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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The Trust is pleased to report the following acquisitions, some by purchase and some by gift.

The Trust is grateful to all donors including those who have provided information for the family tree and material for the archive.


  • The album of Elizabeth Cobbold paper-cuts, originally given to her son, Charles (the gift of a very generous family member).
  • The Greater Light, a Compendium of the Life and Works of Martin Shaw written by Stephen Connock and Isobel Montgomery Campbell.
  • International Business in the Nineteenth Century – The Rise and Fall of a Cosmopolitan Bourgeoisie by Charles A Jones of Warwick University. (1987)
  • My Mother Told Me by Charles Chenevix Trench. (1958)
  • Gold Run by Robert Pearson – The Rescue of Norway’s Gold Bullion from the Nazis. (2015)
  • Akenfield, Portrait of an English Village, by Ronald Blythe, c. 1960
  • Poems by Mrs Elizabeth Cobbold (1825) with Bookplate of Felix Thornley Cobbold.
  • Line upon Line Russian Reader by Col. Jamieson FGS, Indian Army (1847-1924)
  • Born to New Zealand, A Biography of Jane Maria Atkinson (1989)
  • The Secret Art of Lobbying by Darcy Nicolle (2019)
  • Collotypes of Ipswich and Felixstowe. C. 1900
  • Carol Christmas by Joan Cobbold, Music edition, (1941)
  • Ipswich, “A town to be proud of”, published by the Ipswich Society.
  • Joint Line, Spring 2020, journal of the Midland & Great Northern Joint Railway Society.
  • Patent Application 1838 No. 7632 for manufacture of Gas etc. by Edward Cobbold.
  • A Statistical, Historical and Political Description of the Colony of New South Wales (1819)


Tributes have continued to pour in following the death of legendary Ipswich Town patron and former director Major Philip Hope-Cobbold (1943-2020) #577

Renowned across Suffolk not only for his passion for his beloved club but also for his warmth and generosity, he was the last of a long line of Cobbolds to serve on the club’s board.  His family had helped form the club and paved the way for domestic and European glory.  He attended his first game at Portman Road as a young boy in 1950 alongside his uncle ‘Mr John’ and was appointed a director in 1995.  Tributes have come from around the sporting world, with those who hold Town close to their hearts wanting to share their fond memories.  Ipswich Town director and friend, Richard Moore said Philip’s spirit must be kept alive at the club and recalled fans’ joy at meeting him on away days particularly during Ipswich’s European heyday.  “In the spirit of Ipswich Town Football Club we must keep him alive and treasure those special moments.”  TalkSport presenter Georgie Bingham, an Ipswich Town fan, said Mr Hope-Cobbold “epitomised” what Ipswich was.  “This man was the life and soul of every gathering he was at and a very old family friend” she said.  Former Ipswich captain Matt Holland added: “Incredibly sad news.  What a fantastic man with a great sense of humour who will be deeply missed by all the Ipswich Town family.”

The East Anglian Daily Times, from which the above is extracted went on:

Family History

No family has played such an instrumental role in the history of Ipswich – and Suffolk – quite like the Cobbolds.  Their association with the region stretches hundreds of years after the first Cobbold brewery opened in Harwich in 1723, before moving to Cliff Lane in Ipswich in 1746.  The brewery would later merge with Tollemache in 1957 to become the famous Tolly Cobbold brewery, which eventually became part of Greene King in 2005.  Away from beer, the philanthropists are well known for their role in securing the future of Christchurch Park, with Felix Thornley Cobbold (1841-1909) #201 buying the mansion in 1895, then at threat of demolition, and returning it to the Ipswich Corporation and the people of Ipswich.  They helped kick-start development of Felixstowe and funded a First World War memorial wing at Anglesea Road Hospital, as well as a children’s wing and a tennis court for nurses.  It is no surprise so much of Ipswich Town’s glorious history came thanks in part to the Cobbold family.  It was indeed the Cobbold family who helped form ITFC in 1878, with then Ipswich MP Thomas Clement Cobbold (1833-1883) #191 serving as the club’s first president.  Five family members would serve as chairmen.  A visit to Highbury, the former home of Arsenal, saw club president John “Ivan” Cobbold invest the funds to turn the club professional in 1936.  He died after a bomb fell on the Guards Chapel in 1944.  The family’s ties with the club continued after the war, with Ivan’s son John appointed a director aged 21 in 1948, later becoming chairman himself at the end of the 1956/57 season.  It was under his tenure that Town were crowned league champions in 1962, before a battle with cancer saw him step down to continue as a director in 1976.  Before his death in 1983, aged 56, the club had lifted the FA and UEFA cups and cemented themselves in history as a power house of English football.  The family handed over the reins to John Kerr in 1991 but have remained in Town folklore since. 

The East Anglian Daily Times’ summary echoes much of what The Cobbold Family History Trust has been seeking to research, record and safeguard over the first 15 years of its life.

MAJ. PHILIP HOPE-COBBOLD (1943-2020)July 2020

It is with the deepest regret that we report the death of Major Philip Hope-Cobbold (27th December 1943-8thJuly 2020) #577 on the web family tree.

His passing marks the end of a 142-year era. The Cobbold family has been associated with Ipswich Town Football Club since its formation in 1878. Philip’s grandfather, John Murray Cobbold (widely remembered as ‘Capt. Ivan’) (1897-1944) #448 put up the money for ITFC to turn professional in 1936. Over the next 55 years, 5 of the 6 Chairmen were Cobbolds.

Philip became a director of the Club in 1995 and remained in post until 2007 staying on as club Patron until his death.

He was a graduate of the Royal Military Academy, Sandhurst and served for 30 years in the 13th/18th Royal Hussars in Germany, Malaysia, Northern Ireland, Canada and Oman.

Since inheriting Glemham Hall from his uncle, Patrick in 1991 he has created a thriving events business there specialising in weddings.

Cdr. DAVID MARK FELL RN (1886-1948)June 2020

We are indebted to Dick Cobbold (1939) #622 on the web family tree, his siblings and many of Mark’s cousins for this biography produced during, and perhaps partially because of, the Covid-19 pandemic lockdown of 2020. The participation of every contributor across four continents is applauded and appreciated.

David Mark Fell (1886-1948) #3964, or Mark as he was better known lived in interesting times. Born the year before Queen Victoria’s Golden Jubilee in London he survived two World Wars seeing action as a submariner in the Mediterranean in the first, and as a Staff Officer H M Submarine Service at the Admiralty in Whitehall, London, in the second.

At age 13 Mark embarked on his naval career, albeit one can surmise this was much to the chagrin and disapproval of his father, Sir Arthur (1850-1934) #4583, who is on record decrying the military life as too much time wasted and laying about idle, albeit perhaps this was in reference to the Army, since there is a picture of Mark age 4 or so in a sailor suit.

Mark enrolled as a cadet in Dartmouth, in “a training ship” in 1899 or 1900. We know this was HMS Britannia, the RN officer training establishment in the 1800s to 1905. This Britannia (ex-HMS Prince of Wales), a wooden 3-deck ship-of-the-line was the fourth such ship to bear this name, having served as a battleship in the early-1800s. She was retired as a training ship in Portsmouth in 1864 before being moved first to Portland and then finally to Dartmouth, until in turn being retired in 1905 and the Britannia Royal Naval College then being sited ashore. The training syllabus focused on mathematics and seamanship, although other topics were included and varied over time, with the training lasting typically for two years. As we know from naval training, the syllabus would also have included navigation, both celestial and pilotage. Another ship from 1864 onward, a 2-decker “Hindostan” was moored end-to-end with HMS Britannia with a gangway to provide accommodation for the cadets. RN officer training course was 2 years, so it is assumed that Mark graduated from HMS Britannia as a midshipman at age 15 in 1902. Subsequent training of RN officers was then at the Britannia Royal Naval College in Dartmouth, that we know today.

It is thought that Mark joined the RN submarine service around 1911 with a spell on HMS Mercury for submarine training. His first child, Phoebe (1912-1997) #489 was born 19 July 1912 in Southsea, adjacent to Portsmouth, where Gosport is the submarine base. It is known he served in submarines in Scotland and research documents provided his progression through the officer ranks. He spent several years at sea in surface ships and even major warships gaining experience and expertise in navigation, watch keeping, seamanship, communications, mines and leadership skills. His record of service shows:

Midshipman1903 HMS Cornwallis- Battleship
Sub Lieutenant1905 HMS Roxburgh- Cruiser
Lieutenant1909 HMS Talbot-Cruiser
1911 HMS Mercury- Depot Ship
Submarine training- Portsmouth
Lieutenant1913 submarine A12- Ardrossan
1915 H-Class (H-2)- Canada/Italy
Lieutenant Commander
(promoted 29 Aug 1917)
1915-1917 sub Flotilla- Brindisi

1918/19? E31-Harwich

Retired1925/26- Tauranga, New Zealand
Commander1939 (exact date?) London
Retired1944- Gobions, Essex

Mark is listed among the officers in HMS Mercury 2 April 1911, located in Portsmouth harbour. (See picture with more than 20 submarines nearby and Admiral Lord Nelson’s HMS Victory in left background). HMS Mercury was a Submarine Depot Ship, reclassified from previous service as an IRIS 2nd class cruiser.

His whereabouts post war before leaving for New Zealand are sketchy. The information above shows his post war commands and Chatham dockyard postings but exact dates are not known. There are pictures of Mark and family in Dedham, Essex with Peter (1921-1979) #6922 about 2 years old, putting the picture about 1923. Dedham is 12 miles west of Harwich so it is possible Mark was in command E31 in Harwich at the time. It is possible he was elsewhere and only in early post war days was in Dedham, commuting on weekends from Portsmouth or Chatham.

Another documented early career record of Mark is in “The Disposition of RN Submarines at the outbreak of War, 4 August 1914”, JD Perkins. This listing shows Lt. David Mark Fell HMS Pactolus, Ardrossan (9th Flotilla), in command submarine A12. Ardrossan is approximately 25 miles SW of Glasgow on the Scottish west coast. So, we know he had risen through officer ranks to Lieutenant by 1909 and was probably fairly senior in the rank of Lt. at the time of assuming command A12 in 1913. Mark is shown as a Lieutenant Commander in 1915/16 while operating in the Adriatic and Dardanelles campaign, while research shows his official promotion date in 1917.

In 1915 the Royal Navy initiated its H-Boat Submarine Project with the first keel being laid down in Canada on 11th January. Despite the very ‘Colonial Autocratic’ behaviour of the British Government the project was a big success, with the first 2 boats H-1 (Lt Wilfred Pirie) and H-2 (Mark Fell) finished first on budget and on-time, with commissioning in Quebec City on 25 May 1915 and H-3 and H-4 following a month later….wow, compare that to today’s cost and schedule overruns on modern weapon systems! Another 6 H-boats were built for the Royal Navy in the contracted batch of 10, and 8 more were built in rapid succession and delivered to the Italian navy in 1916.

Mark Fell sailed from St. Johns Newfoundland in command of H-2, crossed the Atlantic to Gibraltar, in what is deemed the first crossing west to east of the Atlantic by a submarine. His wife, Clare (1891-1981) #3965 was in Teignmouth, Devon, England in 1915 but made a trip to see Mark, arriving in July in Gibraltar and departing in September. It looks like their second son, Dick (1916-1977) #6921, was conceived on this visit. Mark then operated out of Brindisi, and in 1916 was appointed flotilla commander and promoted Lieutenant Commander during tenure at Brindisi. Clareand the young Fell family, augmented with the arrival of “Uncle Dick” in 1916, resided in Italy, Venice and then Rome, until the end of the war when Mark and family returned to England in the period 1918-25. Mark’s exploits and nickname “mad Mark Fell” from escapades in the Dardanelles/Gallipoli campaign 1916-17 require additional research. Mark in Italy was knighted by King Vittorio Emanuele III in 1918 before the return to England. The original citation/scroll (dated 15 Feb 1918) in Italian is in the possession of Jeannie Cobbold (1940) #3088.

1918 has Mark back in England having been promoted Lieutenant Commander. He saw service in H2 (400 tons), E31 in the North Sea around the time of the German surrender and then in the latest class submarine the L7 out of Gosport.

Mark, with Clare and his 4 children left Southampton 4 April 1926 in SS Ruapehu of the New Zealand Shipping Company Ltd. Various brief written comments about Mark’s time in Tauranga mention his farm and prize-winning cows. In 1931 Mark, Clare and Phoebe, before her 18th birthday, left New Zealand for a 6 month visit to England (April – September) to present Phoebe at court (King George V and Queen Mary). They enjoyed 3 summers that year, two in New Zealand and one in England! Mark’s sister Winifred Fell (1883-1978) #8512 was married to Jim Whitehead (1880-1955) #8514, Assistant Commissioner London Police. Phoebe’s uncle Jim led the parade of cars to Buckingham Palace, with Phoebe’s car immediately behind Jim mounted in full dress uniform on his splendid white horse.

Not a lot is known about Mark and his family’s time at Bureta Farm. Phoebe married Temple Cobbold (1904-1983) #488, 31 December 1932 (they were 2nd cousins), with her brother Tony (1914-1998) #4389 attending as best man. Tony apparently left Bureta about then in hot pursuit of a female called “Bubbles” and two years later sailed for England in 1934, arriving 20 Jan 1935 at the Port of London, age 20. He married Dorothy June Ada Warwick (1911-2007) #4390 in 1938. Philippa (1933) #619 was born in Mark’s Bureta farm 1 November 1933 with Clare’s sister Louise (1870-1951) #6892 also present during one of her visits to New Zealand. Louise left for England the next day.

Mark, Clare and Peterleft Bureta and New Zealand behind, arriving Southampton on SS Mataroa, 29 April 1939. Dick apparently left earlier to join the RN in the gathering storm days of WW2. Mark and family lived in Long Sutton, Somerset on a small farm, where the record for pre-war registration for rationing and other purposes appears. Philippa has recollections of “granny” Clare selling milk from a horse and cart and ladling milk from a churn before eventually moving to Essex. From memories and photos, it seems Mark, lived in or near Woodham Ferres in 1941, as he is seen here as a full Commander (3 stripes) with son Dick as a Lieutenant (2 stripes). Dick was in the RN Fleet Air Arm during the war, retired as a Commander and continued with his golf prowess. Mark commuted to the Admiralty, Whitehall, London during the war years where he was a senior staff officer, submarines. Somewhere in the 1940-45 period he bought Gobions farm and retired there in August 1944 towards the end of the war (VE Day May 1945).

Gobions is recorded as a very old historic farm located 4 miles south of Billericay, Essex. As mentioned previously, Mark and family lived in the northern part of Essex in the 1920s during his days in command E31. Mark and Clare, post WWI and WW2 lived in 3 homes in Essex and indeed along with Suffolk, this part of East Anglia clearly features prominently in the many homes of Mark and Clare, and later Clare after Mark’s death. Mark was an active dairy farmer at Gobions with a small herd of short horns and a pair of Jersey cows.

Phoebe and her 4 children, now living at Takapuna beach near Auckland after a break up in her marriage, left New Zealand in 1945. They sailed on a converted troop ship SS Rangitoto, 25 September from Wellington, transiting via the Panama Canal, arriving Southampton 5th November, 1945. The family was met by Mark who had arrived by train from Essex to welcome his daughter and family.

Mark and Clare left Gobions behind (about 1946) and lived briefly first at Woodbridge, Suffolk and then settled at 5 Wentworth Terrace directly across the road from a typical North Sea shingle beach and ¼ mile north of the Moot Hall, in Aldeburgh, Suffolk. Mark died very shortly and granny Clare stayed on for a few years, then briefly in Kensington before buying, living in, upgrading and reselling a succession of houses in Suffolk before settling in Bungay, Suffolk, with a brief interregnum in Hertfordshire to run a girls’ finishing school with Phoebe. Phoebe also had a succession of houses in Suffolk, settled finally in Bungay, where she lived for many years, before succumbing to a stroke, while visiting her daughter Ann (1935) #620 who had converted an old farmhouse into a delightful home, in Normandy, France. Ann moved back to England and lives today in the same Bungay house owned by her mother.

Mark clearly enjoyed a successful navy career and survived the perilous occupation and early formative years of submarine service. He was a proud family man with 4 children and enjoyed a varied life at sea, and adapted his livelihood to being a successful farmer in both New Zealand and England. Anyone who served during WWI, commanded several submarines in the dangerous German submarine infested waters of the Atlantic, Mediterranean, Dardanelles and North Sea, clearly had both the skill and the “luck of the Fells” in so doing.


In a Cobbweb dated August 2019 we told that, of the 4 large albums of fine paper-cut Valentines  left by Elizabeth Cobbold (1765-1824) #58 on the web family tree, one was already in the Trust’s ownership [that of Richard (1797-1877) #106], two had been broken up and sold off as décor items and that the 4th [that of Charles (1793-1859) #102] was on loan to the Trust for research purposes. 

The Trust is delighted to announce that the 4th album has now been donated to the Trust.  This is an act of enormous generosity by a very kind family member who wishes to remain anonymous.  The Trust has thanked the donor on behalf of current and future generations.  It needs to be said that the importance of these Valentines cannot be over stated and it is estimated that over 50% of Elizabeth’s entire output is now safely in the possession of the Trust or family members.

We show a portrait of Elizabeth and two Valentines from the newly donated album.  The portrait is that used on the cover of the Trust’s recently published biography

Elizabeth Cobbold Georgian Polymath.  Copies are still available from this website or by ‘phoning 01752 89449

Copies are still available from this website or by ‘phoning 01752 89449


‘The good thing about being told to stay at home’, wrote Shirley Fowley # 4230 on the web family tree, to The Artist published in Tenterden, Kent, ‘is that I have been doing a lot of experimental painting.  I decided to do something with my backyard fish pond, which is bordered with Bamboo (yes, I can grow certain hardy varieties of Bamboo in southern Ontario).  I started by applying the colour of the water using a large paint scraper and really liked the result.  I had tried to get a spontaneous ‘abstract’ and yes, Chinese feel to my painting, but as I tried to paint the debris floating on the water the spontaneity vanished from the lower right portion of the work.  In the same issue (July 2020), in her article ‘Be your own best judge’, Hazel Soan warns about the dangers of getting picky – that is my failing.’

This month’s star letter writer will receive a Studio+ Membership to PaintersOnline, worth £49.95.  Congratulations to Shirley.

The Hon Mrs Charles Kitchener (1924-20...May 2020

The Trust is sad to announce the death of Ursula Hope Kitchener, née Luck #1489 on the web family tree at Stafford House, Dorset, gently, on Friday 10th April 2020 aged 96.  She had the reputation, which preceded her, of being ‘enchanting’ and indeed she was.  On death she was described as ‘Naturally beautiful, elegant, vivid and loyal, an indomitable conversationalist with a mischievous sense of humour.’

On 15th August 1959, in Canterbury Cathedral she married the Hon Charles Eaton Kitchener (1920-1982), the son of Viscount Broome and grandson of 2nd Earl Kitchener, who had been a founder member of staff at the Duke of York School in Nairobi.  Our picture shows what a beautiful person she was outside, and a day I spent with her in 2012 showed what a beautiful person she was inside and the joy of dozens of friends and cousins at her 90th birthday party showed that she was loved and admired universally.

Those who say we shall never see her like again are right. 

Anthony Cobbold



This poem by Marian Jervis née Campbell (1802-1861) #2766 on the web family tree was published in a collection titled ‘Gleanings. Poems.’ in 1840.

It seems particularly pertinent at this time of lockdown when, constrained, we all thirst for more of the natural world around us.

Marian lived during the reigns of George III, George IV, William IV and Victoria. Throughout the collection, there are many references to the traditional poetic language of plants and flowers known as Florigraphy; the coded significance of flowers in the 19th century culture which enabled ladies to express what they could not say in words. In 1853 she published the partly translated ‘Tales of the Boyhood of Great Painters’ and in 1854 ‘Painting and Celebrated Painters Ancient and Modern’ in two volumes copies of which are in the Trust library. Marian’s son, Col.Henry Jervis-White-Jervis (1825-1881) #183 married Lucy (1828-1916) #115 eldest daughter of John Chevallier Cobbold (1797-1881) #114 in 1855.

Many of the poems in ‘Gleanings’ have been illustrated by her three times great granddaughter, Victoria Parker-Jervis (born 1963) #8700. Victoria was born in Suffolk and grew up in the village of Rendham near Saxmundham. It was at Felstead School that an exceptional art teacher, Trevor Goodman really taught her to paint and at the Chelsea School of Art that she obtained her degree. She is fascinated by the Topography of Suffolk; the bleakness of its landscape in winter and the colourfulness of its coastal towns in summer. Exactly this is illustrated by her painting, shown here, of Aldeburgh Beach, oil on canvas (58 x 83cm) used on the cover of Aldeburgh, A Song of the Seas by Tim Coates, by kind permission of the artist and courtesy of The Orwell Press.

Poem: I am never alone

I am never alone - at early dawn,
When the lark pours her joyous notes on high,
When the diamond dew-drop gems the lawn,
And the daisy opens her tearful eye -
I am never alone - with fragrant hair,
The spirit of the first young Hour is there.

In one loud paean our songs arise –
“Thanks to our God for the earth and skies,
“For the early dawn, the glittering dews,
“For the heaven of song, the glow of hues,
“For the life, the light, the love we share,
“Thanks! Thanks! For the thoughts of praise and prayer.”

I am never alone - at warm noon-day,
When the breeze is drank by the scorching heat,
When the lark has hushed his thrilling lay,
And the flowers shut up their odours sweet –
I am never alone – beside me lies
The Spirit of the Wood, with deep dark eyes.

My heart is stilled with flower and bird,
My soul is with that spirit heard:

Low, soft as summer’s breath arise –
“Thanks to our God for the earth and skies,
“For the glowing noon, the cooling glade,
“For the sweets of rest, the calm of shade;
“For the life, the love, the peace we share,
“Thanks! thanks! for the thoughts of praise and prayer,”

I am never alone – at evening’s close,
When the twittering birds bid earth good night,
When the insect hums round the laurel-rose,
And the bat flies in the dim twilight –
I am never alone – on bended knee
The Spirit of the Night-wind prays with me.

COVID-19 PANDEMIC and D3May 2020

‘What is D3?’ I hear you say, and ‘what is it to do with the pandemic?’

Work done by Emeritus Professor Peter Cobbold (born 1945) #10254 on the web family tree and others shows its enormous significance in the pandemic.

Current recommendations in the UK for D3 supplementation are woefully inadequate, and are predicated on what - decades ago - was found to be the level for the prevention of rickets. D3 deficiency is widespread but often unrecognised and has great significance in many chronic diseases, which has still to be appreciated in the wider professional community, let alone the public. Most researchers into D3 regard it as making a significant contribution to ending the COVID pandemic, providing recommendations for supplementation are revised upwards several fold. Emeritus Professor Peter Cobbold has provided a lay summary of this enormously important hormone.

This note is about the potential benefits of 'vitamin' D3 against COVID-19. The note was written for a lay audience but I find most medical professionals of my acquaintance were unaware, and took action personally.

What is “D3” ? It used to be called a vitamin. But nowadays the majority of research

papers, around 5000 per year, refer to it as “The secosteroid hormone D3”. D3 acts as a super-promoter to control around 2000 genes, one in ten of our genome, and plays a defensive role. And the majority of the world's population is deficient. D3 deficiency often goes unrecognised and is common in the elderly, the population most at risk from COVID-19. When I gave a talk on D3 to local U3A (University of the Third Age) several of the audience had their blood level measured with a test bought online. Two were severely deficient, but were unaware. The talk is here and covers the basics of D3 science and supplements, and shows D3 impacting an enormous breadth of disease:

D3 for COVID-19 ?

There is a possibility that D3 can help protect us against a serious, possibly fatal, bout of COVID-19. In the absence of vaccine or drug, D3 deserves serious consideration, especially as amelioration for the elderly who are most at risk of dying.

D3 will improve immune defence against the virus causing COVID-19, but the dosage is uncertain. Why? There is a long-standing disagreement between clinicians with a historical bias and scientists and clinician-scientists who take a more science-based approach. The key difference is whether D3 is a vitamin whose dose is to be determined as if it were a drug, ie minimal effective dose, or is D3 a hormone with a blood level determined by physiology. The late Dr Robert Heaney MD was a clinician-scientist with a life-long record in D3 research. In his talk he lays out the evidence that the physiological serum concentration of 25(OH)D3 (the routine measurement) is 100 to 125 nmol/L. The Vitamin D Receptor has evolved over 500 million years along with D3 so defining the physiological blood level should be a fundamental quantity in determining therapy, but is not...yet.

Heaney then defines the D3 supplements needed to get to physiological level in winter as 2000 International Units per day rising to 4000 IU pd in the elderly. His parting comment tells us his scientist team average 5,000 IU pd.

Physiological criteria point to a higher serum level than will be achieved by the more

cautious “D3 as a drug” clinicians' opinions. Most clinical trials of cautious supplements of D3 for flu have delivered uncertain results with a hint of protection only. However, when the physiologically-defined serum level is used to define 'adequate', the effectiveness of D3 jumps off the page. This Yale study compared the progression of infection in a population with 100 nmol/L or above, and below 100nmol/L (multiply their ng/ml by 2.5 to get nmol/L).

How does D3 combat viruses?

D3 is a hormone that controls expression of around 2000 genes, 10% of our genome. It has broadly defensive role and is important in modulating a host of chronic diseases. D3 protects from microbes by activating our innate immune system, the first line of defence before the adaptive immune system kicks in to generate neutralising antibodies. D3 promotes expression of genes for cathelicidin and defensins, which are antimicrobial peptides that destroy fungi, bacteria and enveloped viruses such as 'flu. Corona viruses are also enveloped and unlikely to escape destruction. Additional anti-microbial peptide actions in lung epithelia, induced by D3, are here (for experts):

Finally, how much D3 supplement do I and my family and friends take? It ranges between 2000 and 4000 IU pd. Our response to supplements will vary, but 2000 gave me 100nmol/L and 4000, 160 nmol/L, nicely physiological. It requires ca 2 to 3 months to reach a new stable 25(OH)D3 after starting supplements. However faster equilibration is possible, as in this talk:

Finally, this talk emphasises the enormous gulf between scientific knowledge of D3 and the failure of medical authorities to act:

For any Cobbolds willing to embrace the jargon, here is our latest attempt to raise awareness of D3 in protecting us all from COVID-19:

Dr David Grimes has plotted the Philippines data


- most UK elderly will be in the orange group.

Prof Em. Peter H Cobbold, PhD

(Univ. Liverpool, cell biology)




Arthur SyrettApril 2020

My grandfather, Arthur Syrett, was a lifelong, dedicated ‘Cobbold’ man.

Born at The Case is Altered on Woodbridge Road in Ipswich – his father was the landlord – it was beer instead of milk that Arthur first supped on.

Leaving school at fourteen he trained as an apprentice draughtsman, making detailed plans and designs, but the tuition fees were costly, forcing him to give up.

In 1926, and most likely with the encouragement of his father, Arthur approached Cobbold’s for a job and was subsequently offered the job of a drayman – this was in the time of horse-drawn drays. But it wasn’t long before the drays became mechanised and Arthur moved onto lorries. The hours were long and the work hard, but the country was in the midst of the Great Depression, so there was little to complain about.

Like many young men football was the sport, and it wasn’t long before he joined Cobbold’s football team. Unfortunately, a broken ankle finished his playing days. But he wasn’t finished with football. ‘Ivan’ had bought into Ipswich Town and turned the club professional in 1936 with Arthur sinking money into the club’s shares and so began a life-long commitment to the club.

During that period, he was offered the chance to train as a landlord. Accepting, Arthur began his ‘education’ at the old Mulberry Tree in Ipswich. It was about this time he met and married Agnes. But whilst at the Mulberry Tree, Arthur had the shocking experience of encountering a ghost! He’d been upstairs collecting a stock of cigarettes when a grey apparition of a woman floated towards and then through him! He came downstairs faster than he went up!

Having completed his training, and seeing no more ghosts, Arthur and Agnes took on the Half Moon at Walton, near Felixstowe, and soon began enjoying the life of a landlord in a popular country pub. Probably following the death of his father, ‘Ivan’ tasked his Surveyor, Cleere Cutting, to devise a plan to move the family silverware from Holywells to Glemham Hall.

Cleere approached Arthur and asked if he would do the job. It was agreed it would have to be in the dead of night and without a word to anyone else. Also, there’d be no pay and no entry into the lorry’s logbook. Pleased he had the right man, Cleere asked Arthur what he’d like for the deed. The answer was short. An original ‘The Cliff Brewery 1723 – 1923’ book. Cleere said he’d see what he could do but could make no promises.

A few nights later Arthur eased his lorry to a halt outside Holywells Mansion. Thankfully, no one was around as he carefully loaded the dray before hauling the valuable and much prized haul on to Glemham. A month or so passed before a small brown package fell through the letterbox. The much-cherished book had arrived.

Eventually, Arthur received his call-up for war service, though leave saw him return on the odd occasion. In 1941 Agnes gave birth to a daughter at the Half Moon, naming her Carol, but the excitement was short-lived. The temporary landlord had almost bankrupted the business and the pub closed. Being away at war there was little else he could do, and Agnes and Carol had no option but to go and live with relatives in Peterborough.

In July 1943, a son was born, and Arthur named him Ivan after ‘Ivan’. Sadly, he contracted meningitis and died just two months later. Knowing he was close to a nervous breakdown, ‘Ivan’ asked Arthur if he would consider being his batman. However, for reasons unknown, Arthur decided against. Tragically, ‘Ivan’ was one of many killed at Guards Chapel in June 1944 when it was struck by a V1 ‘flying bomb’.

The war ended and Arthur returned home to Ipswich to seek work. Cobbolds offered the pub back again but Arthur said no, and he returned to be a drayman again. Cobbolds generously offered Arthur a tied cottage (built at the same time as the Mansion) almost inside Holywells by the Nacton Road entrance. It was a gesture he was forever thankful for and perhaps reflects the mutual respect between him and the Cobbold family. Settled once more, four years later a second daughter, Sandra, was born completing the family.

Retiring from the drays in 1971 after 45 years’ service, Arthur remained at Pound Cottages. Agnes passed away in 1982 and Arthur in 1995, thus ending the story.

Finally, Cobbolds and Holywells have played a deep and central part in our family’s lives and continue to do so, though restricted these days to visits to the park. Sadly, the brewery is no more. However, the Cobbold name still resonates in the town having enriched many lives across the years. It’s an integral part of our local history, and one Ipswichians are proud and protective of.

Bob Pearson

April 2020

Photograph of Half Moon Inn (late 1920s or early 1930s) by courtesy of John Michael Smith.

VICTORY IN EUROPE DAY 8th May 1945April 2020

As we approach the 75th anniversary of VE Day the Trust has made a donation to the Royal British Legion in remembrance of the 13 Cobbolds who lost their lives in WWII.

“Let us remember those who will not come back: their constancy and courage in battle, their sacrifice and endurance in the face of a merciless enemy…”   King George VI’s speech broadcast on May 8th 1945

Corporal Albert George J Cobbold, The Queen’s Royal Regiment, 9th September 1943

Barbara Elizabeth Cobbold, Civilian War Dead, 8th December 1940

Private Christian Alston Cobbold, Royal Norfolk Regiment, 6th January 1941

Private Eric Donald Cobbold, The Buffs (Royal East Kent Regiment), 24th June 1944

Ernest Percival Cobbold, Civilian War Dead, 17th August 1940

Lieutenant Frederick Hardy Cobbold, Pioneer Corps, 9th August 1946

Trooper Frederick William Cobbold, Royal Tank Regiment, RAC, 22nd July 1942

Private George Albert Cobbold, Bedfordshire & Hertfordshire Regiment, 16th July 1943

Lieutenant Colonel John Murray Cobbold, Scots Guards, 18th June 1944

Peter Charles Victor Cobbold, Civilian War Dead, 1st September 1942

Lance Corporal Percy Leonard Cobbold, Corps of Military Police, 6th June 1944

Reginald Arthur Cobbold, Civilian War Dead, 10th October 1940

Major Robert Nevill Cobbold, Welsh Guards, 27th May 1944

For the Fallen

Poem by Robert Laurence Binyon (1869-1943) published in The Times 21st September 1943

With proud thanksgiving, a mother for her children,
England mourns for her dead across the sea.
Flesh of her flesh they were, spirit of her spirit,
Fallen in the cause of the free.

Solemn the drums thrill: Death august and royal
Sings sorrow up into immortal spheres.
There is music in the midst of desolation
And a glory that shines upon our tears.

They went with songs to the battle, they were young,
Straight of limb, true of eye, steady and aglow.
They were staunch to the end against odds uncounted,
They fell with their faces to the foe.

They shall grow not old, as we that are left grow old:
Age shall not weary them, nor the years condemn.
At the going down of the sun and in the morning
We will remember them.

They mingle not with their laughing comrades again;
They sit no more at familiar tables of home;
They have no lot in our labour of the day-time;
They sleep beyond England's foam.

But where our desires are and our hopes profound,
Felt as a well-spring that is hidden from sight,
To the innermost heart of their own land they are known
As the stars are known to the Night;

As the stars that shall be bright when we are dust,

Moving in marches upon the heavenly plain,
As the stars that are starry in the time of our darkness,
To the end, to the end, they remain.

To the end, to the end, they remain.


Putting lockdown time to good use I came across my Concorde Flight Certificate from 1992 plus my photograph of the flight deck.  I was working on an American project for the Evode Group (of Evo-stik fame) and was booked to fly out there when, a couple of days before, I was phoned by BA and asked if I would like a free upgrade on Concorde to Washington.  Being sensitive to others’ views I obtained my boss’s permission before accepting.

On boarding, and being familiar with wide-bodied planes, my first impression was claustrophobic but this soon left me when I found that my seat was in the front row and on the aisle with only one seat outside me.  This was occupied by a lady doctor who worked for Glaxo Smith Kline and she proved a most interesting travelling companion.  I recall that she had only one initial in front of her surname and it happened to be the same as her husband’s which meant they gained some advantage from combining their Air Miles accounts.  The seats were leather, very comfortable and the lunch excellent.

Taxiing, I thought the ride lumpy and I felt unsure of the strength of those spindly undercarriages but when we got to V1 that all disappeared and my anxiety was solely that the tail of the craft might scrape along the ground.  The rate of climb was astonishing.  I would have had no idea of our speed had it not been for the illuminated sign on the bulkhead in front of me.  We were not permitted to go supersonic until out over the Atlantic but it was not long before Mach 1 was exceeded.

I didn’t know it at the time but I was actually on board ‘Alpha Charlie’ the flagship of the Concorde fleet and only the second to be built, having been delivered to British Airways on 13th February 1976. Initially she was used by the manufacturers, BAC, to obtain the Certificate of airworthiness and for proving duties around the world.  By the time she was refurbished for passenger service she had completed 141 flights.  On 1st. September 1975 G-BOAC became the first aircraft to make four Atlantic crossings in one day and on 19th December 1985 she travelled at 1,488 mph, the highest recorded ground speed for a commercial airliner.

G-BOAC’s retirement flight was from Heathrow to Manchester on 31st. October 2003 where she is now preserved on public view in a purpose-built hanger.  During 27 years in service she had flown 22,260 hours and made 6,761 supersonic flights

Anthony Cobbold

April 2020 


If ‘The History of Margaret Catchpole, A Suffolk Girl’ by Richard Cobbold (1797-1877) #106 on the web family tree had been a play Thomas Colson’s part would have been barely more than that of an extra, but his single act of disclosure changed her life irreversibly.  Many will know that having been reprieved from her death sentence Margaret escaped from prison and was within a whisker of a new life in Europe with her ne’er-do-good lover when she was spotted by Thomas at the Sutton Ferry.

Readers will also know that Richard’s Victorian best seller was a novel based on a true story which has led to an apparently eternal debate as to what is fact and what is fiction.  Well, our research has shown that Thomas was 100% fact unlike Margaret’s lover, Will Laud, who was 100% fiction.  Indeed, as Elizabeth Cobbold (1765-1824) #58 said in The Suffolk Garland (1818) “The Ancient Fisherman whose character is portrayed in these stanzas, is not a mere creature of the imagination, but an eccentric being, once resident in the parish of St. Clement, Ipswich, by name Thomas Colson, but better known by the appellation of Robinson Crusoe…” We will come to the stanzas in a minute but first let us look at a book, published in 2017 entitled “The Fisherman’s Family” by Robin Colson.

Thomas seems to have had a reasonable education coming from a family which included his great, great grandfather, Rev. Thomas Colson (c1595-1679) Minister of Badley, Suffolk, who graduated from Jesus College, Cambridge.  Young Thomas was nothing if not creative and ingenious; he learnt to become a woolcomber and later a weaver but when the wool trade moved away from Suffolk he entered the Suffolk Militia and, while quartered  in Leicester, displaying his usual ingenuity, he learned the trade of stocking-weaving which he bought back to the county of his birth.  When this too failed, he became a fisherman on the River Orwell.  Needless to say, in poverty, he made his own boat from whatever materials he was able to salvage and Elizabeth Cobbold at the Cliff was one of his loyal customers.

A local newspaper reported him to have been attacked by a nervous fever as a younger man  which caused him to labour under the power of witchcraft, and so as to guard himself against its effects he constantly wore around his person a multitude of old horses’ bones, perforated stones and old iron.  Having some years previously drifted out to sea on a simple timber raft and survived Thomas was convinced of his maritime immortality so when on 3rd October 1811 his ramshackle boat went aground near Levington Creek he refused all offers of help.  Sadly, the boat was later found, but with no signs of its occupant whose body was washed up near Harwich Harbour on 12th October.  Thomas was buried the following day in a pauper’s grave in the churchyard of St. Nicholas. 

Elizabeth’s stanzas provided an apt description:

With squalid garments round him flung,

And o’er his bending shoulders hung

A string of perforated stones,

With knots of elm and horses’ bones.

He dreams that wizards, leagued with hell,

Have o’er him cast their deadly spell;

Though pincing pains his limbs endure,

He holds his life by charms secure,

And while he feels the torturing ban,

No wave can drown the spell-bound man.

Had he lived, Thomas would have been well pleased with his only son, also Thomas (1783-1845).  ‘Robinson Crusoe’ had married Elizabeth Goode and their only child, Thomas (junior), although born out of wedlock, was legitimised by his parent’s marriage when he was 12 years old and went on to become the Engineer for the Croydon Canal which opened in 1809.  One of his descendants, many generations later, is Robin Colson, author of ‘The Fisherman’s Family’ which tells the story of this successful and high-achieving family.  He lists 50 major civil engineering and construction projects, world-wide, in which they have been involved.

Thomas’ headstone reads:

‘Praises on Tombs are Idlely Spent

A Good Name is a Monument’


Simon James Staughton, always known as James, (born 1959) #1358 on the web family tree has survived a climactic final year prior to his retirement as CEO of St. Austell Brewery in January this year.  His tenure at the famous West Country family brewery founded in 1851 by his great, great grandfather,Walter Hicks (1829-1916) #14335 on the tree, started as an apprentice in 1980 at the age of 21.  Moving around the brewery and doing as many different jobs as possible, including brewing at 5am, he became the Wines and Spirits director in 1990 and was appointed CEO in 2000.

Since he joined the Board the estate and the employee count has grown hugely and the turnover rose from £10 million to just under £200 million in the last financial year. For British Airways St. Austell’s ‘Tribute’, an amber-hued Cornish Pale Ale is its beer of choice. James has often expressed his pride in his team which has won some 290 awards.  Most of this growth was organic, with expansion up country from its loyal Cornish base and into Europe and beyond, but it did include the acquisition of Bath Ales in July 2016 with its own brewery, some strong local brands and 11 pubs.  As James said at the time “Bath Ales is a company I have admired and this acquisition provides the coming together of two like-minded businesses.”

You might think that with this much business responsibility he would not have time for anything else but you would be utterly wrong.  He has been active in promoting Cornish tourism and for six years was a director of the Cornwall Development Company; he is currently Chairman of the St. Austell Bay Economic Forum which is busily pursuing 11 major development projects in the bay area.

During his final year James received two well-earned lifetime achievement awards, one from the Western Morning News at the end of 2019 and the second from The Publican in early 2020 to widespread acclaim.  Its citation read “As the fifth generation of a family business, at a time when traditional brewers faced some of their toughest challenges, Staughton has embodied a spirit that embraces change while holding true to original values.”  He has retired to become President of the company.

In the New Year Honours James was created OBE for services to brewing and to Cornwall and was warmly congratulated in his role as Renter Warden of The Worshipful Company of Brewers, of which he will become Master in 2022.  Back in 2012 he was appointed a Deputy Lieutenant for Cornwall by the Lord-Lieutenant for Cornwall Col. Edward Bolitho (born 1955) #8963 on the family tree.  Our congratulations on a distinguished career are not out of place.


“The practice which some owners have of putting their cars into ‘cold storage’ for the winter is sheer foolishness”. So thought Dr Philip Thomas Amys (1835-1911) # 10369 on the web family tree.  Dr Philip lived in Peterborough, Ontario and had ready access to the Kennebecasis River, a tributary of the St. John River in southern New Brunswick.  “Not only is it an exceedingly popular pastime just now” says the Ford Times “, but it offers a brand new thrill and combines all the best features of the other ice sports with none of the hazards”.

 The physical exertions of skating limit that diversion to a small area; ice boating is a dangerous sport, and no sport at all when the wind dies down, especially if the crew has to push the boat back to port.  Skiing is pretty rough travelling and is very apt to result in some hard tumbles; and tobogganing always means a long hard climb after each brief slide.  But the lovers of ice motoring declare that it is all pleasure and no discomfort.  There is nothing slow about the sport either.  With a smooth open stretch ahead, and nothing to steer round, the Ford cars in every case speed away from the fastest skaters and glide along independent of wind or anything else.

How times change!


The derelict Tolly Cobbold Cliff Brewery was ravished by flames on Sunday 23rd February.  Some 15 fire crews from Suffolk and Essex were called to get the fire under control.  The building, re-developed in 1896, was one of the best-known and much-loved structures in Ipswich.  Built in 1746, when Thomas Cobbold (1708-1767) #44 on the web family tree moved his business from Harwich, it was listed Grade II in 1989 and in 2015 it was included in The Victorian Society’s list as one of the most endangered buildings in the country.

After brewing ceased in 2002 the building came into the ownership of Pigeon Developments of Bury St. Edmunds.  Two or three redevelopment schemes were proposed but even those which secured a planning consent were never carried out.  It is understood that the building was sold by Pigeon in the summer of 2019 to an undisclosed buyer for an undisclosed sum.  Even enquiries at the Land Registry have failed to reveal the present owner.  Reports claim that three men have been taken into Police Custody in connection with the fire so clearly arson is suspected and one source thought that an insurance scam was a real possibility.

The Trust has received a number of messages of sympathy and condolence and shares the deep regret that a viable alternative use for the building has not been found.

ELIZABETH COBBOLD an astronomer too?February 2020

The Trust received a most interesting email earlier this month.  Here it is; do please read it.

Having just read Adele Mallen’s biography of Elizabeth Cobbold may I add ‘astronomer’ to the list of Elizabeth’s scientific disciplines?

My claim is based on a single observing report, that of a shooting star (or meteor) and one of her poems.

Elizabeth observed a meteor at around twenty to nine in the evening of 27 July 1806 while she was walking by the river Orwell with two of her daughters-in-law. Elizabeth wrote a letter to the ‘Monthly Magazine or British Register’ about it dated 12 August and this was duly published on pages 143-4 of volume 22 (September 1806, see scans below).

I think we can learn several things from studying the contents of her letter:-

  1. Elizabeth was sufficiently knowledgeable about the night sky to know a point of light in the gathering gloom of that evening was, in fact, the planet Jupiter. She was also aware when this planet becomes visible in the sky related to the time of sunset.
  2. She realised she was seeing a meteor.
  3. She was well enough versed in the observing of meteors to know what relevant facts to take note of.
  4. She noted the details of the meteor’s physical appearance.
  5. She noted that this meteors movement as being ‘extremely slow’ suggesting some previous experience in this field of observation.
  6. She has prior knowledge of the contents of this magazine, suggesting that she, or someone she knew, was a subscriber to it. This suggests an interest in the Registers content of ‘miscellaneous communications from correspondents on all subjects of literature and science’.
  7. She sought out John Bransby, a land surveyor, mathematics teacher and astronomer also of Ipswich, to discuss what she had seen. Also, by some means, she found out that the meteor had also been observed by somebody else in the town, namely a Mr. Stebbing.
  8. She claimed a high degree of accuracy in her timing of the duration of the meteors flight as she was, apparently, ‘accustomed to the use of a stop watch’.
  9. She re-enacted the event to check her estimate of the duration against three different stop watches.

In 1811 & 12 a bright comet [technically referred to as C/1811 F1] was visible in the night sky. It’s brightness peaked in October 1811, when the astronomer William Herschel noted it had a tail 25° long. One of Elizabeth’s poems was dedicated to ‘The Comet’ and is dated September 6 1811 as it was becoming noticeable to the naked eye. I’d suggest that it was this precise night sky object that Elizabeth dedicated her poem to.

I find the references to the stop watches most interesting because, as far as I am aware, none of her other interests (entomology, botany, mineralogy or conchology) or, indeed the family business of brewing are done ‘against the clock’.

Bill Barton, FRAS

Deputy Director, British Astronomical Association Historical Section.

The text of Elizabeth’s letter is preserved in the Trust’s archive.  Bill Barton’s view arrived at a very opportune moment; having an instinctive dislike of exaggeration in advertising and promotion we had been apprehensive about our use of the word Polymath in the title to Adelle’s book.  This revelation dispels those misgivings absolutely.

Adele’s book is available on this website    BUY BOOK


We reproduce here a one-and-a-half-page item from the East Anglian Daily Times of 4th January 2020, by Steve Russell. We hasten to point out that the headline is his wording not ours! He was prompted to write it by the Trust’s 15th birthday which, like us, he felt was an achievement of which we could be proud.

Hard copy of this article is available on request to


Here is the first review of Elizabeth Cobbold Georgian Polymath written by Adele Mallen and reviewed by Jane Dismore.

To suffer a severe head injury, and then turn the experience into a humorous poem, suggests rare qualities. In 1810, Elizabeth Cobbold, aged 45, second wife of John Cobbold, the Suffolk brewer, fell through an open cellar door in an Ipswich street, causing her family to fear for her life.  Details of the operation to ascertain her injuries, carried out without anaesthetic in her parlour at Cliff House by the Orwell, were relayed to her concerned friend and protégé, the artist John Constable, while another artist hoped she would not die because ‘there are few like her, she is an original.’

Indeed she was, as this fascinating and well-researched book makes entertainingly clear. After telling a friend in verse that ‘the wound in my cranium has opened a way/For the muses bright phantoms poetic to stray’, Elizabeth Cobbold picked up once more the many creative and social strands of her life that justify her description in the book’s title, A Georgian Polymath.

The energy, talent and determination of this woman, born Elizabeth Knipe in 1765, were remarkable and saw her succeed in areas generally reserved for men. A contemporary of Jane Austen, she was a poet, playwright, scientist and artist, celebrated for the art of paper cutting. Her ‘fierce intelligence and self-confidence’ saw her question attitudes to her sex and led her to correspond with influential and ‘perceptive men who allowed women more equality with themselves’. Elizabeth also excelled as a social hostess but, lest she be considered too clever for her sex and thus become alienated from her peers, she remained mindful of her maternal duties. With her wealthy and much older first husband, William Clarke, who died after just three months of marriage, Elizabeth had no children but she acquired fifteen on marrying widower John Cobbold, twenty years her senior, with whom she had seven more of her own.

Fortunate in having a wealthy and tolerant husband who gave her the freedom to pursue her interests, Elizabeth used her energy and talents well. Here are her enlightened scientific contributions and her devotion to writing in its diverse forms, whether Petrachan sonnets, plays or columns for ladies’ magazines. Among her best-known poems were lighter ones to accompany her exquisite hand-cut Valentines. In 1806 she began holding Valentine balls which became one of the highlights of the Ipswich social calendar, where unmarried ladies and gentlemen could look forward to picking from a basket one of her delicate papercuts with a verse inside that gave them hope in love.

Her charity work for infants and her kindness were part of her Christian life. A servant who famously benefited was Margaret Catchpole, whom Elizabeth treated with compassion even after she had stolen from her employers; Margaret’s story was recorded for posterity by Elizabeth’s son, Rev. Richard Cobbold. 

Elizabeth Cobbold died in 1824 but such was her reputation that Charles Dickens, visiting Ipswich in 1835, used her as the model for Mrs Leo Hunter in The Pickwick Papers, who ‘dotes on poetry’. Adele Mallen’s book brings to life this extraordinary woman who deserves recognition.

Jane Dismore


Jane Dismore is a biographer and freelance writer of history and heritage.  She became acquainted with the Cobbold dynasty when writing her first book, The Voice From the Garden: Pamela Hambro and the Tale of Two Families Before and After the Great War, which focuses on Pamela Cobbold (born 1900 at Holy Wells, Ipswich) and her husband Charles Hambro. The book was nominated for the New Angle Prize for Literature 2013. Jane’s latest book is Princess: The Early Life of Queen Elizabeth II(pub. 2018 Lyons Press USA & Thistle UK), nominated for the People’s Book Prize 2018.

Jane’s website is at 

Note:  If, like the Keeper, you are unfamiliar with ‘Petrachan’ and resort to your dictionary you will find that it means ‘pertaining to, imitating the Italian poet Francesco Petraca or Petrach (1304-1374)

ANDREW HUGHES HALLETT (1947-2019)January 2020

With deep regret the Trust has to announce the death of Andrew Hughes Hallett #417 on the web family tree.  Andy was a keen supporter of the Trust and its work and met up with us in Ipswich in June 2018 when he donated his mother’s scrapbook. 

Here is the family’s tribute to Andy:

Andrew Jonathan Hughes Hallett passed away at home on 31 December 2019, surrounded by family after a long and stubborn fight with cancer. Never one to give in easily, he spent the last seven years since diagnosis lulling family, friends, and the medical community into believing he was invincible. It would have amused him to think that he went out with a bang – literally, as he timed his exit to coincide with the start of the new year celebrations.

Andy dedicated his life to his family, economics, and Ph.D. students. He was born on 1 November 1947 in London to Vice Admiral Sir Charles and Lady Joyce Hughes Hallett. Following in his father’s footsteps, Andy enjoyed a brief foray in the Navy. Perhaps ‘enjoyed’ is not quite the right word, as he quickly discovered that being told what to do was not for him. Instead, he settled into a life of learning and academia; graduating with a BA (Hons) in Economics from the University of Warwick in 1969, an MSc (Econ) from the London School of Economics in 1971, and was awarded a DPhil in Economics by the University of Oxford in 1976. 

Andy made his name professionally as an economist with interests in international economics and policy, and in fiscal governance and monetary affairs. Andy began his academic career at the University of Bristol (1973-1977) before moving to Erasmus University (1977-1985) and Newcastle University (1985-1989). In 1989, he was appointed Jean Monnet Professor of Economics at the University of Strathclyde, a post he held until 2002 when he became Professor of Economics at Vanderbilt University. Andy returned to Scotland in 2007, taking a position at the University of St Andrews, and was simultaneously appointed as a professor at the Schar School of Public Policy at George Mason University the same year. Despite a full workload, Andy apparently considered himself underutilized, so he added positions at Kings College, London, and the Copenhagen Business School to his portfolio in 2016. Throughout his career, he also held visiting positions at Princeton University, Harvard University, Cardiff University, Free University of Berlin, and the Universities of Rome, Paris, and Milan. He was a fellow of the Royal Society of Edinburgh and a longtime consultant to the European Commission, European Central Bank, International Monetary Fund, the World Bank, and the European and Scottish Parliaments.

In parallel, Andy was heavily involved in the development of macro-economic policy, with a particular focus on Scotland. He served as a member of the Scottish Council of Economic Advisers from its inauguration in 2007 until after the 2014 Independence Referendum. He was a Commissioner of the Scottish Fiscal Commission (2014-2016) and sat on the Scottish Growth Commission (2016-2019), which was charged with designing an economic framework and supporting policies for an independent or financially autonomous Scotland. 

Marrying in July 1982, Andy is survived by his wife Claudia, his three children, David and his wife Kate, Jim and his partner Vanessa, and Nicola and her partner Mark, as well as his sister Deborah. As an economist, Andy often declared that his children had not yet shown a positive return on investment, but past performance is not an indicator of future success. Despite his extensive and successful career, he always ensured he took time to spend with his family. He instilled his love of travel in his children from a young age, often bringing them along on work trips. Starting at the age of eight, David was introduced on the conference stage as the co-author of a paper, Nicky provided entertainment during a recruitment event in the form of cartwheels in the conference room, and Jim received an official pass at the Reserve Bank of Australia as a research assistant. He also established a tradition of taking each of his children on trips around the world with the intent of exposing them to new cultures, educating them on world history, and giving them an opportunity to meet his other family members, his Ph.D. family. 

Despite an initial prognosis of 22 months, in his typical stubborn fashion, Andy refused to accept this and continued to live life to the full for an additional seven years. During this time, he set himself the task of visiting as many islands as he could. This included braving the winter cold in Iceland, a trip to Tonga where he almost got stranded on a volcanic beach, exploring a potential move to Australia, and an expedition to the botanical gardens in Hawaii. Due to a misunderstanding about closing times, escape from the botanical gardens with Claudia required scaling a 6-foot fence. Perilous escapes seem to be a reoccurring theme having honed his skills in the ’90s when he and David got lost in the Carlsbad Caverns in New Mexico, requiring an adventurous escape in the dark. 

After family, his three greatest loves were travel, music, and history, which he managed to combine in a journey to find Robert Johnson’s famous crossroads, the spiritual home of the blues.

While he might have seemed intimidating on first meeting, many of his former students and colleagues noted how open and welcoming Andy was. For many years there was a quotation pinned to his office door: “A mathematician is a machine for converting coffee into theorems”. Although in Andy’s case, perhaps the coffee could easily have been swapped for a good beer (Belgian, for preference) or a nice single malt. He also maintained that all his best ideas came to him in the pub, or in the shower.

Andy often commented that his extensive family of Ph.D. students was his greatest legacy in economics. His students have gone on to many and varied roles, influencing economic research, academic advancement, political and government policy, and business. Whilst chosen for their academic strengths, his students also had to show a strong aptitude for selecting suitable pubs or slices of cake, and a working understanding of the perils of the Comfy Chair! In the spirit of the above, one of his final Ph.D. students defends her work early in 2020, and Andy spent his last weeks supporting her academic progress.

It was Andy’s wish to see Post Graduate work in economics continue, and so in honoring his life work and combining Scotland, economics, and Post Graduate study, he and his family have endowed the Hughes Hallett Scholarship for Research in Applied Economics in conjunction with the St Andrew’s Society of Washington. D.C. 

The family will be holding a private service to remember Andy. A celebration of his life will be held in Scotland and another in Virginia. Both are planned for April 2020. Further details will be provided in due course. The family has asked that in lieu of flowers or other contributions, donations to the Scholarship Fund would be gratefully received via the following link:

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