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 10 of 12


My Wife’s Spectacles

Her specs are here, her specs are there,
Her spectacles are my despair,
Sometimes they’re found upon the stairs,
At times in depths of cosy chairs.
I seek them here, I seek them there,
At times I feel inclined to swear,
These demmed elusive spectacles,
They’re in some sofa’s tentacles.
I search the ground and grope the floors,
I hunt in vain without a pause,
But all she says is “lend me thine,
They suit me just as well as mine”.


Felix Thornley Cobbold (1841-1909) #201 in the family tree was the eleventh child of John Chevallier Cobbold (1797-1882) #114.  In the course of his life he was a barrister, a Cambridge academic, a farmer, a banker and a brewer.  In public life he was a JP, Mayor of Ipswich and twice an MP for Suffolk constituencies, and above all a philanthropist.  His most memorable legacies are The Felix Cobbold (Agricultural) Trust and Christchurch Mansion.

The Trust pleads guilty to having acquired and added to its archive his barrister’s wig, complete with its stand and carrying case.


Last month we promised a description of the wonderful new window at Wortham Church, designed by Deborah Lowe.  It has to be seen to be fully appreciated but our description here should be sufficient to whet your visual appetite.  The window comprises two vertical lights, left and right with  four tracery panels above and they are described in that order.  The three roundels in each of the vertical lights illustrate the passage of the day using soft morning colours at the bottom, sunny midday skies in the middle and sunset colours at the top and each contains a natural scene to represent the hamlets of Wortham or its place in Suffolk

Left Hand Light 

The lower roundel represents The Marsh and The Brook hosting Flag Iris, Marsh Marigold and Alder enlivened by a dragonfly in flight.

The middle roundel has a tractor ploughing a field with a horse drawn plough in the background symbolising continuity in times of changing technology, framed by Hawthorn and Queen Anne’s Lace, surmounted by aeroplane vapour trails forming a cross in the sky.

The top roundel shows an open view across The Ling above which flies a Gatekeeper butterfly symbolising Life after Death.

Right Hand Light

The lower roundel shows the Faith, Hope and Charity arches of the Wortham Primary School (built by Rev. Richard Cobbold in 1862) with a pair of Magpies representing Magpie Green and locally found Celandine, Black Poplar and Lime.

The middle roundel has at its centre the Cathedral Tower at Bury St. Edmunds with the old priory ruins in the background and features Ivy (faithfulness and eternal light), a Holly Blue (resurrection and life after death) and Poppies to remind us that 1914 saw the start of WWI as well as the creation of the new Diocese of St. Edmundsbury with Ipswich.

The top roundel includes a portrait of the 1953 Coronation Oak on Long Green, (60th anniversary this year) above which is a glimpse of a Skylark, the epitome of joyful praise.

Tracery Panels

Theses contain the Coats of Arms of the Diocese, and of the Friends of Wortham Church (illustrated) together with flowers to symbolise our patron saint, The Virgin Mary.

Anthony Cobbold
June 2013


News in the press recently suggesting that there might soon be new hands on the tiller (sorry! not a very appropriate analogy; let’s try again) … new occupants of the boardroom at Arsenal remind us of the long if loose relationship between the two clubs.  We are not speculating that if they met on the pitch the outcome would be anything other than totally predictable; we are talking not about performance but about principle.

It is said that John Murray (Ivan) Cobbold (1879-1944) #448 in the family tree was to have gone shooting with Sir Samuel Hill-Wood (1872-1949) #8506 but as the shoot was cancelled, was taken to an Arsenal match where Sir Samuel was chairman instead.  Ivan enjoyed the experience so much that he decided to put up the money for Ipswich to turn professional in 1936.  The Corinthian philosophy of fair play was common to both clubs and survived in part because the chairmanship was passed down within the families.  Sir Samuel’s grandson Peter #5431 became chairman on his father’s death in 1982 and is rumoured to be likely to stand down shortly.  Both Ivan’s sons chaired Ipswich Town and it was the elder, John (1927-1983) #575 who received a case of champagne from Peter’s father, Denis as reward for telling the mutually disliked chairman of the Football Association to buzz off (though it is unlikely those was his actual word!).

On the family front, Denis’s mother in law was Violet Hambro (1884-1965) #5427 and Peter went into banking and became a vice-chairman of Hambros Bank, recruiting a colleague Sir Chips Keswick #992 to the Arsenal Board, and Ivan’s sister, Pamela (1900-1932) #452 married Sir Charles Hambro (1897-1963) #453, a story recorded recently in Jane Dismore’s book, The Voice from the Garden.

It seems wholly appropriate that the Trust should congratulate the Hill-Wood family on 84 years at Arsenal and wish Peter a long and happy retirement when the time comes.

Anthony Cobbold
June 2013


There may well be other family members who are keen potters but we doubt there are many as dedicated as Gregory Tingay #675 on the family tree.

Gregory’s studio is at Dartmouth Park Pottery, 122 Dartmouth Park Hill, London N19 5HT where his ‘phone number is 0207 263 3398.

We show here some examples of his exceptional work which is on display at his EVOLUTIONS EXHIBITION at Cranley Gallery, 3 Cranley Gardens, London N10 3AA.  The exhibition is open by appointment ( or 020 8883 3557) from 17th June to 26th June.  However, all family members are invited to attend a Private View on one of the following dates:

Saturday 15th June from 2-8

Sunday 16th June from 2-7

Saturday 22nd June from 2-8

Sunday 23rd June from 2-7

If you are not able to get to his exhibition a warm welcome awaits you at the Dartmouth Park Pottery but it is probably worth ringing in advance.


My Wife’s Lament.

Ah! Once we were a happy pair,
But now for me he doesn’t care,
He loves his odes, and out they pop:
Each hour I hope that they will stop,
But on he goes from day to day
Without a pause to my dismay;
Nought checks the current of his thought,
(He really has the fever caught).
He’ll write his odes, till death him claims,
Unless his hand he badly maims,
And then can write no more: oh drat!
I fear there’s little chance of that.



AN ‘ENTIRE’May 2013

The trust has acquired what is known in the trade as an ‘entire’ – that is a letter sent by Royal Mail (back in the days when the mail got the priority it deserved!) before the introduction of envelopes.  It was posted on 29th March 1843 at the Ipswich Main Post Office by J C & Alfred Cobbold, Solicitors to Messrs Ambrose, Solicitors at Manningtree.

Comprising a single sheet of paper the outside bears the red 1d paid stamp applied by the Ipswich office which sent it to the Manningtree office which needed nothing more than the name of the recipient.  On the inside no letterhead was necessary as the signature and Ipswich said it all.  The paper is a high quality laid paper by Crown Britannia sporting an excellent watermark.

J C Cobbold is of course John Chevallier Cobbold (1797-1882) #114 in the tree and Alfred is his younger brother (1813-1882) #136.  It must have been a considerable blow to the business when 2 partners died almost within a month of each other.

Sadly, being old and faded the document does not reproduce well for which apologies.


Many family members and friends will know that Richard Cobbold (1797-1877) #106 in the tree, was Rector at Wortham from 1826 until his death and left us (now in the Suffolk Record Office) a wonderful illustrated account of the village and its people, in addition to his best selling novel, Margaret Catchpole.

For many, many years The Friends of Wortham Church have provided indispensable  support for the fabric of the church but this has meant that their generosity has been largely unseen.  To celebrate the centenary of the diocese of St Edmundsbury and Ipswich and to make a highly visible and aesthetic contribution to the church the Friends raised the money necessary for a brand new stained glass window.

On a beautiful sunny, if windy, Sunday in April the new window was dedicated and blessed by our Bishop, The Right Reverend Nigel Stock at a service of Songs of Praise.  The window was designed by Deborah Lowe and includes a feast of local interests and influences most skilfully blended such that a good half hour is necessary to gain a full appreciation.  A full description of the window will be given in a future Cobbweb but for the moment we will concentrate on the dedication.

Needless to say I was delighted to have been invited, and to sit next to Constance Hiller (née Cobbold) #608 and her husband George #609 who both had special reason to be there.  George’s father, Rev. Hubert George Hiller #3003 was appointed Rector of Wortham in April 1935 (the living was sold by Richard Cobbold to King’s College, Cambridge) having earlier been the  Initial Priest, that is the first priest ordained in the new diocese whose centenary we were marking today.  As if that were not enough, George and Constance were married by George’s father in this very church in 1958.

Anthony Cobbold  May 2013.


Eleanor Plumer (1885-1967) #2555 in the tree, was the great, great granddaughter of Sir Thomas Plumer (1753-1824) #855, Master of the Rolls, 1818-1824, and the eldest of three daughters of Field Marshal Herbert Charles Onslow Plumer, 1st Viscount Plumer (1857-1932) #2546 and Annie Constance Goss (1858-1941) #2547

Eleanor became a great British educator.  She read English at Oxford as an external student from King’s College in London, where she stayed on as Lecturer and Tutor to women students, later becoming Warden of the Mary Ward Settlement from 1923 to 1927.  Her next appointment was at St Andrew’s Hall in the University of Reading where she was again Warden from 1927 to 1931.

In 1940 she was selected from an eminent short list to become Principal of the Society of Oxford Home Students.  In the early days of women’s education the home student society was one of the best routes available.  Between 1940 and her retirement in 1953 she employed every ounce of her innate skill and determination overseeing the, far from easy, transition of her Society to a fully fledged St. Anne’s College within the University of Oxford.  During the war years she spent her long vacations as a factory hand at the Morris works in Cowley and for a time the Library’s Fulford Room served as a highly productive munitions factory!

A book of collected student memories of their principal was published to mark the opening of Eleanor Plumer House, a graduate centre in Oxford.  The few extracts we reproduce here give a good indication of the affection and respect felt by her pupils.

1938  She was a skilful and humorous friend to students and colleagues, a wise and courageous leader.  I wish I had known her better.

1942  I see now her slight, frail figure, always immaculately dressed in a dark suit, as concealing enormous will and spirit.

1943  Later when I was working in London and just strolling along Piccadilly I was surprised to be caught by her umbrella handle and asked how I was getting on.

1946  Miss Plumer had a quiet but penetrating sense of humour, and was a great inspiration to me, to St. Anne’s and to the University.

1947  For a full five years this wonderful woman loyally supported me and I shall always be extremely grateful to her.

1948  She was so sharp, funny and wise that we all looked up to her and trusted she would bring the College to its new status.

1950  We all wholeheartedly shared her delight in the celebrations surrounding the granting to the Society of full college status, with its own coat of arms (those of the Plumer family).

1951  I remember a small, brisk, elderly woman, upright in deportment and business-like.  Eye contact was difficult behind the strong ‘pebble’ lenses of her glasses.

1952  She had a considerable presence, and expectations of mental as well as physical embodiment of wisdom were not disappointed.

Alumni of St. Anne’s include Mary Archer (1962); Edwina Currie (1965); Polly Toynbee (1966); Libby Purves (1968); Tina Brown (1971); Simon Rattle (1971) and Danny Alexander (1990).

Interestingly, the present Principal, appointed in 2004, is Tim Gardam who was awarded a double first in English at Gonville & Caius, Cambridge, a college with which the Cobbold family has a substantial connection and Jack Cobbold (1994-) goes up to St Anne’s in autumn 2013.




Always the same

I ne’er find fault with you, my wife,
Yet your remarks cut like a knife;
You always say “’Tis you’re unkind,
What I have lost, you ne’er can find;
My pen is gone, my specs are lost;
The fault is yours, a lot they cost;
Now, Nevill, search for them, I say,
Without a stop both night and day”!
Thus I am forced to spend my time
In hunting round (I speak in rhyme)
For what I’ve never moved at all,
I’m always at your beck and call.
I search in vain and wander round,
Where’er they’re likely to be found,
Yet still your bidding’s just the same,
“Go, search again, for you’re to blame”!



ANZAC DAY APRIL 25thApril 2013

ANZAC Day is a day of National Remembrance in Australia and New Zealand to honour the members of the Australia and New Zealand Army Corps who fought at Gallipoli and all those who served and died in military operations for their countries. This year marks the 98th anniversary of the landings on 25th April at what is now known as ANZAC Cove. This campaign is widely recognised as the first major action by Australian and New Zealand troops and it was one in which their losses exceeded 11,000 dead. It was also the occasion for the epic swim to shore in total darkness by General Freyberg VC (#3174 on the tree) in advance of further landings. As a British born New Zealander, Freyberg who later became Governor-General of New Zealand participated in ANZAC Day celebrations every year for the rest of his life. For him and for all our family members with antipodean connections it is right that we pay tribute.

I have selected a poem entitled Gallipoli by Staff Sergeant Sydney Bolitho of the 6th Battalion Australian Imperial Force (AIF) written in the trenches at Gaba Tepe which was at the southern end of ANZAC Cove. Shortly after writing this poem, Sydney Bolitho received serious injuries and was repatriated but whilst recovering he contracted tuberculosis from which he died in 1919. He was buried with full military honours at the White Hills Cemetery in Bendigo, Victoria, Australia.


The new dawn lights the eastern sky;
Night shades are lifted from the sea,
The Third Brigade with courage storm
Thy wooded heights, Gallipoli
Gallipoli ! Gallipoli !
Australians tread Gallipoli.

Thunderous bursts from iron mouths -
Myriad messengers of death,
Warships ply their deadly fire
Watching comrades hold their breath
Gallipoli ! Gallipoli !
There's hell upon Gallipoli.

Serried ranks upon the beach,
Courage beams in every eye
These Australian lads can face
Giant Death, though e'er so nigh,
Gallipoli ! Gallipoli !
There's death upon Gallipoli.

On they press in endless stream,
Up the heights they shouting go;
Comrades fall; but still press on
They press the now retreating foe
Gallipoli ! Gallipoli !
The Turks flee on Gallipoli.


One by one the brave lie low,
Machine Guns, shrapnel do their work;
Brave Australians know no fear,
Never have been known to shirk,
Gallipoli ! Gallipoli !
Their names carved on Gallipoli.

Reduced, cut up, there numbers show
The murderous fire that swept thy field;
But still victorious they stand,
Who never have been known to yield
Gallipoli ! Gallipoli !
Thick dead lie on Gallipoli.

For days they hold with grim set grip,
Their feet firm planted on the shore,
Repelling every fierce attack
And cheerfully they seek for more
Gallipoli ! Gallipoli !
Their trenches line Gallipoli.
For thirty weary days they fight,
For Britain's sake they give their best;
With uncomplaining voice they stand
And neither look nor ask for rest
Gallipoli ! Gallipoli !
They've conquered thee, Gallipoli.

The waves break on thy wave swept shores,
The breeze still blows across thy hills;
But crosses near and far abound,
A sight that deepest grief instils
Gallipoli! Gallipoli !
Their graves lie on Gallipoli.


Please help Mrs Bowry to establish the ownership of the Manor House on St. Margaret’s Green, Ipswich between 1660 and 1700.  This is before the Cobbolds lived there.  She is researching her ancestor Nathaniel Bacon MP.  If you can help please contact the Trust.

Peter Cobbold (#533 on the tree) who was Professor of Geology at Rennes University, France, specialising in Plate Tectonics and is now (since 2011) an Emeritus Research Fellow there, has been selected for an entry in ‘Marquis’s Who’s Who in the World’ 2013.  You can go to his website via the Trust’s ‘LINKS’

Susan M Roberts, Professor of Geography, University of Kentucky,is thanked for a lot of information on the Robinson and Cameron families which feature in our family tree.

Thanks also for similar help from Chris Heath in Canada and Simon Toynbee, on the wealthy Victorian industrialist Heath family about whom we will write a Cobbweb in due course.

On a lighter note…Rex Parkin

(#553 on the tree) who had a ‘tailors’ dummy’ figure was clothed entirely free by his tailor, Plenderleith, whilst up at Cambridge, on condition that admirers of his sartorial elegance were steered towards their shop on King’s Parade!


This is a remarkable story of a regrettably short but truly action-packed life.

Sometime in 1923, Campbell joined the Royal Air Force and on 24th January 1924 he was appointed a Pilot Officer and attached to a Bombing Squadron at Martlesham Heath, close to Woodbridge, Suffolk, where he had been at school.  He quickly earned a reputation as a highly skilled pilot which led to his attachment to the Royal Aircraft Establishment at Farnborough.  He arrived when the RAE was working on an Airship Development Programme aimed at producing an airborne aircraft carrier.

In October 1926 Campbell and Flying Officer (later Air Vice-Marshal) Ragg took part in an experiment to launch two parasite Gloster Grebe fighters from retractable trapezes under the R33 airship.  Campbell was released first at an altitude of 2,500 ft and after diving for about 100 ft levelled out.  The Times reported that ‘The aeroplane, with her engine running dropped like a stone and then regaining control, MacKenzie-Richards performed a series of stunts, looping-the-loop, rolling and flying upside down’ whilst Flight recorded that the plane ‘gambolled gaily in the air as if glad to be free, at last, from the maternal apron strings.’  There was difficulty getting Ragg’s engine started but, he too flew freely, and both landed safely.  Later, both pilots’ Grebes were successfully released, flown and reattached to the airship using skyhooks.  Given the rudimentary nature of flying technology at that time the skill and bravery of those two pilots is exemplary.

As a member of the RAE Aero Club, Campbell won, from scratch, the first race of the day on 4th June 1927 at Ensbury Park Racecourse near Bournemouth flying a de Havilland Humming Bird, a single-seat ultralight monoplane, at 73.5 mph.  Sadly, due to two accidents that Whitsun weekend there were to be no more air races at Ensbury Park.  Two months later he was successful again, this time at the Hucknall Torkard aerodrome in Nottinghamshire where, starting from scratch he gained third place in the Papplewick Stakes flying the same Humming Bird aircraft (G-EBQP) over the 8.5 mile single-lap course.  His prize?  £10.

Campbell was killed in an experimental night flying accident at East Grinstead on 9th November 1927.  Leaving Croydon at 5.30 pm with Professor Green as his observer he set course for Farnborough but found that his compass was about 30° out and, unable to find Farnborough they decided to return to Croydon.  When they estimated they were overhead they lost height but were unable to see lights or anything they recognised.  With only 20 minutes of fuel remaining Campbell briefed Green on how to use his parachute whilst looking as best they could for a field in which to crash land.  Unable to find one, Campbell turned the aircraft and pushed Green out so that he was clear before pulling the ripcord, thus ensuring his safe landing.  Campbell’s body was found only about 200 yards from the crashed machine.  His parachute was open and the Coroner concluded that the airplane was already too low when Campbell left the craft, his parachute not having had time to deploy effectively.  He is buried at Great Yeldham, Essex.

Ironically, he had been married for less than 3 months but fortunately his wife was pregnant and his daughter was born at Aldeburgh the following year.


His father, a relatively junior banker at the time, lost his first wife, albeit after the birth of a son and a daughter, only 6 years into the marriage.  He married a second time and within 18 months this wife and their son were dead too.  Marriage and parenthood were not going well.

Charles Cobbold, or Charlie as he was always known, was the first child of his father’s third marriage.  He was a fine strong baby with a healthy mother and only 6 years later a fine strong sister joined him.  Things were much better.  Charlie did well at Bradfield and won himself a place at Gonville and Caius College, Cambridge where he took up rowing, and won his oar in the 2nd May Boat in 1913; that oar later being donated to the Caius Boat Club.

Motivated, as many young men were, by that deep sense of injustice, Charlie volunteered immediately after the outbreak of war.  He served 11 months as a Trooper with the Hampshire Carabiniers Yeomanry before being commissioned into the Royal Field Artillery (RFA) in August 1915 and being posted to the front line as an Officer of 32nd Brigade on November 18th.

Some of his letters ’home’ have survived and they tell of a man who, despite being responsible for medium calibre guns and howitzers in the front line, and enduring wet, rat infested quarters, managed to care for his charger, bolster his men’s morale and remain deeply attached to his elder sister and her family.

Imagine the horror at home when the dreaded news arrived that he had been killed on the front line on 3rd October 1916.  The son and heir of a happy marriage destroyed in an instant.  A father’s dream shattered!  His Commanding Officer wrote of him: ‘We all liked him so much.  He had an extraordinary disregard of danger, and always set an excellent example to the men, with whom he was very popular.  His last words to his men were, “Don’t take any notice of the shells, they’re only strays and not meant for you.”

Charlie is commemorated on the Thiepval Memorial in France, at St. John’s Church, Rownham and in the Chapel at Caius College, Cambridge.

Anthony Cobbold
March 2013


The Bi-Centenary of the Cliff Brewery, Ipswich was celebrated with a big party at Holy Wells on 30th July 1923.  Thanks to their granddaughter, Mrs Taylor, we have the invitations received by Mr. and Mrs. Osborne who were the publicans at The Grapes in Regent Street, Ipswich.  The tenants who were all men were invited to lunch at 1 o’clock and their wives were asked to join them at 2.30 for Sports followed by Adults Tea at 5.30.  The menu shows that they sat down to:


Roast Sirloin of Beef
Boiled Salt Beef
Suffolk Ham
Steak and Kidney Pies
Ox Tongues   Pressed Beef
Galantine of Veal
Fruit Tarts and Cream
Liqueur Jellies
Strawberry Creams
Apricots and Custard
Assorted Pastries
Cheese and Biscuits


Mr Osborne was joined at lunch by Mr Henry Heffer, landlord of the George and Dragon Inn at Farnham, Essex who at that time was the Cobbold’s longest serving tenant having chalked up 45 years. 


Back in 2008 (see “Features Archive” – October) we wrote about W N (Nuts) Cobbold (1863-1922; #289 in the tree) who played football for England between 1883 and 1887.  As well as being an outstanding sportsman he was a classicist who ran a crammer at West Wratting Park, near Cambridge, to help young men gain commissions in the Army before and during WWI.  When not coaching the school’s football, cricket and tennis teams he chose to write verse, unusually, in Latin as well as English!

The Trust has a number of his verses and, in the absence of a willing publisher, has decided to print one a month in Cobbwebs.  For our first series we have chosen domestic topics but will probably move on to his military rhymes next year to mark the centenary of the start of WWI.

Whilst his odes show great affection for his pupils and his family it seems that their Seelyham, Ghillie, was ‘top dog’ as we shall see in later excerpts.  We don’t for one minute claim that his poetry is great but we do enjoy the very English, self deprecating way it brings a smile to our lips. 

My wife on the making of Odes.

Alas! Alas! I’m very sad,
My husband dear ’s fast going mad,
He writes an ode each single day,
Did I say ode? That’s not his way:
Each day he writes twelve odes at least,
But what’s far worst (he is a beast)
He makes me listen to them all,
Tho’ well he knows how much they pall.
His odes are here, his odes are there:
His odes, his odes are everywhere;
There’s nothing else one ever hears,
I’d give a lot to close my ears.
These odious odes, they ne’er will cease,
Till kindly death doth him release.
He’s odes on dogs and odes on war,
And odes which like a torrent pour
From off his pen, he’s done four score
In just three days and thirsts for more;
What can I do? Ah, wretched me!
I soon shall be as mad as he.


Sylvia Stoltz

Before the ink was dry on last month’s Cobbweb “I’ve still got my marbles” we received the good news that the Church of St. Andrew in Little Glemham, which is Grade 1 listed, has received a grant of £115,000 from the Heritage Lottery Fund.  The local paper reports that the money will be used to repair the tower and a mausoleum built for the North family who lived at Glemham Hall during the 18thy Century.

Edgar George Gubbins & Dorothy Chevallier Cobbold

The Trust is grateful to Virginia van der Lande (#2008 in the tree) for the gift of a copy of a photograph album entitled ‘Bexhill-on-Sea 1916’ covering a holiday taken by the family of Edgar Gubbins (ca1873-1958 #345) and Dorothy Chevallier Cobbold (1873-1957 #344)

Surgeon-General Alexander Dallas

We are also grateful to Juliet Fullerton in Canada (#7986), a 5 x gt. granddaughter of ‘Big’ John Cobbold (1745-1835 #56) for information, particularly about the family of Surgeon-General Alexander Morrison Dallas (1830-1912 #6324)

Margaret Catchpole

Richard Cobbold’s Victorian best selling heroine continues to fascinate!  The Trust has just given permission for his watercolour of Margaret stealing John Cobbold’s horse to be reproduced in ‘Aldeburgh a Portrait’ to be published by Antique Collectors’ Club in June in time for the Aldeburgh Festival.

Leslie Rhodes

The Trust continues to be most grateful to Leslie Rhodes who voluntarily undertakes the huge amount of basic research necessary to continually expand and update the family tree.  We repeatedly get the impression that the family tree is the part of the website most appreciated by visitors to the site.  Our thanks to all those who have contributed over the years. 


And it came to pass that in the land of Broughton that is known for its Church, there lived a beautiful hound of great lineage by the name of Zebo; and behold it was found that she was heavily with young.  Now when her time was accomplished she brought forth a fine litter of puppies of which one was destined to join the tribe of Cobbold in the High borough of Wycombe where she was much anticipated by two maidens, the fair Jude and the auburn Nell, both of tender years.  But, upon her arrival there arose in the household a great tempest as to how to decide upon a name in which all could rejoice.  Master, Mistress and children were all sorely vexed as to how to christen this new member of the Cobbold family.  Then suddenly the clouds parted and a great light shone forth which decreed absolutely that she be called, henceforth, by one name and one name only:                                         



The marriage of Capt. John Murray (Ivan) Cobbold (1897-1944 #448 in the tree) to Lady Blanche Cavendish (1898-1987 #448) was the reason for a great gathering at Holy Wells (the spelling Holywells is modern) on Friday July 25th 1919.  Amongst the hundreds of tenants and employees invited were Mr. & Mrs. H E Osborn who were the publicans at The Grapes in Regent Street, Ipswich.  Nearly 100 years later their granddaughter, Mrs Taylor has kindly given the Trust some souvenirs of the occasion.

The festivities ran from 12.30 to dusk and included lunch at 1.0’clock with presentations (presumably of wedding presents), games during the afternoon and tea at 5.30.  Our pictures show the bridal couple with the groom in the uniform of a twice-wounded subaltern in the Scots Guards; the invitation; a group of the tenants and brewery employees; and a barrel race and pillow fight in progress.

We have been unable to find a picture of The Grapes which Mrs Taylor remembers seeing as a child and which she says was replaced by Council Offices.

The next festivities at Holy Wells took place just 4 years later in July 1923 to celebrate the bi-centenary of the Cliff Brewery and these will be the subject of another Cobbweb next month.

ATOMBOKA and OMAZAFebruary 2013

This narrative poem, subtitled An African Story was written by Eliza Knipe (#58 in the tree) in 1787 when she was 23 years old and 4 years before she became John Cobbold’s second wife.  Her young idealistic mind revolted fiercely against slavery.

Atomboka is described as ‘the peerless Chief, high towering in his might’ and Omaza as ‘The dark-brown beauty often praised in song, herself well skilled to throw the certain lance.’  They fight a fierce battle in defence of their freedom to the cry ‘Lift high the axe’ but they are defeated.  The poem finishes:


A pond’rous chain they twin’d, and on a car
Of woven canes, beset with thorns,
In pomp barbaric, dragg’d them o’er the plain.
They heav’d no sigh; with patient scorn they brav’d
Insult and pain: the instruments of death
Pleas’d their glad fight; and on the tort’ring fire
They smil’d serene, and hail’d its rising blaze.

From a tall rock, a warrior-youth descry’d
A gallant ship that, bounding o’er the waves,
Spread her white wings, and hasted to the shore.
He gave the well-known sign. – On ev’ry side
Calm silence spread; exulting clamour ceas’d;
Av’rice prevailed: down to the sandy beach
They led their patient captives: soon the ship
Arriv’d, and paid their price. – Two changing moons,
Oe’r the wide earth, had spread their silver light,
E’er, from surrounding hills, the wretched train
To slav’ry doom’d were brought. – In silent woe
Full many an hour proud Atomboka spent;
While sad Omaza, with heart-rending groans,
Indulg’d the keener transports of despair.

The vessel spread her sails. – The distant shore
Now lessen’d on the view. – Still ev’ning rob’d
The skies in sober grey; and the red light
Of parting day scarce ting’d the western verge
Of the slow rolling ocean.  High in east,
The orb of night with paler radiance shone
And silver’d o’er the waves. – From the close hold
Sad Atomboka and Omaza stole:
The massy chain with steady care they bore,
That not a clanking link, with tell-tale noise,
Betray’d their flight. – Silent and unobserv’d
They pass’d the sleepy watch, and to the side
Of the tall vessel sped; there, stooping, view’d
The passing waves with many a sorr’wing look:
Then low, in fearful whispers, thus explain’d
The mournful thoughts that rose in either breast.


See, my Omaza, how the waters glide,
In sportive mock’ry by: they do not know
The harshness of captivity: No pow’r
Can fix a chain on them, or make them leave
Their native bed: but we are doom’d to roam
Far from all social joys: perhaps, beneath
Inclement skies, to toil at the harsh will
Of a capricious master, or endure
The painful scourge, inflicted by a wretch
Whose soul enjoys a fellow-creature’s pangs.


O never will we yield to such a fate;
No rather, from some high and craggy rock,
We’ll dash ourselves, and, in the barren vale,
Feed the fell tigers and devouring birds.


Thy fancy raves; where shall the craggy rock
Be found, when, chain’d to some strong stake, we feel
The lash of pow’r? methinks the gentle waves
Invite us to repose, and, murm’ring soft,
Say, ‘Rest, O mortals, from the toils of life!’


‘Tis greatly thought! Borne on the rolling main,
We soon shall reach that blissful island where
Our fathers’ spirits rest, and with them raise
The song of triumph. – Our insulting foes
Shall lose their promis’d vengeance.—


Hark! I hear a ghost’s shrill voice! It chides our dull delay,
And waits to guide us to the happy shore.

Sudden they plung’d, clasp’d in a fond embrace,
And, o’er their heads, the closing waters roll’d.

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