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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Visitors may remember that the trust along with a number of generous helpers participated in a ‘Tomb Savers’ weekend back in May this year.

We are pleased to report that with some further funding provided to the Parish, repairs have now been completed so the Cobbold family tomb is saved.

Thanks be to God and the good people of Woolpit that this work has been finished before winter.

CHRISTMASDecember 2014

The Cobbold Family History Trust’s wish for you our visitor is that you embrace a Christmas that is peaceful and joyful.

Our wish for your New Year is that it fulfils all your aspirations.

Our wish for ourselves is that you our visitor will seek ways of supporting the trust, for instance by donations and by buying our books, and ways of encouraging the trust, by sending us relevant information and artefacts. Thank you.


The Politics of Travel and Exploration: with specific reference to Eastern or Chinese Turkestan, 1865-1908 is the title of the thesis submitted by Clive Hodges for his PhD, a signed copy of which he has kindly donated to the trust. It is a beautifully presented hardback volume the contents being thoroughly researched, referenced and indexed. The contribution from the trust’s Ralph Patteson Cobbold collection is acknowledged as is R P Cobbold’s book, also in the trust’s library, Innermost Asia. Our thanks to Clive who is working with the trust on another book following the success of his Cobbold & Kin, Life Stories from an East Anglian Family.

Talking of Cobbold & Kin the review expected in the December issue of SUFFOLK magazine has been delayed but it is featured as one of Catherine Larner’s eight choices of Christmas Gifts for book lovers.

Continuing to talk of Cobbold & Kin the editor of the Quarterly Journal of the Suffolk Family History Society has published a lengthy review which ends as follows:

‘The characters are carefully observed and well-drawn by the author who brings them to life in a most convincing and readable way.

This is a carefully researched and thoughtfully laid-out publication which is also an object lesson in how one’s own research should be written-up.

The 269 illustrated pages can be simply dipped into as and when time permits or may be used as a valuable work of reference – but I suspect that many will find it quite difficult to put down and as such, at this time of year it may make an attractive and much appreciated Christmas gift.

Cobbold & Kin is published locally in well-produced hardback format by Boydell and Brewer; PO Box 9, Woodbridge, Suffolk, IP12 3DF under the ISBN 978 1 84383 954 5’

Cobbold & Kin is also available from this website; go to BOOKS FOR SALE.

SILKEN STRANDS ...November 2014

SUFFOLK Magazine.  Readers may care to look in the December issue for a feature by Catherine Larner on Cobbold & Kin, Life Stories from an East Anglian Family and our family history trust.  Copies usually arrive on the bookstalls a few days before the start of the month.

December 17th is the date of my talk to The Ipswich Society at 7.15 for 7.30pm at the Museum Street Methodist Church (entrance in Black Horse Lane).

The talk is entitled “The History of the Cobbold Family in 25 Objects” and gives me the opportunity to share with the audience some of the fascinating stories that have rewarded my research.

Remembrance Day.  In addition to our usual announcement in the Daily Telegraph on 11th November our commemoration also appeared in a special section of the Sunday Telegraph on November 9th.

REMEMBRANCE DAY, 11th November 2014November 2014

In accordance with our commitment to remember family members who gave their lives for our freedom the trust has this year……

Drafted an announcement for the Daily Telegraph commemorating the 48 Cobbolds who died in two World Wars….

Placed a cross in the Royal British Legion Field of Remembrance (plot 274) at Westminster Abbey (to be opened at 11am on Thursday 6th November) also commemorating those 48 and….

Recorded the names of the 35 Cobbolds who died in WWI in the Royal British Legion Every Man Remembered campaign.  This will commemorate and honour every single Commonwealth serviceman and woman who fell in the First World War; their names being shown on the Every Man Remembered website.

Anthony Cobbold  October 2014


I know family and friends will join the trust in mourning the recent death of the Dowager Duchess of Devonshire.  She was of course the youngest and last surviving  Mitford sister, born 31st March 1920, Deborah Vivien Freeman-Mitford.  As was the custom in those days she was given a party, on 22nd March 1938, before being presented at Court in May.

In her memoirs Wait for Me published as recently as 2010 she wrote

Two weeks after my party, I was invited to a dinner given by Lady Blanche Cobbold for her daughter Pamela before Lavinia Pearson’s dance. I sat next to Andrew Cavendish. We were both just eighteen. Ignoring our neighbours, we never stopped talking throughout the dinner. That was it for me – the rest of the Season passed in a haze of would-he-wouldn’t-he be there; nothing and nobody else mattered. Meeting him was the beginning and end of everything I had dreamed of. A month later he left for Lyons ‘to learn French’ for a term (I never saw, or rather heard, any evidence of this in later life but it did not seem to matter). I missed him during his absence, but it was all the more exciting when he came back, and we managed to meet at parties time and again.

If the dinner in question was held at Glemham Hall then the romance was born in the very room used for the trust’s 2008 exhibition. Andrew was of course Lady Blanche’s nephew and ‘Debo’ as she was always known would have been high on any hostess’s invitation list. They married in 1941 and Andrew became the 11th Devonshire following the death of his older brother in 1944 and his father in 1950.

It was between then and Andrew’s death in 2004 that Chatsworth was transformed from a debt ridden liability into the highly profitable leisure enterprise that it is today; the most visited stately home in the country. That transformation is widely credited to his duchess’s business skills and her wondrous ability to draw the very best from those who worked for her.

Blanche’s father, the 9th Duke was ‘old school’ and Blanche told of memorable glittering family Christmases at Chatsworth.  Our picture saved from a newspaper, records just such an occasion, probably about 1928/9.

COBBOLD & KIN HERE for all to see ...October 2014

Our book has now been published and review copies have gone out. On the telephone we have heard

...terrific and many congratulations!

...It’s a splendid book!


The Ipswich Society reviewer clearly enjoyed the challenge of ‘sorting out’ the family tree and wrote, inter alia

The family so intimately associated with Ipswich and its history is deserving of study both penetrating and sympathetic and we find both here.

This is a book rich with anecdote and arcane.

Another reviewer wrote

Clive Hodges has researched the Cobbold family thoroughly.

This hardback book can be read straight through or the chapters can be read in any order without spoiling the enjoyment in any way. It is well researched and well illustrated and is full of interest, not only for those living in Suffolk, but for anyone who enjoys family history.



SILKEN STRANDS ...October 2014

Apologies for an interruption to our postings! A combination of building repairs, ill health and the publication of Cobbold & Kin, Life Stories from an East Anglian Family diverted us.

Granchester, the new ITV detective series screened on Monday nights and set around 1950s Cambridge is the work of James Runcie (#3786 in the family tree), son of the former Archbishop of Canterbury. James has a considerable talent with a number of novels to his name and was until last year the Artistic Director of the Bath Literature Festival, a post he gave up to become head of Literature and Spoken Word at the Southbank Centre in London. Congratulations!

Henry Kitchener Prize. It may not be widely known that the 3rd Earl Kitchener (1919-2011) (#1487 in the family tree), a dedicated scientist, was an early pioneer in engaging with the scientific evidence that nutrition affects behaviour. The Institute for Food, Brain and Behaviour has launched an essay prize with a top award of £1000 in his memory. Details at

Cambridge University Hockey Club has elected Johno Cobbold (#1009 on the family tree) President of the club for the 2014/15 season. Johno has a blue from last season and is a 4th year Engineering student at Caius. Congratulations!

Chris Heath (#9486) from Canada visited the Trust recently and provided us with excellent information on his family. Robert Heath JP MP (1816-1893) (#4546 on the family tree), Chris’s 2nd cousin, was a wealthy Midland colliery and ironworks owner who purchased Biddulph Grange from James Bateman. Two of his daughters (#8282 and #4545) married two Toynbee brothers in the last quarter of the 19th century. James Bateman, his wife Maria and their friend, Edward William Cooke had created a magnificent garden at Biddulph stocked with exotic plants collected by intrepid Victorian travellers. Sadly it was allowed to decay for the best part of a century before coming into the hands of the National Trust in1988. Since then a wonderful restoration has been carried out managed in part by Julian Gibbs (#3014).

Quote They will not look forward to posterity who do not look back to their ancestors. Of course we agree and if you do also, please look for ways in which you can help us with our work. Thank you.

ELSA COBBOLD née VERDE (1925-2014)October 2014

Elsa, (# 1846 on the family tree), widow of Jim Cobbold, one of the Trust’s great and early benefactors, died in August this year aged 89. Her family recently donated a Henry Davy painting of Helmingham Hall (1849) and an oil of a Dutch Brigantine (1835) by Louisa Emily Hanbury née Cobbold (1804-1889).

One of Elsa’s last acts of kindness was to insist on meeting the cost of shipping those two pictures and a Family Bible across the Atlantic into the care of the Trust. It was typical of her generous nature and was simply a continuation of the selfless hospitality shown to me when I visited them in California in 2006. Elsa and Jim had two fine sons, Michael and Robert, and I want to share with you an account of Elsa’s last few days sent me by Michael.

We took her out to dinner, a Japanese dinner which had become her favourite. She was happy, smiled a lot and even asked for a glass of wine which she had not done for years. In the next few days she seemed calmer. One evening as I was saying goodnight, I kissed her on the forehead and said that I hoped she would sleep well, be comfortable and as happy as she could be. She opened her eyes and said, “I think I could be happy in heaven.”

A few days later after I had spent the day with her, I got a call in the evening and learned she had passed away. When I got there, the staff told me that after dinner she had been talking to them about heaven and thanking them for their care. When they came in to check on her later, she had passed. She passed with a smile on her face. It seems that she died having found peace.

It has been a privilege to know Jim and Elsa and an even greater privilege to have been entrusted with some of their most treasured possessions.

Anthony Cobbold

October 2014.


……lend me your ears!......or better still your eyes…our new book will be published on September 17th. We have invested a lot of time, energy and money so please support us. We think you will be pleased with your purchase. It will be included in Books for Sale


Thanks are due to John Barker the author of Lewis Agassiz of Stour Lodge for bringing his book to the Trust’s attention (it is now in our library) and for information relating to Lewis Agassiz (# 9080 in the family tree) and our Dixon and Brandreth relatives.

Thank are also due, yet again, for the generosity of the Late Jim Cobbold’s family in California for the gift of the family Bible presented to John James Kerr (c1856-c1901) (# 231) on the occasion of his marriage to Harriet Elizabeth Cobbold (c1856-1930). She was the youngest child (of 10) of Arthur Thomas Cobbold (1815-1898) (# 138) and Sarah Elizabeth Elliston (1813-1899). The Bible contains four pages of ‘hatches, matches and despatches.’ Another gift is on its way, upon which we will report next month.

The Trust has also acquired 2 boxes of (probably Victorian) hand coloured magic lantern slides prepared by C H Cobbold of Hove. One box is The Wonders of Nature and the other is The Wonders of the Human Body. Can anybody help us fit C H Cobbold into the family tree please?

A very faded post card of the Manor House on St. Margaret’s Green, dated around the end of the19th century has also joined the Trust’s collection. This was for many years a Cobbold home and it is the property from which Margaret Catchpole stole John Cobbold’s horse as told in Richard Cobbold’s best seller.

Cobbold & Kin has gone to the publishers on time largely due to the great devotion of its author, Clive Hodges. Keep an eye on this website for details of how to pre-order your copy. Publication due in the autumn.

A Word about Administration: The Trust would like to reassure visitors to this site and particularly ‘Friends’ who have generously subscribed to our endowment campaign that we are wholly compliant with Charity Commission and Company Law requirements. We produce monthly accounts and make all necessary returns on time. This is more time consuming than it sounds and explains why some months Cobbwebs and Silken Strands are a bit briefer than we would really wish.


Regular visitors to this site will know that 22 members of the Cobbold family have been to Gonville and Caius College, Cambridge, spread unbroken across seven generations. The statistic is of no importance but that averages out at one every 10.4 years!

The family has been quite a good supporter (if that were necessary) of May Balls having been present in 1926, 1954, 1986 and 2014. This year’s party illustrated shows 8 Cobbolds with long-time family friend, Charlotte Finley in Hall at Caius after dinner with famous Caius Fellow, Professor Stephen Hawking who had gladly allowed his best-selling (10 million copies) A Brief History of Time provide the theme for the ball. He mingled with guests throughout the evening and enjoyed every minute as indeed did we all. The Survivors’ photograph was taken at 5.0am!


The Chevalliers’ ASPALL business is the 11th oldest family owned and the oldest organic company in the UK. Barry and Henry Chevallier Guild who run it today are the eighth generation to do so and despite being steeped in history the company is right at the forefront of current business practice. A refreshed brand identity is due for release soon and the future looks as exciting as the past.

One of the recently introduced products is ‘Perronelle’s Blush, Suffolk Cyder with a dash of Blackberry Juice.’ This was named after Perronelle Mary Guild née Chevallier (#709 in the family tree) who was a graduate in Agriculture from Reading University, a founder member of the Soil Association in 1946 and lived to be 101 which is a good innings by anybody’s standards! But from a family point of view she is still more interesting.

Perronelle’s mother was Isabel Amy Cobbold (1869-1931) (#208) after whom another new brand has been named; ‘Isabel’s Berry’ on which we reported in May. Isabel married John Barrington (JB) Trapnell Chevallier (1857-1940) (#207) and his mother was a Cobbold too! She was Isobella Frances (Fanny) Cobbold (1834-1917) (#205) daughter of Rev. Francis (Frank) Cobbold (1803-1844) (#121). If you can tolerate one more step I’ll tell you that Frank had married his cousin so Fanny’s mother was a Cobbold too! It is not difficult to arrive at the conclusion that there is almost as much Cobbold blood in those Chevallier veins!

JB was a truly remarkable man with an enviable combination of academic and athletic ability. He went to Eton and played football for the Old Etonians. He went on to King’s College, Cambridge where he took a double first and won a football Blue. He played in 4 FA Cup Finals and was a founder of Derby County Football Club in 1884, the club being one of the 12 members of the Football League in 1888. He taught at Lancing, flagship school of the Woodard Foundation and at Repton and was commissioned into the Suffolk Regiment in WWI.

During his spell running the family business it experienced hard times and it is said that he almost bankrupted himself by going on paying the workers for the sake of their families. He was truly a man of head, heart and Corinthian spirit. No wonder we Cobbolds are proud of our relationship with the Chevalliers.


Thanks are due to Mick Farrow for a DVD showing much of the Tolly Cobbold Brewery prior to its closure.  Mick was formerly a guide at the brewery and his DVD has been placed in the archive.

Thanks are also due to Nick Russell for a sketch by Ian Cobbold RN (#504 on the tree) and a poem by Margaret Cobbold (#385)

The Trust has also been given two books, a) The Thistle and The Jade, A Celebration of 150 years of Jardine Matheson & Co, edited by Maggie Keswick and b) Charles Dixon, The Golden Age of Marine Painting.

Acquisitions by the Trust this month have included 112 letters from members of the Chichele-Plowden family and a bundle of papers and letters from the Chandos-Pole family; a copy of Country Life containing a picture of Glemham Hall and 2 books, a) Notes on the Church and Parish of Rattlesden published 1900 (this copy given to Lucy Jervis White Jervis by Felix Thornley Cobbold) and b) A View of Felixstowe from the Bath by Dick Moffat which is the story of the Bath Hotel, burnt down by Suffragettes in 1914.


As a tribute to Isabel Chevallier née Cobbold (#208 on the family tree) Aspall has decided to name its latest new Cyder brand

Isabel’s Berry

Isabel’s Berry is a light refreshing drink (3.8% by vol.) which includes redcurrant and raspberry juices.  It is perfect with fruits, salads, crumbles and summer puddings.

Isabel Amy Cobbold married John Barrington (JB) Trapnell Chevallier at Whitton Church, Ipswich in September 1897.  JB was himself a most successful man who won the heart of a warm and generous person.  Isabel, born and bred in Suffolk was deeply proud of her county and loved nothing better than tending her plants in the walled garden at Aspall Hall.

She was a great hostess and welcomed everyone into her home.  It seems fitting that she should be commemorated by a drink that sits happily at the centre of entertaining and hospitality.


Peter Cobbold (#494 in the family tree) enjoyed Easter lunch with his family and died aged 91 at home the following day.

Born in Henley on Thames and educated at Dover College he learned to sail in the harbour at an early age which proved to be the foundation of a life-long love of that sport.  Running in tandem was life-long support for the RNLI but as told by his son, John at his Thanksgiving Service, he never disclosed whether he had need of their services.

Peter was commissioned into the King’s Royal Rifle Corps in WWII and served with distinction in 11 KRRC in Greece.  At the beginning of December 1944 the Greek Communist troops, ELAS marched on Athens to seize power and 11 KRRC were drawn into a civil war under most difficult conditions.  The urban battlefield, the risks of distinguishing friend from foe and the dirty tactics of ELAS made their task a particularly unpleasant one.  The battalion mounted a full-scale attack on Ardhittos Hill which led to the clearing of Athens and the end of the civil war.

Citation for Award of the Military Cross – Lt P F Cobbold KRRC

Lt Cobbold commanded a platoon which took part in the capture of Ardhittos Hill on the night of December 17th / 18th and afterwards held the forward post there.  Throughout the day his positions were subject to heavy machine gun and rifle fire, varying in intensity and coming from three directions, and later to accurate mortar fire.  Despite this he maintained his platoon in their position and provided vital information as to the movement of enemy troops.  During the early afternoon an obstinately pressed counter-attack made by superior numbers developed against his platoon positions.  The leading section put up a stubborn fight but was finally overcome.  Lt Cobbold withdrew the remainder of his platoon, already depleted by casualties to a new position and successfully reformed them to hold a still vital part of his company’s area.  This officer showed complete disregard of personal danger and his example encouraged his men.

Back in civvy street Peter joined Courtaulds to become a director of the Viscose Division where he was highly valued for his decisive style and forward looking attitudes to marketing.  He was a serious loss to the company when he decided to leave to become a farmer.

In retirement he and his wife made their home in Tenerife before returning to Northamptonshire where eventually some assistance was required.  As one of his carers wrote “The world has lost a true gentleman and I am so grateful for the time I spent with him”

Note:  Peter and his family have been generous supporters of the trust for which we are most grateful.  Anthony Cobbold.


Ipswich’s civic amenity society, established in 1960, flourishes and continues to attract new members at a healthy rate.  Readers will remember that it was the Ipswich Society who erected, on the Reg Driver Centre, a Blue Plaque commemorating the gift of Christchurch Mansion to the Borough by Felix Thornley Cobbold (1841-1909).

The Society has known of The Cobbold Family History Trust for some years and recently heard of our ‘Friends’ appeal.  With great generosity the Society decided to become Foundation Benefactors with a donation to the endowment fund of £500.

We reproduce below a page from the April issue of The Ipswich Society Newsletter (a most excellent publication, we highly recommend) which features the Trust’s letter of thanks with a classic Georgian illustration which is becoming increasingly familiar.

NOTE: to read Newletter extract view in PDF

LILLIE LANGTRY née Emilie Charlotte Le...April 2014

Lillie’s father, William Corbet Le Breton was a Jerseyman educated at Winchester and Pembroke and Exeter Colleges, Oxford who became Dean of Jersey.  Lillie (#1243 in the family tree) rated him one of the handsomest men in the world; vigorous, six foot and with majestic bearing and a luxuriant head of hair.  His piercing blue eyes, so familiar to the beautiful young members of his congregation were passed on to his daughter and striding around his parish in ecclesiastical gaiters he displayed a pair of calves to be envied.

Clearly he did not attract the epithet ‘the Dirty Dean’ for no reason and Lillie is said to have been denied one of her first loves because his blue eyes were no accident of chance!

Against this background the following Love Poem, believed to have originated in West Virginia about 1912 brings a smile to our lips.

Susie Lee done fell in love,
She planned to marry Joe.
She was so happy ‘bout it all
She told her Pappy so.
Pappy told her, “Susie gal,
You’ll have to find another.
I’d just as soon yo’ Ma don’t know,
But Joe is yo’ half brother.”
So Susie put aside her Joe
And planned to marry Will.
But after telling Pappy this,
He said, “There’s trouble still…
You can’t marry Will, my gal,
And please don’t tell your Mother,
But Will and Joe and several mo’
I know is yo’ half brother.”
But Mama knew and said, “My child,
Just do what makes you happy.
Marry Will or marry Joe,
You ain’t no kin to Pappy!”


Alfred Leete (1882-1933) was a self-taught artist, illustrator and cartoonist.  He was also the creator of one of the world’s best known poster designs. The steely stare and demanding pointing finger of Lord Kitchener in Your Country Needs You is a design classic.

Kitchener (1850-1916) (#733 in the family tree) played a crucial role during WW1 as Secretary of State for War.  Traditionally it is believed that this poster was designed specifically for the purpose of recruiting millions of men for front line duty, and that it traded on Kitchener’s military prowess and popularity to do so.

However, the truth is somewhat different.  Your Country Needs You originated simply as a piece of artwork for the cover of London Opinion magazine which was a popular magazine for original articles, essays and reviews with tales, sketches and illustrations.  Following its first publication on September 5th 1914 the editor was bombarded with requests for copies of the image so it was reproduced on fine art paper, suitable for framing and sold “post free for sixpence each.”

At the end of that month the image made its first appearance on a propaganda poster printed by the Victoria House Printing Co in London and in November it was used in a more elaborate and larger recruitment poster printed by David Allen adorned with national flags and giving rates of pay and allowances.  This is the only known recruitment poster to feature the words Your Country Needs You and Leete’s Kitchener image.

We show the London Opinion magazine cover, the David Allen poster and a contemporary saucy post card.

The assistance of The Secret History of the Propaganda Poster by James Taylor is acknowledged.


Thanks to Michael Cobbold (# 1849 in the family tree) and his family of California for the gift of a delightful miniature oil painting of the 2 English Setters owned by Arthur Thomas Cobbold (1815-1898).  Arthur (#138 in the family tree) was a great sportsman as well as being a brewer and an amateur cabinet maker.

Congratulations to Johno Cobbold (# 1009 in the family tree), the 22nd Cobbold to go to Caius College, Cambridge but the first Caian Cobbold to get a Blue, in this case for Hockey in a varsity match won on 9th March 2014.

2 Excellent websites have been added to our Links: is the site for the Chevallier family’s award winning apple juice, cyder and vinegar business is the site for the fine work carried out by the Ipswich Historic Churches Trust who care for 5 Medieval churches including St Lawrence which boasts the earliest ring of bells in Christendom and St Clement, the burial place of Thomas Cobbold (1708-1767) #44 in the family tree, ‘Common Brewer’ who moved the brewery from Harwich to Ipswich

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