs Archive

News and Views items older than six months can be found here


February 2015


Reports on the 50th anniversary of this epic event will not have escaped our readers.

What is not so well known is that the event was organised with outstanding military precision by Col. Paul Freyberg 2nd Baron Freyberg (1923-1993) who is #2079 on the family tree. (He is the author of his father’s biography; no mean task given that his father was arguably the most decorated soldier in the British Army). Paul served with the New Zealand Division in Greece in 1941 and the Long Range Desert Group in the Middle East in 1941-42, then with the Grenadier Guards in Tunisia and Italy 1942-45 where he won his MC. After the war he was with the British Army of the Rhine 1950-51 and following postings in the Ministry of Defence he was commander of the Honourable Artillery Company, Infantry Battalion in 1965 when Sir Winston died.

The world famous former Prime Minister’s death occurred during the time that Cameron Cobbold 1st Baron Cobbold (1904-1987) #490 was Lord Chamberlain (1963-1971). He had been Governor of the Bank of England from 1949 to 1961.

His responsibilities to the Monarch required his attendance at the funeral in St Paul’s and our photograph shows him (back left with an umbrella) leaving the cathedral with the Royal Family and Heads of State including President de Gaulle (circled), Sir Winston’s wartime ally.

February 2015


Rosemary Reardon writes:

“Just to say how much I enjoyed Cobbold & Kin.  With such a vast project I was astounded how Clive managed all the data into something so cohesive and readable.

I think my favourite family member was William Rust Cobbold.  This was down wholly to how Clive wrote about him such as recording that he “was not over blessed with humour or charm”.  I liked the description as to his demise as well!

For opposing reasons was also very taken with the biography of Felix Thornley Cobbold.  I was very interested in him becoming a Liberal and so going against the family political trait.  His philanthropy was quite outstanding, even extending to bequeathing of land to be used as allotments.

My favourite photograph was of Ralph and obviously he (Ralph) liked it too as used by him for the frontispiece of his book ‘Innermost Asia’!

Anyway I’ll leave off for now other than to thank you again for making it possible for me to read about the Cobbolds.  And of course please pass my congratulations on to Clive for achieving such a magnificent outcome to his project”.

If you don’t have a copy please BUY NOW and help the trust with its work.  Thank you.

February 2015


Christmas 2014

Thank you family members all over the world for your Christmas and New Year greetings which are very much appreciated.  Family history is quite a lonely furrow to plough so your continued interest is always welcome.

Thank you…

Christchurch, Tacket Street, Ipswich for a donation of £20 following a talk about the family and the trust’s work and thank you Christine Haines for family papers which are a welcome addition to the archive.

Books for Sale

We still have books for sale from this website.  Signed copies of Cobbold & Kin, Life Stories from an East Anglian Family are still available.

We have a small number of second hand copies of out-of-print books available on request.  Titles include The Cobbold Elliston Affair by Sandra Berry; Football Gentry by Brian Scovell and The Biography of a Victorian Village edited by Ronald Fletcher.

Book Sales help the trust with it’s work so please support us.

February 2015


Oil Paintings in Public Ownership – Suffolk lists this painting as being by Cobbold H C, said to have been a worker at the mill.  It is shown as being at the Museum of East Anglian Life in Stowmarket.

Suffolk Painters website shows the same painting attributed to Hugh Charles Cobbold (1908-1966) #411 on the family tree.  As the picture is dated two years before Hugh was born either the date or the attribution is wrong.

Can anyone help please?

February 2015


A Seamark Achievement

Edward #1010 on the family tree was born in Devon in 1994 and move with his parents to Melbourne, Australia as a very young child.  Now living in Diamond Creek he has justified early promise by winning an Undergraduate Sponsorship and an undergraduate entry position as a Marine Engineering Officer in the Royal Australian Navy.

A measure of his success is evidenced by the fact that only 19 such scholarships were awarded this year across all disciplines, the majority going to medics.  He is now a commissioned officer with the rank of Midshipman; has completed basic training and been sworn in.  He has commenced the 3 year course in Mechatronics Engineering at the Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology and being a member of the armed forces has to apply for leave at the end of each term!

When he graduates he expects to be posted to manage the entirety of a ship’s mechanical systems except for weaponry.  Even more important will be his duties as leader of the on board engineering team.  A family history trust necessarily spends time reporting on careers successfully completed.  It is a pleasure on this occasion to be reporting on one promisingly commenced.

February 2015


The trust has recently acquired a fine photograph of a young Lady Margaret Hermione Millicent Lytton (1905-2004) #491 on the family tree.  She was the first daughter and second child of the 2nd Earl of Lytton, a former Viceroy of India.  She married the then Mr Cameron Cobbold (1904-1987) on 3rd April 1930 in the 12th century St Mary’s Church at Knebworth.  Three years later her older brother was killed in a flying accident at Hendon and as if that wasn’t tragedy enough her younger brother died at El Alamein in 1942.

Her wedding was recorded in

The Tatler on 9th April 1930, a copy of which is now retained in the trust’s archive.  Cameron Cobbold went on to be Governor of the Bank of England from 1949 to 1961 and Lord Chamberlain from1963 to 1971.  He became the 1st Baron Cobbold of Knebworth in 1960.

Baron Cobbold of Knebworth in 1960.

February 2015


Gwen (#396 in the family tree) was born in Ipswich on 14th October 1887 eldest daughter of Alfred Townshend Cobbold (#253) and Alice Bessie Nunn.  In 1891, by which time Gwen had two younger sisters, Margaret and Joan, the family was living at 222 Woodbridge Road, Ipswich.  Their father was a Solicitor who later took on significant civic responsibilities.  By 1901 they had moved to The Rookery in Sproughton and Gwen had acquired three brothers, Rowland, Sterling and Mike, the last member of the family, Prim, being added the following year.

In April 1915 Gwen went to train as a nurse at Endell Street Military Hospital in London.  Endell Street was set up by the Women’s Hospital Corps led by two suffragist doctors, Flora Murray and Louisa Garrett Anderson.  The WHC had successfully set up and run hospitals in France for the Croix Rouge but when British casualties were being evacuated back to the UK in 1915 they offered their services to the British Army.  The Army accepted the offer and Endell Street, which opened in May 1915, was born under the auspices of the Royal Army Medical Corps but was staffed almost entirely by women.

Gwen’s brother, Rowland who had gone to work in Argentina before the war returned on the outbreak of hostilities and was commissioned into the Royal Field Artillery.  Whilst trying to re-establish communications with his battery from his forward observation post he was killed instantaneously by shrapnel on 25th September 1915.

 Two months later Gwen transferred to the Post Office Home Hospital, Kensington Palace Gardens for six weeks before going to the Hospital d’Alliance, Yvetot, France for six months which was followed by eight months at the Hospital Temporaire d’Arc-de-Barrois.  This latter hospital had been set up by four English sisters to help with the chronic shortage of medical facilities and trained nurses in the French military.

Records show her back in England from 12th to 24th July 1917 by which time her family was at Bramford House near Ipswich.  Gwen was posted to Gifford House Auxilliary Hospital, Roehampton before returning to France, probably in Etaples for an unknown period during which she was fortunate to survive a bombing raid on the hospital where she was working.  Her career of great dedication as a VAD nurse ended in 1919

At some stage around 1917 Gwen became a Catholic and anecdotal evidence suggests that she relished her life in France and particularly enjoyed nursing French soldiers.  It was probably around this time that she was diagnosed with cancer from which, after a spell in remission in Menton, France, she died in 1926.  Her funeral was held at the Catholic Church, Crown Place, Woodbridge and she was laid to rest there in the new Cemetery.


The considerable contribution made by Kelvin Dakin of the Bramford Local History Group is acknowledged and appreciated.

The picture which shows the 7 children, from bottom to top, Gwen, Margaret, Joan, Rowland, Sterling, Mike and Prim is reproduced by kind permission of The Martin Shaw Trust Archive.

December 2014


The trust has acquired a used cheque dated 15th July 1919.

It is drawn on The Capital & Counties Bank, Limited with which has been incorporated Messrs Bacon, Cobbold & Co…..

It is payable to Messrs Cobbold, Sons & Menneer…..Solicitors….

Signed by John D Cobbold…..(1861-1929) #307 in the family tree….

For the Executors of Mrs A H Cobbold, deceased…that is Adela Harriette Cobbold

(née Dupuis) (1837-1917) #187 in the family tree. She was his mother.

December 2014


Our Cross of remembrance for the 48 Cobbolds who died in two World Wars photographed at Westminster Abbey on Remembrance Day 2014

December 2014


Visitors may remember that the trust along with a number of generous helpers participated in a ‘Tomb Savers’ weekend back in May this year.

We are pleased to report that with some further funding provided to the Parish, repairs have now been completed so the Cobbold family tomb is saved.

Thanks be to God and the good people of Woolpit that this work has been finished before winter.

December 2014


The Cobbold Family History Trust’s wish for you our visitor is that you embrace a Christmas that is peaceful and joyful.

Our wish for your New Year is that it fulfils all your aspirations.

Our wish for ourselves is that you our visitor will seek ways of supporting the trust, for instance by donations and by buying our books, and ways of encouraging the trust, by sending us relevant information and artefacts. Thank you.

December 2014


The Politics of Travel and Exploration: with specific reference to Eastern or Chinese Turkestan, 1865-1908 is the title of the thesis submitted by Clive Hodges for his PhD, a signed copy of which he has kindly donated to the trust. It is a beautifully presented hardback volume the contents being thoroughly researched, referenced and indexed. The contribution from the trust’s Ralph Patteson Cobbold collection is acknowledged as is R P Cobbold’s book, also in the trust’s library, Innermost Asia. Our thanks to Clive who is working with the trust on another book following the success of his Cobbold & Kin, Life Stories from an East Anglian Family.

Talking of Cobbold & Kin the review expected in the December issue of SUFFOLK magazine has been delayed but it is featured as one of Catherine Larner’s eight choices of Christmas Gifts for book lovers.

Continuing to talk of Cobbold & Kin the editor of the Quarterly Journal of the Suffolk Family History Society has published a lengthy review which ends as follows:

‘The characters are carefully observed and well-drawn by the author who brings them to life in a most convincing and readable way.

This is a carefully researched and thoughtfully laid-out publication which is also an object lesson in how one’s own research should be written-up.

The 269 illustrated pages can be simply dipped into as and when time permits or may be used as a valuable work of reference – but I suspect that many will find it quite difficult to put down and as such, at this time of year it may make an attractive and much appreciated Christmas gift.

Cobbold & Kin is published locally in well-produced hardback format by Boydell and Brewer; PO Box 9, Woodbridge, Suffolk, IP12 3DF under the ISBN 978 1 84383 954 5’

Cobbold & Kin is also available from this website; go to BOOKS FOR SALE.

November 2014


SUFFOLK Magazine.  Readers may care to look in the December issue for a feature by Catherine Larner on Cobbold & Kin, Life Stories from an East Anglian Family and our family history trust.  Copies usually arrive on the bookstalls a few days before the start of the month.

December 17th is the date of my talk to The Ipswich Society at 7.15 for 7.30pm at the Museum Street Methodist Church (entrance in Black Horse Lane).

The talk is entitled “The History of the Cobbold Family in 25 Objects” and gives me the opportunity to share with the audience some of the fascinating stories that have rewarded my research.

Remembrance Day.  In addition to our usual announcement in the Daily Telegraph on 11th November our commemoration also appeared in a special section of the Sunday Telegraph on November 9th.

REMEMBRANCE DAY, 11th November 2014

In accordance with our commitment to remember family members who gave their lives for our freedom the trust has this year……

Drafted an announcement for the Daily Telegraph commemorating the 48 Cobbolds who died in two World Wars….

Placed a cross in the Royal British Legion Field of Remembrance (plot 274) at Westminster Abbey (to be opened at 11am on Thursday 6th November) also commemorating those 48 and….

Recorded the names of the 35 Cobbolds who died in WWI in the Royal British Legion Every Man Remembered campaign.  This will commemorate and honour every single Commonwealth serviceman and woman who fell in the First World War; their names being shown on the Every Man Remembered website.

Anthony Cobbold  October 2014

October 2014


I know family and friends will join the trust in mourning the recent death of the Dowager Duchess of Devonshire.  She was of course the youngest and last surviving  Mitford sister, born 31st March 1920, Deborah Vivien Freeman-Mitford.  As was the custom in those days she was given a party, on 22nd March 1938, before being presented at Court in May.

In her memoirs Wait for Me published as recently as 2010 she wrote

Two weeks after my party, I was invited to a dinner given by Lady Blanche Cobbold for her daughter Pamela before Lavinia Pearson’s dance. I sat next to Andrew Cavendish. We were both just eighteen. Ignoring our neighbours, we never stopped talking throughout the dinner. That was it for me – the rest of the Season passed in a haze of would-he-wouldn’t-he be there; nothing and nobody else mattered. Meeting him was the beginning and end of everything I had dreamed of. A month later he left for Lyons ‘to learn French’ for a term (I never saw, or rather heard, any evidence of this in later life but it did not seem to matter). I missed him during his absence, but it was all the more exciting when he came back, and we managed to meet at parties time and again.

If the dinner in question was held at Glemham Hall then the romance was born in the very room used for the trust’s 2008 exhibition. Andrew was of course Lady Blanche’s nephew and ‘Debo’ as she was always known would have been high on any hostess’s invitation list. They married in 1941 and Andrew became the 11th Devonshire following the death of his older brother in 1944 and his father in 1950.

It was between then and Andrew’s death in 2004 that Chatsworth was transformed from a debt ridden liability into the highly profitable leisure enterprise that it is today; the most visited stately home in the country. That transformation is widely credited to his duchess’s business skills and her wondrous ability to draw the very best from those who worked for her.

Blanche’s father, the 9th Duke was ‘old school’ and Blanche told of memorable glittering family Christmases at Chatsworth.  Our picture saved from a newspaper, records just such an occasion, probably about 1928/9.

October 2014

COBBOLD & KIN HERE for all to see and buy!

Our book has now been published and review copies have gone out. On the telephone we have heard

...terrific and many congratulations!

...It’s a splendid book!


The Ipswich Society reviewer clearly enjoyed the challenge of ‘sorting out’ the family tree and wrote, inter alia

The family so intimately associated with Ipswich and its history is deserving of study both penetrating and sympathetic and we find both here.

This is a book rich with anecdote and arcane.

Another reviewer wrote

Clive Hodges has researched the Cobbold family thoroughly.

This hardback book can be read straight through or the chapters can be read in any order without spoiling the enjoyment in any way. It is well researched and well illustrated and is full of interest, not only for those living in Suffolk, but for anyone who enjoys family history.



October 2014


Apologies for an interruption to our postings! A combination of building repairs, ill health and the publication of Cobbold & Kin, Life Stories from an East Anglian Family diverted us.

Granchester, the new ITV detective series screened on Monday nights and set around 1950s Cambridge is the work of James Runcie (#3786 in the family tree), son of the former Archbishop of Canterbury. James has a considerable talent with a number of novels to his name and was until last year the Artistic Director of the Bath Literature Festival, a post he gave up to become head of Literature and Spoken Word at the Southbank Centre in London. Congratulations!

Henry Kitchener Prize. It may not be widely known that the 3rd Earl Kitchener (1919-2011) (#1487 in the family tree), a dedicated scientist, was an early pioneer in engaging with the scientific evidence that nutrition affects behaviour. The Institute for Food, Brain and Behaviour has launched an essay prize with a top award of £1000 in his memory. Details at

Cambridge University Hockey Club has elected Johno Cobbold (#1009 on the family tree) President of the club for the 2014/15 season. Johno has a blue from last season and is a 4th year Engineering student at Caius. Congratulations!

Chris Heath (#9486) from Canada visited the Trust recently and provided us with excellent information on his family. Robert Heath JP MP (1816-1893) (#4546 on the family tree), Chris’s 2nd cousin, was a wealthy Midland colliery and ironworks owner who purchased Biddulph Grange from James Bateman. Two of his daughters (#8282 and #4545) married two Toynbee brothers in the last quarter of the 19th century. James Bateman, his wife Maria and their friend, Edward William Cooke had created a magnificent garden at Biddulph stocked with exotic plants collected by intrepid Victorian travellers. Sadly it was allowed to decay for the best part of a century before coming into the hands of the National Trust in1988. Since then a wonderful restoration has been carried out managed in part by Julian Gibbs (#3014).

Quote They will not look forward to posterity who do not look back to their ancestors. Of course we agree and if you do also, please look for ways in which you can help us with our work. Thank you.

October 2014

ELSA COBBOLD née VERDE (1925-2014)

Elsa, (# 1846 on the family tree), widow of Jim Cobbold, one of the Trust’s great and early benefactors, died in August this year aged 89. Her family recently donated a Henry Davy painting of Helmingham Hall (1849) and an oil of a Dutch Brigantine (1835) by Louisa Emily Hanbury née Cobbold (1804-1889).

One of Elsa’s last acts of kindness was to insist on meeting the cost of shipping those two pictures and a Family Bible across the Atlantic into the care of the Trust. It was typical of her generous nature and was simply a continuation of the selfless hospitality shown to me when I visited them in California in 2006. Elsa and Jim had two fine sons, Michael and Robert, and I want to share with you an account of Elsa’s last few days sent me by Michael.

We took her out to dinner, a Japanese dinner which had become her favourite. She was happy, smiled a lot and even asked for a glass of wine which she had not done for years. In the next few days she seemed calmer. One evening as I was saying goodnight, I kissed her on the forehead and said that I hoped she would sleep well, be comfortable and as happy as she could be. She opened her eyes and said, “I think I could be happy in heaven.”

A few days later after I had spent the day with her, I got a call in the evening and learned she had passed away. When I got there, the staff told me that after dinner she had been talking to them about heaven and thanking them for their care. When they came in to check on her later, she had passed. She passed with a smile on her face. It seems that she died having found peace.

It has been a privilege to know Jim and Elsa and an even greater privilege to have been entrusted with some of their most treasured possessions.

Anthony Cobbold

October 2014.

August 2014


……lend me your ears!......or better still your eyes…our new book will be published on September 17th. We have invested a lot of time, energy and money so please support us. We think you will be pleased with your purchase. It will be included in Books for Sale

July 2014


Thanks are due to John Barker the author of Lewis Agassiz of Stour Lodge for bringing his book to the Trust’s attention (it is now in our library) and for information relating to Lewis Agassiz (# 9080 in the family tree) and our Dixon and Brandreth relatives.

Thank are also due, yet again, for the generosity of the Late Jim Cobbold’s family in California for the gift of the family Bible presented to John James Kerr (c1856-c1901) (# 231) on the occasion of his marriage to Harriet Elizabeth Cobbold (c1856-1930). She was the youngest child (of 10) of Arthur Thomas Cobbold (1815-1898) (# 138) and Sarah Elizabeth Elliston (1813-1899). The Bible contains four pages of ‘hatches, matches and despatches.’ Another gift is on its way, upon which we will report next month.

The Trust has also acquired 2 boxes of (probably Victorian) hand coloured magic lantern slides prepared by C H Cobbold of Hove. One box is The Wonders of Nature and the other is The Wonders of the Human Body. Can anybody help us fit C H Cobbold into the family tree please?

A very faded post card of the Manor House on St. Margaret’s Green, dated around the end of the19th century has also joined the Trust’s collection. This was for many years a Cobbold home and it is the property from which Margaret Catchpole stole John Cobbold’s horse as told in Richard Cobbold’s best seller.

Cobbold & Kin has gone to the publishers on time largely due to the great devotion of its author, Clive Hodges. Keep an eye on this website for details of how to pre-order your copy. Publication due in the autumn.

A Word about Administration: The Trust would like to reassure visitors to this site and particularly ‘Friends’ who have generously subscribed to our endowment campaign that we are wholly compliant with Charity Commission and Company Law requirements. We produce monthly accounts and make all necessary returns on time. This is more time consuming than it sounds and explains why some months Cobbwebs and Silken Strands are a bit briefer than we would really wish.

July 2014


Regular visitors to this site will know that 22 members of the Cobbold family have been to Gonville and Caius College, Cambridge, spread unbroken across seven generations. The statistic is of no importance but that averages out at one every 10.4 years!

The family has been quite a good supporter (if that were necessary) of May Balls having been present in 1926, 1954, 1986 and 2014. This year’s party illustrated shows 8 Cobbolds with long-time family friend, Charlotte Finley in Hall at Caius after dinner with famous Caius Fellow, Professor Stephen Hawking who had gladly allowed his best-selling (10 million copies) A Brief History of Time provide the theme for the ball. He mingled with guests throughout the evening and enjoyed every minute as indeed did we all. The Survivors’ photograph was taken at 5.0am!

July 2014


The Chevalliers’ ASPALL business is the 11th oldest family owned and the oldest organic company in the UK. Barry and Henry Chevallier Guild who run it today are the eighth generation to do so and despite being steeped in history the company is right at the forefront of current business practice. A refreshed brand identity is due for release soon and the future looks as exciting as the past.

One of the recently introduced products is ‘Perronelle’s Blush, Suffolk Cyder with a dash of Blackberry Juice.’ This was named after Perronelle Mary Guild née Chevallier (#709 in the family tree) who was a graduate in Agriculture from Reading University, a founder member of the Soil Association in 1946 and lived to be 101 which is a good innings by anybody’s standards! But from a family point of view she is still more interesting.

Perronelle’s mother was Isabel Amy Cobbold (1869-1931) (#208) after whom another new brand has been named; ‘Isabel’s Berry’ on which we reported in May. Isabel married John Barrington (JB) Trapnell Chevallier (1857-1940) (#207) and his mother was a Cobbold too! She was Isobella Frances (Fanny) Cobbold (1834-1917) (#205) daughter of Rev. Francis (Frank) Cobbold (1803-1844) (#121). If you can tolerate one more step I’ll tell you that Frank had married his cousin so Fanny’s mother was a Cobbold too! It is not difficult to arrive at the conclusion that there is almost as much Cobbold blood in those Chevallier veins!

JB was a truly remarkable man with an enviable combination of academic and athletic ability. He went to Eton and played football for the Old Etonians. He went on to King’s College, Cambridge where he took a double first and won a football Blue. He played in 4 FA Cup Finals and was a founder of Derby County Football Club in 1884, the club being one of the 12 members of the Football League in 1888. He taught at Lancing, flagship school of the Woodard Foundation and at Repton and was commissioned into the Suffolk Regiment in WWI.

During his spell running the family business it experienced hard times and it is said that he almost bankrupted himself by going on paying the workers for the sake of their families. He was truly a man of head, heart and Corinthian spirit. No wonder we Cobbolds are proud of our relationship with the Chevalliers.

May 2014


Thanks are due to Mick Farrow for a DVD showing much of the Tolly Cobbold Brewery prior to its closure.  Mick was formerly a guide at the brewery and his DVD has been placed in the archive.

Thanks are also due to Nick Russell for a sketch by Ian Cobbold RN (#504 on the tree) and a poem by Margaret Cobbold (#385)

The Trust has also been given two books, a) The Thistle and The Jade, A Celebration of 150 years of Jardine Matheson & Co, edited by Maggie Keswick and b) Charles Dixon, The Golden Age of Marine Painting.

Acquisitions by the Trust this month have included 112 letters from members of the Chichele-Plowden family and a bundle of papers and letters from the Chandos-Pole family; a copy of Country Life containing a picture of Glemham Hall and 2 books, a) Notes on the Church and Parish of Rattlesden published 1900 (this copy given to Lucy Jervis White Jervis by Felix Thornley Cobbold) and b) A View of Felixstowe from the Bath by Dick Moffat which is the story of the Bath Hotel, burnt down by Suffragettes in 1914.

May 2014


As a tribute to Isabel Chevallier née Cobbold (#208 on the family tree) Aspall has decided to name its latest new Cyder brand

Isabel’s Berry

Isabel’s Berry is a light refreshing drink (3.8% by vol.) which includes redcurrant and raspberry juices.  It is perfect with fruits, salads, crumbles and summer puddings.

Isabel Amy Cobbold married John Barrington (JB) Trapnell Chevallier at Whitton Church, Ipswich in September 1897.  JB was himself a most successful man who won the heart of a warm and generous person.  Isabel, born and bred in Suffolk was deeply proud of her county and loved nothing better than tending her plants in the walled garden at Aspall Hall.

She was a great hostess and welcomed everyone into her home.  It seems fitting that she should be commemorated by a drink that sits happily at the centre of entertaining and hospitality.

May 2014


Peter Cobbold (#494 in the family tree) enjoyed Easter lunch with his family and died aged 91 at home the following day.

Born in Henley on Thames and educated at Dover College he learned to sail in the harbour at an early age which proved to be the foundation of a life-long love of that sport.  Running in tandem was life-long support for the RNLI but as told by his son, John at his Thanksgiving Service, he never disclosed whether he had need of their services.

Peter was commissioned into the King’s Royal Rifle Corps in WWII and served with distinction in 11 KRRC in Greece.  At the beginning of December 1944 the Greek Communist troops, ELAS marched on Athens to seize power and 11 KRRC were drawn into a civil war under most difficult conditions.  The urban battlefield, the risks of distinguishing friend from foe and the dirty tactics of ELAS made their task a particularly unpleasant one.  The battalion mounted a full-scale attack on Ardhittos Hill which led to the clearing of Athens and the end of the civil war.

Citation for Award of the Military Cross – Lt P F Cobbold KRRC

Lt Cobbold commanded a platoon which took part in the capture of Ardhittos Hill on the night of December 17th / 18th and afterwards held the forward post there.  Throughout the day his positions were subject to heavy machine gun and rifle fire, varying in intensity and coming from three directions, and later to accurate mortar fire.  Despite this he maintained his platoon in their position and provided vital information as to the movement of enemy troops.  During the early afternoon an obstinately pressed counter-attack made by superior numbers developed against his platoon positions.  The leading section put up a stubborn fight but was finally overcome.  Lt Cobbold withdrew the remainder of his platoon, already depleted by casualties to a new position and successfully reformed them to hold a still vital part of his company’s area.  This officer showed complete disregard of personal danger and his example encouraged his men.

Back in civvy street Peter joined Courtaulds to become a director of the Viscose Division where he was highly valued for his decisive style and forward looking attitudes to marketing.  He was a serious loss to the company when he decided to leave to become a farmer.

In retirement he and his wife made their home in Tenerife before returning to Northamptonshire where eventually some assistance was required.  As one of his carers wrote “The world has lost a true gentleman and I am so grateful for the time I spent with him”

Note:  Peter and his family have been generous supporters of the trust for which we are most grateful.  Anthony Cobbold.

April 2014


Ipswich’s civic amenity society, established in 1960, flourishes and continues to attract new members at a healthy rate.  Readers will remember that it was the Ipswich Society who erected, on the Reg Driver Centre, a Blue Plaque commemorating the gift of Christchurch Mansion to the Borough by Felix Thornley Cobbold (1841-1909).

The Society has known of The Cobbold Family History Trust for some years and recently heard of our ‘Friends’ appeal.  With great generosity the Society decided to become Foundation Benefactors with a donation to the endowment fund of £500.

We reproduce below a page from the April issue of The Ipswich Society Newsletter (a most excellent publication, we highly recommend) which features the Trust’s letter of thanks with a classic Georgian illustration which is becoming increasingly familiar.

NOTE: to read Newletter extract view in PDF

April 2014

LILLIE LANGTRY née Emilie Charlotte Le Breton (1853-1929)

Lillie’s father, William Corbet Le Breton was a Jerseyman educated at Winchester and Pembroke and Exeter Colleges, Oxford who became Dean of Jersey.  Lillie (#1243 in the family tree) rated him one of the handsomest men in the world; vigorous, six foot and with majestic bearing and a luxuriant head of hair.  His piercing blue eyes, so familiar to the beautiful young members of his congregation were passed on to his daughter and striding around his parish in ecclesiastical gaiters he displayed a pair of calves to be envied.

Clearly he did not attract the epithet ‘the Dirty Dean’ for no reason and Lillie is said to have been denied one of her first loves because his blue eyes were no accident of chance!

Against this background the following Love Poem, believed to have originated in West Virginia about 1912 brings a smile to our lips.

Susie Lee done fell in love,
She planned to marry Joe.
She was so happy ‘bout it all
She told her Pappy so.
Pappy told her, “Susie gal,
You’ll have to find another.
I’d just as soon yo’ Ma don’t know,
But Joe is yo’ half brother.”
So Susie put aside her Joe
And planned to marry Will.
But after telling Pappy this,
He said, “There’s trouble still…
You can’t marry Will, my gal,
And please don’t tell your Mother,
But Will and Joe and several mo’
I know is yo’ half brother.”
But Mama knew and said, “My child,
Just do what makes you happy.
Marry Will or marry Joe,
You ain’t no kin to Pappy!”

April 2014


Alfred Leete (1882-1933) was a self-taught artist, illustrator and cartoonist.  He was also the creator of one of the world’s best known poster designs. The steely stare and demanding pointing finger of Lord Kitchener in Your Country Needs You is a design classic.

Kitchener (1850-1916) (#733 in the family tree) played a crucial role during WW1 as Secretary of State for War.  Traditionally it is believed that this poster was designed specifically for the purpose of recruiting millions of men for front line duty, and that it traded on Kitchener’s military prowess and popularity to do so.

However, the truth is somewhat different.  Your Country Needs You originated simply as a piece of artwork for the cover of London Opinion magazine which was a popular magazine for original articles, essays and reviews with tales, sketches and illustrations.  Following its first publication on September 5th 1914 the editor was bombarded with requests for copies of the image so it was reproduced on fine art paper, suitable for framing and sold “post free for sixpence each.”

At the end of that month the image made its first appearance on a propaganda poster printed by the Victoria House Printing Co in London and in November it was used in a more elaborate and larger recruitment poster printed by David Allen adorned with national flags and giving rates of pay and allowances.  This is the only known recruitment poster to feature the words Your Country Needs You and Leete’s Kitchener image.

We show the London Opinion magazine cover, the David Allen poster and a contemporary saucy post card.

The assistance of The Secret History of the Propaganda Poster by James Taylor is acknowledged.

April 2014


Thanks to Michael Cobbold (# 1849 in the family tree) and his family of California for the gift of a delightful miniature oil painting of the 2 English Setters owned by Arthur Thomas Cobbold (1815-1898).  Arthur (#138 in the family tree) was a great sportsman as well as being a brewer and an amateur cabinet maker.

Congratulations to Johno Cobbold (# 1009 in the family tree), the 22nd Cobbold to go to Caius College, Cambridge but the first Caian Cobbold to get a Blue, in this case for Hockey in a varsity match won on 9th March 2014.

2 Excellent websites have been added to our Links: is the site for the Chevallier family’s award winning apple juice, cyder and vinegar business is the site for the fine work carried out by the Ipswich Historic Churches Trust who care for 5 Medieval churches including St Lawrence which boasts the earliest ring of bells in Christendom and St Clement, the burial place of Thomas Cobbold (1708-1767) #44 in the family tree, ‘Common Brewer’ who moved the brewery from Harwich to Ipswich

March 2014


Many readers will know that Bishop John Patteson, the Martyr of Melanesia was cruelly murdered.  Those readers will also know that Bishop John was the niece of Lucy Patteson (1800-1879), wife of John Chevallier Cobbold (1797-1882).  Readers will not be surprised to know that Bishop John has been chosen as one of the subjects for the Trust’s book, Cobbold & Kin, Life Stories from an East Anglian Family due out in October this year.

Briefly, John was born in London in 1827, the son of a judge who had married the niece of the poet, Samuel Taylor Coleridge, and received his schooling at Eton.  Whilst there he went to Windsor Parish Church to hear Bishop Selwyn preach before he set out to be the first Bishop of New Zealand.  Hugely impressed by what he heard, he resolved that one day he too would work in New Zealand.  Following graduation from Balliol College, Oxford he travelled in Europe learning German, Arabic and Hebrew and was ordained in Exeter Cathedral in 1853, serving his curacy in his mother’s home town of Ottery St Mary in Devon.

Only a few years ago the Brothers and Sister of the Melanesian Mission visited Devon and a good deal of bonding took place amongst Bishop Patteson’s present day devotees from both hemispheres.  The Trust was given a leaflet bearing a picture of  St. Barnaba’s  Patteson Memorial Chapel on Norfolk Island and desirous of using that picture in the book we wrote for permission which was kindly given by the Trustees and Parish Council.  News came to us in an email from (Mary and) Bernie Christian-Bailey, part of which I reproduce below.  Beautiful little vignettes of life like this are the reward of the family historian and deserve to be shared.

My great grandfather George Bailey came to Norfolk Island from Chudleigh in Devon, England (via New Zealand) to work in the Melanesian Mission as a blacksmith.  He was also in charge of the music, and installed the beautiful Willis organ that was donated by Patteson’s cousin the Victorian novelist Charlotte Yonge.  About 6 years ago, we acquired the Bishop’s desk, which was made here on Norfolk Island for him from local timbers.  After his death, it was sent back to England to Charlotte Yonge, who, we understand, used it until her death.  We had the opportunity to bid for the desk at an auction in Itchingstoke, Hampshire (via telephone) and acquired it,and it now has pride of place in the “Patteson Room” in our Parish Centre.

In my own home, we have the Bishop’s dining chairs, also made locally we believe (but maybe in New Zealand).  My grandfather had the opportunity to purchase goods from the Mission when it relocated from Norfolk Island in 1920.  Our home is named “Devon” because of the historic association, and two of our sons, who live behind us and next door, call their homes “Devon Cottage” and “Devonside”.  We still worship at the Patteson Memorial Chapel every Sunday morning.

Charlotte Mary Yonge (1823-1901) was the Bishop’s biographer: ‘Life of John Coleridge Patteson’ published by Macmillan, 1874

March 2014


The famous griffins on the gate pillars at the courtyard entrance to Knebworth House have been recreated by sculptors Alastair Rennie and Stephen Petiffer.

Affectionately known to the Lytton Cobbolds as Mr & Mrs Clarence (they are distinctly male and female) the two fantasy monsters have stood guardians to this great neo-gothic house for many a year but sadly the originals had deteriorated  so badly that they became almost indistinguishable.

Further mythical beasts including bats, gargoyles and dinosaurs, elsewhere await the visitor when the house and park re-open on 22nd March.

See for details for details

March 2014


Cobbold & Kin, Life Stories from an East Anglian Family

The Trust’s book by Clive Hodges has gone to the publishers which is a great relief all round; the work involved has been enormous.  We decided on ‘Life Stories’ rather than ‘Biographies’ but it may yet be changed again by the publishers.  It will be launched in October (£25 + postage) so please start saving your pennies!


To confirm that the Trust is going about its business vigorously the Keeper has accepted 2 speaking engagements in Ipswich this year.

1.  Ipswich branch of the Suffolk Family History Society at Red Cross Hall, Chevallier St. at 7.30 pm on Thursday 17th April, and

2.  Ipswich Arts Association at Museum Street Methodist Church (entrance in Black Horse Lane) at 1.0 pm on 10th July.


are due to the donors for the following gifts to the Trust archive…

to Maj. Philip Hope-Cobbold for a Glemham Hall Estate silver Millennium Medal, the estate having been bought by the family in 1923,
to Stuart Wolfendale for a copy of his book ‘Imperial to International’ a history of St. John’s Cathedral, Hong Kong where Rowland Francis Cobbold (1857-1945) was Senior Chaplain from 1892 to 1902,
to Isobel Hutchison who is a painter for a wealth of family tree information and no less than 20 pictures for the tree,
to Dorothy Maxwell, again for family tree information on the Cooke-Yarboroughs whose name is (as often happens) the result of an inheritance-related marriage.  She relates a nice little anecdote in which the family lost all its money as a result of 18th century gambling debts and to this day a hand of cards without court cards is known as a ‘Yarborough.’

News from Sylvia Stoltz

In February last year, under the heading ‘I’ve Still Got my Marbles’ I reported on our nonagenarian correspondent in Australia.  In confirmation that she is still at it, we hear that she has just won 2nd prize in a ‘True Wartime Experience’ competition.  The event has been running for 51 years and encourages Veterans to write about their experiences.  Sylvia is very knowledgeable on the history of Chemical Warfare in Australia and her recent contribution is published in BRAVO! Recollections and Reflections of the Veteran Community by the Australian Government.  Congratulations, Sylvia from us all.

March 2014


Ghillie’s recovery from illness.

Our darling Ghill’s no longer ill,
He’s fast recovering from his chill;
His coat is white as driven snow,
Which now on every side doth blow;
When lately ill, he hated light,
Withdrew far back from out our sight,
And crept into a corner cold,
He ne’er did this in days of old.
He barks now lively, full of fun,
Sits up and begs, then off he’ll run
And “Master” says “come catch me quick,
Or if you don’t, I’ll get old Dick
To come outside and with me play
My game of ball” or p’raps he’ll say,
“Your slippers now I’m going to bite,
And make them in a sorry plight”.
Once more he’s at his former games,
His spirit nothing ever tames;
And when he’s ill, he’s plucky too,
He makes no fuss; we never knew
How bad he felt; he nearly dies
Just now, when on the bed he lies
Unlike himself, so tired and worn;
With dread forebodings we were torn.
We joy we don’t his loss bewail,
The truest friend that wagged his tail;
There’s ne’er a doggie like our Ghill,
He’s perfect whether well or ill.

January 2014


Ghillie’s Illness.

Alas! Our precious Ghillie’s ill,
And suffering from a dreadful chill;
I hope it will not prove his death,
It hurts him much to draw a breath,
We put him in the cosiest chair,
But scare a moment he’ll be there.
He creeps into a corner cold,
But ne’er complains, he’s good as gold;
He always knows what’s for him best,
So there the doggie takes his rest.
The vet to see him came today,
A kindly man, whose hair was grey;
Ghill took his dose without a wail,
But didn’t wag his darling tail;
Your nose is hot, my dearest Ghill,
Sure sign that still you’re very ill.

January 2014


New Year greetings to one and all!  Thank you to all those who have generously supported our ‘Friends’ campaign to establish an endowment fund, the value of which we will publish at our financial year-end.

“Cobbold & Kin Biographies of an East Anglian Family”  is our chosen title for the book which we plan to have published this autumn, subject, of course, to meeting our publisher’s requirements.  The author is Dr Clive Hodges and he is on target to meet the deadline.  We think you will love it!

Copies of 5 Cobbold Wills have been purchased as part of our ongoing enhancement of the archive plus a listing of all the others which are available.

Thanks go to Christine Haines and to Virginia van der Lande this month for gifts of papers (re. Adela H Cobbold and Richard Cobbold, respectively) for inclusion in the archive.

The Longest Day.  We acquired a DVD of this classic war film as we understood that the part of Bill Millin, Lord Lovat’s personal piper, was played by himself.  Bill Millin’s obituary, however suggests otherwise so we may have made an error.  Lord Lovat is the subject of one of the biographies in our forthcoming book.  If you don’t know about Bill Millin, you will have to buy the book!

January 2014


We show here an item from the FoIM newsletter for Autumn 2013


Few, if any, members will be unaware of the Hon. John Collier’s fine portrait, funded by public subscription, of the donor of Christchurch Mansion, prominently there displayed.  Although the portrayal of Felix Thornley Cobbold (1841-1909) is a little severe he was a kindly man; giving children’s parties and frequently entertaining at home, and a generous one too, as testified by his many bequests.

Perhaps surprisingly, because he never married, he was also a family man being the first to have recorded his delving into the Cobbold family tree.  His original work, supplemented by that of his nephew, Clement (1882-1961) forms the basis on which FoIM member, Anthony Cobbold has built The Cobbold Family History Trust over the last 10 years.  Whilst making no claim to be a professional, Anthony is an avid collector of all things related to the Cobbolds and, importantly, the mainly East Anglian families into which they married.

Some fascinating material, including Felix’s barrister’s wig with his name neatly stitched inside, has been collected, and to enhance its chances of survival has been donated to the trust which recently became a registered charity (1144757).  To provide an endowment fund to kick in when Anthony has gone the trust has now launched its own ‘Friends’ campaign and readers are invited to apply for the campaign leaflet even if they have no intention of joining because it is well produced, interesting and entirely without obligation.  Ring 01752 894498, go to or send an SAE to 14 Moorfields, Ivybridge PL21 0XQ.

 Perhaps the thought that his work is being continued, and by public subscription, would have brought a smile to Felix’s face?

January 2014

ANNABEL FREYBERG (1961-2013) A Tribute.

Typically those of us who have limited writing skills make a poor showing when it comes to portraying an event of almost indescribable tragedy.  This is just such an occasion.

Annabel’s story ended last month when she died of cancer aged only 52, having been diagnosed some 18 months previously, a matter of days after the death of her 9 year old daughter, Blossom, from a children’s strain of the same disease.

The eldest daughter of Ivry, Lady Freyberg, a patron of this Trust, and granddaughter of  General Lord Freyberg VC, one of the most decorated and wounded soldiers of all time, Annabel was a gifted writer who was particularly appreciated by editors for her ability to write well on a wide range of subjects.  In the course of her career she wrote for the Catholic Herald, The World of Interiors, The Independent, The Evening Standard and The Daily Telegraph as well as publishing her own book, Ceramics for the Home.

Although interior design and ceramics were spheres of special interest her most extraordinary legacy must be the accounts she wrote for The Daily Telegraph of Blossom’s 5-year battle, so ably assisted by the Great Ormond Street Hospital and subsequently her own struggle when the diagnosis was unquestionably terminal.  She described in an almost happy-go-lucky but very moving style the help she has received from a strange collection of carers and therapists and declared that she was not afraid of dying, only anxious as to how it would happen.  She was excited near the end by receiving work from her favourite World of Interiors, which she said connected her to the real world.  Her final account for the Telegraph Magazine, published on 14th December was completed just two days before she died.

Anthony Cobbold
January 2014

Note.  Annabel Freyberg is acknowledged as a distant relative of Elizabeth Cobbold and a WoI regular in the February 2014 issue of The World of Interiors by her friend, Marie-France Boyer writing about Elizabeth’s famous scissor-cut Valentines in Georgian Ipswich.

December 2013


The Trust is most fortunate to have been given the Fromanteel Cobbold Collection by Mr & Mrs Peter Cobbold (#494) and their son, John.  The collection includes a number of books (one in Elizabeth Cobbold’s own hand); six albums of newspaper cuttings; three boxes of papers and some hand-painted plates by Charlotte Bampton née Cobbold (#141).  Amongst the papers is a file used by Guy Cobbold (#350) when working on the family tree.  Regular followers of the Trust will recall that the older parts of today’s tree are based on Guy’s work which expanded that of his uncle, Felix Thornley Cobbold (#201).

The Trust is also most grateful to Michael Cobbold (#1849) who has donated a large binder of his father’s correspondence.  Regular followers will recall that the late Jamie W Cobbold (#1845) and his family are already generous benefactors.

Both of these collections make valuable additions to the Trust’s archive.  It is becoming increasingly evident that the Trust is the ideal long term home for families’ treasured memorabilia as it ensures their preservation for future generations.  The Trust wishes to encourage older family members to consider this option.

December 2013


We wish all







The Trust would like to thank all participating friends and family
for their support during 2013, particularly those who have kindly
contributed to the FRIENDS endowment fund. 

December 2013


Ghillie in the Looking-Glass.

I’ve never seen a stranger sight
Than one I’ve seen this very night;
‘Twas in the glass our Ghill saw Ghill,
He’s been on watch and watches still;
He roams in front and sniffs behind,
And hopes the doggie soon to find,
And there he stays e’en in the dark,
He think ‘t be a splendid lark
To find a little doggie dear,
Who out of cupboard would appear.
A dog with snow-white coat he sees;
For very long this will him tease;
But I must go downstairs to dine,
I wonder whether still he’ll whine
By cupboard, while I have my food,
I think he’ll be just where he stood,
When first I saw him at this game;
To spoil his sport would be a shame.
But in the world there’s but one Ghill,
The best of dogs, if well or ill.

November 2013


Those who have taken battlefield tours will know that they are profoundly moving; never more so than first time.  This, plus the Armistice Day Commemoration at the Menin Gate in Ypres (Wipers, as the troops knew it!) left me breathless.  That they kept their sense of humour and did their duty in rat-infested trenches standing deep in mud with the temperature below zero beggars belief.  Such was the British Tommy!

In remembrance of those who did not return, and in the hope that such events will never, ever, be repeated, I feel muted happiness for making the trip; thinking particularly of our own, it is the sort of thing that a family history trust should do.

I travelled with Leger Silver Service (excellent value and organisation throughout) and our tour guide was their head man, Paul Reed, an acknowledged expert WWI historian with five books and a number of TV appearances to his name.  His contribution simply could not have been improved upon; it was exemplary.  We visited the ‘Aristocrats Cemetery’ at Zillebeke, the Passchendale Museum, the Hooge Crater, Hill 60, Tyne Cot and Essex farm; the last being the site of the field dressing station where, in May 1915, the Canadian doctor, John McCrae wrote the immortal In Flanders Fields.

With permission from the Last Post Association (who also organise the daily 8.0pm sounding) I joined the Veterans’ Parade and behind a tall and very efficient Wren and in front of a Captain in the Royal Marines, who helpfully kept us in step, marched from the Market Square up to the Menin Gate itself for the 11.00am silence after which we handed over our wreaths.  The dedication on the Trust’s wreath has already been published so I will not repeat it, but I do have a little tailpiece.

Added to my breathless admiration was a touch of personal pride.  It was my cousin, Field Marshal Plumer (arguably one of the better WWI commanders) who dedicated the Menin Gate at 11.00am on 24th July 1927.  In an emotional speech (learned by heart) he spoke of the grief of those who had no known grave at which to mourn and expressed the hope that the Menin Gate memorial would lighten their burden; an idea encapsulated in his now famous words “He is not missing.  He is here.” 

Anthony Cobbold
November 2013

Note:  I was privileged to wear, by kind permission of his son, Richard, the medals of Lt. Cdr. Alistair Philip Cobbold RNVR (1907-1971) (#472 in the family tree) who was mentioned in despatches for his part in the Madagascar landing in 1942.

November 2013


This month our Silken Strands is devoted to giving thanks, which is a timely reminder of the well-respected custom the other side of the Atlantic.  We extend grateful thanks to:

Caroline Kline of Vancouver, Canada, who has donated the WWI Death Plaque of James Edward Cobbold who died on 7th October 1918.  James was born in 1893, the son of G W Cobbold of 18 Albion Street, Ipswich.  His service number was 8388 and he became a drummer with the 2nd Battalion, The Suffolk Regiment.  He is buried in the Berlin South-Western Cemetery (VI. E. 7.)

Caroline’s brother, James Alderton, who now lives in Australia, bought the plaque from a shop near Ipswich during his school holidays in 1968 when he was 11 years old.  It remained in a box of his curios until Caroline came across it last year and approached the Trust, initially to establish James’s identity.  Having discovered the purpose of the Trust she and her brother gladly decided to make the donation.

Ivry, Lady Freyberg who, when attending an auction, successfully bid for an earthenware wine and spirit flagon, complete with basket-work protection, from Cobbold & Son of Ipswich, which she has donated.  The business name tells us that it is pre-1924 and although the cork is still in place a rather delicious (but, as yet unidentified,) aroma is discernable when the flagon is laid on its side.

Robin Myring, who, when determining the future for books in his library, discovered a copy of Lewis Carroll’s Through the Looking Glass with illustrations by John Tenniel, published by Macmillan in 1904 bearing the handwritten ownership mark of Phoebe Verena Fonnereau 1908.  Phoebe (1869-1944) is #2759 in our family tree and Robin Myring kindly felt that the Trust would be a good final resting place for her book.

David Cobbold (#642) who has donated a laptop computer onto which will be loaded a power-point presentation for the use of the Keeper, starting in 2014.

To all, our thanks!


November 2013


Ghillie’s Joy.

“I’m jolly glad that mummy’s come,
For I was feeling very glum
Without my meat: my dad was kind,
But unlike her he didn’t mind
If I went hungry off to bed,
In fact to me he often said,
‘You’re much too fat, ‘twill do you good
To live on farrinaceous food’.
I daresay that’s all right for men,
And women too, but even then
They get a lot of extra things,
In very fact they feast like kings.
But little doggies get a meal
But once a day, and so I feel
Quite empty when I get no meat;
I don’t want Melox, I repeat;
Hurrah! she’s come, I knew she would,
She’ll give me meat and all that’s good”.

November 2013

11th NOVEMBER 2013

In a September Cobbweb I advised that I would be attending the Armistice Day Commemoration at the Menin Gate in Ypres on Monday 11th November this year.

Permission has been granted for me to lay a wreath on behalf of The Cobbold Family History Trust.  The dedication on the wreath is shown below, but a word of explanation is necessary.  A while back it was discovered that the names of 10 men of Framlingham, Suffolk had been inadvertently left off the local war memorial.  A good friend of the Trust has worked hard to research them and their names are included as our small contribution to overcoming the original omission.


35 Cobbolds who died in WWI, who are recorded in ‘King & Country’ on the family website at

6 Cobbold family members recorded on the family tree, who died in WWI:

Richard Charles Graves-Sawle  2nd November 1914
William Archie Arbuthnot Middleton  25th April 1915
Reginald Fitzroy (Fritz) Talbot  27th August 1916
Noel Roland Abbey  12th April 1918
Geoffrey Foster Griffith  26th September 1917
Geoffrey Percy Robert Toynbee  November 1914

10 Men of Framlingham, Suffolk who are recorded on the Menin Gate but who hitherto have been unrecognised in their home parish:

Cecil Henry Ashford  9th October 1915
Walter Catchpole  25th May 1915
William Chilvers  31st July 1917
Charles H Clow  31st July 1917
Ernest J Creasey  15th November 1914

George Fuller  5th May 1915
Christopher E Gibbons  22nd January 1916
William Glasson  1st November 1914
Walter J Lazell  19th January 1916
Walter George Mann  12th August 1917

13 Cobbolds who died in WWII, who are recorded in ‘King & Country’ on the family website at

This wreath is laid in gratitude by The Cobbold Family History Trust

11th November 2013

October 2013


We all know that Rev Richard Cobbold (1797-1877) #106 in the tree, was economical with the truth about Margaret Catchpole’s life in that he dramatized it when subsequent study has shown that none was necessary.  A book entitled The Romance of the Lyrebird by Alec H. Chisholme, published in 1960, has been drawn to our attention by our good friends in Australia, Robyn and Penelope Sharpe and our library copy has just arrived from down under.

Chapter 7, The Catchpole-Cobbold Fantasy tells us that Richard also hugely, and again quite unnecessarily, embellished his description of this fine creature, two specimens of which Margaret sent home to Richard’s mother, Elizabeth.  After her death these were presented to the Museum in Ipswich by Richard’s eldest brother, Robert Knipe Cobbold (1792-1859) #100.

Ironically, without his enhancements the story might never have achieved the notoriety which ensured its survival!  An error of judgement or inadvertent good marketing?

October 2013


Those who have read the biographical notes on Sir Harry Parkes (1828-1885) #849 in the tree will know that he narrowly escaped execution in Beijing in 1859.  Trade negotiations were conducted rather differently in those days!  It was during a trip to the Yangtze ports in 1865 that he heard he had been appointed Queen Victoria’s Consul General in Japan.  Within months of taking up his appointment his support for the Liberal Party of Japan upset the party’s opponents and there followed a series of assassination attempts.  We reproduce below a contemporary account by a Japanese official of one such event and its sequel.

On 23rd of March 1867, when Mr. Harry Parkes, then the Minister to Japan for Great Britain proceeded to the Imperial Palace in Kyoto for an audience to be given by the Emperor, he was assaulted by two rioters on his way.  In these times it was customary that some government guardians were given to foreign ministers when they went out and on this occasion, the late Mr. Nakai Kȏzȏ and the late Mr.Gotȏ Shȏjirȏ who were made high officials afterwards, happened to be members of the guardians who followed the British Minister that day.  As soon as they found that the rioters were going to assault the Minister they run to them at once and after a fighting one of the rioters was arrested and the other was cut down by Mr. Nakai with his sword.  The Minister escaped safely and had an audience with the Emperor as expected.  The name of the arrested rioter is Saegusa and that of the killed is Hayashida. .  They both seem to have been fanatical partisan of the anti-foreign party of those days.

The British Government rewarded Mr. Nakai’s courage with a sword decorated in western style which was delivered to him with the following covering letter:

British Legation, Yokohama,
November 6th 1868


Her Majesty’s Government are very desirous to mark the high sense which they entertain of the praiseworthy and courageous conduct which you displayed on the occasion of the attack made upon my party when I was proceeding to an audience of the Mikado on the 23rd March last, and they have accordingly instructed me to present to you a sword which they have caused to be prepared in commemoration of your distinguished behaviour.

It naturally affords me very great satisfaction to be charged with the duty of delivering to you this testimonial, and presenting it to you I beg to add the expression of my fervent wish for your enjoyment of a long and prosperous career, which I am satisfied will be marked by entire devotion to the service of your Sovereign and country.
I have honour to be, Sir,
Your obedient humble servant,

Harry Parkes


October 2013


A Persevering Dog.

My darling Ghill, so shrewd and deft,
You follow at your mother’s heel,
Just as Achates never left
His master’s side thro’ friendly zeal.
The hall and kitchen, Ghill, you range,
You’re not a thing of tense and mood,
Unlike a woman ne’er you change,
Your cry is “Food, more food, more food”.
You, prince of beggars, live to eat
And crave for countless bones to gnaw,
You stand and beg for plates of meat,
And when you’ve finished, ask for more.
And when you’ve finished, ask for more.

October 2013


Field of Remembrance

Once again the Trust has made a donation to The Royal British Legion and will have a cross commemorating the 48 Cobbolds who died in two World Wars planted in the Field of Remembrance at Westminster Abbey.  The official opening will take place at 11am on Thursday 7th November and the Field will be open from 12 noon that day and from 9am to 4pm daily until Sunday 17th November.

Permission has been granted for the Keeper to lay a wreath at the Menin Gate in Ypres on 11th November and a further donation was made to The Royal British Legion when the wreath was ordered.

Friends of Wortham Church

A new website has been created for the FOWC at which is strongly recommended for all who want to support the church where Richard Cobbold was Rector for 52 years.  The site has excellent photos of the new window on which we have reported previously.  There is also an excellent new guide book available via the website at just £3.50.  A link has been installed from this site.

Thanks are extended to….

Lady Kenya Tatton-Brown #1490, for the loan of a photo album compiled from 1911 by Adela Mary Evelyn Monins (1893-1986) #1168 in the tree, later Viscountess Broome.

Virginia Booth-Jones #966 for 2 books, some papers and photographs relating to Sir Harry Parkes #894 and some of his descendents.

Robyn and Penelope Sharpe for advice on a book having a chapter devoted to Richard Cobbold and the Lyrebird sent back to England by Margaret Catchpole.

October 2013


In October 2008 (Features Archive) we wrote about the arms of Elizabeth Wilkinson, #57 in the tree, first wife of John Cobbold (1745-1835).  Studious observers will know that she married him in 1773 and died in 1790 having given him 15 children in her 17 years of married life!

The Trust is delighted to report that an original copy of the Wilkinson Arms has been given by the ever-thoughtful Dr John Blatchly.  The Trust has often previously been the recipient of his kindness and wisdom to which it now adds gratitude.

This illustration, measuring just 5” x 4” was copied by Mrs Bampton née Charlotte Cobbold (1817-1914) #141, Elizabeth’s granddaughter who gave it to her nephew, Francis Alfred Cobbold (1852-1915) #209.  Interestingly Charlotte seems to have been something of an artist as the Trust has recently heard of some plates which she decorated with illustrations of flowers and fishes.  She married the Reverend John Black Bampton (1818-1888) who was Domestic Chaplain to Lord Wynford at St. Clement’s, Ipswich in 1842 and they had a son, Henry in 1843 about whom we know nothing.

September 2013


Ghillie is lost and found,

So after all we’ve got you home,
Keen hunter, with your snow-white coat,
Last night we feared you’d never come,
We thought you dead, on whom we doat,
At seven o’clock you ran away
And sought the thickets with your friend,
And little leverets were your prey,
Who met a most untimely end.
For many hours you don’t return,
As you are caught within a snare,
We seek you long, for you we yearn,
But cannot find you anywhere.
We’re tortured sore, with worry mad,
Lest bullet mortal wound should give,
This morning we are bright and glad
To know, tho’ trapped, you’re still alive.
O loveliest dog, that e’er ‘s been seen,
And faithful too, our great delight,
My Ghill, restored to me you’ve been;
I had indeed an awful fright.


September 2013


If so read on…..

My readers of longer standing will recall that on Sunday 11th November 2007 a party of 9 Cobbolds joined the national parade in Whitehall to lay a wreath at the Cenotaph commemorating the 48 Cobbolds who died in two World Wars.

Of the 35 Cobbolds who died in WWI (Link to ‘King and Country’) the majority fell on the Somme.  The Imperial (as it was then) War Graves Commission erected the Menin Gate Memorial at Ypres, Belgium, “in honour of the British Armies who stood at Ypres from 1914 to 1918, and of 56,000 of those of their dead who fell in the salient and who have no known grave”.

Every evening at exactly 8.0’clock, the police halt the traffic passing through the Menin Gate to allow buglers to play their simple but moving tribute to the memory of those who fought and died.  On Armistice Day each year there is a much larger ceremony including a veterans’ parade.

I am booked to attend the event this year on November 11th and I have applied to the authorities to lay a wreath which will commemorate the 35 Cobbolds and in addition I propose to include the following members of our extended family:

Lt. Noel Roland Abbey, 4th Bn. Grenadier Guards who died 12th April 1918 aged 20

Capt. Geoffrey Foster Griffith, London Regt. (Queen Victoria’s Rifles) who died 26th September 1917 aged 26

Capt. Geoffrey Percy Robert Toynbee, The Rifle Brigade who died 15th November 1914 aged 29.

Requests for other family members to be included (preferably containing the above information) should reach me by mid-October please.

I have an additional reason for attendance.  The Menin Gate Memorial was unveiled and dedicated on Sunday 24th of July, 1927 by Field-Marshal Lord Plumer who is my first cousin, albeit twice removed.  The Trust has the Order of Service used on that occasion by the Field-Marshal.

Anthony Cobbold
September 2013


August 2013



The Trust is happy to have acquired recently the following books to add to its library: Aldeborough A Song of the Sea (which includes a piece on Richard Cobbold); Miracles in Lady Lane (Co-authored by Dr John Blatchly); Return from the Natives (the story of Margaret Mead, celebrated anthropologist, by Professor Peter Mandler, Fellow of Caius College, Cambridge, for which the Trust provided a fragment of information) and Diaries 1832-1921 (transcribed by Lady Kenya Tatton-Brown containing great insight into the lives of Gen. William Hassel Eden (1800-1882) and Elfrida Tatton-Brown (1873-1951)).

The Trust is grateful to Jonathan Shackleton for a copy of the November 1960 issue of East Anglian magazine containing an interesting article on the Eastern Union Railway and to Lady Kenya for two plates once the property of Mrs. John Cobbold, née Wilkinson.

Some generations of Cobbold owners of the Rannoch Estate in Scotland had their own exclusive tweed woven in Aberfeldy.  The Trust is grateful to Iain Somerville, the present owner of the Estate, for a metre length of Rannoch Tweed given for inclusion in the Trust’s archive.

People will not look forward to posterity, who never look backward to their ancestors. 
Edmund Burke



August 2013


The Trust was delighted to wish Lady Kenya Tatton-Brown a happy 90th birthday recently, and to be invited to display some family tree information.  A traditionally drawn family tree would have been too large so information was provided on multi-generation descendent charts for the families of

Kitchener – Tatton-Brown – Monins – Chevallier – Cobbold

August 2013


With the centenary of the start of the 1st World War approaching we should not forget the agony of the Rev. Robert Russell Cobbold (1853-1925) #232 in the tree, and his wife, Mary Elizabeth Wanklyn (1864-1936) #233, who lost two of their three sons early in the war.

Robert Henry Wanklyn Cobbold (1892-1915) #375

Educated firstly at King's College Choir School and then won a foundation scholarship to Marlborough College (C3) in 1906 and won a Junior Scholarship the following year.  He left in the summer of 1912 having been Head Boy and gained a Classical Scholarship to St John's College, Cambridge.  He was photographed as a member of the Eagles Society at St John's in 1914.

Robert was commissioned into The Rille Brigade in November 1914 and was serving with the 2nd Bn when he was killed in action on 9th September 1915 in Flanders.  The Officer Commanding his division wrote as follows "Your son had done excellent work whilst serving this division, and was a most promising officer.  You have every reason to be proud of his gallantry and devotion to duty.  H HUDSON, Major General, Commanding 8th Division."

He is commemorated in the Memorial Hall at Marlborough and in the church at Earls barton.

Another memorial in the church at Hitcham reads as follows:

In loving memory of Robert Wanklyn Cobbold, St John's College, Cambridge, Lieut. 2nd Battn. The Rifle Brigade, Killed in Action Sept. 9th 1915.  Resting at Fleurbaix, Aged 22years.
Blessed are the pure in Heart.

Edgar Frances Wanklyn Cobbold 91895-1916) #378

Like his elder brother, Edgar went to Marlborough College arriving in January 1908 and leaving in the summer of 1912 (C3).  He was commissioned a Lieutenant in the Cheshire regiment in 1914 but transferred to the Royal Flying Corps in 1915.  He died flying near Beauchamps on 12th January 1916 very soon after arriving in France.

He is commemmorated in the Memorial Hall at Marlborough and in the church at Earls Barton.

Another memorial in the church at Hitcham reads as follows:

Enter thou into the joy of the Lord.
Edgar Francis Wanklyn Cobbold, 7th Battn. Cheshire Regiment and The Royal Flying Corps.  Fell January 12th 1916.  Resting at Harbourdin, Aged 20.


August 2013


We are indebted to John Bülow-Osborne for the story of the John Cobbold which is abridged from an article by John Whitmore with drawings by Macintyre.

It is not generally known that up to the middle of the 19th century shipbuilding was one of the principal industries of the port of Ipswich.  There were, at one period, four shipyards in the port and between 1804 and 1813 vessels of war to the number of 39 were built at one shipyard alone.  There were also many fine vessels built at these yards for the merchant service.  I was reminded of this fact a short while ago when I came into possession of what is known in the shipping world as a disbursement book.  On the cover of this book, printed in bold type, were the words JOHN COBBOLD.  Inside was a detailed record of the disbursements of this vessel dating from the year 1847.

The John Cobbold was built at the shipyard of Wm. Bayley & Sons in 1847 and the first entry in the book reading “Disbursement of the Sch. John Cobbold, Wm. Jas. Handley, commander, on a voyage from London to Jaffa, thence to Alexandria, from thence to Gloucester, beginning April 20th and ended 17th Nov. 1847” is her maiden voyage.  She commenced her career as a schooner but was later converted into a brig as evidenced by an 1851 entry “Disbursements of the Brig John Cobbold on a voyage to Coquimbo”.  Further on there is a record of a heavy shipyard account which no doubt represented the extra cost of the spars, sails, etc. required to convert her into a brig.

Later on, in 1855 it is certain her rig was again altered and this time into a barque for the entry includes “Lengthening 26 feet in Midships as per agreement….£900 0 0”.  Henceforward she is described as the Barque

John Cobbold. This is the only intimation in the book that the rig was altered but what a fine piece of craftsmanship! To cut a brig in halves and lengthen her 26 feet amidships, and fit another mast, spars and rigging, to make her into a barque was a wonderful achievement.  And this was done over 150 years ago; so much for stretch limos!

This is the only intimation in the book that the rig was altered but what a fine piece of craftsmanship! To cut a brig in halves and lengthen her 26 feet amidships, and fit another mast, spars and rigging, to make her into a barque was a wonderful achievement.  And this was done over 150 years ago; so much for stretch limos!

August 2013


A Day’s Hunting.
For Hester’s spectacles to-day
I’ve hunted through and through the house;
Now, naughty Ghill, you’ve run away,
And pounced upon a wretched mouse,
Or frog may be; with Taff in tow
To deepest spinnies you will go,
(I know your ways) and seek a hare
And find him deep within his lair,
And some poor little partridge too
You’ll stalk; a lot I’ll pay for you,
Before you’ve done, or p’raps they’ll shoot
Or crush you with a heavy boot;
So all my hunting is not done
To-day, for I must straightway run,
And find my dog, where’er he be,
What miles I’ll go, ah wretched me!

July 2013


Congratulations to Ipswich Borough Council on winning £2.8million from the Heritage Lottery Fund and the Big Lottery Fund for the restoration of Holywells Park.

Holy Wells (as it was then spelled) was built by John Cobbold (1745-1835) and he and his second wife, Elizabeth (1764-1824) moved in with their large family just before Christmas 1814.  Next year’s celebrations of the completion of the restoration of the park will therefore take place on the 200th anniversary of the Cobbolds’ occupation and coincidentally the 250th anniversary of Elizabeth’s birth.  In modern parlance (with which the writer is not very familiar!) how cool is that?

The mansion stayed in the family until 1930 when, following the death of John Dupuis Cobbold it was sold to Lord Woodbridge who gave it to the Borough.  The park was opened to the public in 1936 but the main house was pulled down in 1962.  The remaining stable block and orangery will be restored as part of the project.

To mark the start of the restoration there is to be a Heritage Day at Holywells on August 14th 2013 at which the Trust will be displaying the Elizabeth Cobbold scissor-cut Valentines (these are not often shown) alongside a demonstration of paper cutting by Lois Cordelia (scalpel) and Erica (scherenschnitte – scissors) Bülow Osborne, both well-known Suffolk artists.

Our three illustrations show the gardens, the clock tower and the orangery as they were in 1985.

Anthony Cobbold

July 2013



And now I’ll try and describe our Ghill,
With a black patch not unsightly;
All owners he’d with envy fill,
A Seelyham young and sprightly.
His coat’s as white as driven snow,
The patch only adds to his beauty;
There’s nothing that he doesn’t know,
He’s cute with a sense of duty.
He’s always wagging his darling tail,
Of love ‘tis his expression,
Tho’, when he has his bath in the pail,
His tail goes down with depression.
He came to us, a little stray pup,
Who close by the door was lying;
We fed him at once and nursed him up,
We thought at first he was dying.
He’s a wonderful dog, for he sings in tune,
In tune like a man or woman;
We’re all quite sure he’ll be talking soon,
For he’s just like human.
He’s a very good dog, tho’ once he was bad
And disobeyed his master,
Who as a result an accident had,
And had to be done up in plaster.
A better dog you ne’er could meet,
Tho’ once he was ungrateful,
When he left his master lying in the street
And ran away; then he was hateful.
When the National Anthem at Buxton they sang,
He sat up, because he was loyal;
With his praises the whole of the Concert Hall rang,
At his love for the Family Royal.
He’s a hunter, like Nimrod, mighty and keen
And he loves to pursue the rabbit;
A more sporting doggie has never been seen,
And if he gets near it, he’ll grab it.
There’s a game that he plays, a game with a ball,
With his teeth a pair of nippers,
But the game, that he loves far best of all,
Is to bite my carpet slippers.
I’m afraid he’s a dog that we all of us spoil,
But my wife is the worst offender,
Thro’ platefuls of meat she’ll make Ghillie toil,
And steak so juicy and tender.
I needn’t remark that what I’ve said
About our doggie’s feeding
Was before the war, for he gets no bread
Or meat, that the country’s needing.
He has to live on Melox now,
Tho’ much he doth detest it,
But it’s good enough for a bow-wow-wow,
And he can soon digest it.
Last holidays, when he was terribly ill,
There ne’re was a dog so plucky;
In the wide wide world there’s only one Ghill,
And to own him we’re jolly lucky.

July 2013


Aline Irene Dorothea (Dolly) HOPE (1880-1968) #1436 on the tree was a granddaughter of Lucy Cobbold (1828-1916) #182; she compiled two very intriguing scrap books which have recently been kindly donated to the Trust by Kathy Bailey.  Quite apart from Dolly’s grandparental connection, Kathy’s mother, Mrs. Margaret Prior worked at the brewery in the 1980s and 90s and with the scrap books has come a framed picture invitation showing the brewery in the early 1900s.  Much information from the many newspaper cuttings has yet to be extracted but in the mean time our sincere thanks to Kathy Bailey.

Bruce Cobbold #542 has kindly donated a copy of his latest translation: Red Flare, Cicero’s On Old Age; full of good sense and lacking in sentimentality; for which the Trust is most grateful.

N G L Hammond’s account of his exploits; Venture into Greece with the Guerrillas, 1943-44 has been acquired by the Trust.  Hammond (1907-2001) #3823 was a classical scholar whose knowledge of Greece won him a DSO and was of enormous help to the Allies.

Life and Death in Pompeii and Herculaneum at The British Museum until 29th September is worthy of a ‘bust gut.’  Richard (Dick) John Frederick Edgcumbe MVO JP (1843-1937) #797 was a writer and a great lover of Italy.  He visited Pompeii in April 1925 when new excavations had taken place.  In his book brought back from Pompeii we have found his poem dedicated to a Roman Sentry found on his post at the Porta Marina, written in his own hand.


He stood at his post when the ashes fell-
When the sea at his feet was lashed to foam-
Undaunted by scenes of terrestrial Hell-
A dutiful son of Imperial Rome!
He leant on his spear in the gathering cloud
Awaiting a summer that never came!
Till, wrapt in the folds of a scorching shroud,
He died where he stood, unnoticed by Fame-
They found him at last by the old Sea-Gate,
Entombed in the ashes of countless years-
Ages have passed, and we honour his fate
By that tribute of Love – a pilgrim’s tears!

Richard Edgcumbe
Naples, 6th April 1925


July 2013


July heralds the launch of the Trust’s FRIENDS campaign and a little modification to the Trust’s corporate identity both of which are illustrated.

The CFHT seeks your support initially to build up an endowment fund to ensure its long term survival but as time goes on the Trust will need a body of support to continually enhance and develop its work.

Please show your support for the FRIENDS now by subscribing or donating and in the future by helping with specific opportunities such as gifts in kind, legacies, book purchases and one-off fund raisers.

Here’s a thought for you!  When you have decided to become a FRIEND please try to think of two or three other family members who might be persuaded to do likewise.  We need every bit of help we can muster and small donations will be equally appreciated.  Thank you.

Anthony Cobbold
July 2013

June 2013


Family Relationships

It’s more than a silken strand that links family members but many of us sometimes have difficulty determining such relationships accurately so we have provided a chart which should help.  Go to Family Relationships on the main menu.

Family History Anthem

Reproduced from the March 2013 issue of Genealogists’ Magazine.
Source and author unknown; possibly a medieval spoof, but a rather nice one!

The limbs that move, the eyes that see,
These are not entirely me;
Dead men and women helped to shape
The mold which I do not escape;
The words I speak, my written line,
These are not uniquely mine.
For in my heart and in my will
Old ancestors are warring still,
Celt, Roman, Saxon, and all the dead,
From whose rich blood my veins are fed,
In aspect, gesture, voices, tone,
Flesh of my flesh, bone of my bone;
In fields they tilled I plow the sod,
I walk the mountain paths they trod;
and round my daily steps arise
‘the good, the bad’ those I comprise.


June 2013


My Wife’s Spectacles

Her specs are here, her specs are there,
Her spectacles are my despair,
Sometimes they’re found upon the stairs,
At times in depths of cosy chairs.
I seek them here, I seek them there,
At times I feel inclined to swear,
These demmed elusive spectacles,
They’re in some sofa’s tentacles.
I search the ground and grope the floors,
I hunt in vain without a pause,
But all she says is “lend me thine,
They suit me just as well as mine”.

June 2013


Felix Thornley Cobbold (1841-1909) #201 in the family tree was the eleventh child of John Chevallier Cobbold (1797-1882) #114.  In the course of his life he was a barrister, a Cambridge academic, a farmer, a banker and a brewer.  In public life he was a JP, Mayor of Ipswich and twice an MP for Suffolk constituencies, and above all a philanthropist.  His most memorable legacies are The Felix Cobbold (Agricultural) Trust and Christchurch Mansion.

The Trust pleads guilty to having acquired and added to its archive his barrister’s wig, complete with its stand and carrying case.

June 2013


Last month we promised a description of the wonderful new window at Wortham Church, designed by Deborah Lowe.  It has to be seen to be fully appreciated but our description here should be sufficient to whet your visual appetite.  The window comprises two vertical lights, left and right with  four tracery panels above and they are described in that order.  The three roundels in each of the vertical lights illustrate the passage of the day using soft morning colours at the bottom, sunny midday skies in the middle and sunset colours at the top and each contains a natural scene to represent the hamlets of Wortham or its place in Suffolk

Left Hand Light 

The lower roundel represents The Marsh and The Brook hosting Flag Iris, Marsh Marigold and Alder enlivened by a dragonfly in flight.

The middle roundel has a tractor ploughing a field with a horse drawn plough in the background symbolising continuity in times of changing technology, framed by Hawthorn and Queen Anne’s Lace, surmounted by aeroplane vapour trails forming a cross in the sky.

The top roundel shows an open view across The Ling above which flies a Gatekeeper butterfly symbolising Life after Death.

Right Hand Light

The lower roundel shows the Faith, Hope and Charity arches of the Wortham Primary School (built by Rev. Richard Cobbold in 1862) with a pair of Magpies representing Magpie Green and locally found Celandine, Black Poplar and Lime.

The middle roundel has at its centre the Cathedral Tower at Bury St. Edmunds with the old priory ruins in the background and features Ivy (faithfulness and eternal light), a Holly Blue (resurrection and life after death) and Poppies to remind us that 1914 saw the start of WWI as well as the creation of the new Diocese of St. Edmundsbury with Ipswich.

The top roundel includes a portrait of the 1953 Coronation Oak on Long Green, (60th anniversary this year) above which is a glimpse of a Skylark, the epitome of joyful praise.

Tracery Panels

Theses contain the Coats of Arms of the Diocese, and of the Friends of Wortham Church (illustrated) together with flowers to symbolise our patron saint, The Virgin Mary.

Anthony Cobbold
June 2013

June 2013


News in the press recently suggesting that there might soon be new hands on the tiller (sorry! not a very appropriate analogy; let’s try again) … new occupants of the boardroom at Arsenal remind us of the long if loose relationship between the two clubs.  We are not speculating that if they met on the pitch the outcome would be anything other than totally predictable; we are talking not about performance but about principle.

It is said that John Murray (Ivan) Cobbold (1879-1944) #448 in the family tree was to have gone shooting with Sir Samuel Hill-Wood (1872-1949) #8506 but as the shoot was cancelled, was taken to an Arsenal match where Sir Samuel was chairman instead.  Ivan enjoyed the experience so much that he decided to put up the money for Ipswich to turn professional in 1936.  The Corinthian philosophy of fair play was common to both clubs and survived in part because the chairmanship was passed down within the families.  Sir Samuel’s grandson Peter #5431 became chairman on his father’s death in 1982 and is rumoured to be likely to stand down shortly.  Both Ivan’s sons chaired Ipswich Town and it was the elder, John (1927-1983) #575 who received a case of champagne from Peter’s father, Denis as reward for telling the mutually disliked chairman of the Football Association to buzz off (though it is unlikely those was his actual word!).

On the family front, Denis’s mother in law was Violet Hambro (1884-1965) #5427 and Peter went into banking and became a vice-chairman of Hambros Bank, recruiting a colleague Sir Chips Keswick #992 to the Arsenal Board, and Ivan’s sister, Pamela (1900-1932) #452 married Sir Charles Hambro (1897-1963) #453, a story recorded recently in Jane Dismore’s book, The Voice from the Garden.

It seems wholly appropriate that the Trust should congratulate the Hill-Wood family on 84 years at Arsenal and wish Peter a long and happy retirement when the time comes.

Anthony Cobbold
June 2013

June 2013


There may well be other family members who are keen potters but we doubt there are many as dedicated as Gregory Tingay #675 on the family tree.

Gregory’s studio is at Dartmouth Park Pottery, 122 Dartmouth Park Hill, London N19 5HT where his ‘phone number is 0207 263 3398.

We show here some examples of his exceptional work which is on display at his EVOLUTIONS EXHIBITION at Cranley Gallery, 3 Cranley Gardens, London N10 3AA.  The exhibition is open by appointment ( or 020 8883 3557) from 17th June to 26th June.  However, all family members are invited to attend a Private View on one of the following dates:

Saturday 15th June from 2-8

Sunday 16th June from 2-7

Saturday 22nd June from 2-8

Sunday 23rd June from 2-7

If you are not able to get to his exhibition a warm welcome awaits you at the Dartmouth Park Pottery but it is probably worth ringing in advance.

May 2013


My Wife’s Lament.

Ah! Once we were a happy pair,
But now for me he doesn’t care,
He loves his odes, and out they pop:
Each hour I hope that they will stop,
But on he goes from day to day
Without a pause to my dismay;
Nought checks the current of his thought,
(He really has the fever caught).
He’ll write his odes, till death him claims,
Unless his hand he badly maims,
And then can write no more: oh drat!
I fear there’s little chance of that.



May 2013


The trust has acquired what is known in the trade as an ‘entire’ – that is a letter sent by Royal Mail (back in the days when the mail got the priority it deserved!) before the introduction of envelopes.  It was posted on 29th March 1843 at the Ipswich Main Post Office by J C & Alfred Cobbold, Solicitors to Messrs Ambrose, Solicitors at Manningtree.

Comprising a single sheet of paper the outside bears the red 1d paid stamp applied by the Ipswich office which sent it to the Manningtree office which needed nothing more than the name of the recipient.  On the inside no letterhead was necessary as the signature and Ipswich said it all.  The paper is a high quality laid paper by Crown Britannia sporting an excellent watermark.

J C Cobbold is of course John Chevallier Cobbold (1797-1882) #114 in the tree and Alfred is his younger brother (1813-1882) #136.  It must have been a considerable blow to the business when 2 partners died almost within a month of each other.

Sadly, being old and faded the document does not reproduce well for which apologies.

May 2013


Many family members and friends will know that Richard Cobbold (1797-1877) #106 in the tree, was Rector at Wortham from 1826 until his death and left us (now in the Suffolk Record Office) a wonderful illustrated account of the village and its people, in addition to his best selling novel, Margaret Catchpole.

For many, many years The Friends of Wortham Church have provided indispensable  support for the fabric of the church but this has meant that their generosity has been largely unseen.  To celebrate the centenary of the diocese of St Edmundsbury and Ipswich and to make a highly visible and aesthetic contribution to the church the Friends raised the money necessary for a brand new stained glass window.

On a beautiful sunny, if windy, Sunday in April the new window was dedicated and blessed by our Bishop, The Right Reverend Nigel Stock at a service of Songs of Praise.  The window was designed by Deborah Lowe and includes a feast of local interests and influences most skilfully blended such that a good half hour is necessary to gain a full appreciation.  A full description of the window will be given in a future Cobbweb but for the moment we will concentrate on the dedication.

Needless to say I was delighted to have been invited, and to sit next to Constance Hiller (née Cobbold) #608 and her husband George #609 who both had special reason to be there.  George’s father, Rev. Hubert George Hiller #3003 was appointed Rector of Wortham in April 1935 (the living was sold by Richard Cobbold to King’s College, Cambridge) having earlier been the  Initial Priest, that is the first priest ordained in the new diocese whose centenary we were marking today.  As if that were not enough, George and Constance were married by George’s father in this very church in 1958.

Anthony Cobbold  May 2013.

May 2013


Eleanor Plumer (1885-1967) #2555 in the tree, was the great, great granddaughter of Sir Thomas Plumer (1753-1824) #855, Master of the Rolls, 1818-1824, and the eldest of three daughters of Field Marshal Herbert Charles Onslow Plumer, 1st Viscount Plumer (1857-1932) #2546 and Annie Constance Goss (1858-1941) #2547

Eleanor became a great British educator.  She read English at Oxford as an external student from King’s College in London, where she stayed on as Lecturer and Tutor to women students, later becoming Warden of the Mary Ward Settlement from 1923 to 1927.  Her next appointment was at St Andrew’s Hall in the University of Reading where she was again Warden from 1927 to 1931.

In 1940 she was selected from an eminent short list to become Principal of the Society of Oxford Home Students.  In the early days of women’s education the home student society was one of the best routes available.  Between 1940 and her retirement in 1953 she employed every ounce of her innate skill and determination overseeing the, far from easy, transition of her Society to a fully fledged St. Anne’s College within the University of Oxford.  During the war years she spent her long vacations as a factory hand at the Morris works in Cowley and for a time the Library’s Fulford Room served as a highly productive munitions factory!

A book of collected student memories of their principal was published to mark the opening of Eleanor Plumer House, a graduate centre in Oxford.  The few extracts we reproduce here give a good indication of the affection and respect felt by her pupils.

1938  She was a skilful and humorous friend to students and colleagues, a wise and courageous leader.  I wish I had known her better.

1942  I see now her slight, frail figure, always immaculately dressed in a dark suit, as concealing enormous will and spirit.

1943  Later when I was working in London and just strolling along Piccadilly I was surprised to be caught by her umbrella handle and asked how I was getting on.

1946  Miss Plumer had a quiet but penetrating sense of humour, and was a great inspiration to me, to St. Anne’s and to the University.

1947  For a full five years this wonderful woman loyally supported me and I shall always be extremely grateful to her.

1948  She was so sharp, funny and wise that we all looked up to her and trusted she would bring the College to its new status.

1950  We all wholeheartedly shared her delight in the celebrations surrounding the granting to the Society of full college status, with its own coat of arms (those of the Plumer family).

1951  I remember a small, brisk, elderly woman, upright in deportment and business-like.  Eye contact was difficult behind the strong ‘pebble’ lenses of her glasses.

1952  She had a considerable presence, and expectations of mental as well as physical embodiment of wisdom were not disappointed.

Alumni of St. Anne’s include Mary Archer (1962); Edwina Currie (1965); Polly Toynbee (1966); Libby Purves (1968); Tina Brown (1971); Simon Rattle (1971) and Danny Alexander (1990).

Interestingly, the present Principal, appointed in 2004, is Tim Gardam who was awarded a double first in English at Gonville & Caius, Cambridge, a college with which the Cobbold family has a substantial connection and Jack Cobbold (1994-) goes up to St Anne’s in autumn 2013.



April 2013


Always the same

I ne’er find fault with you, my wife,
Yet your remarks cut like a knife;
You always say “’Tis you’re unkind,
What I have lost, you ne’er can find;
My pen is gone, my specs are lost;
The fault is yours, a lot they cost;
Now, Nevill, search for them, I say,
Without a stop both night and day”!
Thus I am forced to spend my time
In hunting round (I speak in rhyme)
For what I’ve never moved at all,
I’m always at your beck and call.
I search in vain and wander round,
Where’er they’re likely to be found,
Yet still your bidding’s just the same,
“Go, search again, for you’re to blame”!



April 2013


ANZAC Day is a day of National Remembrance in Australia and New Zealand to honour the members of the Australia and New Zealand Army Corps who fought at Gallipoli and all those who served and died in military operations for their countries. This year marks the 98th anniversary of the landings on 25th April at what is now known as ANZAC Cove. This campaign is widely recognised as the first major action by Australian and New Zealand troops and it was one in which their losses exceeded 11,000 dead. It was also the occasion for the epic swim to shore in total darkness by General Freyberg VC (#3174 on the tree) in advance of further landings. As a British born New Zealander, Freyberg who later became Governor-General of New Zealand participated in ANZAC Day celebrations every year for the rest of his life. For him and for all our family members with antipodean connections it is right that we pay tribute.

I have selected a poem entitled Gallipoli by Staff Sergeant Sydney Bolitho of the 6th Battalion Australian Imperial Force (AIF) written in the trenches at Gaba Tepe which was at the southern end of ANZAC Cove. Shortly after writing this poem, Sydney Bolitho received serious injuries and was repatriated but whilst recovering he contracted tuberculosis from which he died in 1919. He was buried with full military honours at the White Hills Cemetery in Bendigo, Victoria, Australia.


The new dawn lights the eastern sky;
Night shades are lifted from the sea,
The Third Brigade with courage storm
Thy wooded heights, Gallipoli
Gallipoli ! Gallipoli !
Australians tread Gallipoli.

Thunderous bursts from iron mouths -
Myriad messengers of death,
Warships ply their deadly fire
Watching comrades hold their breath
Gallipoli ! Gallipoli !
There's hell upon Gallipoli.

Serried ranks upon the beach,
Courage beams in every eye
These Australian lads can face
Giant Death, though e'er so nigh,
Gallipoli ! Gallipoli !
There's death upon Gallipoli.

On they press in endless stream,
Up the heights they shouting go;
Comrades fall; but still press on
They press the now retreating foe
Gallipoli ! Gallipoli !
The Turks flee on Gallipoli.


One by one the brave lie low,
Machine Guns, shrapnel do their work;
Brave Australians know no fear,
Never have been known to shirk,
Gallipoli ! Gallipoli !
Their names carved on Gallipoli.

Reduced, cut up, there numbers show
The murderous fire that swept thy field;
But still victorious they stand,
Who never have been known to yield
Gallipoli ! Gallipoli !
Thick dead lie on Gallipoli.

For days they hold with grim set grip,
Their feet firm planted on the shore,
Repelling every fierce attack
And cheerfully they seek for more
Gallipoli ! Gallipoli !
Their trenches line Gallipoli.
For thirty weary days they fight,
For Britain's sake they give their best;
With uncomplaining voice they stand
And neither look nor ask for rest
Gallipoli ! Gallipoli !
They've conquered thee, Gallipoli.

The waves break on thy wave swept shores,
The breeze still blows across thy hills;
But crosses near and far abound,
A sight that deepest grief instils
Gallipoli! Gallipoli !
Their graves lie on Gallipoli.

April 2013


Please help Mrs Bowry to establish the ownership of the Manor House on St. Margaret’s Green, Ipswich between 1660 and 1700.  This is before the Cobbolds lived there.  She is researching her ancestor Nathaniel Bacon MP.  If you can help please contact the Trust.

Peter Cobbold (#533 on the tree) who was Professor of Geology at Rennes University, France, specialising in Plate Tectonics and is now (since 2011) an Emeritus Research Fellow there, has been selected for an entry in ‘Marquis’s Who’s Who in the World’ 2013.  You can go to his website via the Trust’s ‘LINKS’

Susan M Roberts, Professor of Geography, University of Kentucky,is thanked for a lot of information on the Robinson and Cameron families which feature in our family tree.

Thanks also for similar help from Chris Heath in Canada and Simon Toynbee, on the wealthy Victorian industrialist Heath family about whom we will write a Cobbweb in due course.

On a lighter note…Rex Parkin

(#553 on the tree) who had a ‘tailors’ dummy’ figure was clothed entirely free by his tailor, Plenderleith, whilst up at Cambridge, on condition that admirers of his sartorial elegance were steered towards their shop on King’s Parade!

April 2013


This is a remarkable story of a regrettably short but truly action-packed life.

Sometime in 1923, Campbell joined the Royal Air Force and on 24th January 1924 he was appointed a Pilot Officer and attached to a Bombing Squadron at Martlesham Heath, close to Woodbridge, Suffolk, where he had been at school.  He quickly earned a reputation as a highly skilled pilot which led to his attachment to the Royal Aircraft Establishment at Farnborough.  He arrived when the RAE was working on an Airship Development Programme aimed at producing an airborne aircraft carrier.

In October 1926 Campbell and Flying Officer (later Air Vice-Marshal) Ragg took part in an experiment to launch two parasite Gloster Grebe fighters from retractable trapezes under the R33 airship.  Campbell was released first at an altitude of 2,500 ft and after diving for about 100 ft levelled out.  The Times reported that ‘The aeroplane, with her engine running dropped like a stone and then regaining control, MacKenzie-Richards performed a series of stunts, looping-the-loop, rolling and flying upside down’ whilst Flight recorded that the plane ‘gambolled gaily in the air as if glad to be free, at last, from the maternal apron strings.’  There was difficulty getting Ragg’s engine started but, he too flew freely, and both landed safely.  Later, both pilots’ Grebes were successfully released, flown and reattached to the airship using skyhooks.  Given the rudimentary nature of flying technology at that time the skill and bravery of those two pilots is exemplary.

As a member of the RAE Aero Club, Campbell won, from scratch, the first race of the day on 4th June 1927 at Ensbury Park Racecourse near Bournemouth flying a de Havilland Humming Bird, a single-seat ultralight monoplane, at 73.5 mph.  Sadly, due to two accidents that Whitsun weekend there were to be no more air races at Ensbury Park.  Two months later he was successful again, this time at the Hucknall Torkard aerodrome in Nottinghamshire where, starting from scratch he gained third place in the Papplewick Stakes flying the same Humming Bird aircraft (G-EBQP) over the 8.5 mile single-lap course.  His prize?  £10.

Campbell was killed in an experimental night flying accident at East Grinstead on 9th November 1927.  Leaving Croydon at 5.30 pm with Professor Green as his observer he set course for Farnborough but found that his compass was about 30° out and, unable to find Farnborough they decided to return to Croydon.  When they estimated they were overhead they lost height but were unable to see lights or anything they recognised.  With only 20 minutes of fuel remaining Campbell briefed Green on how to use his parachute whilst looking as best they could for a field in which to crash land.  Unable to find one, Campbell turned the aircraft and pushed Green out so that he was clear before pulling the ripcord, thus ensuring his safe landing.  Campbell’s body was found only about 200 yards from the crashed machine.  His parachute was open and the Coroner concluded that the airplane was already too low when Campbell left the craft, his parachute not having had time to deploy effectively.  He is buried at Great Yeldham, Essex.

Ironically, he had been married for less than 3 months but fortunately his wife was pregnant and his daughter was born at Aldeburgh the following year.

9th April 2013


His father, a relatively junior banker at the time, lost his first wife, albeit after the birth of a son and a daughter, only 6 years into the marriage.  He married a second time and within 18 months this wife and their son were dead too.  Marriage and parenthood were not going well.

Charles Cobbold, or Charlie as he was always known, was the first child of his father’s third marriage.  He was a fine strong baby with a healthy mother and only 6 years later a fine strong sister joined him.  Things were much better.  Charlie did well at Bradfield and won himself a place at Gonville and Caius College, Cambridge where he took up rowing, and won his oar in the 2nd May Boat in 1913; that oar later being donated to the Caius Boat Club.

Motivated, as many young men were, by that deep sense of injustice, Charlie volunteered immediately after the outbreak of war.  He served 11 months as a Trooper with the Hampshire Carabiniers Yeomanry before being commissioned into the Royal Field Artillery (RFA) in August 1915 and being posted to the front line as an Officer of 32nd Brigade on November 18th.

Some of his letters ’home’ have survived and they tell of a man who, despite being responsible for medium calibre guns and howitzers in the front line, and enduring wet, rat infested quarters, managed to care for his charger, bolster his men’s morale and remain deeply attached to his elder sister and her family.

Imagine the horror at home when the dreaded news arrived that he had been killed on the front line on 3rd October 1916.  The son and heir of a happy marriage destroyed in an instant.  A father’s dream shattered!  His Commanding Officer wrote of him: ‘We all liked him so much.  He had an extraordinary disregard of danger, and always set an excellent example to the men, with whom he was very popular.  His last words to his men were, “Don’t take any notice of the shells, they’re only strays and not meant for you.”

Charlie is commemorated on the Thiepval Memorial in France, at St. John’s Church, Rownham and in the Chapel at Caius College, Cambridge.

Anthony Cobbold
March 2013

April 2013


The Bi-Centenary of the Cliff Brewery, Ipswich was celebrated with a big party at Holy Wells on 30th July 1923.  Thanks to their granddaughter, Mrs Taylor, we have the invitations received by Mr. and Mrs. Osborne who were the publicans at The Grapes in Regent Street, Ipswich.  The tenants who were all men were invited to lunch at 1 o’clock and their wives were asked to join them at 2.30 for Sports followed by Adults Tea at 5.30.  The menu shows that they sat down to:


Roast Sirloin of Beef
Boiled Salt Beef
Suffolk Ham
Steak and Kidney Pies
Ox Tongues   Pressed Beef
Galantine of Veal
Fruit Tarts and Cream
Liqueur Jellies
Strawberry Creams
Apricots and Custard
Assorted Pastries
Cheese and Biscuits


Mr Osborne was joined at lunch by Mr Henry Heffer, landlord of the George and Dragon Inn at Farnham, Essex who at that time was the Cobbold’s longest serving tenant having chalked up 45 years. 

March 2013


Back in 2008 (see “Features Archive” – October) we wrote about W N (Nuts) Cobbold (1863-1922; #289 in the tree) who played football for England between 1883 and 1887.  As well as being an outstanding sportsman he was a classicist who ran a crammer at West Wratting Park, near Cambridge, to help young men gain commissions in the Army before and during WWI.  When not coaching the school’s football, cricket and tennis teams he chose to write verse, unusually, in Latin as well as English!

The Trust has a number of his verses and, in the absence of a willing publisher, has decided to print one a month in Cobbwebs.  For our first series we have chosen domestic topics but will probably move on to his military rhymes next year to mark the centenary of the start of WWI.

Whilst his odes show great affection for his pupils and his family it seems that their Seelyham, Ghillie, was ‘top dog’ as we shall see in later excerpts.  We don’t for one minute claim that his poetry is great but we do enjoy the very English, self deprecating way it brings a smile to our lips. 

My wife on the making of Odes.

Alas! Alas! I’m very sad,
My husband dear ’s fast going mad,
He writes an ode each single day,
Did I say ode? That’s not his way:
Each day he writes twelve odes at least,
But what’s far worst (he is a beast)
He makes me listen to them all,
Tho’ well he knows how much they pall.
His odes are here, his odes are there:
His odes, his odes are everywhere;
There’s nothing else one ever hears,
I’d give a lot to close my ears.
These odious odes, they ne’er will cease,
Till kindly death doth him release.
He’s odes on dogs and odes on war,
And odes which like a torrent pour
From off his pen, he’s done four score
In just three days and thirsts for more;
What can I do? Ah, wretched me!
I soon shall be as mad as he.

March 2013


Sylvia Stoltz

Before the ink was dry on last month’s Cobbweb “I’ve still got my marbles” we received the good news that the Church of St. Andrew in Little Glemham, which is Grade 1 listed, has received a grant of £115,000 from the Heritage Lottery Fund.  The local paper reports that the money will be used to repair the tower and a mausoleum built for the North family who lived at Glemham Hall during the 18thy Century.

Edgar George Gubbins & Dorothy Chevallier Cobbold

The Trust is grateful to Virginia van der Lande (#2008 in the tree) for the gift of a copy of a photograph album entitled ‘Bexhill-on-Sea 1916’ covering a holiday taken by the family of Edgar Gubbins (ca1873-1958 #345) and Dorothy Chevallier Cobbold (1873-1957 #344)

Surgeon-General Alexander Dallas

We are also grateful to Juliet Fullerton in Canada (#7986), a 5 x gt. granddaughter of ‘Big’ John Cobbold (1745-1835 #56) for information, particularly about the family of Surgeon-General Alexander Morrison Dallas (1830-1912 #6324)

Margaret Catchpole

Richard Cobbold’s Victorian best selling heroine continues to fascinate!  The Trust has just given permission for his watercolour of Margaret stealing John Cobbold’s horse to be reproduced in ‘Aldeburgh a Portrait’ to be published by Antique Collectors’ Club in June in time for the Aldeburgh Festival.

Leslie Rhodes

The Trust continues to be most grateful to Leslie Rhodes who voluntarily undertakes the huge amount of basic research necessary to continually expand and update the family tree.  We repeatedly get the impression that the family tree is the part of the website most appreciated by visitors to the site.  Our thanks to all those who have contributed over the years. 

March 2013


And it came to pass that in the land of Broughton that is known for its Church, there lived a beautiful hound of great lineage by the name of Zebo; and behold it was found that she was heavily with young.  Now when her time was accomplished she brought forth a fine litter of puppies of which one was destined to join the tribe of Cobbold in the High borough of Wycombe where she was much anticipated by two maidens, the fair Jude and the auburn Nell, both of tender years.  But, upon her arrival there arose in the household a great tempest as to how to decide upon a name in which all could rejoice.  Master, Mistress and children were all sorely vexed as to how to christen this new member of the Cobbold family.  Then suddenly the clouds parted and a great light shone forth which decreed absolutely that she be called, henceforth, by one name and one name only:                                         


March 2013


The marriage of Capt. John Murray (Ivan) Cobbold (1897-1944 #448 in the tree) to Lady Blanche Cavendish (1898-1987 #448) was the reason for a great gathering at Holy Wells (the spelling Holywells is modern) on Friday July 25th 1919.  Amongst the hundreds of tenants and employees invited were Mr. & Mrs. H E Osborn who were the publicans at The Grapes in Regent Street, Ipswich.  Nearly 100 years later their granddaughter, Mrs Taylor has kindly given the Trust some souvenirs of the occasion.

The festivities ran from 12.30 to dusk and included lunch at 1.0’clock with presentations (presumably of wedding presents), games during the afternoon and tea at 5.30.  Our pictures show the bridal couple with the groom in the uniform of a twice-wounded subaltern in the Scots Guards; the invitation; a group of the tenants and brewery employees; and a barrel race and pillow fight in progress.

We have been unable to find a picture of The Grapes which Mrs Taylor remembers seeing as a child and which she says was replaced by Council Offices.

The next festivities at Holy Wells took place just 4 years later in July 1923 to celebrate the bi-centenary of the Cliff Brewery and these will be the subject of another Cobbweb next month.

February 2013


This narrative poem, subtitled An African Story was written by Eliza Knipe (#58 in the tree) in 1787 when she was 23 years old and 4 years before she became John Cobbold’s second wife.  Her young idealistic mind revolted fiercely against slavery.

Atomboka is described as ‘the peerless Chief, high towering in his might’ and Omaza as ‘The dark-brown beauty often praised in song, herself well skilled to throw the certain lance.’  They fight a fierce battle in defence of their freedom to the cry ‘Lift high the axe’ but they are defeated.  The poem finishes:


A pond’rous chain they twin’d, and on a car
Of woven canes, beset with thorns,
In pomp barbaric, dragg’d them o’er the plain.
They heav’d no sigh; with patient scorn they brav’d
Insult and pain: the instruments of death
Pleas’d their glad fight; and on the tort’ring fire
They smil’d serene, and hail’d its rising blaze.

From a tall rock, a warrior-youth descry’d
A gallant ship that, bounding o’er the waves,
Spread her white wings, and hasted to the shore.
He gave the well-known sign. – On ev’ry side
Calm silence spread; exulting clamour ceas’d;
Av’rice prevailed: down to the sandy beach
They led their patient captives: soon the ship
Arriv’d, and paid their price. – Two changing moons,
Oe’r the wide earth, had spread their silver light,
E’er, from surrounding hills, the wretched train
To slav’ry doom’d were brought. – In silent woe
Full many an hour proud Atomboka spent;
While sad Omaza, with heart-rending groans,
Indulg’d the keener transports of despair.

The vessel spread her sails. – The distant shore
Now lessen’d on the view. – Still ev’ning rob’d
The skies in sober grey; and the red light
Of parting day scarce ting’d the western verge
Of the slow rolling ocean.  High in east,
The orb of night with paler radiance shone
And silver’d o’er the waves. – From the close hold
Sad Atomboka and Omaza stole:
The massy chain with steady care they bore,
That not a clanking link, with tell-tale noise,
Betray’d their flight. – Silent and unobserv’d
They pass’d the sleepy watch, and to the side
Of the tall vessel sped; there, stooping, view’d
The passing waves with many a sorr’wing look:
Then low, in fearful whispers, thus explain’d
The mournful thoughts that rose in either breast.


See, my Omaza, how the waters glide,
In sportive mock’ry by: they do not know
The harshness of captivity: No pow’r
Can fix a chain on them, or make them leave
Their native bed: but we are doom’d to roam
Far from all social joys: perhaps, beneath
Inclement skies, to toil at the harsh will
Of a capricious master, or endure
The painful scourge, inflicted by a wretch
Whose soul enjoys a fellow-creature’s pangs.


O never will we yield to such a fate;
No rather, from some high and craggy rock,
We’ll dash ourselves, and, in the barren vale,
Feed the fell tigers and devouring birds.


Thy fancy raves; where shall the craggy rock
Be found, when, chain’d to some strong stake, we feel
The lash of pow’r? methinks the gentle waves
Invite us to repose, and, murm’ring soft,
Say, ‘Rest, O mortals, from the toils of life!’


‘Tis greatly thought! Borne on the rolling main,
We soon shall reach that blissful island where
Our fathers’ spirits rest, and with them raise
The song of triumph. – Our insulting foes
Shall lose their promis’d vengeance.—


Hark! I hear a ghost’s shrill voice! It chides our dull delay,
And waits to guide us to the happy shore.

Sudden they plung’d, clasp’d in a fond embrace,
And, o’er their heads, the closing waters roll’d.

February 2013


In November 1995 Jim Cobbold (1925-2007) (#1845 in the tree) and his elder son, Michael came to Suffolk from California to tour their ancestral haunts.  Needless to say the Cliff Brewery was on their route, not the least reason being that Jim’s great grandfather, Arthur Thomas Cobbold (1815-1898) (#138) was born here.  Imagine their delight to find themselves as surprise guests at the first of a number of parties to celebrate 250 years of brewing at The Cliff.

Our picture shows, left to right, Brian Cowie (joint MD), Michael and Jim at the launch of Cobbold’s 250 Special, a 6% ale, brewed specially to mark the anniversary.  Traditionally, new brews and year beers are ‘named’ by a local personality and on this occasion it was Jamie Cann the MP for Ipswich.  Because of the importance of the brewery to the town it served, the coat of arms of the Borough of Ipswich is prominent on the label flanked by the dates 1746 – 1996 (illustrated).

Regular visitors to this site will know that Jim Cobbold was a significant donor to the Trust and that his family has continued his tradition.  The most recent gift from Michael has been the first bottle (albeit empty now!) of Cobbold’s 250 Special Ale saved from that party, signed by Jamie Cann, Brian Cowie and Bob Walsh, and, importantly, Chris Gregson the Head Brewer.  A little piece of history we are right to cherish.

Anthony Cobbold

February 2013


This fine portrait by Benjamin Wilson (1721-1788) said to be of John Cobbold (1746-1835) and his wife, Elizabeth Clarke presents us with two problems.

Firstly, where is it?  We would like to find out because we would like to do the decent thing and politely ask for permission to reproduce it.  In family history terms it is a very important picture.  We know it was offered for sale with provenance Nancy Lancaster, Ditchley Park, Oxfordshire, by Sothebys as lot 57 in London on 9th November 1994 but it was unsold and returned to the consignor.  All enquiries since have drawn a blank.  If any visitor to our site is able to shed any light we would be delighted and if, by chance, the owner was to contact us we would be ecstatic!

Secondly, it seems unlikely that the wife portrayed is his second wife as he did not marry her, Elizabeth Clarke (née Knipe), until 1791, some three years after the artist died.  He had married firstly, Elizabeth Wilkinson (1753-1790) in 1773 so possibly the portrait was in celebration of that marriage.


Anthony Cobbold

February 2013


Our thanks go to Gill Gowing (#650 in the tree) for information relating to her great uncle, Capt. William Archie Arbuthnot Middleton (#6833) of the 2nd Bn. Seaforth Highlanders who died at Ypres on 25th April 1915 but is remembered on panel 38 of the Menin Gate.

Thanks also to Christine Brunsden for information relating to the Spooner family (#184/185) and the Fonnereau family (#125/126).

The Keep Military Museum which kindly provided information relating to Capt. John Compton Pyne (#2091), about whom we wrote last month has donated to us a copy of Jeremy Archer’s book, The Old West Country Regiments, from Plassey to the Somme which is exhaustively researched and contains a feast of fascinating description.

Congratulations to the team of archaeologists who have unearthed the ice house at Holywells.  The house was built in 1813/14 and John Cobbold (#56) and his wife, Elizabeth (#58) moved in just in time for Christmas 1814 which happened to be the year of Elizabeth’s 50th birthday.  My guess is that the ice house was built at the same time as the house which was then known as Holy Wells.

Anthony Cobbold

February 2013


Fredrica Primrose Cobbold, CVWW (1901-1985) #383 on the tree, was always known affectionately in the family as Aunt Prim.  It was not only amongst her nearest and dearest that she was appreciated, for her chosen line of work endeared her to hundreds of thousands.

In January 1940 she joined the YMCA in Southampton and quickly rose to be responsible for 12 mobile canteens and a staff of 50 serving the needs of HM Forces in the Southampton / Winchester area.  She was there throughout much of the bombing and was dubbed a Southampton Heroine by the local paper for her devotion to what she saw as her duty to dispense tea and succour to the many who had lost everything except their lives.  The YMCA kitchen was destroyed by a direct hit one night but by dawn the following morning our heroine had borrowed two boilers and her normal service was resumed.  This was probably the occasion on which she went 3 days and three nights without a break.

November 1943 saw her posted to North Africa in support of the men fighting the Desert Campaign and she moved with the armies to serve in Naples and later in Rome and Perugia.  Her invaluable work and outstanding organisational ability was recognised by promotion to Assistant District Secretary, WMCA and by 1946 she was stationed in Vienna.  In February that year she returned home to Salthouse, some 20 miles from Norwich, for well earned leave but it was not long before she was back with the YMCA again, this time in Duisburg, Germany where she ran a club for the Black Watch in BAOR.

After two weeks home leave in 1948 she was off again to Greece where she ran the YMCA unit serving the Salonika Garrison.  In a poll, 9 out of 10 voted Miss Cobbold to be the garrison’s best-liked personality.  This was attributed to her quiet charm, persistent good work and genuine interest in ‘the boys.’  The report said her title was well deserved.  And so say all of us!

Anthony Cobbold

February 2013


I want to tell you the story of Sylvia Stoltz.  She lives in Australia, is 93 years old and my heading is a quote from her latest letter.

Actually, I only have space to tell you of a tiny fraction of her life – that part which involves our family history – so let me summarise the major part of her life by saying that during WWII she worked, governed by the Official Secrets Act, on a project in North Queensland researching the use and effectiveness of mustard gas in various weapon systems.  Although sworn to secrecy for only 30 years very little has been published about the research team’s top secret work except for one book which used a number of photographs from an album donated to the Australian War Memorial Archives by Sylvia herself.  Now, meaning over the last five years, she has been putting all her records, including re-scanned photographs, on to a CD as a permanent record.  From that letter I could sense the relief that the job is now completed and knowing her, it will have been a job not well, but perfectly, done.

Sylvia and I first corresponded in 1989 and she told me that she had visited Suffolk in 1984 looking for information about her great grandmother, Eliza Vale (1821-1902) who had worked for Robert Knipe Cobbold (1792-1859)(#100 in the tree) at The Rookery in Carlton.  Eliza’s daughter, Sarah Ann (born 1842), migrated to Australia in 1864 and married into the Stoltz family, Sylvia being her granddaughter.  I wasn’t any help to Sylvia but she has been a quite extraordinary supporter of the Trust’s activities helping, particularly, with information about many of the characters in The Gifts of Frank Cobbold as well as providing much of their background.  That help has been greatly appreciated.

Whilst over here in 1984 she confirmed that her family had lived in the village of Little Glemham and that one of her cousins had worked at Glemham Hall before it was owned by the Cobbolds and that another had worked in the garden and subsequently married one of the maids who arrived with the Cobbold family.  

She also learned that St Andrew’s Church in Little Glemham was in need of a new drape behind the font.  She immediately put up the money to provide it and later sent more money for an embroidered dedication panel.  In a manner of speaking the circle was completed by a service dedicating to Sarah Ann Stoltz the drape behind the font in which Sarah had, herself, been baptised in 1843.

Sarah Ann Stoltz (née Vale).  Born, Little Glemham, 1842; died, Benalla, Victoria, Australia, 1927. 

Copy: Anthony Cobbold, based on Sylvia’s letters (2013)
Photos:  Sylvia Stoltz (1984)

February 2013


The Trust is delighted to have received as the gift of Nicholas Cobbold, one of its Patrons, this picture of 6 generations of John Cobbolds.  If the succession of family brewers were to be committed to memory by schoolboys the jingle would run ‘2 Toms, 7 Johns and a Pat.’  These are, of course:

Thomas 1680-1752
Thomas 1708-1767

John 1746-1835
John 1774-1866
John 1797-1882
John 1831-1875
John 1861-1929
John 1897-1944
John 1927-1983 and Patrick 1934-1994

9 generations and 266 years:  A good score by any standards!

Anthony Cobbold

February 2013


Last month we claimed that a banknote we had purchased as being issued by Cobbold, Bacon, Rodwell, Dunningham & Co had actually been issued by Cricket, Bacon, Rodwell, Dunningham & Co and that the vendor had wrongly described it.

Here is the explanation:  The note was indeed issued by Cricket, Bacon, Rodwell, Dunningham & Co but they got into financial difficulty and Cobbold replaced Cricket and the latter’s name was blacked out but Cobbold’s name could not be inserted.

From our point of view this makes it even more interesting as it reflects the time immediately after Cobbolds joined that bank, but before the next printing.  Our apologies to the vendor, who luckily we did not name, and we reproduce here the note on which the blacking out is evident.

Anthony Cobbold

January 2013


John Compton Pyne (#2091) was a native of East Anglia being the second son of Rev. Edward M Dillman Pyne (1820-1901) (#2032 in the tree), the vicar of Nevendon near Rayleigh in Essex, and his wife Charlotte Sophia Chevallier (1821-1910), daughter of Rev. Dr. John Chevallier.  Hence he was closely related also to the Kitchener and Cobbold families.  A frequent childhood visitor to his grandparents’ home, Aspall Hall, he was sent to Uppingham (about 1869) where he was top of his year and passed first into Sandhurst by some 200 marks.

He was commissioned into the 54th Regiment on 30th January 1878 and promoted Lieutenant in 1881 in which year the 54th became the 2nd Bn. The Dorset Regiment.  As a subaltern of great promise, he was given a leave of absence to realise an ambition to undertake a three-month walk through the heart of Persia which he completed in 1884 carrying a skilfully played violin, leaving in his wake the vision of famous English troubadours.  In addition to his good ear he clearly had an equally good eye, for he was a clever draughtsman and a fine illustrative painter, many of the wonderful products of his pen and brush being in The Military Museum of Devon and Dorset in Dorchester.

Promoted Captain in 1885, he served in the Afghan War as Transport Officer on the Khyber Line of Communication and was present at the Battle of Candahar for which he received the Afghan Medal and clasp. He was at Staff College, 1889/90 and passed out near the top of his intake.  He was attached to the Egyptian Army Intelligence unit in 1892 and whilst in Khartoum was Aide de Camp to his cousin, Brigadier General Lord Kitchener.

Captain Pyne was defending the Ambigole Wells with a handful of men on 2nd January 1893 when the Dervishes attacked and killed most of them.  Pyne was shot three times and sustained sword wounds.  It is said by his family that his head was cut off and stuck on a pole at the gates of Khartoum. He was buried with full military honours in the military cemetery at Wadi Halfa but it seems likely the cemetery was subsequently flooded by the Aswan dam.

When mourning his untimely death Kitchener wrote 'Captain Pyne was one of the most valuable and excellent officers in the Egyptian Army, and there is no doubt that had he been spared his career would have been a brilliant one.'

Anthony Cobbold


January 2013


Fires in Australia.  Please spare a thought for the many members of our families whose lives, livings and possessions are threatened by the current outbreak of bush fires in Australia.

Doreen and Brian Cobbold of Geeveston, Tasmania had their house destroyed by fire a few months ago.  They were left with nothing but the clothes they stood up in.

We wish them and all other friends and family, similarly threatened, a safe recovery.

1996 and all that.  A letter to the Daily Telegraph from Austin Shorney of East Grinstead seems just as relevant today as it was then.  “Sir – One time of rod the child took heed / And early learnt to write and read / Obeyed his teachers, knew his place / Took care he did not fall from grace. / But then they thought t’would cause no ill / To wrap some jam around the pill: / So changes came, and now By Damn / There is no pill, but only jam!”

Recent additions to the Trust archive have included Martin Wood’s book The Unknown Gertrude Jekyll(2006); an advertisement for the sale of The Remaining Contents of Holy Wells Mansion; a post card, Cobbold’s Point, Felixstowe by Mrs Holford-Smith of Felixstowe W.I. under snow, and another of Edward Cobbold’s Patent Applications (1843), this time for Supporting and Propelling Bodies on Water.

January 2013

Five COBBOLD BANKNOTES, which turned out to be four

A Recent purchase

The Cox family had been bankers in Harwich, Essex since the 1770s when John Cobbold (1774-1860) (#77 in tree), already a successful brewer, entered a partnership with Anthony Cox in 1839 to form the Harwich Bank by Cox, Cobbold & Company which traded until 1893.  The Harwich Bank issued only £10 and £5 notes, of which The Cobbold Family History Trust (CFHT) has acquired un-issued examples of both probably printed between 1846 and 1887.

In Ipswich, Suffolk the Crickitt, Truelove, Kerridge, Duningham and Bacon families had also been bankers under a number of names since the 1780s in common with many other wealthy families who owned the 300 or so country or ‘provincial’ banks.  The banker’s aim was to confine his notes to the immediate locality, where they would be recognised and trusted, and hopefully remain in circulation for a long time.  Once outside the vicinity, the notes would gravitate to his London agent for redemption.  The CFHT also has a £1 note issued by Crickitt, Bacon, Duningham & Co just prior to the 1825 bank crisis, which was wrongly described by the vendor as being Cobbold, Bacon, Rodwell, Dunningham & Co.

The crisis saw the collapse of many private banks.  A major factor was the over-issuing of notes such that they could not be honoured if a number came in for payment together.  The collapse of one or two banks caused a run on the others and general panic set in.  The Ipswich Bank would have failed but for the injection of new capital by William Rodwell, John Cobbold (1774-1860) and his son, John Chevallier Cobbold (1797-1882) (#114) who formed Bacon, Cobbold, Rodwell, Duningham and Cobbold in 1826, the CFHT having an example of their £1 note No. 2033 issued 27th January 1826.

It seems that Duningham withdrew in the 1840s and Rodwell in the 1870s but the bank was joined by Douglas Tollemache (also a Suffolk brewer) for a few years in 1885.  Cox Cobbold & Co from Harwich merged with the Ipswich Bank in 1893 and the new business, Bacon Cobbold and Co soldiered on until 1904 when it was taken over by Capital and Counties which was itself subsequently absorbed into Lloyds.  The last banknote in the CFHT purchase is a £5 note, No. J4499 issued 24th October 1904 by Bacon Cobbold and Co signed by H. St. G. Cobbold (1871-1944) (#323) which is stamped to show that it was redeemed and subsequently cancelled by Capital & Counties Bank in Ipswich.

Herbert St George Cobbold seems to have been the last man standing in Cobbold banking terms.  His father, Ernest St George (1840-1895) (#199) had run the Woodbridge Branch of Bacon Cobbold and his uncle, Felix Thornley (1841-1909) (#201) had returned from his preferred academic life in Cambridge expressly to help out.  Herbert had been educated at Haileybury, was a director of a number of companies, married his first cousin, Evelyn Anna Cobbold (1873-1959) (#322) and purchased the Rookery Estate at Sproughton with some 48 acres.   After the take-over he became the local director and his cousin, Herbert Jervis-White-Jervis (1858-1934) (#1424) who had been working with him, joined the London Board of Capital and Counties.

January 2013


In wishing visitors to this site a Happy New Year we have chosen this picture of the Cliff Brewery in Ipswich because of its importance at the centre of the Trust’s objectives.  This building was at the heart of hundreds of people’s lives for over 250 years; people who were employees, friends and members of the Cobbold and related families.

On the back of the National Trust 2013 Handbook, referring to Quarry Bank Mill, we find “Not just buildings, but the stories of people’s lives could be lost for ever” Oh!  how we agree!

John Betjaman (1906-1984) tells us, “On the Death of a Friend” what lies in store for those we take for granted.  HAPPY NEW YEAR.

December 2012

Christmas 2012

Frequent visitors to this site will know that a number of family members have received at least a part of their education at university colleges around the world.

Our picture this year is of Tree Court at Gonville & Caius College, Cambridge, photographed by the President of the College, Professor Yao Liang, where Johno Cobbold (#1009 in the tree) is currently reading Engineering.

We wish all our visitors whether family, kinsfolk or friends a very happy Christmas and a successful 2013.

Anthony Cobbold and the Trustees.

November 2012


This post card was bought cheaply by the trust recently, probably because the vendor did not know where the memorial was.  We knew instantly that it was in the Church  at Earls Barton, between Northampton and Wellingborough, where the Rev Robert Russell Cobbold (#232) was the Vicar from 1883 to 1903.  Two of his three sons were killed in WWI.  Robert Henry Wanklyn Cobbold (#375) who was born in 1892 and had been Head Boy at Marlborough and gone on to St John’s College, Cambridge joined The Rifle Brigade and was killed at Flanders in 1915.  His brother, Edgar Francis Wanklyn Cobbold (#378), born 1895 also went to Marlborough, was commissioned into the Cheshire Regiment and transferred into the Royal Flying Corps in its very early days.  Almost immediately after his arrival in France he was reported missing near Beauchamps in January 1916.

Their sister, Frederica Primrose Cobbold (#383) born 1901 and always known as Aunt Prim, was particularly close to her brother Edgar and his loss when she was just 15 may have contributed to her decision not to marry.  She gave service way beyond the normal in WWII but that will be the subject of another Cobbweb later.

The third Cobbold on the memorial poses something of a dilemma and any news to help us solve it will be very welcome.  The only H Cobbold shown on the Commonwealth War Graves Commission Roll of Honour was born at Woolpit, Suffolk in about 1869, served with the Suffolk Regiment and The Rifle Brigade and was in the Royal Defence Corps at the time of his death on 7th October 1919.  He is buried in the Brookwood Military Cemetery in Surrey and his wife Ada was living at 7 Wycliffe Rd, Battersea, London at that time.  If this is the Harry Cobbold recorded on the memorial, why is he featured at Earls Barton?  Could he have been Robert’s batman?  They were both in The Rifle Brigade but it’s a very long shot!

Anthony Cobbold
© 2012 The Cobbold Family History Trust

November 2012


The trust is full of admiration for Peter Ernest Cobbold (born 1932) who married his Jamaican-born first wife, Joyce in Portsmouth in February 1957.  They had three sons, Stefan, Peter and Nicholas and the family emigrated from Jamaica to Canada in 1974.  All three sons are now married and Peter has ‘retired’ with Jan Shilletto to South Shore, Nova Scotia where she is at the centre of the arts community and where Peter is the Founder and President Emeritus of the Athenaeum Society of Nova Scotia.  The society, named after its British eponym, meets monthly so that its members can enjoy the huge reservoir of retired expert and professorial talent that lives nearby.  Typically presentations last 45-60 minutes and afterwards attendees have a chance to talk further with eminent speakers over coffee and cookies.  What a wonderfully civilised arrangement!

 Our picture shows Peter, on the right, with Richard (Dick) Temple Chevallier Cobbold (#111) from Ottawa who visited in 2009


© 2012 The Cobbold Family History Trust

November 2012


“Ipswich belongs to the Cobbolds” was an election taunt not unfamiliar in the third quarter of the 19th Century to which I am glad to say the family always replied “No, the Cobbolds belong to Ipswich.”

I was reminded of this as it was quoted in a rather unusual book acquired by the trust recently.  Originally the book had been a club or society handbook listing members and rules but the owner, a Mr Elkington of Ipswich, had pasted galley proofs from the East Anglian Daily Times onto the pages to record what he called ‘Memoirs’ of J C Cobbold, T C Cobbold*, H G Bristo and, added as an afterthought, Frank Ransome.  How he had access to galley proofs, dated 7th October 1882 is not known but perhaps he was an employee of the paper.  He certainly had a developed civic interest because the first 28 pages of his book record the death and subsequent funeral of the High Steward of the Borough, John Chevallier Cobbold (#114) who had also been Member of Parliament for Ipswich for 21 years.

The account is a full one, recounting in astonishing detail not only the lives  and business dealings of his father and grandfather, but also stories of the quite extraordinary electoral shenanigans which seem to have been common-place at that time.  The funeral itself was a huge affair; some 8 carriages carrying the chief mourners with a further two carrying domestic staff and, following on foot, large numbers of members representing, inter alia, The Shipwrecked Seaman’s Society, The Licensed Victuallers’ Association, The Independent Order of Oddfellows, The Ancient Order of Foresters, The Ipswich Waterworks Company, The Mechanics’ Institute and Gentlemen of the Learned Professions.  The Corporation of Harwich (headed by two Mace-Sergeants with veiled mace), The Corporation of Ipswich (headed by the Town Crier and two Mace-Sergeants with veiled mace) and 16 Clergy preceded the funeral car.  There followed some 21 private carriages and, again on foot, employees of Bacon, Cobbold and Co.’s Bank, Cliff Brewery and the timber-yard and farm.

Those who know Ipswich will readily appreciate the scale of this event when they learn that the procession started from Holy Wells, moved to St Mary-le-Tower and finished at the Cemetery where John Chevallier Cobbold was laid to rest in a solid  oak coffin fashioned by his own carpenters. 

With this book the Trust also acquired the text of two sermons preached in memory of the Borough’s recently deceased High Steward at the time of his funeral.  In sharp contrast to today’s practice the name of the departed gentleman was not mentioned once!
*Thomas Clement Cobbold (#191)

Anthony Cobbold
© 2012 The Cobbold Family History Trust

November 2012


SETTLING THE BILL, The Memoirs of Bill Dougdale (Endeavour, London 2011) includes the story of how Paul Freyberg (#2079) came to meet the Pope.

‘The next excitement was a private audience with Pope Pius XII (Pacelli).  My fellow Grenadier Paul Freyberg had been captured at Anzio and, whilst being marched to captivity, had hurled himself from a bridge over a stream, and hid in a culvert underneath.  He was lucky as my old mucker, Anthony Courage, who was ahead of him in the column looked round and, seeing Paul gone, had made a run for it and was shot by the German escort.  Anyway Paul lay low and, walking by night, got into the Vatican City and was hidden by the British Ambassador’s butler in a cellar to priests’ houses.  He turned up, after the fall of Rome, looking like a cross between an opera singer and a gangster.  His mother, Lady Freyberg (#3175), married to Sir Bernard Freyberg, (#3174) the general commanding the New Zealand Corps, thought he ought to thank the Pope for his stay, so an audience was arranged.’

‘It was a private audience and so, after attending the public one (where we saw the Pope carried in on his sedilia by the Noble Guard of distinguished bearded Romans, in black tail coats and decorations, and snapped by hundreds of GIs shouting, “Aw, hold it Popey!”), we were escorted down the corridor to one of the private audience chambers, and awaited the arrival of the Pontiff.  There were about ten of these private audience chambers, each with a prie-dieu and a small altar and crucifix.  After about forty minutes, the door was thrown open and there stood the Pope; tall (over six foot), thin and wearing pancake-white makeup.  He spoke to Paul and Lady Freyberg in perfect English but, when they replied, it was clear he was not nearly so good at understanding what was said to him.  Anyway, the audience lasted for about ten minutes and then he beckoned us to our knees, blessed us, and proceeded on his way to the next audience.  Afterwards, Paul and Lady Freyberg took us off to the Orso restaurant where we celebrated the audience in fine style all afternoon.’

© 2012 The Cobbold Family History Trust
Excerpt © 2011 Sir William Dugdale

October 2012


Lady Evelyn Cobbold (1867-1963), eldest child of the Earl and Countess of Dunmore and sometime wife of John Dupuis Cobbold (1861-1929) wrote three books herself and has been the subject of a good many articles reporting mainly on her conversion to Islam and her completion of the Hajj at the age of 66.  She was a great sportswoman and chatelaine of the Glencarron Estate in Wester Ross which explains her liking for the fine Scottish tweed skirts for which she became well known.

That she was a lady of good taste has been confirmed just recently by Roberto Verboon who contacted the Trust from Holland to say that he had recently acquired a Rolls Royce, previously the property of Lady Evelyn.  He has generously sent us photographs of the car and given us a little of its history.

It is a 20/25 model having chassis number GHW33 and registration plate JJ 1492 fitted with a Thrupp & Maberly, D-back, enclosed drive, limousine body.  It was ordered in 1932 and delivered to Lady Evelyn at 24 Mount Row, roughly half way between Grosvenor and Berkeley Squares, on 5th January 1933.  Her chauffeur, despite the strictest instructions to the contrary, tried to carry out some maintenance on the car whilst in Scotland and being unable to reassemble the components caused a Rolls Royce fitter to be despatched from London at great expense.  Needless to say, he lost his job!

Lady Evelyn only kept the car for about 4 years but it stayed in this country until 1976 when it was sold to Holland and used as a wedding car until its latest acquisition.  It has been re-upholstered and was black all over when first sold but that apart is in original condition and running well.

Our thanks to Roberto Verboon and our best wishes for his future enjoyment of the car.

Lady Evelyn is # 308 and John Dupuis Cobbold is # 307 on the family tree.

© 2012 The Cobbold Family History Trust

October 2012


Back in 2011, before Plymouth College in South Devon, achieved Olympic fame through students Ruta Meilutyte (Gold) and Tom Daley (Bronze), Jonathan Shields, the Business Teacher was encouraging a small group of 17 year old student entrepreneurs to develop an idea which, in common with many of the best things in life, was ridiculously simple.

To help get people out of their comfortable cars and into the countryside the team, which started 30 strong but soon diminished to 6 or 8, decided to map and publish family-friendly walks which could be easily accessed from rural branch rail lines.  The team had noticed that branch lines were becoming increasingly popular and as some members had been participants in Plymouth College’s successful Ten Tors teams, trails became a natural choice, in both senses!

But this was a Young Enterprise Competition so having nailed their idea they had to form a company, Platform Limited; raise money by selling shares; produce a product; sell it and make a profit.  Feverish activity followed as they walked each trail, found (and no doubt sampled) each pub, mapped the routes and put it all onto computer in print-ready form.  Their first book, the Plymouth and South East Cornwall Edition (9 walks), which arrived at Waterstones and on Amazon earlier this year, cleverly promoted by endorsements from Michael Palin and Chris Tarrant, has already gone to a second edition.

The second book, another 9 walks, but this time with a blue cover is the Truro and West Cornwall Edition and it is understood that a third is on the way offering routes out of Exeter.  The team won successive rounds of the Young Enterprise Competition but that is far from the end of the story.  Profits from the business are being reinvested in a Community Interest Company, Rail Trails CIC, having Katie Davies-Gregory as Operations Manager and Harry Cobbold (# 1039 on the tree) as Managing Director, which is already actively renovating and refurbishing a very neglected Gunnislake Station in Cornwall.  Others will probably follow.

The team has been nominated and short listed to represent England in the competition for the Best Youth-led UK Social Enterprise Award. Judging takes place in London later this year and we wish them well.

© 2012 The Cobbold Family History Trust