Cobbwebs News & Views

Here the Trust provides News & Views that are of interest to the family and to a wider audience.  They can be downloaded as PDF documents. 

Cobbwebs stay in this section for up to 6 months. Thereafter they go to the Cobbwebbs Archive.

Cobbwebs News & Views

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SILKEN STRANDS 2February 2016

The Trust is happy to report the acquisition of From G & J to Tri-ang - The Lines Family Toy businesses – The First 80 Years by Peggy Lines. The author retired from her position as Chairman of Hamleys, perhaps the most famous toy shop in the world, in 1976 and spent much of the rest of her life working on this book but sadly never saw it completed. That task fell to her nephew, Anthony Lowth who has now published it in a form as close as possible to that which Peggy lines would have chosen herself.  Anthony is a 4 x gt. grandson of ‘Big’ John Cobbold (1746-1835) (#56 on the tree).  The book has been described as ‘An absolute joy for its family content, its wonderful presentation and its rich nostalgic feast.’


We are pleased to confirm that planning consent has been given for the Tolly Cobbold Brewery development which we featured in December 2015. The Trust has asked for a little space in the development but the nature of its space and the terms attached have not yet been discussed.

We would like to remind visitors that there is an abundance of fascinating historical information about Ipswich and its people on the Ipswich Historic Lettering website.

We provide a direct link.

An entrepreneurial family member was asked recently by the BBC for his 3 tips for budding young businessmen. Here they are:

  1. Learn what ‘good’ looks like.
  2. Listen to others but retain the courage of your convictions.
  3. Regret is much more painful than failure. Learn from your failures.

I’m quite frequently asked if I have found any black sheep in the family. The qualification for black sheep status is unclear but I have come across an inveterate womaniser, we’ll call him John, who certainly got his comeuppance!

John was travelling to Nice by train when he spotted a good-looking lady. Modest dining car attendant palm greasing secured him a seat with her for dinner and such was the compound effect of good food, fine wine and his charm that he ended up in her couchette.

Unbeknown to John the train split during the night and he ended up in Madrid in only his pyjamas!

SILKEN STRANDS 1February 2016

The Trust warmly thanks the donors for the following gifts:

From Carolyn Cobbold (#644 on the family tree), a risk management journalist and a dedicated environmentalist who is also completing her PhD at Darwin College, Cambridge, a copy of a paper about the Manhood Peninsular which she co-wrote with Dr Cunningham for publication in Coastal Zone Management.

From Jocelyn Norden, information leading to our much improved understanding of Savage Cobbold (1769-1839) (#8589) and his father.  Savage and his wife are buried at St Stephen’s Church, Ipswich

From the Keeper Downton Abbey – A Celebration-The official companion to the complete six series,  by Jessica Fellowes with a Foreword by Julian Fellowes(#3354).  Visitors will no doubt have heard that Julian Fellowes’ adaptation of Anthony Trollope’s novel Doctor Thorne will be aired by ITV shortly.


The publication of an ‘old man’ limerick in the Daily Telegraph earlier this month put us in mind of our home-grown ‘young man’ equivalent by Richard Cobbold, a long serving family brewery employee. In case the example from the newspaper is not easily read we reproduce both below:

There was an Old Man with an Owl,
Who continued to bother and howl;
He sat on a rail, and imbibed bitter ale,
Which refreshed that Old Man and his Owl.

A Young Man with his girlfriend had squabbled,
And relations between them were troubled,
A sensible fella, he went to the cellar
And opened a bottle of Cobbold!

Acknowledgement to the Daily Telegraph, Edward Lear, and, of course to our very own Richard Cobbold (#595 on the family tree).

TOLLY COBBOLD and THE ARTS ...February 2016

It is said that when Elizabeth Clarke (née Knipe) married ‘Big’ John Cobbold (1746-1835) she found only three books in his house; a Bible and two books of brewery accounts! She was an enthusiastic patron of literature and all the arts and has left us copious evidence of her participation.

She would have been thrilled in the 1970s when Richard Cobbold, now of Stoke by Nayland, but then in charge of the Wines & Spirits Department, took up her mantle and oversaw Tolly Cobbold’s sponsorship of 5 Eastern Arts national art exhibitions. This is topical now because the Trust had 2 of the 5 catalogues and Richard has just donated the other 3 so we now have the complete set.

But that is not all, for Richard also donated catalogues for 2 similarly sponsored photographic exhibitions.

The 5 art exhibitions for which the catalogues are illustrated here toured as widely as Edinburgh, Newcastle and Sheffield and they all went to London. The 2 photographic exhibitions were shown regionally. Over the next 7 months we will be focussing on one exhibition per month and bringing you information about each and one or two examples of the artists’ work.


The Gifts of FRANK COBBOLD by Arthur W Upfield and edited by Sandra Berry is back in print and available now from this website.

This biography of Frank Cobbold opens when Frank goes to sea on a Clipper aged 14. It follows him through experience as a Fijian trader who escaped the cannibals’ cook pot and survived one of the worst hurricanes in living memory. In Australia he learned the skills of a surveyor and quickly became a sought-after and trusted station manager. Despite problems that would have defeated a less resolute man he took droughts, cheats and unyielding land tenure regulations in his stride to become one of Australia’s great pioneering pastoralists. Admired by fellow bush men, trusted by his partners and wooed by bankers, his gritty determination earned him a small fortune which he gave away. It’s a remarkable story.

Arthur William Upfield (1890-1964) wrote this biography shortly before Frank’s death. It seems that there was something contentious at the time because Frank’s widow, Bea would not allow publication. Following her death the typescript went as part of the residue of Frank’s estate to the Royal United Kingdom Beneficent Association now called Independent Age from whence it was acquired by The Cobbold Family History Trust which arranged its first publication in 2008.

A combination of Frank’s extraordinary life in the bush and the literally life-changing impact of his legacy, still appreciated today, make this a ‘must read’ book, and good value at only £12.


SILKEN STRANDS 2January 2016

The Trust is happy to report the following acquisitions:

Family Tree magazine, October 1996 for a Margaret Catchpole article.

The History of Margaret Catchpole, Cole’s Australian edition.

Margaret Catchpole, The Girl from Wolfkettel 1949 by G G Carter.

Margaret Catchpole, Two Worlds Apart, 1980 Libretto by R Fletcher.

Two post cards: Cliff House and The Kitchen, Priory Farm.


  • Thanks to all family members who sent cards to the Trust.
  • Congratulations to Holywells Park on winning the Ipswich Society Award of  Distiction for their restoration project.
  • We have learned that Clement Shorter who wrote an Introduction to the 1907 World’s Classics edition of Margaret Catchpole was the first editor of Tatler.
  • The Trust has made a small donation to Wikimedia


SILKEN STRANDS 1January 2016

The Trust warmly thanks donors for the following gifts:

From Richard Cobbold, The Brewing book, Sept. 1792 to Oct. 1799, three catalogues of Tolly Cobbold sponsored Eastern Arts National Exhibitions, two Photographic Exhibition catalogues and two old Barwell and Jones price lists.

These items are of great interest and will be the subject of a Cobbweb shortly.

From Bruce Cobbold, in USA a copy of his latest book Lucretius, The Nature of the Universe.  A translation of De Rerum Natura by Titus Lucretius Carus.  This book contains meticulous observations of natural phenomena as timely today as they were 2000 years ago.

From Sarah Cobbold, access to the material which allowed us to write The Life and Death of Sgt Cobbold, one of this month’s Cobbwebs.

From Helen & Andrew of the WHCACF Ipswich War Memorial and Cenotaph project, information on four Cobbolds there commemorated:

Charles Herbert Leek Cobbold 1893-1916
George Tye Cobbold 1887-1917
James Edward Cobbold 1894-1918
Robert James Cobbold 1887-1917

THE TREE'S A BEECH!January 2016

Last April the Trust donated a Coast Redwood to Ipswich Arboretum. This time it’s a Beech, but a rather special Beech. On 3rd December last year Steve Leech and David Miller planted the Cut-leaf or Fern Leaf Beech donated by the Trust. It arrived in a 65 litre pot, is 10 feet tall and has been put in a superb location, on The Mound in the Upper Arboretum.

The Cut-Leaf has always been a favourite of the Keeper’s and on hearing that the Arboretum didn’t already have one it was an obvious choice. Its Latin name is Fagus sylvatica ‘Heterophylla’ and it sports the same smooth silver grey bark as other Beeches but has attractive narrow lance-shaped dark green leaves giving a feathery graceful form. It is a long lived, robust tree turning copper-gold in autumn.

Cobbolds and their Kin have walked in the arboretum since the earliest days. We contributed to the saving of the Christchurch Park over 100 years ago and many who have been mayors of Ipswich are commemorated on the Mayors’ Walk. By donating trees we hope that our great family’s continuing support will be appreciated in another 100 years time.


Your family history trust has got off to an excellent start!

We have completed a major redesign of this website, bringing it right up to date with current best practice, making it user friendly for tablets and smart phones. In part this is to help us talk to younger generations.

Our Books for Sale now has a shopping cart facility allowing multiple purchases. Also we now also offer Holywells and Margaret Catchpole greeting cards and a few second hand books. Please have a look; your custom helps our work.

The total number of people featured on the family tree is approaching 10,000 and our improved ‘Contact Us’ facility is bringing lots questions, corrections and additions.

We do not pursue numbers for the sake of it but we do strive to be accurate.

We wish all our visitors a happy and interesting New Year!


The Trust heard that the Parochial Church Council in Little Bealings, Suffolk would probably be forced, for financial reasons, to sell the Angela Cobbold Memorial Church Room. Having understood the reasons the Trust considers that a sale is probably the only viable option. However, it caused us to explore the original gift and we show here what we offered to the PCC by way of explanation.

Angela’s father, Francis Alfred Cobbold (1852-1915) #209 on the family tree, a grandson of brewer, John Wilkinson Cobbold (1774-1860) was born in Ipswich. He graduated from St. John’s College, Cambridge in 1874 and married Frederica (Freda) Julia Worship in Kent in 1880, here referred to as Freda. They set up home in Ipswich.

Three children followed:

Francis Alfred Worship Cobbold born 1882 (FAWC)
Freda Angela Cobbold born 1884 (Angela)
Gladys Jessie born 1886 (Gladys)

In 1908 FAWC qualified as a solicitor and by 1912 the family is living in Westbury Lodge, Anglesea Road, Ipswich. The war years were an unhappy time; FAWC was away at the war, his father, Francis Alfred died in 1915 and his sister Gladys died in 1917. Both were buried in Ipswich.

In 1920 Freda and daughter Angela moved to Crossways, their new home in Little Bealings and it is thought this was a happy time during which Freda exercised her passion for gardening to the full. In 1922 FAWC married Beatrice Worthington (1879-1961) in London and it is thought they set up home at Sproughton Hall about this time. Later correspondence suggests their home was Church Close, Sproughton.

After 16 years, Freda’s time in Little Bealings came to an abrupt end when Angela died in 1936. One assumes that mother and daughter had been both close and happy so Angela was laid to rest there, money was given in her memory for the Church Room and the grieving mother went to live with her son at Sproughton where she herself died two years later.

Land for the Church Room was given by Capt. Hervey of Little Bealings Grove and was valued at that time at £25. The project was organised by FAWC on behalf of his mother to a design provided by Mr. Worthingham. The building was paid for by Freda and the gift of land was conditional upon the building being made over to the Diocese upon completion which duly happened in 1938 or 1939. It is uncertain whether Freda saw the completed building prior to her death.

Neither FAWC nor his siblings had children so that line of the family has died out.


David Cobbold #9809 on the family tree, an ex Chief Inspector in the Suffolk Constabulary has twice served as Chairman of Belstead Parish Council. Recently he has been instrumental in clearance of the churchyard at St Mary’s Belstead. Lost in the undergrowth and brambles volunteers discovered the grave of Stella Cobbold (1882-1918) #348 whose life and very happy marriage were cruelly cut short.

Stella was the first child and elder daughter of Dr Charles Hamilton Hone Cameron and Mary Louisa Savile Shepherd. Through her father Stella was a great niece of Peter Robert Burrell, 4th Baron Gwydyr of Stoke Park, Ipswich. The barony passed to her 2nd cousin but became extinct in 1915 as there was no male heir.

In 1903 Stella, who had been living at Stoke Park, entered what was by all accounts a match made in Heaven. At St Mary Stoke Church, Ipswich on 1st October she married Clement John Fromanteel Cobbold eldest son of the late Nathanael Fromanteel Cobbold and grandson of John Chevallier Cobbold at what was unquestionably a spectacular ceremony. In less than a year Stella’s only child was born, Cameron (known as Kim), who later, unknown to his mother, was to become Governor of the Bank of England and 1st Baron Cobbold. War was declared while her son was still at school and she threw herself wholeheartedly into the support of our troops.

In 1918 Stella died suddenly during the 1st World War flu pandemic. A correspondent wrote in The Times:


Military hospitals owe so much to the work of war hospital supply depots that I would pay a last tribute to Stella Willoughby Savile Cobbold, who died at Boston after a short illness on December 2nd. Mrs Cobbold inaugurated the first of such organizations at Ipswich on August 7th 1914, and within a week had contrived to get a large number of drugs and dressings to the front. We realize what a boon this was in that terrible time. This example was speedily followed in other places, and many of the largest organizations throughout the country owe their inspiration to meetings addressed by Mrs Cobbold. She never refused her help or admitted the existence of any difficulty of transport or otherwise that could not be overcome. Owing to family reasons connected with the war Mrs Cobbold was latterly obliged to take a smaller share in public work”.

Her newly discovered grave at St Mary’s Belstead, the last to be uncovered, is on the north side behind the large tomb of Lord Gwydyr.


The story of Sgt. Sydney George Cobbold (1887-1916) #9999 on the family tree has recently been uncovered by a his grand niece, Sarah Cobbold assisted by Dr. James Wearn of the Royal Botanical Gardens, Kew and Mark Norris, the Education Manager at Newquay Zoo. The reason for this apparently unlikely combination of researchers will become apparent as we go along.

Sydney 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 one of eight children and first showed an interest in gardening by going to work for the local GP at the age of 13. In December 1805, now 18 he is working for C C Sibthorp in the grounds of his stately home, Sudbrooke Holme in Lincolnshire and by 1908 he has 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 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 known no pain. He and fellow Riflemen Farr, Kittle and Gordon and Sgt Aspden MM died together on 3rd October. Sydney lies among comrades at Le Fermont Cemetery beneath a headstone engraved at his father’s request ‘His Country called – He Answered’.

Sydney is rightly remembered on the Woolpit War Memorial.

SILKEN STRANDS 2 December 2015

The Trust is happy to report the following acquisitions:

  • Tolly Cobbold, Tolly Original Tee shirt
  • Tollemache & Cobbold Breweries Limited Price List dated 3rd July 1961
  • 3 post card prints of Felixstowe, one being Cobbold’s Point
  • The Church of St Mary the Virgin, Wortham, new Church Guide 2013
  • Post card of Cliff House, postmark dated 1929
  • Paperback, Cole’s Special Australian Edition: The History of Margaret Catchpole (date uncertain but later than 1862)
  • Art print: “British Squares Receiving the Charge of the French Cuirassiers” to be used for the cover of our next book “Letters from Waterloo”


Congratulations to Julian Fellowes (Lord Fellowes), creator and writer of Downton Abbey (#3354 in the family tree) recipient of the Honorary Founders International Emmy Award in New York in November 2015, presented by Elizabeth McGovern.

Also School of Rock which opened on Broadway earlier this month composed by Andrew Lloyd Webber was written by Julian Fellowes.

Originally The Felix Thornley Cobbold Agricultural Trust (founded by Felix Thornley Cobbold (#201 in the family tree), now the Felix Cobbold Trust held a major conference at the Felix Cobbold Centre, Stanaway Farm last month.  It showcased the wide and changing ways in which it carries out its education mission.

On the same occasion Stephen Cobbald (note the spelling) handed over the chairmanship of trustees to James Forrest having completed seven years in the role.

The completely new Wortham Church Guide, 24 pages in full colour is very well worth a look and can be purchased for £3 + 50p postage by phoning Edward Coales on 01379 898479 or emailing him at

Interestingly, the reading at Dr John Blatchly’s memorial service was from Pevsner’s Buildings of England with an introduction from Freston Tower (1865) by Richard Cobbold.

Upon the banks of the beautiful river Orwell has stood for centuries, and still stands, Freston Tower.  Every sailor belonging to the port of Ipswich knows it well; every traveller in the county of Suffolk, who has any love for the tranquil in nature, must have noticed, if he has sailed from Ipswich to Harwich, this picturesque object towering above the trees, and looking upon the widest expanse of water which the river affords.

SILKEN STRANDS 1 December 2015

The Trust is pleased to warmly thank donors for the following gifts:

3 very welcome financial donations from Ineke Boxer, Shirley Fowley and Tim & Prue Milling.

5 Wine books and a wine quiz from David Cobbold, Connaître et Apprécier

  • Sauternes et Barsac
  • Bandol
  • Le Vin par l’étiquette
  • Pourquoi le vin est-il rouge?
  • Les Cépages

Looking Back a memoir by Grace Kathleen Cobbold including her husband’s story – Fred’s War from their son, David Cobbold

A small wallet, the property of John Vyvyan Cobbold from Nicola Wilton

Bristol Short Story Prize Anthology Volume 8 because it contains one of her short stories by Emma Staughton

  • Armorial Families 1929 containing bookplate of Robert Cobbold Cain of Ballasalla
  • Vital Statistics 1885 by William Farr
  • Journal Kept by John Tatton Brown Volumes 1 & 2 July 1823 - January 1826
  • The Chantry, Sproughton by Pip Wright 2014

These the gift of the Keeper.


News that the Victorian Society had placed the Grade II listed Tolly Cobbold Brewery on their register of the 10 most endangered buildings in UK broke in September this year.

Brewing has taken place on this site since 1746 or possibly a little earlier but ceased in 2002 since when the building has been neglected except for the Cobbold family home – The Cliff – which became the Brewery Tap, a gastro-pub most ably run to this day by Mike and Georgie Keen. Highly recommended! Every Cobbold who sets foot inside gets a wonderful welcome!

Back in 2013 Pigeon Investment Management who own the building obtained planning permission for a scheme which would have preserved the brewery as a heritage site but which depended on a hotel and a supermarket. Demand for these has since evaporated so the new scheme announced in November this year proposes a 300-seat auditorium in the brewery and some 222 residential units in their place.

The proposal is likely to go before the planners early in the New Year and there is the thought that the scheme might also provide a new home for the Ipswich Transport Museum. Watch this space!


If The Cobbold Family History Trust could award medals for bravery Stephen #1681 on the family tree would be a very worthy recipient. The citation would go something like this:

Whilst relaxing on the Gower beach at Three Cliffs Bay with his three-year-old son last August Stephen noticed a group of teenagers, three boys and a girl getting swept out to sea. Leaving his son with a nearby family he swam towards the group with his body board. “They were about 40 metres out and I knew they were in trouble” he said. “The first guy seemed to be fine so I went on to the second person who was struggling. He held onto my body board whilst we carried on swimming to the next guy and he grabbed my board too. The fourth person was the girl and I saw her head facing up to the sky just above the water. She was in a very perilous situation”. Aided by another man who had come out to help, Stephen got the three teenagers back to the shore. Although the Rescue Services had been called it was Stephen’s prompt action which saved them

Afterwards, feeling sick and shaky, with the three struggling swimmers in shock, Stephen explained that as a 14-year old he had witnessed a tragedy at Three Cliffs, the memory of which inspired him to take action. “I told myself this is not going to happen again” he said.

THOMAS COBBOLD (1742-1831)December 2015

The Trust was recently able to acquire this fine silhouette of Reverend Thomas Cobbold who is #51 on the family tree. It was probably made around the time of his death and despite a look of Churchillian splendour it is in need of some cleaning.

Thomas was born in Harwich, the older brother of John Cobbold, 3rd generation brewer, who we now call 'Big John'. He was educated in Bury St Edmunds and at Trinity College, Cambridge (1761) and was ordained Deacon in 1765. This was two years before his father’s death so it is reasonable to assume that he knew that in giving his life to the Church he was foregoing his chance to inherit the brewery. Indeed he was ordained Priest four months after his father died. He had become curate at Bramford, Ipswich in 1765 and moved on to Wilby where he became Rector in 1767.

This was the age of pluralism. Whilst retaining the living at Wilby he added a Perpetual Curacy at St Mary-le-Tower, Ipswich in 1778 and became Rector of Woolpit in 1781, retaining all until his death in 1831. Perhaps this explains why our silhouette undoubtedly shows a man of well-being and substance!


Congratulations are due to Capt. Jolyon Woodard (#875 on the family tree) who is to be the next Captain of Britannia Royal Naval College, Dartmouth.  A naval aviator like his father, Rear Admiral Sir Robert Woodard who was the last Flag Officer Royal Yachts, Jolyon saw extensive service as Commanding Officer of Yeovilton-based 845 Naval Air Squadron in Afghanistan where the squadron provided 24/7 support for ground troops for over 4 years.

Another father and son family connection with BRNC is that of Geoff Cobbold (#409) who is widely remembered as the deaf but delightful teacher of Mathematics at Dartmouth for 30 years and his son Rear Admiral Richard Cobbold (Dartmouth in the early 60s) who following retirement was Director of the Royal United Services Institute.  Coincidentally both were younger sons having both an older brother and sister.

Many family members have passed through Dartmouth, the most decorated being Lt. Commander Malcolm David Wanklyn VC DSO** (#9837) who died in command of HMS/M Upholder in the Mediterranean on 25th May 1941.

Christmas 2015December 2015

The Cobbold Family History Trust wishes all visitors – be they family or friend – a Christmas that is peaceful and joyful, and a New Year that fulfils all your expectations.

Traffic into the Trust has increased markedly this last 12 months, a year in which we participated in the reopening of Holywells Park and published two more books.

Major improvements to our website will be evident in January 2016. The Trust is in good shape. Thank you family, friends and supporters.


Back in 2009 the Trust was able to give Leslie Ramsey some meagre help with an article he was writing for the Felixstowe Society’s Newsletter, about the Cliff Estate overlooking the sea in Felixstowe.  The date of construction of Cliff House is not known but John Chevallier Cobbold (#114 on the family tree) is recorded as living there, maybe not full time, as early as 1840 which seems highly likely as we know he built the Bath Hotel nearby in 1839.

John Chevallier later moved east to Felixstowe Lodge which he used as a holiday home, this being the house subsequently modernised and extended by Felix Thornley Cobbold (#201).  In 1876 Cliff House became the home of Colonel Henry Jervis-White-Jervis (#183) and his wife Lucy, John Chevallier’s eldest child.  He died only five years later but his widow retained the house until her own death in 1916.

The Trust stayed in touch with Leslie Ramsey knowing that he was living in Harvest House which stands on the hill just above Cliff House.  Recently, Leslie wrote explaining that he was moving, to ask if the Trust would like to accept his copy of the Official Programme of the Great Jubilee Celebration of 1897.  Of course the Trust is delighted, not least because Felix Thornley was given the Mayoralty of Ipswich that year as a thank you for the gift of Christchurch Mansion.  Helping him on the Hospital Committee was John Dupuis Cobbold (#307) and on the Festivities Committee, Herbert St. George Cobbold (#323).

Only when we went to collect the Programme did we learn that Leslie had already written a book, Edwardian Grand Hotel, (1995) about Harvest House which was formerly the Felix Hotel, perhaps the most iconic building in Felixstowe.  The book contains an excellent history of the Victorian development of Felixstowe in which the Cobbolds were much involved and a copy is now in the Trust's library.


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Registered Charity No.1144757.|A company limited by guarantee, registered in England & Wales No. 7783492|All content is Copyright to The Cobbold Family History Trust © 2017