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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Redwood Appeal for Ipswich Arboretum

The Friends of Christchurch Park have launched an appeal to give Ipswich Arboretum its very own ‘mini’ Redwood Grove.  The Giant Redwood is the largest species of tree on earth and the Coast Redwoods the tallest so the choice of tree is spectacular.

Ipswich Arboretum was laid out in 1851 and opened to the public (the first to do so) in 1855 so the choice of venue cannot be bettered.  Given the Cobbold family’s long association with Ipswich in general and Christchurch Park in particular The Cobbold Family History Trust is delighted to be one of the first to sponsor a magnificent Redwood to the tune of £200.  If any family member would like to contribute please get in touch.

Thank you………

So much information is being offered to the trust and so many questions are being asked of it that we have a serious problem keeping up.  Firstly, apologies if replies have not been received as quickly as you would have liked and secondly it has become impossible to publicly thank information donors in detail so we show below the names of this month’s donors with apologies if any names have been inadvertently omitted:

Neville Cobbold
Prim Cobbold
Mike Cavanagh
Lesley Steinitz
Debbie Barnes
Adrian Howlett
Henry Spence
Virginia van de Lande
Phil Spencer
John Mansell
Mark Norris

Thank you all.


A Recent article in the East Anglian Daily Times by historian Dr John Blatchly looking at the life of Ipswich ‘Algebraist’ and newspaper proprietor John King junior included a Henry Davy lithograph dated 1856 of Rosehill House in which King lived as tenant of Alan Brooksby Cobbold (1830-1901) #166 on the family tree.  Today the house, divided into two, stands at the northern end of Sandhurst Avenue beyond a roundabout with what may be one of the 4 original Yew trees at its centre.

The lithograph includes two cylindrical observatories for which Dr Blatchly presumes Alan Brooksby gave permission and a free standing telescope which looks too small to have helped John King determine the distance of the sun from the earth which he calculated to 10 decimal places.

This house is of some interest to us.  It is believed but not confirmed that the house was owned by Owen Roe (1770-1825) #2878 who was a gilder, mirror maker and picture dealer with a shop at 2 Upper Brook Street, Ipswich. As it stands on slightly elevated ground it perhaps started as ‘Roe’s Hill.’  Roe’s daughter or possibly his niece Ann (1795-1851) #103 married Charles Cobbold (1793-1859) #102 as a result of ‘matched’ Valentines at one of his mother’s famous balls in 1811.

 The Trust has both the ‘successful’ Valentines and a silver snuff box given to Charles in 1839 prior to his leaving Ipswich for Edinburgh.  The reason for this move is not understood.  Charles and Ann had 4 children of whom only Alan Brooksby out lived his father.  Alan’s son Charles Augustus Cobbold (1871-1915) #169 was a Captain serving with 7th Bn. the Suffolk Regiment when he was killed.  He is commemorated on the Loos Memorial and his death plaque is held by the Trust.


The date for the re-opening celebration of Holywells Park, the stables and the conservatory has now been set at 18th July 2015.

For those who need reminding, Holy Wells (as it was then spelled) was built by John Cobbold (1746-1835) #56 on the family tree, in time for the family to move in just before Christmas 1814.  It remained the principal Cobbold home until the death in 1929 of John Dupuis Cobbold (#307), 4 generations later, when it was bought by Lord Woodbridge who gave it to the Borough of Ipswich.  No other family ever lived there.

The park opened to the public permanently in 1936 but the house was demolished in the 1960s leaving only the stable block and the conservatory standing.  These two buildings and the park itself have received a £3m restoration over the last couple of years which culminates in the re-opening ceremony on 18th July.

The Cobbold Family History Trust will be exhibiting at the celebrations on 18th and 19th July showing, inter alia, the Elizabeth Cobbold paper-cut Valentines alongside a demonstration of paper-cutting by Erica Bülow-Osborne and Loïs Cordelia.

That day will also mark the launch of the Trust’s next book.  First in the Cobbold & Kin series will be Holywells, Home of the Cobbolds by Clive Hodges in paperback format selling at £7.99.  Cleverly designed to show the visitor and the local community all that can no longer be seen it charts the life of Holwells Park from earliest times to the present day.

A set of 8 post cards will be introduced at the same time.  All carry images of how things used to be around 1900, framed in an Elizabeth Cobbold Valentine border.

Please put the date in your diary and watch this website for more details


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.


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.


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.

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.

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