Cobbwebs News & Views

Here the Trust provides News & Views that are of interest to the family and to a wider audience.  They can be downloaded as PDF documents. 

Cobbwebs stay in this section for up to 6 months. Thereafter they go to the Cobbwebbs Archive.

Cobbwebs News & Views

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BRADFIELD St GEORGE MILL 1906February 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?


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.


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.

GWYNETH (GWEN) ALICE COBBOLD (1887-1926)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.


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.


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

CHRISTMASDecember 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.


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.

SILKEN STRANDS ...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 2014November 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


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.

COBBOLD & KIN HERE for all to see ...October 2014

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.



SILKEN STRANDS ...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.

ELSA COBBOLD née VERDE (1925-2014)October 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.


……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


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.


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!


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.


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.

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