COBBOLD, Richard

1797 - 1877

Richard Cobbold

Richard Cobbold, was born at the Manor House, St Margaret’s Green, Ipswich on 9 September 1797, twelfth son and nineteenth child of John Cobbold (1745-1835) and fifth son of his second wife Elizabeth née Knipe (1764-1824). Educated at Bury St Edmund's, North Walsham, Dedham and in 1814, proceeded to Caius College, Cambridge, graduating B.A. in 1820. After taking holy orders and serving as curate to his uncle, Thomas Cobbold at St Mary le Tower, Ipswich, in 1824 his father purchased the advowson of the rich living of Wortham near Diss, to where he was instituted to the rectory, succeeding Revd Henry Patteson, who had been the rector since 1782. The stipend was £921 p.a. with a rectory house, which he rebuilt, and to where the family moved in 1828 and remained there for the rest of their lives. Rural dean of Hartismere 1844-1869, becoming the typical country parson but, to provide funds to help his sons marry, sold the Wortham advowson in 1862, to King’s College, Cambridge but at his death he still left over £12,000. He married at Hollesley on 27 November 1822, Mary Anne, only daughter and heiress of Jeptha and Mary Anne Waller of Hollesley, Suffolk by whom he had three sons, who followed their father into the church. In the last year of his life, he and his wife were in poor health, and Mary Anne died on 26 December 1876 aged 75 and Richard, unaware of his wife’s death, died at Wortham rectory on 5 January 1877 and both were buried in the local churchyard. Richard is best known for his 'History of Margaret Catchpole' a novel based upon a girl employed by his father’s family in Ipswich, he also edited 'John H Steggall'. As well as literary pursuits, he was an active watercolour artist being a member of the Ipswich Society of Professional & Amateur Artists from 1833, where he was probably tutored by Henry Davy, and painted during his time at Ipswich and, more significantly, at Wortham where he recorded the daily lives of his various parishioners, both in words and pictures. His four volumes eventually found a home at the Suffolk Record Office, and have become an invaluable source of information about everyday life in the countryside at that time. There is also a volume of his watercolours of in and around Holywells in Ipswich which is dedicated to his future wife.

Works by This Artist