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

Page 5 of 17

CHRISTMAS 2018December 2018

December gives the Trust an opportunity to wish family, friends and all visitors to our site a peaceful, restful and joyous Christmas and a safe and success- filled New Year.

It also provides a chance to thank, most sincerely, all our donors, supporters and helpers without whom the Trust simply would not survive.

Our photograph by Professor Sir Alan Fersht is of Gonville and Caius College, Cambridge, founded 1348, and much favoured by family members.  The college has three iconic gates through which undergraduates pass.  First is the Gate of Humility by which they enter the college, the second, at the centre of the college, is the Gate of Virtue through which they pass daily and the third is the Gate of Honour through which they file only once to reach the Senate House to receive their degrees.

Our picture is the Gate of Honour (c.1557) from Caius Court with the Senate House beyond.



Sir Roger Gibbs, #7647 on the family tree, was the scion of a City dynasty who transformed the fortunes of the Wellcome Trust, the UK's biggest medical research charity. Roger Gibbs made his name in the Square Mile as a popular, astute and forward-looking chairman of the Lombard Street discount house Gerrard & National. After an encounter with cancer in 1974, he devoted a significant portion of his energies to medical charities in gratitude for his survival, and was appointed a governor (trustee) of Wellcome in 1983. He and Sir David Steel were the only trustees from the business world - the board otherwise was comprised of scientists - and they oversaw the flotation of the Wellcome Foundation in 1986. A second sale of shares went ahead in July 1992.

The end result of Gibbs's strategy was that the Wellcome Trust became for a time (until the advent of the Gates Foundation in the US) the richest charity in the world; it was able to increase its annual funding for medical research such as the human genome project from £50 million in 1989 to £400 million by the time he stood down in 1999. At his retirement his deputy chairman addressed him as "The Wizard of Wellcome"

He was born into a family whose business was merchant bank Antony Gibbs & Co, founded in 1808 and originally concerned with selling English cloth to Spain and importing guano from Latin America; the founder's son Hucks Gibbs, 1st Lord Aldenham, #7511 was a friend of Brunel who helped finance the Great Western Railway. Roger's father Sir Geoffrey Gibbs #7634 was chairman of Antony Gibbs (now part of HSBC) and of the Australia & New Zealand Bank. His uncle Walter, 4th Lord Aldenham, #7632 was chairman of the Westminster Bank. Another uncle Sir Humphrey Gibbs #7636 was governor of Southern Rhodesia at the time of UDI; and his mother Helen #7635 was the daughter of the cricketer CFH Leslie, who played in the English team that regained the Ashes in Australia in 1883. Among Roger's five siblings was Christopher Gibbs, #7648 the antiques dealer and style guru of the "Chelsea Set".

At 17 he was moved from Eton to Millfield on what he called "a free transfer" in the hope he might flourish under a different teaching Regime; a gangly youth he was ruled out for National Service by a weak knee. In 1954 his father fixed him a job in the City discount house of Jessel Toynbee, where for six months he was a messenger before beginning to make his mark - not least for a facility in mental arithmetic fuelled by familiarity with betting odds. He became a director of Jessel Toynbee in his mid-twenties and moved to stockbrokers de Zoete & Gorton (later de Zoete & Bevan) in 1964 and again to Gerrard & National in 1971, later becoming chairman.

He was knighted in 1994 and the headquarters of the Wellcome Trust was later named the Gibbs building in tribute to him. Sport was another important aspect of Gibbs's life. For more than 25 years he was a director of Arsenal football club at the invitation of his sometime flatmate Peter Hill-Wood #6725 whose family were major shareholders there. His introduction to the high-speed toboggan track came through his Eton friend John Bingham, later Lord Lucan - with whom he shared a youthful enthusiasm for greyhound racing. In 1959, Lucan told Gibbs "We're going out to St Moritz to ride the Cresta. Why don't you come?" Despite a bad crash in 1965 Gibbs was a regular Cresta runner for many years and a celebrated president of its parent, the St. Moritz Toboganning Club, whose finances he also rebuilt.

In 2005 at the age of 70 he married his long-time companion Jane Harris.


The trust is pleased to have added the following to its archive and is particularly grateful for those items that have been donated.

  • Rev. John Patteson’s Silver Chest c. 1870 and genealogical information
  • Two A4 size colour prints of F T and J P Cobbold
  • A description of Botany bay dated 1819
  • My Village Stonham Aspal, parts 1 & 2, by G D Spall, 1988
  • Papers and information on the brewery donated by Peter Kent
  • Papers and history of the Bath Road Boys Club, Felixstowe donated by Michael Thomas
  • Papers and information on the brewery donated by John Moorby
  • A signed copy of Christchurch Park & Ipswich Arboretum donated by David Miller (Author)
  • A Cobbold’s pub ashtray donated by Delia Golding

Financial donations from Shirley Fowley, partly in memory of her mother, Peg Keeler

  • Marjorie Roberts,
  • Bill Humphreys
  • Rowell Bell

All very much appreciated.

The Trust made its usual annual donation to the Royal British legion for a cross in the Garden of Remembrance at Westminster Abbey. 

REMEMBRANCE DAY 2018November 2018

On Sunday 11th November, exactly 100 years since the Armistice, we gratefully remember the 37 Cobbolds and their kinsmen who died in World War 1. It is entirely appropriate that we also remember the 11 Cobbolds and their kinsmen who gave their lives in World War 2

The Trust has a commemorative announcement in both the Daily and the Sunday Telegraph which can be seen (from Monday 12th), along with the Role of Honour at King & Country.

We have also made our customary donation to the Royal British Legion who place our dedicated cross in the Field of Remembrance at Westminster Abbey

I’d like to tell you the story of one of our family members, Sgt. Sydney George Cobbold #9999 on the family tree. He was born in the little Suffolk village of Woolpit, with which the Cobbold family had a long clerical connection many years previously, on 12th September 1887. He was the 7th child and 2nd son of Maurice and Anna Cobbold. From early days he showed an interest in gardening and was employed by the local GP from the age of just 13 before going on to work at Sudbrooke Holme in Lincolnshire in 1805. Three years later he secured a job at Kew on the strength of glowing references from his previous employers who described him as ‘a most respectable young man’. From here, having passed all his exams at the leading botanical institution in the country he went on to Worsley Hall Gardens, Moorfield and finally Capesthorne Hall in Cheshire.

Moved by his highly developed sense of duty Sydney enlisted in June 1915, was in France by December and had been promoted Acting Sergeant by August the following year. How he survived September with the 8th Rifle Brigade, through hails of bullets, ‘friendly’ gas and horrendous casualties all around him, is a mystery. His luck did not hold. The dreaded letter from his CO claimed him as one of his very best soldiers who knew no fear and was liked by all. His death had been instantaneous and he had no pain. He and fellow riflemen Farr, Kittle and Gordon died together with Sgt. Aspden MM on 3rd October 1916. Sydney lies among comrades at Le Fermont Cemetery beneath a headstone engraved at his father’s request ‘His Country called – He Answered’.

CANON JOHN PATTESON of NorwichOctober 2018

The Reverend John Patteson #5736 on the family tree, Canon of Norwich Cathedral died suddenly on September 6th 1902 whilst addressing his guests at a garden party.

He was a Mawson Scholar of Corpus Christi College, Cambridge, taking his degree in Mathematics in 1836 as twenty-fifth Wrangler. The following year he was ordained deacon and two years later priest. He was curate of Stalbridge, Dorset from 1837 to 1844 before being appointed to St. Jude’s Chelsea as perpetual curate. He married Elizabeth daughter of Sir Samuel Hoare in Edmonton on 23rd June 1846 and over the next 13 years they were to have 2 boys, James Carlos and Frank Eugene, and 3 girls, AliceCaroline and Catherine. In 1855 he was presented with the rectory of Christ Church, Spitalfields where he stayed for some 12 years. His longest incumbency was next as rector of Thorpe, Norfolk from 1867 to 1896; whilst there he became Rural Dean of Blofield in 1870 and honorary canon of Norwich in 1882

In the course of his 22 years in London he had to work through 3 outbreaks of Cholera in 1848, 1849 and 1856. He was publicly thanked for his self-denying sacrifices on behalf of the sufferers by the Lord Mayor. On leaving Spitalfields he was presented with a silver salver inscribed “Presented to the Rev. John Patteson, MA., by persons of all shades of opinion upon his resigning the rectorship of the parish, as a token of the great respect felt towards him personally, as well as an expression of the high sense they entertain of the indefatigable exertions he has made, and the valuable services he has rendered to the inhabitants generally and especially to poor children in the district during the eleven years he filled the office of rector of the parish.”

At some stage in his life, possibly upon marriage, he acquired a comprehensive and fully fitted silver chest. Though the silver is long since gone the Trust recently obtained the chest which is here illustrated. It makes a very handsome addition to our archive and helps to represent the many instances where the Suffolk Cobbolds have lived and worked alongside the revered and historic family of Patteson of Norfolk.

KEVIN BEATTIE (1953-2018)October 2018

Kevin Beattie, the former Ipswich Town and England footballer who has died aged 64, was described by his manager Bobby Robson as being, with the exception of George Best, the finest British player he had seen. He was seemingly destined for greatness, but his career was ravaged and then abruptly ended by injury, plunging him into personal crisis – which he ultimately surmounted with the same strength he had shown on the pitch. Beattie joined Ipswich at 18, having come down from his native Cumbria by train with no idea where East Anglia was and carrying just his boots in a brown parcel. The Portman Road faithful rapidly took him to their hearts after he made his debut at centre-half in a victory over Manchester United in 1972.

Remarkably quick over 10 yards, he could out-leap most strikers (despite standing less than 6ft) and was blessed with both an eye for raking passes and a ferocious shot in his left foot. Openly discussed as the heir to Bobby Moore, even Duncan Edwards, he was called up at 18 by Alf Ramsey to train with the England squad. In 1974 he was voted the first PFA Young Player of the Year.

A certain amount of glory with unheralded Ipswich duly followed. Playing with the likes of Mick Mills, Paul Mariner, John Wark and Frans Thijssen, he forged a notably potent partnership in central defence with Allan Hunter. The team challenged for the league title on several occasions, and Robson believed they only lost it in 1977 when Beattie missed their final six games after setting fire to himself while burning leaves in his garden. The next year, as underdogs, the team won the FA Cup by defeating Arsenal – Beattie admitted he spent the match desperate for a smoke – but by then his right knee was already failing. Five operations in four years followed, and as many as three cortisone injections during every match. Beattie was forced to withdraw numerous times from England squads and, having made his international debut in 1975, won only 9 caps.

In 1981 he broke his arm in the FA Cup semi-final against Manchester City. He accordingly missed the team’s Uefa Cup final triumph against AZ Alkmaar, watching both legs from the stands, and having made 296 appearances never played for Ipswich again. At 27, his career was effectively over, but his struggles just beginning.

Thomas Kevin Beattie was born in Carlisle on December 18th 1953. One of nine children, he grew up in difficult circumstances, and later recalled times when there was no food on the table for two or three days unless his father, who drank too much, had won at dominoes.

Although notionally enrolled at St. Cuthbert’s High School, Carlisle, there were occasions when Kevin failed to go to school as he had no shoes. A teacher bought him his first pair of football boots. At 15 he was invited for a trial by Liverpool, but no one met him at Lime Street Station so he took the next train home. Years later, Bill Shankly admitted at his benefit match, in which Beattie played, that not signing him had been one of his greatest mistakes.

Beattie subsequently became a publican, but began to drink too many of his wares and had to be given the last rights after collapsing with pancreatitis. Unable to walk more than half a mile, drawing benefits and latterly caring for his wife Maggie, who has multiple sclerosis, he also attempted suicide.

In recent years, though convicted of benefit fraud in 2012 after not declaring his radio commentary work, Beattie was proud of having faced up to his demons and was open about his problems in the biography he collaborated on, The Greatest Footballer England Never Had: The Kevin Beattie Story. Its ghostwriter, Rob Finch, successfully petitioned Michel Platini – who had been in the St. Etienne team beaten by Ipswich in the 1981 Uefa Cup quarter-final – belatedly to award Beattie a winner’s medal. He was also regularly voted by fans as Ipswich’s greatest player and had long planned to have his ashes scattered at Portman Road. He is survived by his wife, whom he married in 1974, and three daughters.

Abridged from the Daily Telegraph, 18th September 2018

Picture courtesy Colorsport/Rex/Shutterstock


Very few people have any idea of the quite extraordinary contribution to medical science made by T Spencer Cobbold (1828-1886) #174 on the family tree. To rectify this in some small way I make no apology for quoting his obituary from The British Medical Journal of march 27th 1886.

Dr. Spencer Cobbold had so thoroughly established his reputation both as an observer and as a writer on Helminthology, that his death will be felt as a distinct loss to English science. The special department in which he worked is one which touches on the general field of biology; and it was doubtless for this reason that it had so great an attraction to Dr. Cobbold, who belonged to the old school of naturalists, though his mind was open to the wider philosophic views which find favour with modern biologists.

Dr. Cobbold gave early signs, not only of general ability, as evidenced by the high academical honours he obtained at the conclusion of his curriculum in the University of Edinburgh, but of a special bent towards the study of natural History. He was appointed Curator of the Anatomical Museum of the University of Edinburgh, a post which he held until 1856, when he established himself in London. He quickly became known as a student of the habits and nature of parasitic beings, and his reputation was consolidated by the publication of his well-known work on Entozoa in 1864. In the same year, he became a Fellow of the Royal Society, and he received from other sources numerous other gratifying recognitions of the position he had achieved.

He became Vice-President of the Edinburgh University Club, honorary Vice-President of the Birmingham natural History and Microscopical Society, honorary corresponding member of the Academy of Science at Philadelphia, a foreign corresponding member of the Royal Agricultural Academy at Turin, an Emeritus Swiney Professor of Geology in connection with the British Museum. Dr. Cobbold was also for some time Examiner in Comparative Anatomy, Zoology, and Botany for the Natural Science Scholarship in St. Mary’s Hospital Medical School, Lecturer on Parasitic Disease, Botany, Zoology, and Comparative Anatomy to the Middlesex Hospital Medical School, Senior President of the Royal Medical Society of Edinburgh, Vice-President of the Physiological Society of Edinburgh, and President of the Quekett Microscopical Club.

He was elected Professor of Botany and Helminthology at the Royal Veterinary College in 1872, and discharged the duties of the latter chair until last session. Of the success of his teaching in this capacity it is not for us to speak; and we are glad to be able to quote the words of Professor Robertson, the Principal of the Royal Veterinary College, who says, “To him belongs the credit of having introduced the study of helminthology into the curriculum of the college. To his teaching in this department of science the veterinary profession, both in this country and throughout our colonies, is largely indebted.”

Dr. Cobbold retired from active practice of his profession in 1877, but he did not cease to work diligently at his favourite subject. In 1879, he published a shorter work on Parasites; and very shortly before his death he was engaged on a paper on two species of “Strongylus”, which was read at the meeting of the Linnean Society on 4th March. His health had, however, been rapidly failing during the past eighteen months, and he had recently suffered from frequent attacks of angina. In one of these he passed away, after a few hours’ illness, on March 20th, in his 57th year of his age.


The Trust is pleased to have acquired the following items to add to the archive and our thanks and appreciation is extended to all donors:


  • Information and pictures from Bill Norton
  • Information and pictures from Tracey Anne Reid (Australia)
  • Information and pictures from Shirley Fowley (Canada)
  • Information and pictures from Derek Karmagi (Uganda)
  • Information from Ann Andersen (Canada)
  • Information and pictures from Andrew Larpent OBE
  • Information and pictures from David Talbot
  • Information and pictures from Rob Henley
  • Information from Nigel Baughan (South Africa)
  • Information and pictures from Robin Atter
  • Dad’s MP4 from Anne & Belinda Hasted
  • Information from Emma Tristram
  • Books – ‘Rogue Male’ and ‘Parker Pasha’


  • Books – ‘Gallipoli’ and ‘Kitchener’s New Army’
  • 2 photographs – Lowe, Son & Cobbold and 1 of The Ferry Boat Inn, Felixstowe

The trust donated £11 to the Wikimedia Foundation.  The Trust makes a small donation every year.


The Trust is pleased to have acquired the following items to add to the archive.


A scrapbook album covering the period 1928 to 1986 kept by Joyce Hughes-Hallett née Cobbold (#414 on the family tree) and copies of ‘Five Homes during Half a Century’ compiled by Rev. Rowland F. Cobbold (#258) and of ‘Higher Water – The Song of a Barge Picnic’ by the same author were given to the Trust by Joyce’s son Professor Andrew Hughes-Hallett.  The scrapbook is particularly helpful with dates and locations of events and the Trust is enthusiastically grateful to Andrew (and his mother for compiling it in the first place).

The new Guide to the Church of St Clement (not infrequently referred to as ‘the Cobbold Church’) prepared, with a little help from the Trust, by the Ipswich Society and donated by the Society.

A photograph of a stained-glass window depicting ‘Cobbold’s Fine Ales’ taken from ‘The Mitre’ at the junction of St. Helen’s Street and Waterworks Street kindly donated by Ken Wilson for which the Trust is most grateful.


THE BOTTLE; or CRUIKSHANK ILLUSTRATED by the Rev. Richard Cobbold AM RD, Rector of Wortham.  This is a rare and unusual item and will be the subject of a Cobbweb as soon as time permits.

THE BOTTLE 1847August 2018

George Cruikshank (1792-1878) who was one of the most famous artists of the early 19th century, became well known for his work under the auspices of the Temperance Reformers of the United Kingdom.  Nowadays the ‘Nanny State’ seeks to persuade us to drink less but in Cruikshank’s day the message was total abstinence.  The Bottle, his eight-plate series of temperance themed illustrations caused a sensation when it was first published in London in 1847.  His etchings, inspired by the 18th century painter William Hogarth’s The Rake’s Progress, charted the drinker’s decline from first glass to unemployment, poverty, violence and insanity.  The plates were cheaply produced to ensure that they were affordable to the urban working classes where the highest levels of drinking were thought to persist.  This despite Cruikshank’s personal experience of an alcoholic father and brother which encouraged him to take the pledge in the year of publication.

The Rev. Richard Cobbold (1797-1877)  #106 on the family tree, riding high on the success of The History ofMargaret Catchpole: A Suffolk Girl, wrote a poem to accompany Cruikshank’s plates rather grandly described as:  “The Bottle: or, Cruikshank Illustrated by the Rev. Richard Cobbold, AM, RD, Rector of Wortham; author of “Margaret Catchpole;” “Mary Anne Wellington;” “Zenon the Martyr,” Dedicated to all thinking men, who regard God’s Laws of Temperance, Sobriety, and Domestic Peace, more than THE BOTTLE.”  Interestingly, it was published in London, New York and New South Wales. The verse is little better than doggerel but perhaps that is what was required at the time. 

An original copy of the Cruikshank / Cobbold work incorporating illustrations and verses has recently been acquired by the Trust and we show the eight plates below.  We were also pleased to find that our copy (probably one of very few remaining) included The Drunkard’s Children, a sequel to The Bottle with another eight Cruikshank plates and verses by Charles Mackay LLD published in 1848.



On Tuesday 17th July the Trust lost one of it’s oldest and most enthusiastic supporters.  Margaret (Peg) Winifred Keeler nèe Hider #4142 on the family tree, died at St. Mary’s Hospital, Kitchener, Ontario, Canada in her 100th year.

Sitting on a shelf above my desk as I write is an 8-inch carved wooden Canadian Mountie, symbolising the bond between our families and our countries, the first of many gifts to the Trust from her and her family.  Daughter Shirley and great grandchildren, Maddy and Brayden visited Holywells in 2015 and saw the Sugar Maple grown from their Canadian seed planted eighteen months previously, as a tribute to Peg’s 4 times great grandfather, ‘Big’ John Cobbold.

A service of Celebration of her Life was held in Waterloo, Ontario on Saturday 21st July.  From many eulogies, all extolling Peg’s enormous sense of fun and well-being right up to the end, we reproduce below Shirley’s Tribute.

From Eglington Avenue as a dirt road on the outskirts of Toronto, to computers, smartphones and space exploration is a long time.  Mom lived it.

She marvelled at each new discovery and technological advancement.  She was interested in everything, especially nature in all its forms.  Her fondest childhood memories were of laying in the tall grass of the wild fields around her childhood home watching butterflies and insects going about their business.  Later in life, her summers with Dad up in Haliburton were their best times; bird watching, canoeing and fishing.

Our family camped back and forth across the continent many times, and what an education that was for all of us.  We saw it all and did it all.  Then later Mom and Dad would travel to all kinds of exotic places; Hong Kong, Japan, Greece, Egypt, and a cruise down the Amazon River.  Mom lived the kind of life all of us can envy; surrounded by friends, seeing the world, and having fun.

Yes, we will miss her with a certain amount of sadness, but what a life, and what a legacy for her family!  The spirit, curiosity and zest for fun and adventure we, her descendants have inherited will continue to be passed on through the ages.  Thank you, Mom.

Peg, for your selfless interest, support and encouragement the Trust says thank you too.

Anthony Cobbold, July 29th 2018.


The family’s association with Christchurch Park goes back even before Felix Thornley Cobbold’s gift of the Mansion in 1895.  (He is #201 on the family tree).  His portrait by the Hon. John Collier, paid for by public subscription, hangs in the Great Hall and he was appointed Mayor of Ipswich in Queen Victoria’s Jubilee year as a ‘thank you.’  In 2009 over 100 guests celebrated the centenary of Felix’ death by drinking a toast in the Great Hall.

It all started back in 1847 when Councillor James Allen Ransome proposed that the town should provide ‘a suitable place in which a healthy and harmonious recreation could be carried out.’  The Rev. William Charles Fonnereau whose wife was Kate Cobbold (#125) offered the land then known as Upper Bolton and a committee was formed to progress the matter under the chairmanship of John Chevallier Cobbold (#114).  The infant arboretum was visited by Prince Albert in 1851 when he came to lay the foundation stone for Ipswich School.

To continue our association, the Trust donated a Coast Redwood to Ipswich Arboretum in April 2015.  Regular readers will know that in January 2016 we donated another tree; this time a Cut-Leaf or Fern-Leaf Beech.  We were fortunate in that ‘our’ tree has been given a superb site on elevated ground close to the Henley Road entrance.  It was planted by David Miller and Steve Leech, Ipswich Borough Tree Inspector, who have cared for it lovingly ever since.  That may not sound much but water is heavy stuff, and it has been particularly thirsty during this summer’s drought.

David Miller, whose father was Head Gardener was born in Arboretum Lodge where he lived for 20 years.  His love of the Arboretum is unparalleled so it was not surprising when he published Ipswich Arboretum a History and Celebration in 2014 and the Trust was happy to provide a photograph of John Chevallier Cobbold for the book.  Despite his numerous other interests (he and his wife Sarah took part in our fund-raising cycle ride last year) David, who is now a very active Chairman of The Friends of Christchurch Park has picked up his pen again and Christchurch Park & Ipswich Arboretum Souvenir & Guide will be published later this year.  The Trust was privileged to be invited to write the Foreword and we will certainly be attending the launch at the Reg Driver Visitor Centre on 13th of October.

Proceeds from the sale of the book will go to the Friends of Christchurch Park for the benefit of the Park and the Arboretum.  Copies will be available on this website from mid-October and we hope readers will support Christchurch and the Trust.

PRINCESS by Jane DismoreJuly 2018

When the Trust originally met Jane Dismore she was a practicing lawyer and it was her first book The Voice from the Garden which introduced us.  This is the story of Lady Evelyn Cobbold’s daughter Pamela’s marriage into the Hambro family published in 2012 and longlisted for the New Angle Prize for Literature, which is still available from the Trust.  Her next book Duchesses: Living in the 21st Century came in 2014 whereupon she now writes full time.

We have just received from Jane a copy of her latest offering Princess The Early Life of Queen Elizabeth II.  From a large number of excellent reviews we select just three:

“Thoroughly enjoyed and would recommend.  Five stars.”  Julie Wilson

“I’ve read several books on Elizabeth.  I found this one to be particularly readable and interesting.  Ms Dismore has an engaging style…the book was like a novel.”  Debra Rojas.

“Absolutely brilliant!  The book covers Elizabeth’s early life to the time of her assuming the throne.  She is such a refreshing person.  I highly recommend this book to anyone who is interested in the history of Great Britain, or just loves a good biography.”  Joyce Fox.

Princess traces how an “ordinary country girl” suddenly found herself in line of succession to the Crown at age 10 when her uncle, King Edward VIII abdicated the Throne to his brother Albert (“Bertie” to family and friends), who became King George VI.  Breaking new ground, she was the first female member of the royal family to join the Armed Services full-time and broke tradition by making her son the first Heir to the Throne to attend school rather than being privately tutored.  After her accession to the Throne, she would draw on her solid background during the rapidly changing times of her long reign.  Out of a little princess they made a Queen.

Released initially in America the UK paperback edition is published by Thistle Publishing – more information from their website and the book is available from Amazon.


The Trust is pleased to have acquired the following items to add to its archive.  Some have been purchased but for those which are gifts we expressly thank the donors.

  • A pair of Cambridge University Championship Racquet Medals awarded 1896 to Philip Wyndham Cobbold (1875-1945) #324 on the family tree.
  • A set of 3 bottle labels for Guinness Extra Stout, bottled by Cobbold & Company Ltd at Cliff Brewery, Ipswich.
  • A Carte de visite of Felix Thornley Cobbold #201 as a young man
  • An invitation issued by Lord Cobbold #490 as President of the British Heart Foundation to a meeting held in July 1973.
  • 2 Banking envelopes dated 1851 for Messrs GLYN & Co, London on account of Bacon, Cobbold & Co, Ipswich, gift of Janette Howell.
  • ‘Cornish Short Stories’ which includes a story by Emma Staughton #802, gift of the author.
  • Photographs of the Cobbold entries in the Library of Congress, Washington DC, gift of Tim Cobbold #643

By way of some light relief here is an old Rugby Song of the Tub…to the tune of “My Bonnie Lies Over the Ocean”

My body lies over the touch line,
My body lies under the scrum,
My body lies over the stretcher
Oh isn’t dismemberment fun.


Bring back, bring back,
Oh bring back my body to me,
To me!
Bring back, bring back,
Oh bring back my body to me.

My femur lies over my shoulder,
My tibia’s been gone for years
My elbow lies somewhere behind me,
And a Prop Forward bit off my ears.



Back in December 2015 we wrote about Captain Jolyon Woodard #875 on the family tree following his appointment as Captain at Britannia Royal Naval College in Dartmouth.

However, at that time we only told you part of the story so now to complete the tale of a truly amazing duo, here is an abridged version of Steph Woolvin’s interview with Tilda Woodard for By the Dart magazine.

“In years gone by some might have expected a Royal Naval Captain’s wife to be seen and not heard – on the arm of her husband politely chatting to important guests at formal dinners.  Not Tilda Woodard!  She is a tough, headstrong Lieutenant Commander who spends time on training exercises in the mud on Dartmoor and is an accomplished triathlete with numerous trophies to her name.

When she was at school, Tilda wanted to be an astronaut, stuntwoman, secret agent or a pilot; her teacher said she couldn’t possibly be any of those things and should pick a sensible career!  Ten years later she became a Royal Air Force pilot.  Tilda was one of the first female RAF pilots; ‘In the military we tend to use only our rank and surname on paper so people don’t know whether we’re male or female.  When I arrived at one base people were a bit surprised as they hadn’t realised I was going to be a girl!’ 

She was desperate to fly helicopters so after completing her basic flying training at RAF Linton-on-Ouse she did her rotary wing training in Shropshire.  She was sent to Search and Rescue where she experienced some of the most challenging and diverse flying she has ever confronted.  She started as a junior pilot and progressed to Operational Captain rescuing stranded climbers, fishermen and even a cow.  Life on the front line came next when she undertook an exchange on a Royal Navy Commando Squadron flying the Sea King Mk4 in support of the Royal Marines.  During this tour she deployed to Bosnia, the Caribbean, Cyprus, Oman and the Indian Ocean.  In Bosnia she recalls that if troops get stranded in a minefield the best way to extract them is to winch them out by helicopter.

At this time she met and married Jolyon Woodard now Captain of BRNC.  Her next assignment was flying Pumas in Northern Ireland which luckily is where Jolyon was stationed but because of different shift patterns they didn’t see much of each other; ‘Jolyon was a higher rank than me so I had to call him “Sir” in public which everyone found quite amusing!’  After 16 years in the RAF she decided it was time to return to civvy street.  She and Jolyon moved to Bristol hoping to spend more time as a family, only for Jolyon to be deployed to Afghanistan.

After a few years out, including a trip to New Zealand, Tilda decided to join the Royal Naval Reserve.  She returned to the Sea King Mk4 as an instructor at RNAS Yeovilton.  In 2016 when she heard that Jolyon would become Captain at BRNC she discovered they needed an Assistant Trainer Manager so she applied for the job before her husband’s appointment had been announced.  ‘When I visited the College someone asked if I would be staying in married quarters on site! I mumbled a non-committal answer and a few months later moved into the Captain’s House!’  Her role includes training the officer cadets in leadership, much time being spent on Dartmoor.  She gets to know the cadets well which makes the passing out parades much more meaningful.  Off duty Tilda is often in training for a Triathlon and is a member of the Royal Navy Triathlon Team.  Her love of sport (‘a bit of an addiction’) is spreading to her two daughters; Anastasia doing well in the Plymouth Cross Country and she and Jolyon both run for the Royal Navy and Royal Marines Charity.

It is almost like Tilda has a dual personality.  If she’s in uniform the cadets salute her but in mufti, as the Captain’s wife, they call her ‘Ma’am’.  ‘I enjoy both roles – most Captain’s wives only see the cadets in the corridors or at ceremonies – I get to work with them and see what makes them tick”

They are a truly remarkable duo; very hard to replace!


Thanks to Steve Ingham who is an independent author and private researcher we have enlarged our knowledge of Arthur Westhorp Cobbold (1852-1929) #252 on the family tree.  Through Steve we have gained permission from the Curator of the Worcester City Museum and Art Gallery to show his profile on a plaque portrait.  Here is our newly written biography paragraph.

Little is known of Arthur's early life except that he was a pupil at Felsted School in Essex from January 1866 to December 1869.  There's a ten year gap in our knowledge until he sailed for Colombo, Ceylon on the Viceroy on 26th of February 1876.  He was a coffee planter for nearly 3 years returning on 8th December 1878.  We experience another gap until 20th September 1880 when he was appointed as Foreman in the Operative Department at the Royal Mint on a salary of £150 per annum rising by £5 per annum up to £200.  On this basis his earnings should have reached £200 by 1890.  In reality we find that he only achieved a salary of £200 per annum from 1st April 1895 this time increasing by £7-10-00 per annum up to £250.

Earnings were important because in 1891 he had married Kate Elizabeth Mills whose father, a wool merchant had already died.  The 1891 census, taken in April, just a couple of months after their marriage has the newly-weds living with his twin brother, Alfred in St. Helens, Ipswich.  It's not known whether this was a temporary arrangement but Arthur is shown as a Mechanical Engineer on the census form which suggests that he was already studying for a qualification.  On 23rd June 1898 he was promoted to Assistant Superintendent on a salary of £310 per annum rising to £400 by £15 increments.  His associate membership of the Institute of Mechanical Engineers was granted on 14th September that year.  About this time, maybe a year or two previously Arthur commissioned a Portrait Plaque of himself by the highly respected Royal Mint engraver, George William DeSaulles (1862-1903), who worked with Arthur at the Royal Mint on Tower Hill in London.  George was an important employee, on the cusp of a great career when he died aged only 41 in 1903.  The Mint struggled to find a suitable successor.

The plaque, a skilfully executed work in low relief, thought to be the first in a series of five by DeSaulles of his senior Mint colleagues, was exhibited at the Royal Academy in 1897 and at the Royal Birmingham Society of Artists in 1903.

The 1911 census tells us that Arthur, then aged 59 and described as a retired Civil Servant was living at 2D Morgan Mansions, Holloway Road, Islington, North London with his second wife, Edith Bates and her (their?) son Herbert Kenneth Bates aged 7 months.  The presumption is that he and Kate were divorced as she was still living when Arthur died on 22nd April 1929 at which time he was living at Felde Cottage, The Glade, Hollinbury St. Mary, Surrey.  His will was proved by Mildred Swannell, a spinster about whom we know nothing.

At school Arthur was known as 'Clean Cobbold' to differentiate him from his twin who acquired the name 'Dirty Cobbold' from trapping and skinning moles, rats and mice.  Within the family Arthur is remembered as a big cuddly teddy bear of a man with a long white beard who smoked incessantly and became known to his nieces and nephews as Uncle Baccy.



The Trust is pleased to have acquired the following items to add to its archive and expresses its thanks to all donors.  Thank you.

  • Eton & King’s by M R James
  • Wealthy Willamina by Shirley Fowley (#4230 on the family tree)
  • Heath Family History CD by Chris Heath (#9486)
  • Photo of Dr Fell (#9980)
  • Picture & biography of A W Cobbold (#252)
  • 3 Biographical chapters on John Cumming Anderson (#2740) by Virginia van der Lande (#2008)
  • Knebworth House Medallion bearing the Cobbold Coat of Arms
  • Weymouth Sands by John Cowper Powys – a novel featuring Sylvanus Cobbold

By way of some light relief here is a little story sent by Shirley Fowley some while back.


An old gentleman lived in South London.  He wanted to plant his annual tomato garden, but it was very difficult work, as the ground was hard.  His only son, Vincent, who used to help him, was in prison.  The old man wrote a letter to his son and described his predicament.

Dear Vincent,

I am feeling pretty sad because it looks like I won’t be able to plant my tomato garden this year.  I’m just getting too old to be digging up a garden plot.  I know if you were here my troubles would be over.  I know you would be happy to dig the ploy for me, like in the old days.  Love, Papa

A few days later he received a letter from his son.

Dear Papa,

Don’t dig up the garden.  That’s where the bodies are buried.  Love, Vinnie

At 4 am the next morning, Scotland Yard and the local police arrived and dug up the entire area without finding any bodies.  They apologised to the old man and left.  That same day the old man received another letter from his son.

Dear Papa,

Go ahead and plant the tomatoes now.  That’s the best I could do under the circumstances.

Love you, Vinnie.

Silken Strands - 2April 2018

The Trust is pleased to have acquired the following items and gladly expresses its grateful thanks to all donors past and present.  Thank you. 

  • DVD  ‘Oh, Whistle and I’ll come to you, My Lad’, written by M R James and narrated by Robert Lloyd Parry with a documentary featuring Felix Thornley Cobbold and The Lodge, Felixstowe.
  • ‘Ipswich, Memories of a Special Town’ by Barry Girling aided by his wife, Elaine.
  • Magazine article from ‘The Country Home’ by Amy Astbury entitled ‘St. Margaret’s Manor House, Ipswich and Margaret Catchpole’ probably written in 1960s and containing many of the inaccuracies to which students of the Margaret Catchpole story have become accustomed plus one new one which claims that the story was written “with the full consent of the heroine” despite the fact that she was dead and buried in Australia before the author put pen to paper in this country!
  • Alumni Cantabrigienses Part II 1752-1900.  5 volumes to add to the one already owned to complete the set.  This is a useful research tool and will live alongside the Trust’s 4 volumes of Alumni Oxonienses 1715-1886.
  • Ipswich Pubs 2016  by Susan Gardiner
  • Great Muslims of the West 2017 by Muhammed Khan
  • South Atlantic Safari 2015 by Capt.Don McVicar
  • Pioneering Physician 2016  by Max Blythe.  The story of Professor Charles Montague Fletcher, CBE, MD, FRCP, FFCM, 1911-1995 #12079 on the web family tree.
  • The Fisherman’s Family 2017 by Robin Colson.  The Fisherman in the title is none other than Robinson Crusoe a key character in Richard Cobbold’s ‘History of Margaret Catchpole’ and his image is the frontispiece to the book
  • Photograph of  Albert Edward Cobbold  who served in the RAF in WWI, #12343 on the web tree.



The first unusual things about St. Bart’s (as it is affectionately known) is its size and its setting.  A substantial red brick building, it stands dominant in the midst of Victorian terraced housing, just 100 metres from Derby Road railway station, on Newton Road, in a district known as Rose Hill.  This name is a corruption of Roe’s Hill; Mr Owen Roe (1770-1825) (#2878 on the web family tree) being a wealthy land owner whose daughter Ann (1795-1851) (#103) married Charles Cobbold (1793-1859) (#102) at St. Clement’s in 1815.  Prior to that, legend has it, Ann danced four times with the Prince Regent during a Ball held at Prigg’s Assembly Rooms in Ipswich; the Prince rating his 17-year old partner ‘a very good dancer’.  Owen Roe disliked his son-in-law and tried, unsuccessfully, to prevent Charles from inheriting.  The estate (still some 238 acres in 1864) finally passed to Charles’ son Alan Brooksby Cobbold (1830-1901) (#166) whose 3 older siblings all died, rather extraordinarily, in 1837.  But, I have digressed, sorry!

The second unusual thing is the huge light internal space.  It seems almost too large for the area it serves.  St. Bart’s was built with funds provided by Mrs. Spooner nèe Ann (Anna) Frances Cobbold (1830-1906) (#184) as a memorial to her father, John Chevallier Cobbold (1797-1882) (#114), his wife and their five sons.  The foundation stone of this thorough-going Anglo-Catholic church was laid on 25th April 1895 by Lord Henniker with full Masonic rights and the church was consecrated the following year by the Bishop of Norwich, though it was not completed until 1907.The first incumbent was Anna’s cousin,Rev. George Augustus Cobbold (1857-1915) (#2867) and the architect was Mr. Charles Spooner, a nephew of Anna’s husband, The Very Reverend Dean Edward Spooner (1821-1899) (#185) who was Rector of Hadleigh and Co-Dean of Bocking.  It all sounds a bit nepotistic but I suppose the old adage applies: ‘he (or in this case, she) who pays the piper….’

Our illustrations show (1) the exterior, (2) the interior looking east, (3) plaque to Anna Frances, (4) plaque to Edward Spooner, (5) the vicars and (6) plaque to Rev George Augustus.  The inscription around the base of the font explains that it was given to the Glory of God and in memory of parents and husband by Constance Green nèe Cobbold (1845-1932) (#203) and Caroline Alice Cobbold (1850-1922) (#198).  Constance was Anna’s sister and Alice her sister-in-law.

 Alice’s maiden name was Kinder and she was the daughter of Thomas Kinder (1813-1881) (#1732), Mayor of St. Albans, and Frances Caroline Chevallier (1814-1882) (#2022), and she married Nathanael Fromanteel Cobbold (1839-1886) (#195) so she represents the coming together of the three great families of Kinder, Chevallier and Cobbold.

BIG FISHApril 2018

We always knew that Alfred Townshend Cobbold (1852-1934) (#253 on the web family tree) was a keen fisherman and we knew that he passed on his skills to his godson Rowland Hope Cobbold (1905-1986) (#407) whose fly rod sold for an astonishing £1200 a few years back.

We didn’t know that he had been President of the Gipping Angling Preservation Society or that he had caught an unusually handsome trout which was stuffed and presented to the Society.  Recently the Trust was able to buy this fish cased by J Cooper and Sons in London and it now forms part of our archive.  The caption reads:

Presented to the G.A.P.S. by the president of the Society A. Townshend Cobbold Esq. O.B.E. Trout weight 12 Lbs length 2’ 7” caught by A. Townshend Cobbold Esq 7th June 1909 in Loch Corrib.

The fish in question is an Irish Trout.  It appears somewhat less than 2’ 7”now but fishermen are well known for their generous measurements!  Renowned world-wide, Loch Corrib is the jewel in the crown of Irish trout angling.

Alfred who was educated at Felsted, and who became a lawyer with numerous civic responsibilities, had a twin brother Arthur Westhorp Cobbold AMIMechE (1852-1929) (#252), also educated at Felsted, who worked at the Royal Mint from 1880 until 1900.  Arthur was recalled as a large cuddly teddy bear of a man dedicated to his pipe and known to his nephews and nieces as ‘Uncle Baccy’.

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