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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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.


Dr John Blatchly, MBE, MA, PhD, HonLit...October 2015

John Blatchly, a highly respected and much loved former Headmaster of Ipswich School, and Suffolk historian extraordinaire died on 3rd September 2015 after a short illness.

Whilst I would be the last person chosen to write his obituary, I have no hesitation in offering this tribute on behalf of The Cobbold Family History Trust.

From my very first contact John was immediately helpful and he remained continuously supportive.  He forgave some early mistakes and answered my questions fully and willingly, sensing my limited experience. Amongst many act of kindness John gave the Trust an original watercolour painting of the Wilkinson coat of arms and copies of many Cobbold bookplates.  He facilitated our purchase of the Ipswich New Town Hall Polka dedicated to Mrs J Patteson Cobbold (1868) and wrote the Oxford Dictionary of National Biography entries on Elizabeth Cobbold, Rev. Richard Cobbold and Margaret Catchpole.

I well remember my joy when he agreed to write the Foreword for Cobbold & Kin, Life Stories from an East Anglian Family.  It turned to excitement when he told me that he knew one of the subjects well; my second cousin, Nicholas Hammond who had been a Kitchener Scholar at my Cambridge College, Gonville and Caius.  John wrote ‘The first headmaster to interview me for a Chemistry post in 1957 was N. G. L. Hammond of Clifton.  He carried my case to my room, a practice which I have tried to emulate since.’

I invited John and his wife Pam to come to the reopening of Holywells Park one Saturday this July.  They were well enough to come on the Sunday and they sat comfortably in the warm conservatory and chatted freely with us.  It was a half hour of peaceful contented friendliness which has left me with the happiest of memories.



REMEMBRANCE DAY 11th November 2015 October 2015

The Trust will be involved in three act of remembrance this year.

As previously we will insert a memorial paragraph in the Daily Telegraph under the heading ‘IN MEMORIAM THEIR NAME LIVETH FOR EVERMORE’

We will again place a cross in the Westminster Abbey Field of Remembrance dedicated to the 48 Cobbolds lost in two World Wars.

For the first time we will this year also place a poppy in the 2015 Flanders Field beside the Menin Gate remembering the 35 Cobbolds who died in WWI.

‘When you go home, tell them of us and say,
For your tomorrow, we gave our today.' 



At a talk given earlier this year to The Woodbridge Society the Trust offered £100 to kick start a small fund for the refurbishment of the lantern in the porch of St. Mary’s Church.  The lantern was given in memory of Rev. Rowland Francis Cobbold (#258 on the family tree) and his wife, Lilian née Parkes.  The offer was accepted, further funds being raised by a concert and an additional donation from Rear Admiral Richard Cobbold (#545), so that the work will begin shortly.

Amongst the connections between Cobbolds and Woodbridge we know that Felix Thornley (#201) was the unsuccessful Liberal parliamentary candidate for Woodbridge in 1900 and in addition to Rowland Frances (above) who retired to Farlingaye Hall, his older brother, Alfred Townshend (#253) chose Holly Lodge, Seckford Street for his final home.

In an article on this subject in the Society’s Newsletter, Autumn 2015, Chairman Alan Vaughan quotes the obituary of Maj. Ernest St. George Cobbold (#199) who had been managing partner of the Woodbridge branch of Bacon Cobbold and Co’s bank and Secretary and Trustee of the Woodbridge Savings Bank.

‘He was commanding officer of the Woodbridge Rifle Volunteer Corps, a county magistrate and Chairman of the Woodbridge Board of Guardians.  Upon the formation of the Seckford Reading Room and Social Club, Mr Cobbold, then a governor of the Seckford Charity was chosen as a Senior Vice-President, and he has left reminiscences of the interest he took in that institution in the large and handsome cases of stuffed birds and natural history specimens that now ornament the Reading Room.  He was also the Worshipful Master of the ‘Doric’ Lodge of Freemasons and Treasurer of the ‘Deben’ Lodge of the Oddfellows.  In the halcyon days of the Woodbridge athletic sports he was a warm supporter of that popular Easter Monday gathering.’

As Alan Vaughan observes ‘Ernest’s obituary is a window on life in Woodbridge at that time.’

Connaître et Apprécier: David CobboldOctober 2015

The Cobbold family’s association with beer, and for that matter wines and spirits, in Ipswich needs no elaboration.

Not so well known is David Cobbold’s extraordinary position as a bona fide Englishman, much respected and sought after, at the very heart of the wine trade in France.  David (#466 on the family tree) has lived in France since 1973 and has been a full time writer, broadcaster and teacher in wine since 1983.  He is an independent writer and journalist as well as teaching wine knowledge to wine lovers and professionals.

David writes articles for specialist wine magazines in France, Canada, Japan and India as well as Great Britain and has been Editor in Chief for two such publications; he has a weekly radio slot and has hosted TV wine programmes in USA and France.  More recently he has formed ever popular wine clubs and co-founded a French-speaking web site devoted to wine for which he writes regularly. 

Despite these demanding activities he has somehow found time and energy to author or co-author more than 20 books.  The Trust was delighted to meet up with David recently when he generously donated copies of six of his books which added to those already in the Trust’s library brings our collection up to eleven.  The Trust also holds in its archive a complete list of his published books, articles, editorial works as well as notes of his Radio and Television contributions.  It is unquestionably a formidable body of work.

SILKEN STRANDS 2October 2015

The Trust is pleased to record the following acquisitions.

19th C. Silhouette, marked ‘Great Uncle Thomas Cobbold’.  All the evidence points to this being Rev Thomas Cobbold (1742-1831) #51 on the family tree.

Minute Book of Lowe, Son and Cobbold, Ltd. of 6 Broad Street, Stamford from 1915 to 1951 when the company was liquidated on 25th July.

3 Prints.

St. Mary Tower, ILN 30th January 1864
The New Town Hall at Ipswich, ILN 8th February 1868
Church of St. Bartholomew, Ipswich, The Builder, 3rd October 1896.

Programme for Great Jubilee Celebration at Ipswich, Tuesday June 22nd 1897

Edwardian Grand Hotel by L J Ramsey, self published 1995 – The History of Harvest House, Felixstowe – the first ninety years.

Last Curtsey by Fiona MacCarthy, published by Faber and Faber 2006

Vin cherche Plats by David Cobbold published by Fleurus, Paris 2004


The Trust wishes to thank Mr Leslie Ramsey for his generous gift of the Great Jubilee Celebration Programme and his book Edwardian Grand Hotel.

SILKEN STRANDS 1October 2015

The Trust is pleased to record the following acquisitions.

Church Stretton Illustrated, 7th edition 1924, edited by E S Cobbold (#250 on the family tree).  This is important as the Trust now has 7 of the 10 editions edited by Edgar Sterling Cobbold between 1903 and 1937.

Musical Recollections of more than Half a Century, by Lindley Nunn (#1146) published by W E Harrison, 1899.

Conveyance of Alton Hall, Farmhouses, Cottages, Buildings and Land by the Personal Representatives of P W Cobbold (Deceased) (#324) to Captain L A H Wright RN.

The Suffolk Gipsy by John H Steggall, edited by Rev. Richard Cobbold (#106), published by Ward, Lock & Co, 1856.  This is a better copy than the one the Trust already owns.

Ipswich Speedway Race Card and Score Sheet, 16th October 1975, Tolly Cobbold / Dave Bickers Grand Challenge Match for £200 on a winner takes all basis.  Tolly Cobbold lost 37-41.

The Press and the General Staff, by Neville Lytton (#3710, later 3rd Earl Lytton), published by W Collins, 1920.  A contemporary writer said ‘Here is possibly the wittiest and shrewdest view of the war that has yet been given us….’  The book includes a passage in praise of Capt. Cobbold (almost certainly Maj. Guy Fromanteel Cobbold MC) (#350): ‘I thought especially of Captain Cobbold and his splendid example.  I have not seen him from that day to this; I heard that he had been badly wounded on the Somme.  If ever his eye should light on these pages I should like him to know that in the hour of death and on the day of Judgement I shall think of him and hope to have a small particle of his glorious courage’.  Guy was indeed injured on the Somme in 1916, the year in which he won his Military Cross.


We are delighted to announce that Cobbold & Kin, Life Stories from an East Anglian Family, by Clive Hodges has been chosen as one of 3 finalists in the Biography & Memoir category for this year’s East Anglian Daily Book Awards.

The finalists will be announced in the Eastern Daily Press on Saturday 10th October.

Congratulations to Clive Hodges and if you don’t have a copy already buy it from this website please.


It is with profound sorrow that we have to announce the death of our patron, Nicholas Cobbold on 15th August 2015 aged 81.  Nicholas died at his home in Wiltshire.

On behalf of the wider family the Trust sends deepest condolences to his widow, children and siblings.


Saturday July 18th dawned bright and the sun shone all day!  The good people of Ipswich arrived in force and nobody could have judged the day anything but a huge success.  We launched our new book Holywells, Home of the Cobbolds with author Clive Hodges signing and dedicating copies.  The paper-cutting demonstration by mother and daughter team, Erika and Lois Cordelia was as popular as ever and the Elizabeth Cobbold paper-cut Valentines were much appreciated under the skilled guidance of Erica Burrows, Chairman of the Friends of Ipswich Museum.

The Trust would like to thank most warmly all its helpers, family and friends who came along in support of the event and particularly those who purchased books.  The Trust knows it only survives through your support and wishes you to know that it is hugely appreciated.

What may not be so well known is that the Trust has played a small but worthwhile role from the start of the restoration project. In the early days we wrote in support of the funding application; we have encouraged the team on the ground throughout by answering questions and providing photographs and we were instrumental in providing very high quality interpretation boards.

As a result your Keeper was invited to speak at the opening ceremony following The Mayor, The Chair of the East of England HLF and the Chair of The Friends of Holywells Park.  For the benefit of those not present here is a synopsis of what he said.

He opened by reminding his audience that Holywells – Bring the Magic Back had been the title chosen by Adrian Howlett for his dissertation way back in 2004.  Was that a question, a command or perhaps a plea he asked.  It doesn’t matter now!  The magic is back!  He went on to thank all those who had made it happen, from the most senior executive to the most reluctant volunteer.  He also remembered to thank Lord Woodbridge whose gift it was back in the 1930s.  Sadly, he continued, two things could not be brought back: the house and the family.  To fill that gap the Trust was launching, that very day, a book Holywells, Home of the Cobbolds by Clive Hodges, the first full, historically accurate account of this magical place and its people.  As such the book would appeal to every lover of the park.  If as I close, he said, you feel moved to clap, don’t applaud me – applaud the team that brought the magic back!

Since restoration Holywells Park has Heritage, Tree and Wild Life Trails some equipped with an Aurasma facility.  Well worth a visit!

SILKEN STRANDS - 2August 2015

The Trust is pleased to record the acquisition of 5 items this month.

The April 1947 Conveyance of Alton Hall, Farmhouses, Cottages, Buildings and Land situate in Suffolk by The Personal Representatives of P.W.Cobbold Deceased to Captain L.A.H.Wright.  Philip Wyndham Cobbold DL JP was born in 1875 and died in 1945.  He is #324 on the family tree.
The document is signed by his son, Lt. Cdr. Alistair Philip Cobbold RNVR (1907-1971) (#472) and by his co-executor, Francis Alfred Worship Cobbold (1882-1947) (#361) a lawyer who had won a DSO in WWI.
It is possibly Francis’s last signature for the document is dated 3rd April, just 18 days prior to his death.

Freedom We Died for You by David Miller (of Newton Abbot, not Ipswich!) being an account of Old Blues (Christ’s Hospital) who died in WWII, one of whom was Peter Charles Victor Cobbold (1897-1942) (#7595) victim of the Long Nawang massacre.

2 photographs of Tolly Cobbold pubs, both called The White Horse, one at Tattingstone, the other at Kersey.

Advertising playing card promoting Lowe, Son & Cobbold, brewers of Stamford carrying the image of an overweight monk astride a long suffering donkey, exclaiming:
Oh Lowe, Son & Cobbold, our hearts you do cheer
Through supplying the world with such excellent beer
For though to our grief from Chartreuse we’re turned out
We shall lessen our sorrow by drinking your Stout!

200th Anniversary Waterloo Campaign Medal to archive alongside Elizabeth Cobbold’s Ode on the Victory of Waterloo, of which we reproduced 3 verses here back in June.

SILKEN STRANDS - 1August 2015


Your family history trust archive and collection continue to grow a pace thanks to the gifts of family and friends.  Here we recognise all whose generosity is appreciated by this generation and will be appreciated by future generations.

Bill Humphreys and Jonathan Shackleton for financial donations,
Chris Heath for information on, and photographs of, his family of successful Victorian Midland Industrialists, who once owned Biddulph Grange in Staffordshire.
Two Heath sisters married two Toynbee brothers.  Family member, Julian Gibbs lead the National Trust team which restored the Biddulph garden to its Victorian splendour,
Rowell Bell for weekly newspaper cuttings,
Prim Cobbold and Neville Cobbold for more family photographs,
Sarah Cobbold for more information on the descendents of William Cobbold (1742-1827) and Elizabeth Snell (b. c.1743)
Rachel Gibbs for a tribute by her son and an obituary by the BMJ for her husband, Dr Denis Gibbs who died in January this year,
Philippa Bagnell for copies of moving tributes to her mother, Geraldeen Tatton-Brown née Mortimer, born in 1919 who died in June this year,
Alexander MacEwen for correcting a major error on the family tree and for further information and,
Anne & Belinda Hasted, Jeremy Douglas, Richard Cole and Chris Lloyd for valuable information for the family tree.

(Please accept apologies for any accidental omission)


Due to the time involved in preparing for, and attending, the reopening of Holywells Park, Stables and Conservatory we are unable to offer Cobbwebs this month.  The event was a huge success and sales of Holywells, Home of the Cobbolds have got off to a flying start.  Our thanks go to all those who attended and purchased books.

Normal service will be resumed in August!


First in the Cobbold & Kin Series written by Clive Hodges

Holwells Park, Stables and Conservatory will officially re-open on July 18th.  Everyone is welcome and you need to be there before 12 noon for the opening ceremony and the musical events which follow.  The Trust will be there displaying the Elizabeth Cobbold paper-cut Valentines and there will be a live paper-cutting demonstration in the newly restored conservatory.

That day will also see the official launch of Holywells, Home of the Cobbolds by Clive Hodges who is now Author in Residence at the Trust.  The restoration of the park, stables and conservatory is a wonderful achievement but it leaves an unavoidable gap.  What about the house and the family that lived there?

Holywells, Home of the Cobbolds fills that gap!  It charts the connected histories of one of Ipswich’s best-loved public spaces and the Cobbold family who lived there from 1814 to 1829.  To tempt you here are the chapter titles:


1. Early History
2. The Cobbolds Arrive
3. Victorian Transformation
4. John Dupuis and Lady Evelyn
5. Public Park
6. A Park for the People

Holywells, Home of the Cobbolds, a paperback at £7.99 is within everyone’s reach and will be available on this website before the end of June.  Watch for its arrival at Books for Sale.


An Autobiography by Nicholas Cobbold with Clive Hodges

“As a young man, he led a glamorous life at full tilt.  He drove a succession of fast cars, sped fearlessly headfirst down the Cresta Run and flew aeroplanes and helicopters, surviving not one but two air crashes.”

Scattered Memories tells these stories and others that mark Nicholas Cobbold out as a man of boundless energy and enormous fun.  A daring and accomplished practical joker since childhood, his creative prankshave rarely, if ever, landed him in hot water, whether he has been deploying whoopee cushions, firing billiard balls from a cannon or impersonating the Archbishop of Canterbury’s right hand man.”

Available from this website now:


Back in April Gerry Lowth (#4532 on the family tree) whose family has, like ours, strong connections with Caius College, Cambridge, kindly alerted the Trust to an article in the Ross Gazette which told that a lady resident, whilst sorting through papers, had found a copy of a sermon preached on 21st June 1887 by Rev. R H Cobbold (#148), Rector of Ross, to mark Queen Victoria’s Golden Jubilee.  Through the good offices of the Ross Gazette and Gerry Lowth the lady was contacted and she agreed to donate the sermon to the Trust and as a token of appreciation the Trust made a donation of £25 to her church.

Coincidentally, Gerry recalled that in the 1930s a Lt. Col. Cobbold (#391) lived in Alton Street in Ross with their daughter Prudence (#509) and that they had a niece called Ann Jamieson (#1792) who was for a while the Lowth’s governess.

A few days later I noticed a rather large and handsome three-handled silver plated drinking cup was to be auctioned.  It had been won by Francis Edward Davy Cobbold (#237), son of the Rev. R H Cobbold, for winning the half mile when he was up at Cambridge.  Coincidentally, F E D Cobbold, later ordained, was a curate of Weston-under-Penyard (Gerry’s parish) from 1902 to 1904 whilst on furlough from his post as Senior Chaplain in Punjab.

In writing to us just recently the lady donor, Mrs. Ruby Price mentioned that she had been to a ‘Meeting with Michael Palin’ (he of prodigious talent and endearing personality) and had discovered that Michael’s grandfather, Rev. Edward Palin had been Rector of Linton for 38 years.  Coincidentally, Rev. Edward’s daughter, Brita (#242) married another of Rev. R H Cobbold’s sons, Henry Ralph (#241) who became a prosperous merchant in Calcutta.

That is not quite the end of the story because not long ago the Trust acquired a miniature Hymns A & M, not much larger than a £2 coin, but beautifully leather bound, which had been given to Henry and Brita’s daughter, also named Brita, when she was 7 years old in Calcutta.  Lovingly tucked within is a little picture of her pet puppy, James.

Our thanks, of course, to the Trust’s family and friends in and around Ross who made this vignette possible!

ODE on the VICTORY of WATERLOOJune 2015

In the fervour of national pride which followed Wellington’s victory at Waterloo, Elizabeth Cobbold put her prolific pen to work.

Her Ode on the Victory of Waterloo, in some 21 verses certainly met the expectation of length and also the requirement of dedication, in this case to His Royal Highness, George, Prince Regent.

Printed in Ipswich by J Raw and distributed in London, Bury St. Edmunds and Colchester, profits from the publication were appropriated to the Waterloo Subscription.

We show here the title page and reproduce just verses V, X and XXI together with Thomas Lawrence’s painting of the hero.

Three years later when the Duke of Wellington visited Lord Granville at Wherstead Lodge our ancestor presented him with a copy of her work splendidly bound in Morocco which it is said, was most graciously received and acknowledged.  Perhaps it remains in the Duke’s library to this day!


By treason rous’d, Napoleon sprung / Like lurking tiger from his den,
And far and wide the death cry flung, / And rear’d the blood-strip’d flag again:
But Britain’s firmness prov’d a charm / To wither that despotic am,
Which, grasping empire, would have hurl’d / Destruction o’er a subjugated world.


But O what song the praise can tell / Of those who, self-devoted, fell,
When ev’ry gallant leader fought / As if that glorious day he sought
To win as bright a wreath from fame / As circles Wellington’s name?
Each persevering soldier too, / A leader in that battle grew,
And felt as resolute in fight, / As firm, in British hardihood,
As though upon his single might / His country’s bulwark stood.


Again the tide of commerce pours / Its flowing wealth on Britain’s shores;
Again from all her rocky bounds / The festal shout of Peace resounds;
Her dusky artisan prepares / From swords to form the shining shares,
The massy anvils ring: / To sickles chang’d are gleaming spears,
And as they reap the ripen’d ears, / Her jocund peasants sing:
All rich in flocks and herds are seen / Her fragrant hills, her pastures green:
To e’vry gale her flag unfurl’d, / Triumphant floats the waters o’er,
And as it greets each franchis’d shore, / United Empires, great and free,

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