Above (from left): Thomas Cobbold (1680–1752) who established a family brewery in Harwich in 1723; Lady Evelyn Cobbold (1867-1963) who married John Dupuis Cobbold and converted to Islam; Big John Cobbold (1746-1835) who greatly expanded the Cobbold brewery business and had 22 children.

Anthony Cobbold, as members who attended his Winter Illustrated Talk in 2013 will know, is a knowledgable, self-effacing and entertaining speaker. This reflects his tireless work on the CFHT for over sixteen years, gathering all sorts of information, documents and memorabilia about his ancestors, the famous brewing family which set up the brewery on Cliff Quay.

Now (unbelievably) well into his eighties, Anthony has been working on the future of the Trust and the collection of which he has been the curator for so long. The trustees have decided that it should move to Knebworth House in Hertfordshire and hope that it will be completed during 2021 – pandemic permitting. The cataloguing project will take at least 3 months, next comes digitisation which is a step towards public access.

The Hon. Henry Lytton-Cobbold, the current occupant of Knebworth House, is a great-great-great grandson of novelist Edward Bulwer-Lytton; he has been appointed as a trustee of the CFHT. Cameron Cobbold married into the Lytton family in 1930 (when the relationship with the Lytton family was created) but was not ennobled until 1960, the year before he stood down from the Governorship of the Bank of England, having been appointed in 1949.

The physical archive, which until now has been stored in Devon, will move to Hertfordshire. It would have been good to think that there might have been a chance for the archive to have come home to Ipswich. The trustees, too, would have preferred a location in Ipswich – the Cobbold family came from Tostock near Bury St Edmunds before Harwich and thence to Ipswich – but a place as beneficial as Knebworth could not be found. Knebworth is a Cobbold home albeit of only three generations. We must console ourselves that the archive will be well looked after and developed; the items will be incorporated in the Knebworth House education programmes.


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