JOHN PATTESON COBBOLD 6th generation brewer.

February 2018

The ‘new’ Town Hall in Ipswich was opened 150 years ago last month.  The building was open to visitors all day on January 28th this year and a celebration dinner, in conjunction with Robbie Burns Night was held in the evening, at which Philip Hope-Cobbold (#577 on the web family tree) was the guest speaker.  He was invited because his great, great grandfather, John Patteson Cobbold (1831-1875), (#186) was Mayor of Ipswich at the time of the opening.

One can’t help feeling very sad for JPC who died of Scarlet Fever at the age of only 44.  He left a widow with 8 children aged between 14 years and 11 months.  Despite his early departure he seems to have packed a good deal into his short life.  He trained as a Solicitor and quickly became involved in the family brewing and banking businesses.  Civic duty called and he became an Alderman and later Mayor of Ipswich in 1867/68.  He was elected a Conservative MP with James Redfoord Bulwer (1820-1899) and served until his death, being replaced by his younger brother, Thomas Clement (1833-1883) (#191) who also served until his death.

John Patteson’s father, John Chevallier (1797-1882) (#114) was 78 when his son died and worried about succession for the businesses.  His solution was to call Felix Thornley Cobbold (1841-1909) (#201) back from his academic career at King’s, Cambridge to help run them.  This was probably an unpopular decision as far as Felix was concerned – he enjoyed the college’s excellent cellar and the convivial atmosphere at high table – but was good for Ipswich as he became a generous benefactor.

Major John Patteson Cobbold, inter alia, was Commanding Officer of the First Suffolk Rifle Volunteers from 28th November 1860 to 10th December 1875 and it seems his death was greatly lamented as his portrait and a presentation prayer and hymn book were distributed in his memory.  His wife, Adela Harriette Dupuis (1837-1917) (#187), daughter of the Vice-Provost of Eton College – where they were married in 1858 – was a leading force in the fight against the dreadful Smallpox epidemic in Ipswich in 1872.

His death just before Christmas 1875 led to the publication of a typically Victorian piece of verse

We mourn him now, the husband, son and sire,

A voice was wanted for the Heavenly Choir,

To sing good tidings of a Saviour’s birth,

In purer strains than could be sung on earth.

Our pictures show (1) The Town Hall on the Welcome to Ipswich sign, (2) JPC himself, (3) JPC was the first to where the new Mayoral Robe in 1868, (4) Andrew Beal, dedicated Town Sgt. beside the old and new Mayoral Robes, (5) Mayoral chain with new Town Hall Badge and (6) silver Loving Cup given by Felix Thornley Cobbold when he was Mayor in 1897, the year of Queen Victoria’s Diamond Jubilee.

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