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 8 of 17

SILKEN STRANDS 1 ...July 2016

The Trust warmly thanks donors for the following gifts:

From Mrs Pat Godbold: A Tolly Times Special Issue following the death of John Cobbold(#575 on the family tree) in 1983 and a copy of News of the Blues, also carrying tributes to ‘a great man’ together with the Memorandum and Articles of Association of The Ipswich Cricket, Football, & Athletic Ground, Limited incorporated on 18th August 1905.

From Rowell Bell a number of articles and newspaper cuttings together with a post card depicting the drawing room at Glemham Hall in 1906, some years before the Cobbolds arrived.

From Humphrey Cobbold (#645) a QEII cup and saucer from The Patron’s Lunch on The Mall on 12th June 2016.  A number of family members were present.

From the Keeper (#539) 4 books for the Trust library:

Match of my Life by 16 ITFC players’

Time on the Grass by Bobby Robson

Margaret Catchpole by Richard Cobbold (#106), (the Boydell & brewer edition)

Fascinating People of Battle by Joan C Guyll including an account of the life of Elizabeth Anne Gilman née Francis (#74)

James Humphreys, his……LETTERS from WAT...July 2016

This, our latest book is now published and available from this website.

In 1880 Gertrude Cobbold (1855-1936) (#300 on the family tree) married Noel Algernon Humphreys (1837-1923) at St. Saviour’s Church, Paddington, London.  He was the Assistant Registrar General for England and Wales and spent much of his life designing and developing the Census.

Noel Algernon’s grandfather, James Humphreys (1776-1833) (#10378) is the author of these letters which have been edited and contextualised by the Trust’s author in residence, historian Clive Hodges.  Here is a summary:

‘When James Humphreys, a businessman from Birmingham, arrived in Brussels in March 1815, he could not have foreseen the momentous events which would unfold a few miles south of the city just three months later.  His letters home to a friend and to a family member provide a civilian’s perspective of Waterloo, of the panic which spread through the streets of Brussels as the battle raged and of its horrific aftermath, described in grisly detail as Humphreys wandered the blood-stained battlefield.

This important collection, published here for the first time, includes a letter from a young Scottish sergeant, Alex Cummings, who lodged with Humphreys prior to the battle during which he received a serious facial wound.

Interlaced with dramatic accounts of the battle, Humphrey’s letters also address more prosaic matters: his business activities; his concern for his wife and children at home in England and the peculiarities of life as an Englishman abroad.  In addition, they convey his strident opinions on European politics and on the punishment he felt should be meted out to Napoleon upon his eventual defeat’.

Dr. Louise Carter, Lecturer in History at University Campus Suffolk says in her Foreword ‘On every level then, this is a rich and multi-layered source, and military and social historians alike will find much to savour in this collection’.

This book will appeal also to our many friends and family members, and the Trust need hardly remind readers that their purchases of this and other books and cards from this website help finance the Trust’s work.


Like millions of others the Trust sends warmest congratulations to Her Majesty upon her 90th birthday.

We learned from an article in The Sunday Telegraph by Charlotte Runcie (#6079 on the family tree) that Carol Ann Duffy, the poet laureate had announced that she would not be writing a poem to mark the occasion.  Consequently this Sunday paper ran a competition for readers to submit their own poems.  The response was overwhelming, and   a winner and 5 ‘highly commended’ were chosen.  We reproduce below the winning entry entitled Monday Morning ER by Jenny Land but before doing so we want to quote the last 2 or 3 lines from two of those ‘highly commended’. 

Francis Phillips closed his poem

The Coronation with:


My secret wish, which lasted many years:

To join those rolling ranks of grenadiers.

The last four lines of Jackie Wilkin’s poem, The Royal Lines of England were:

Bloodlines, chance and temperament

All meet in Queen and steed:

But on this 90th birthday, Ma’am,

Stamina trumps speed.

Charming and apposite don’t you think?

Monday Morning: ER

Forget the ermine, the polish and shine-

there she is as ever in sensible tweed,

resolutely pushing out of mind her restless horses,

the four corgis that need a tromp along

 the burn through new June leaves-

you’d think more than six decades on

the ministers could revise their policies,

the officers dispatch each combat plane-

yet here we are living our arrowed days

through urban sprawl, through e-updates and floods,

knowing somewhere in a quiet room

we dreamed about in bookish childhood

the red box clicks open: our world resumes

afresh, anchored by that blue eyed gaze.

Capt. Egerton LEVETT-SCRIVENER (1857-1...July 2016

Egerton Levett, a colonel's son, was born at Milford Hall, Staffordshire. He joined the Royal Navy and was later posted as an aide to Admiral Willies.  In the course of his duties he met his future wife, Mabel Desborough Parkes (#914 on the family tree), the daughter of Ambassador Parkes (#849) who was then serving as Queen Victoria's ambassador to China and Korea.  They were married in 1884 and their son Evelyn was born the following year.  Mabel's father wrote "one of his happiest letters...written in January 1885 to his daughter, Mrs Levett, on the memorable occasion when he became a grandfather..."

In 1889, a year after his father's death, Egerton inherited Sibton Abbey Manor, Yoxford in Suffolk, from his aunt.  The property which included the ruins of what was the only Cistercian abbey in East Anglia had been in the Scrivener family since its purchase in the early seventeenth century by John Scrivener, son of an Ipswich barrister and bailiff grown rich in the wool trade.  Egerton changed his name to Levett-Scrivener in accordance with his aunt's wishes.  In 1890 after 6 years of marriage and the birth of 2 sons, Mabel was killed in a riding accident.  She is buried at St. Peter's, Sibton.  A year later Egerton married his cousin, Mary Mirehouse, (who is also buried at St. Peter's), and three daughters followed.

After retirement from the Royal Navy Egerton became Bursar at Keble College, Oxford where the Butterfield Chapel, opened in 1876, was built with a gift of £40,000 from William Gibbs (1790-1875) (#11076) of Tyntesfield near Bristol.

Egerton became an avid agriculturist and farmer on the Sibton Abbey estate.  He recorded all his labour costs, monitored rents, tracked produce and greatly improved the farmland.

The Levett-Scrivener family has long standing ties to the Royal Navy, Egerton's son, Evelyn Harry (after his grandfather) followed his father and their ancestors are said to include Admiral William Bligh, captain of the ill-fated HMS Bounty.

THE HON. PETER STRUTT MC - Managing Di...July 2016

Peter Strutt (#10905 on the family tree) was at the helm of the Tolly Cobbold brewing business during troubled times.  He had a full and remarkable life which we share with you by means of an abridged version of his obituary.

He won an MC with the Coldstream Guards in 1945 and subsequently had a successful career in the brewery business.  The citation for his MC paid tribute to his inspirational leadership.

Peter Algernon Strutt, the fourth child of the 3rd Lord Belper, was born in London on June 18th 1924.  He had three half-siblings by his father's first marriage to Eva Bruce (who subsequently married the 6th Earl of Rosebery).  Michael, one of his half-brothers, died beside Prince George, Duke of Kent, in an air crash in 1942.  Peter's mother, Angela, was the daughter of Douglas Tollemache, the founder of Tollemache Breweries in East Anglia.

The Strutts were Derbyshire spinners who traced their line back to Jedediah Strutt, born in 1726, and owed much of their fortune to their friendship with the Arkwrights, founders of the spinning frame that revolutionised the industry.  The Belper title was created in 1856 for Jedediah's grandson, the Liberal politician Edward Strutt.  The young Peter was brought up at the family seat, Kingston Hall, Northamptonshire.  His elder brother Ronald, afterwards the 4th Lord Belper, and his sister Lavinia, later Duchess of Norfolk, were among the most noted equestrians of their generation, and as a boy Peter was an enthusiastic follower of the Quorn.

In 1937 he was to act as a page at the Coronation of King George VI and Queen Elizabeth, but an ear infection prevented him from attending.  The King, hearing of his disappointment, exceptionally granted him a Coronation medal.  Peter Strutt was educated at Eton before being commissioned into the Coldstream Guards in 1943.  In October the following year he joined the 5th Battalion in Holland.  Soon afterwards, while attending a briefing in a small house near the front line, a large enemy shell landed close by.  Strutt, following his training regulations, dived under the nearest table.  When he emerged a few moments later he found all the other, more experienced officers sitting calmly in their seats.  "Dropped your pencil, Peter?" his CO asked sardonically.

One night, after a hard-fought action in a small German town, he had billeted his platoon in a bank and saw a loaf of bread on the counter.  He had a penchant for nibbling at any food left lying around, and tore off a corner and ate it.  The fleeing Germans had laced it with rat poison and he was so ill that he had to have his stomach pumped out.

Strutt retired from the Army in 1947 and then moved to Suffolk, where he bought an estate and became a director of Tollemache Breweries.  The company subsequently merged with Cobbold Breweries to become Tollemache and Cobbold Breweries.  In Germany Strutt had adopted an Alsation puppy.  He now acquired two giant Poodles, one of which occasionally performed on stage in amateur dramatics.  These were followed by an African Green monkey called Zulu.  The creature formed a close attachment to his master which could transform itself into a passionate jealousy of any other friends or visitors - particularly females. From its vantage point on top of a dresser it used to hurl plates at Strutt's girlfriends, and made no exception of his future wife.

Zulu's fate was finally sealed when he landed on the head of a colonel of the Coldstream Guards (later a major-general) and carried out a vicious attack.  Thereafter the family confined itself to a more amenable menagerie consisting of ornamental pheasants, ducks, geese and a St Bernard.

In 1970 Strutt moved to Stutton Hall, with its fine Tudor house overlooking the Stour estuary, where he kept a pet fox in the Elizabethan walled garden.  In 1977, when Tollemache & Cobbold Breweries was purchased by Ellerman Lines, the shipping company, he became the brewery's managing director.  He later became its chairman and joined the board of Ellerman Lines.  Strutt had a number of other business interests - he was also a director of the Britannia Building Society - and was involved in various charities and in local politics.  He served as High Sheriff of Suffolk and was a Deputy Lieutenant of the county.  He was a keen shot and skied until he was in his seventies.

His friends remember him as a great family man and a generous host, both at Stutton Hall and at the estate that for many years he rented in Ross-shire.

Abridged by Anthony Cobbold from the Daily Telegraph of November 17th 2007.

Note:  Members of Sir Richard Arkwright's family appear elsewhere in the family tree; see #799.

Brigadier – General FREDERICK GORE AN...July 2016

Frederick Gore Anley (#3005 on the family tree) was the son of a colonel in the Royal Artillery.  He was commissioned into the Essex Regiment on 28th August 1884.  He quickly saw active service in the Sudan during 1884 and 85.  Later, in 1896 he was seconded to the Egyptian Army, taking part in the Dongola (1896) and Nile (1899) expeditions.  For a short while in 1899 he was Governor of Wadi Halfa province.

During the South African War he commanded a mounted infantry battalion at the relief of Kimberley and at Paardeberg.  He was twice mentioned in despatches.  From 1904 to 1906 he served with the Macedonian Gendarmerie and in February 1912 he assumed command of the 2nd Battalion the Essex regiment which post he still held on the outbreak of war.

He took his battalion to France as part of12th Brigade, 4th Division.  He commanded at the battle of Le Cateau (26th August 1914) and during the following retreat.  On 4th October 1914, aged 50, he was promoted to command 12th Brigade where he remained in post until 4th June 1916 including the battles of the Marne, Aisne, and First and Second Battles of Ypres.  This made him one of the most experienced brigade commanders in the BEF.

In November 1916 he was appointed Commander Administrative HQ and Training Centre Machine Gun Corps (Heavy Branch), later the Tank Corps, a post he held until June 1917.  This appointment was controversial as Anley had no experience of tanks and - apparently - little faith in them.  The GSO2, Lt. Col. J F C Fuller, described Anley as 'a pleasent little man, the problem was in inverse ratio to his size; he may have been a good infantry Brigadier but he knew nothing about tanks'.

Anley returned to infantry duties in June 1917 as GOC 234th Brigade, 75th Division which he commanded in Palestine.  He fell sick on 19th November 1917 and after a period on half pay was appointed GOC Newhaven Garrison (April - December 1918) and then GOC No.8 Demobilisation Area (December1918 - March 1919) before retiring from the army on 19th October 1919.  He was later County Director of the Sussex Branchof the Red Cross.


The Trust wishes to thank Muhammad Mojlum Khan for the gift of a copy of his book The Muslim 100; Rowell Bell for information, a post card and cuttings and Jocelyn Norden for more information and photographs.


In a January Cobbweb we told you of the Trust’s donation of a Cut-leaf or Fern-leaf Beech to the Ipswich Arboretum in continuation of the family’s long and affectionate association with Christchurch Park. You may remember that it was chosen for its narrow lance-shaped dark green leaves giving the tree its feathery graceful form.

David Miller, whose father Tony was Head Gardener of the Upper Arboretum from 1966 to 1991, and Steve Leech who is responsible for over 5,000 trees, planted ‘our’ Cut-leaf in January and sent these two pictures this week. They demonstrate their excellent work and the health of our gift.


Six prizes were awarded from the 81 works selected to be shown in this the third National Exhibition which toured from May to October, 1981. Each received £1,500 and an additional prize of £500 funded by Tollemache and Cobbold Breweries was awarded to Brian Falconbridge for the best work entered from the Eastern Counties.

The Exhibition opened at the Fitzwilliam Museum in Cambridge, came back to Christchurch Mansion in Ipswich and the Castle Museum in Norwich before going to the Institute of Contemporary Arts in London and then on to the Mappin Art Gallery in Sheffield.

The Selection Panel, illustrated, comprised, left to right, Paul Huxley, David Brown, Tim Head, Patrick George (Chairman) and Bridget Riley. David Brown was Assistant Keeper of Modern Art at the Tate Gallery and the others were all artists themselves.

Brian Falconbridge, illustrated, was born in Norfolk in 1950 and attended Canterbury College of Art, Goldsmiths’ School of Art and the Slade School of Fine Art. His winning entry was titled Nada Te Turbe (Still Life). At the time of the exhibition he was teaching art at Eton, Goldsmiths’ and the Slade.


Anne (1924-2012) #74 on the family tree who was born on St. Anne’s Day and baptised by her grandfather, Rev. Robert Russell Cobbold (1853-1925) spent her childhood in Northamptonshire with fond memories of family seaside holidays in Salthouse, Norfolk. She was clearly an impressionable child with a strong sense of justice. Her brother Dick became a Benedictine Mink and Anne’s memoir records her concern for the poor and particularly for the thousands of working men who during the Great Depression marched to London asking for work. She recalls the good woman who resorted to stealing eggs to feed her starving family.

As a 17 year old Anne lied about her age and joined the Women’s Royal Naval Service. Unknown to her family at the time Anne was one of the 9000 women selected for their integrity and intelligence to work at Bletchley Park. As a signatory to the Official Secrets Act she could not, and never did, reveal the crucial part she played whilst there. On the Bletchley Park Roll of Honour she is merely listed as WRNS personnel. In 1944 she was posted to Colombo in Ceylon (as it then was) where she worked in the Royal Navy code breakers and wireless interception centre.

Based at the Far East Combined Bureau which was housed in an Indian boys’ school called Pembroke College she became a Japanese code breaker. Sadly she never received a medal in recognition of her work because her stay in Ceylon fell one month short of the 1 year qualifying period.

After the war Anne went up to Girton College, Cambridge where she met and married Peter Francis and they had 6 children including 2 sets of twins. Anne’s concern for the less fortunate never left her. In addition to her own children she became a foster mother to two young girls and served as surrogate mother to three young nurses from Sri Lanka. Anne recognised the benefits of diversity long before it became fashionable. She was one who helped win the war and went on to win the peace too.


Thanks to one of our loyal supporters in Ipswich, Rowell Bell, our attention was drawn to an article describing the history of Ipswich-based accountants, Scrutton Bland, formerly Scrutton and Goodchild. Their story included this tale:

“The business prospered during the 1920s, and soon needed to move to larger premises on Museum Street. These offices had originally been the Black Bell Inn which was then knocked down to create a new building which opened in 1938, designed by Baker and Burton and built by H Everett and Son. The Black Bell had been a Cobbold’s pub, which sold locally-brewed Tolly Cobbold ale. The Cobbold family were an audit client of Scrutton and Goodchild, and every year a team of auditors would stay in a cottage in the grounds of the brewery, and on their arrival would find several crates of Tolly Cobbold, carefully labelled as ‘auditors’ samples’. Needless to say, this was an auditing job with no shortage of volunteers. One year the audit team were having a quiet afternoon and decided to liven things up by making paper planes. Aerobatics were in full swing when the door opened and one of the Cobbold family directors entered the room. Attempts to cover up what had been going on were futile – would this be the end of their favourite job? Far from it, Mr Cobbold enthusiastically picked up a paper plane and joined in”.

Note: Our picture by David Kindred shows the Black Bell at the junction of Elm St. and Museum St. in around 1930. It closed in 1936 but had been mentioned in the Ipswich Journal as early as 1752. One small correction is necessary; the ales sold at the Black Bell would have been Cobbold ales as the merger with Tollemache’s did not take place until 1957


This timeline history of the Tolly Cobbold Brewery serves as a handy reminder of the history of the first 237 years of this extraordinary business.

Tollemache’s Breweries Limited

  • 1856 - Ipswich Brewery opened
  • 1888 - Ipswich Brewery purchased from Charles Cullingham & Co. by Tollemache Brothers. The Partners were:

The Hon. D.A.Tollemache

The Hon. S. A.Tollemache

The Hon. M.G. Tollemache.

  • 1896 - Tollemache’s Ipswich Brewery Limited., incorporated to take over the business of Tollemache Brothers.
  • 1920 - The business of Collier Bros., Essex Brewery, Walthamstow purchased and the Name of the Company changed to Tollemache’s Breweries Limited
  • 1921 - The business of Barwell & Sons, Wine and Spirit Merchants, Norwich, acquired.
  • 1923 - On the closing of the Unicorn Brewery, Ipswich, approximately half the houses of Catchpole & Co. Ltd., were acquired; the remainder being bought by Cobbold & Co., Ipswich.
  • 1934 - Controlling interest acquired in the Star Brewery, Cambridge, Ltd.
  • 1947 - The Star Brewery, Cambridge, Limited became a wholly owned subsidiary company.
  • 1957 - Amalgamation with Cobbold & Co. Limited, and the name changed to Tollemache & Cobbold Breweries Limited.
  • 1959 - The business of G. T. Jones & Co. Limited, Wine and Spirit Merchants, Oxford, acquired.
  • 1961 - Closing of the Ipswich Brewery on the transfer of the whole trading to the considerably extended Cliff Brewery of Cobbold & Co. Limited.

Cobbold & Co. Ltd 

  • 1723 - Brewing commenced at Harwich by Thomas Cobbold.
  • 1746 - Brewing transferred to Cliff Brewery, Ipswich.
  • 1896 - Cliff Brewery rebuilt.
  • 1904 - Cliff Brewery extended.
  • 1924 - Cobbold & Co. Limited incorporated to take over the business of Cobbold & Co., Brewers, and also the old established Wine and Spirit business of Cobbold & Son.
  • 1957 - Amalgamation with Tollemache’s Breweries Limited.
  • 1959-61 - Cliff Brewery extended to include the trade of the Tollemache Brewery in Upper Brook Street which was closed in 1961.



The Trust is happy to report the following acquisitions made during March and April: 

  • Brewery bi-centenary commemorative cup & saucer, ashtray and book.
  • Cobbold & Co brewery ashtray and a later coaster.
  • 4 brewery pictures.
  • Pen and wash sketch of Elizabeth Cobbold with a sketch by Harriet Cobbold.
  • Daisies and Buttercups, a children’s musical written by Rev. Clement Chevallier, (1871-1944) (#2081 on the family tree) published in York about 1900.
  • 3 newspaper cuttings of family members.
  • 3 copies of The History of Margaret Catchpole (one a first edition).
  • The Sea our Shield by Captain W R Fell (1897-1981) (#10267).
  • Model Leyland Octopus in Brewery livery.
  • 2 post cards, one of the Manor House and the other of Sot’s Hole. 


In his talk to the 56th AGM of The Ipswich Society, John Lyall the architect of the Tolly Cobbold Cliff Brewery restoration project confirmed that some space would, in all probability, be made available to The Cobbold Family History Trust.


The Trust recently received the following email from the orient:

“We would like to order the dried nut from your company.  Please send the latest catalog and price list.  Hoping a nice cooperation with you”

We replied to the effect that although the nut was indeed (old &) dried, I was not yet for sale!


The Trust warmly thanks donors for the following gifts: 

From Dr Virginia van der Lande (#2008 on the family tree) a copy of Ipswich Borough Archives 1255-1835, published 2000.

From Professor Diane Montgomery a copy of her book Famous East Anglian Women which includes an entry on Margaret Catchpole, published 2016.

From Jocelyn Norden information and photographs relating to Cobbold monumental inscriptions in St Mary-le-Tower and Holy Trinity Church, Ipswich

From the Keeper 2 books; The Commandos, D-Day and After (Foreword by Brigadier the Lord Lovat (#2342)) 1982, and The View from King Street by Christopher Hurst published by the author 1997.


As a boy Francis (#361 on the family tree) used to enjoy sailing with his father on the Norfolk Broads.  This influenced him for the rest of his life, as later he sailed with the Old Orwell Corinthian Yacht Club.  Afterwards he joined the Royal Harwich Yacht Club and was treasurer of that club for some time.

He was educated at Marlborough (Summerfield 1896-1901) and went on to Pembroke College, Cambridge where he took a 1st in Law and proceeded to his LLB exams, qualifying as a solicitor in 1908, having served his articles with Messrs Cobbold, Sons and Co. 21 Tower St. Ipswich and Messrs Sharpe, Parkers and Co., 12 New Court, Carey St., London WC.

He served in the Royal Garrison Artillery (Ipswich 176th (Suffolk) Heavy Bde in France in 1915, was promoted Major in 1916 and awarded the DSO in 1918 and was wounded in the leg.  After the war he gave up the Battery and became a prominent member of the Conservative Party.  In 1923 he was Chairman of the Education Committee in Ipswich and was made a Freeman of the Borough.  He represented West Ward on Ipswich Council from 1924 to 1935.

Francis was Clerk to the Commissioner of Taxes for 20 years.  He was also Clerk to the Upper and Lower Deben Internal Drainage Board and to the East Suffolk Rivers Catchment Board.  Another position he held in his busy life was Registrar of the Archdeaconries of Suffolk and Ipswich.  He was a Freemason of the Lodge British Union No. 114 (Ipswich).

In 1936 he bought Sproughton Old Rectory, now Church Close.  He and his wife Beatrice (née Worthington) took part in many activities in the village and during 1941 Francis was Churchwarden.  Beatrice was a member of the local WI and an occasional charity garden party was held at the Church Close.  Francis died on 21st April 1947 and a memorial service was held at St Mary-le-Tower, Ipswich.  Beatrice died on 17th April 1961.  A while after her death the land behind the house was sold for building.

Our pictures show both sides of their Christmas card, which unfortunately is not dated.  Their house is identified as Sproughton Hall.  Is this another name for Sproughton Old Rectory which they bought in 1939 or were they previously at the hall which one source says was purchased shortly after they married in 1922?


Herbert, a second son, (#323 on the family tree) was born in 1871 whilst his parents lived at the Red House in Ufford, Suffolk and educated at Haileybury. He began his banking career in Manchester and later joined the Ipswich Bank of Bacon, Cobbold & Co whose business was taken over by Capital and Counties Bank Ltd in 1904.  Later when it was amalgamated into Lloyds, Herbert remained a local director.

Previously, in 1889 he had been commissioned a 2nd Lieutenant in the Duke of Connaught’s Own Hampshire and Isle of Wight Artillery and was later promoted Major in the Essex and Suffolk Artillery Militia.

In 1909 he married his first cousin, Evelyn Anna Cobbold at St. Mark’s, North Audley Street in London. They were married by Rev. R H Hadden, vicar of the parish and Honorary Chaplain to the King. The same year, presumably as their marital home, he bought the Rookery Estate at Sproughton which included some 48 acres. Also in 1910, following the death of his uncle Felix Thornley Cobbold MP the year before, he inherited his uncle’s banking interests.

During his life Herbert was Chairman of the Eastern Counties Building Society - which became the Britannia - and on the local board of the Alliance Assurance Co – subsequently the Royal and Sun Alliance – and a director of the Ipswich Gas Light Company. He devoted much time to the Lord Lieutenant’s War Fund and helped organise the Soldiers and Sailors Families Association for the county. As recognition of this work he was awarded the CBE. He was an officer in the Volunteers and a Special Constable. He was Treasurer of East Suffolk County Council and a Trustee of the East Suffolk and Ipswich Hospital and was a chairman and Trustee of the Ipswich Nurses Home.

Herbert was a member of the Ipswich Art Club from 1920 until his death. A family member recalls visiting Herbert and Evelyn at The Rookery where the maids wore pretty little hats over pale green dresses with coffee coloured aprons. In the hall were bookcases holding first editions of the works of Hans Christian Andersen and Edward Lear which children were encouraged to read. Visiting children were required to change into afternoon clothes after lunch. Either side of the front door were fragrant Heliotropes and cattle grazed peacefully in the fields. If unaccompanied they were driven by the chauffeur, Pilbeam.

Herbert died at home in November 1944 aged 73 and a memorial service took place in Sproughton Church on Wednesday 29th November. His widow, a very religious person lived on another 14 years.


From hundreds of entries just 92 were selected for exhibition in the second biennial exhibition of contemporary art sponsored by Tolly Cobbold.

The exhibition opened at the Fitzwilliam Museum in Cambridge on 7th April 1979 and went on to the Castle Museum in Norwich in May and then to Christchurch Mansion in Ipswich in June. Next stop was the Camden Arts Centre in London in August and September before its final destination, the Graves Art Gallery in Sheffield where it closed on October 14th.

The jury, pictured, comprised Michael Andrews, Artist; Nigel Hall, Artist; Richard Hamilton, Artist; Stewart Mason, CBE, Chairman of the Eastern Arts Visual Arts Panel and of the Exhibition Committee and Paul Overy, art critic and journalist.

One of the 7 prize-winning entries was My sun’s holiday (illustrated) by Patrick Hughes (born 1939) who completed teacher training at Leeds Day Training College and went on to have one-man shows in the Portal Gallery and the Angela Flowers Gallery in London. He is also the co-author of two books and lives in Cornwall.

REV. THOMAS COBBOLD at St Mary-le-Towe...April 2016

Thanks to some help from Jocelyn Norden we show below the full text of the monument to Rev Thomas Cobbold (1742-1831) (#51 on the family tree).  It is located high on the north wall.

“Sacred to the memory of the Rev. THOMAS COBBOLD, A.M., Minister of this Church three and fifty years - a large portion of the life of man! - Also Rector of Wilby and Woolpit, both in the county of Suffolk - of the former, sixty-four years; of the latter, fifty. He was distinguished by a mind highly accomplished in elegant literature - an ardent love of country - great steadiness, firmness, charity. Learned without ostentation, liberal without vanity, pious without pretence, he died, dear to his friends, regretted by the poor, beneficent to many, injurious to none, when he had almost completed his eighty-ninth year, on 12th of August 1831.

In the same grave rest the remains of ANNE SAVAGE COBBOLD, his consort, of whom it is little to say, that the chief virtues which can endear the wife and mother, and adorn the Christian, met in that meek, affectionate and exemplary woman. She died Oct 8 1806 aged 62.

Also of THOMAS COBBOLD, their eldest son; a youth of rare promise, who sacrificed his life to his ardent pursuit of knowledge, at Trinity College, Cambridge, in the 20th year of his age, March 26, 1788.

Also of ROBERT CHEVALLIER COBBOLD, their youngest son, who died an infant”.

What it doesn’t say, and what we have learned only recently, is that the Reverend gentleman dropped dead in Edward Shalders bookshop cum lending library on Westgate St, Ipswich.

Our pictures show an engraving of St Mary-le-Tower in the 1830s and a contemporary view of Westgate St. with Shalders shop on the left, painted by Samuel Read.


Last month we committed to write about one of the 5 Tolly Cobbold sponsored art exhibitions each month.

Fourteen hundred entries were received and fifty-seven were exhibited. The exhibition opened at the Fitzwilliam Museum in Cambridge on 1st April 1977 and went on to the Ipswich Museum, High Street Art Gallery in May and then to the Graves Art Gallery in Sheffield in June and finally to the Camden Arts Centre in London, closing at the end of August.

Fourteen hundred entries were received and fifty-seven were exhibited. The exhibition opened at the Fitzwilliam Museum in Cambridge on 1st April 1977 and went on to the Ipswich Museum, High Street Art Gallery in May and then to the Graves Art Gallery in Sheffield in June and finally to the Camden Arts Centre in London, closing at the end of August.

The Selection Panel of 4 comprised:

  • Michael Craig Martin, Artist in Residence at King’s College, Cambridge.
  • John Golding, Cambridge Slade Professor of Fine Art.
  • Howard Hodgkin, Artist in Residence at Brasenose College, Oxford, and
  • Dr Alastair Hunter, Keeper of Twentieth Century Paintings at the Fitzwilliam Museum, Cambridge.

Our illustrations show firstly, the Selection Panel, left to right, John Golding, Howard Hodgkin, Michael Craig Martin and Dr Hunter and secondly a prize winning entry entitled Conversation 29¼” x 37¼ oil on canvas by Stephen Buckley (b1944)


Frances Mary Parker OBE (1875-1924) (#5776 on the family tree) has been in the news lately because her suffragette medal came up for sale. Born in Kurow, Otago, New Zealand, Frances left home at the age of 22 to study at Newnham College, Cambridge, paid for by her uncle the future Lord Kitchener.

By 1908 she had become involved in the women's suffrage movement eventually becoming a prominent leader of the Women's Social and Political Union in Scotland. In June that year she was one of the speakers on Adela Pankhurst’s platform at the WSPU demonstration in Hyde Park on ‘Women’s Sunday’. Imprisoned several times for her role in violent protests and attempts to burn down prominent buildings, including the cottage of Robert Burns - Scotland's national poet - she went on hunger strike in 1912 and in 1914, and was subjected to force-feeding which involved acts of physical abuse and indecent assault. She sometimes used the alias of Janet Arthur and her antics caused her uncle great outrage.

Frances was awarded the medal which came on the market in February this year. Still in its original case the medal is inscribed 'Presented to Frances Parker by the Women's Social and Political Union in Recognition of a Gallant Action whereby through Endurance to the last Extremity of Hunger and Hardship, a Great Principle of Political Justice was indicated.' Following her death in 1924 Frances left the medal to her friend and co-suffragette Ethel Moorhead in whose family it remained until auctioned.

The purchaser was the Te Papa Museum in New Zealand.

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