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  • John COBBOLD

    Born1746 (or 1745/6)
    FatherThomas COBBOLD (1708 – 1767)
    MotherSarah COBBOLL (1717 – 1777)
    Occupation3rd generation Brewer. Banker and Merchant.

    Biography and Notes

    The family brewery was founded in Harwich in 1723 by John's grandfather Thomas Cobbold (1680-1752).
    Thomas soon discovered that the water in Harwich was too brackish so in 1727 he started shipping clear spring water down the Orwell by barge from the 'Holy Wells'. The business prospered to the extent that in 1746 he decided to move his family and the brewery to a site on the Cliff above the Orwell at Holy Wells. There has been a Cliff Brewery in Ipswich ever since.

    The founder died shortly afterwards and his son another Thomas Cobbold (1708-1767) took over. The business still flourished but 'young' Thomas died only 15 years after his father and John, the 3rd generation found himself at the helm when only 22 years old. He had been educated at Greenwich and he turned out to be a natural businessman. His granddaughter, Emily Caroline remembers him having fair hair and blue eyes. Contemporary portraits suggest he was a well-built man. He had inherited property in Harwich and Dovercourt and the prosperity of the business provided him with an enviable lifestyle.

    He married Elizabeth Wilkinson (1753-1790) in 1773 and she bore him 15 children in 17 years before, unsurprisingly dying. Another Elizabeth, this time Clarke nee Knipe (1764-1824) was his second wife who gave him another 7 children in 8 years. With his large philoprogenitive capacity satisfied he turned his attention to banking. Bacon,Cobbold,Rodwell,Dunningham,Cobbold & Co. received a substantial injection of cash from the brewery business which allowed it to survive the 1825 banking crisis and build a profitable banking business which was to trade for another 80 years.

    His big family raised, his new house built, his duties as a Magistrate completed and his businesses prosperous he died in 1835 at the age of 90. He was certainly entitled to feel that his life was a job well done.

    Anthony Cobbold 2006

    Recently we have taken to calling him 'Big John' (which is a pretty accurate description) to distinguish him from his 6 John Cobbold descendants.

    Life Events

    1767Death of father Thomas COBBOLD
    1773Married Elizabeth WILKINSON
    1774Birth of son John Wilkinson COBBOLD JP DL
    1775Birth of son Captain James COBBOLD
    1776Birth of daughter Elizabeth COBBOLD
    1777Death of mother Sarah COBBOLL
    1778Birth of daughter Sarah COBBOLD
    1779Birth of daughter Maria COBBOLD
    1780Birth of son Thomas COBBOLD
    1781Birth of daughter Mary COBBOLD
    1781Death of daughter Mary COBBOLD
    1783Birth of daughter Mary COBBOLD
    1784Birth of son William COBBOLD
    1784Birth of daughter Anne COBBOLD
    1785Birth of daughter Harriet COBBOLD
    1786Birth of son George COBBOLD
    1787Birth of daughter Sophia COBBOLD
    1788Birth of son Henry Gallant COBBOLD
    1789Birth of son Frederick COBBOLD
    1790Death of wife Elizabeth WILKINSON
    1791Married Elizabeth KNIPE in St Clements, Ipswich
    1792Birth of son Robert Knipe COBBOLD
    1793Birth of son Charles COBBOLD
    1794Birth of son Rowland COBBOLD
    1796Birth of son Francis COBBOLD
    1797Birth of son Rev. Richard COBBOLD
    1798Birth of son Reverend Edward COBBOLD
    1799Death of son Henry Gallant COBBOLD
    1800Birth of daughter Frances Catherine COBBOLD
    1802Death of daughter Maria COBBOLD
    1802Death of son Francis COBBOLD
    1804Death of son Rowland COBBOLD
    1806Death of daughter Anne COBBOLD
    1806Death of daughter Frances Catherine COBBOLD
    1824Death of wife Elizabeth KNIPE
    1826Death of son William COBBOLD
    1832Death of daughter Sophia COBBOLD