Down through the eons of time this surname has had numerous variations in spelling. To keep it simple to follow I have adhered to the following format: The early British born generations are spelled COBBES. The early American born generations are spelled COBBS.
The modern international spelling is COBB unless otherwise noted, as several branches of the family still spell the name COBBS.
Click HERE to see the work of Robert Stanley Cobb; MC,FRIBA
1. Henry COBBES. We know little about Henry, except that in 1258 he acquired land in the parish of Hope, St. Mary (in the Marsh), New Romney and Newchurch. In 1265, he obtained the property of Richard Organistre which he joined to his own property. In 1324, the former Organistre property was the home of his son John Cobb, his only known child. The name of his wife is lost. Henry COBBES had the following children:
+2 i. John COBBES Esquire (of Kent).
2. John COBBES Esquire (of Kent) (Henry-1) was living in 1324. John Cobbs of Kent is the earliest documented progenitor of our Cobb family, meaning that he was the first to be recorded in the College of Heralds. We do not know when John was born; but by 1324, he had acquired possession of the former property of Richard Organistre. It was located about a quarter of a mile north of St. Peter and St. Paul Church at Newchurch. This manor became known as Cobbs Place (a name that remained in use until the late 1700's) and remained in the family until the death of Alice Cobbe, then Lady Cobham, in the reign of Elizabeth I, when it passed to the Cobhams and was sold and later demolished.
John was still living at Cobbe's Place in the 17th year of the reign of King Edward II. During his life he was awarded the title of Esquire, for having performed some unidentified service to the Crown. This title continued to be born by several generations of his direct male descendants. The name of his wife is lost, but it is known that he had at least one son, Richard. John COBBES Esquire (of Kent) had the following children:
+3 i. Richard COBBES Esquire (born before 1326).
3. Richard COBBES Esquire (John-2, Henry-1) was born before 1326 in Cobbs Court, Romney, Kent. More specifically, he was born during the first quarter of the 14th century. He was living in 1337. Richard also carried the title of Esquire (by the right of his father), and was still living at Cobbs Court in 1338; the 11th year of the reign of King Edward III. The name of his wife is lost, but it is known he had at least one son, Edward. Richard COBBES Esquire had the following children:
+4 i. Edward (Edmund) COBBES Esquire (born in 1387).
4. Edward (Edmund) COBBES Esquire (Richard-3, John-2, Henry-1) was born in 1387 in Cobbs Court, Romney, Kent. The names Edward and Edmund was used interchangeably in early England. During his life, Edward continued to carry the title of Esquire, by the right of his father. He was still living at Cobbs Court in the 10th year of the reign of King Richard II. The name of his wife is lost. Edward (Edmund) COBBES Esquire had the following children:
+5 i. Edmund (Edward) COBBES Esquire.
6 ii. Richard COBBES was born. It appears Richard held an official position in the Corporation of Romney, probably that of Justice of the Peace or Chamberlain.
5. Edmund (Edward) COBBES Esquire (Edward (Edmund)-4, Richard-3, John-2, Henry-1) was living in 1417. Edmund was still living at Cobbs Court in the 5th year of the reign of King Henry V. The name of his wife is lost, but it is known he had at least two sons, John and Thomas. Edmund (Edward) COBBES Esquire had the following children:
+7 i. John ("the Advocante") COBBES (of Newchurch).
+8 ii. Thomas COBBES (of Reculver).
7. John ("the Advocante") COBBES (of Newchurch) (Edmund (Edward)-5, Edward (Edmund)-4, Richard-3, John-2, Henry-1) signed a will on 14 Oct 1472. He died on 16 Oct 1472 in Chislete, Reculver, Kent, England. He was born in Cobbs Court, Romney, Kent. There are many references to John, the advocante, in the records of the Corporation of New Romney. "He was a young man at the time when Joan d'Arc was burnt in 1431, and judging by his own unhealthy fear of purgatory, which he exposes in his will, he would have found no alternative to death by burning for the good of her soul and for his own conscience." The Records of the Corporation show the activities of John from 1456 to 1466.
The oldest son and heir of Edmund Cobbs, his was the right to continue carrying the title Esquire. At the time of his death in 1472, he held considerable property and land on the Marshes and owned not only Cobbes Place in Newchurch, but the Manor and lands at Bonnington, the Manor of Camerston, the Manor of Organers and Goddy Hall, which according to the records of All Souls, Oxford, lies between Millebergh and Bensqukescroche, and a house called Breggis in Wheystreet. His will, which was written a month before his death, was proved on 17th November, 1472.
He was still living at Cobbes Place (Court) when he made his Will in the 12th year of the reign of King Edward IV, and died there that same year. In his Will, he named his wife Dionicia and his three sons John, William, and Thomas. He further requested that his body be buried in the Chapel of St. Michael's Church.
(Extract) WILLS FROM THE CLOSE ROLLS.-III. Cobbe, John, of co. Kent. 14 October, 12 Edw. IV. .
"To Dionyse my wife, the manor of BoDyngton for lite, &c, and two acres in Bonington, held by her mother for life.
To William my SON, the principal tenement that I live in, save to my wife the chamber that I lie in myself, with the dorter, while she abideth in the same.
To Edward my SON, a manor or tenement called Organers.
To John my SON, a tenement called Breggys in Whitestrtte.
To Thomas my son, 43 acres called Brodewater, &c.
[All with remainder to son William.]
Lands to pass to my sons Edward and Roger after death of testator and Dionyse, with remainder to three daughters of said Dionyse.
Bequests to church, poor, mending of foul ways, and marriage of poor maidens. "If the livelode will not stretch thereto, then to find fewer priests [for masses] ; and the remanent above the said preestys fyndyng to be employed to relief of poor parishioners," and reparation of church. Tea marks to each daughter of Dionyse.
The entry proceeds to state that the said John Cobbe, the testator, died Friday before St, Luke. 12 Edw. IV. [16 October, 1472]."
John ("the Advocante") COBBES (of Newchurch) and Dionicia BONNINGTON were married before 1436. John ("the Advocante") COBBES (of Newchurch) and Dionicia BONNINGTON had the following children:
9 i. John COBBES was born in 1436 in Cobbs Court, Romney, Kent. The oldest son and heir, he died unmarried and without issue.
+10 ii. William COBBES (born in 1442).
+11 iii. Thomas COBBES (born in 1448).
12 iv. Edward COBBES was born in 1450. Named in his father's Will of October 1472, he inherited Cobbe's Place.
13 v. Crystin COBBES was born. She was living and as yet apparently unmarried when her father made his Will in October 1472.
8. Thomas COBBES (of Reculver) (Edmund (Edward)-5, Edward (Edmund)-4, Richard-3, John-2, Henry-1) died in 1441 in Chislete, Reculver, Kent, England. He died in the 19th year of the reign of King Henry VI. He was born in Cobbs Court, Romney, Kent. Thomas, the younger brother of John, the "Advocante" left the Romney Marsh in the middle of the 15th century and settled in the neighborhood of Reculver, where his descendants remained for two hundred years before returning to Romney in about 1676.
It is recorded that he sold his brother John all his interest in a field called Cobbs Close, in the 14th year of the reign of Henry 6th. It is believed he moved to Chislete, Parish of Reculver, at this time. The name of his wife is lost. Thomas COBBES (of Reculver) had the following children:
+14 i. John COBBES.
10. William COBBES (John-6, Edmund (Edward)-5, Edward (Edmund)-4, Richard-3, John-2, Henry-1) was born in 1442. He signed a will on 2 Mar 1500. He died in 1506. He was thirty years old when his father died in 1472, and shared Gavelkind with his brothers Thomas and Edward from their father's estate. In 1480, he was appointed Bailiff of New Romney. He was heir to his oldest brother John who died unmarried and without issue. He married Alice CATTS. William COBBES and Alice CATTS had the following children:
+15 i. Robert COBBES.
16 ii. Gervase COBBES died in 1512. He was named as a beneficiary of his brother Robert's Will which was proved on February 11, 1509. Being the eldest son of William and Alice, he inherited Cobbes Court from his father. However, since he died without issue, the manor was passed to his brother George who in turn possessed it until his own death in 1515.
+17 iii. Edward COBBES.
18 iv. George COBBES died in 1515 in Ivychurch, Kent. His Will is now found at Maidstone. He was named as a beneficiary of his brother Robert's Will which was proved February 11, 1509.
11. Thomas COBBES (John-6, Edmund (Edward)-5, Edward (Edmund)-4, Richard-3, John-2, Henry-1) was born in 1448 in Cobbs Court, Romney, Kent. He was living and named in his father's Will of October 1472. Per the Kentish custom of Gavelkind, he received an equal share of the lands that had belonged to his father. The name of his wife is lost. Thomas COBBES had the following children:
+19 i. Thomas COBBES (of Aldington).
14. John COBBES (Thomas-6, Edmund (Edward)-5, Edward (Edmund)-4, Richard-3, John-2, Henry-1) died on 22 Apr 1482 in Reculver Parish, Kent. He was born in Chislete, Reculver, Kent, England. He was the only known son of Thomas Cobb of Reculver and was probably born at Chislete. He made his Will August 21, 1445, in which he requested one John Yong (sic) and William Allen to sell enough of his lands to pay his debts, and to Alice his wife, a piece of land called Towne (Pece) (sic) in Reculver. John COBBES and Alice LNU (COBBES) had the following children:
+20 i. Thomas COBBES.
15. Robert COBBES (William-7, John-6, Edmund (Edward)-5, Edward (Edmund)-4, Richard-3, John-2, Henry-1) signed a will on 20 Nov 1508. He died before 11 Feb 1509 in Newchurch, Kent, England.
Extract of the Last Will & Testament of Robert Cobbes.
"Robert Cobbes of Newchurche, Gent. 20 Sept 1508. To be buried in the church bifore the highe crosse. To the making of a silver crosse in Newchurche aforesaid 100s if the parisshens there ordeyne & bye the same to the value of 20 marcs. To the Crosse light in Newchurche 3s 4d. To the brotherhed of Or Lady there a Kowe yf the brethern & sustern will putt ther money of the same broderyeld into a stokke for to encreasse. To the herse light 20d. An honest preest to syng by the space of oon hole yere in the chapell of Seynt Thomas in Newchurche, 10 marcs.
To Elizabeth my doughter to hir marige 40 marcs. If she dye then between Benett my wif & Thomas Cobbes my son.
To William Cobbes my son £20 when 22 & a pece of silver called a bolle pece, a salte of silver wt a couering parcell gilte & 6 silver sponys wt knopps of wodwoses gilte which pecs my saltes & sponys I will shall remayn in the custody of the forsed Benett during the terme of her life.
To Thomas Cobbes my son £20 when 22 and another bolle pece of silver, a salte of silver wt a couering parcell gilte & 6 spones of silver knopped wh Postells gilte.
To Elizabeth my doughter a pece of silver parcell gilte, a salte of silver parcell gilte, the better of two wtoute covering & a doseyn sponys of silver a gyrdell harneysed wt a demysent of silver & overgilte, a payre of beds of corall gawded wt stones of silver gilte and a ryng of golde callid an hopryng.
To Sr Laurence Snelle, chanon of Bylsington 10s.
To Dame Anne of the Mynster of Shepey doughter of Benett my wif 40s.
To every of my household servants 3s 4d. To Laurence Hunte 3s 4d.
To George Cobbes my broder my blakke gowne furred wt blakke booge.
To Gerveys Cobbes my broder my russet gowne furred wt foxe.
To Edward Cobbes my broder my tawney gowne furred wt shanks.
To Edward Brekhell broder to Benett my wif 20s. Residue to Benett my wif, executrix.
Proved 11 Feb 1509 by executrix."
Robert COBBES married Benett BREKHELL. She was named the Executrix of her husband's Will which was proved on February 11, 1509. Robert COBBES and Benett BREKHELL had the following children:
21 i. Elizabeth COBBES was living in 1509. She was named as a beneficiary of her father's Will which was proved on February 11, 1509. From the wording of this instrument one gets the impression she was married but her married name is not given.
22 ii. William COBBES was born after 1486. This date is based on the fact he was referred to as being under 22 years of age in his father's Will of September 20, 1508.
23 iii. Thomas COBBES was born after 1486. This date is based on the fact he was referred to as being under 22 years of age in his father's Will of September 20, 1508.
17. Edward COBBES (William-7, John-6, Edmund (Edward)-5, Edward (Edmund)-4, Richard-3, John-2, Henry-1) died in 1579 in Cobbs Court, Romney, Kent. He was born in Kent. He lived at Cobbe's Place at Newchurch until his death. The property then passed to his only daughter Alice who was born about 1524. He was named as a beneficiary of his brother Robert's Will which was proved on February 11, 1509. He married Miss CATESBY and had the following children:
+24 i. Alice COBBES (born about 1524).
19. Thomas COBBES (of Aldington) (Thomas-7, John-6, Edmund (Edward)-5, Edward (Edmund)-4, Richard-3, John-2, Henry-1) died before Jun 1528. This was the date his Will was proved. Thomas built himself a new house in Aldington, known to this day as Cobbe's Hall and it was here that Elizabeth Barton, the Maid of Kent, served as a scullery maid. This house was still occupied and for sale in 2007.
In his will, which was proved in June 1528, Thomas left his wife Joan only a pittance saying: "I will that if my wife is not contented with this portion and vex the executors she shall lose, and not have anything." In his will he made gifts to the Church at Aldington and Newchurch.
Thomas COBBES (of Aldington) and wife Joan LNU (COBBES) had the following children:
+25 i. James ("of Aldington") COBBES.
26 ii. Thomas COBBES was born. The well-known family of Cobbs living at Mockbeggar near Rochester are said to be his descendants.
+27 iii. Richard COBBES (of Bilsington).
+28 iv. Martin COBBES (of Chilham).
20. Thomas COBBES (John-7, Thomas-6, Edmund (Edward)-5, Edward (Edmund)-4, Richard-3, John-2, Henry-1) lived in Chislete, Reculver, Kent, England. He married Alice LNU (COBBES) before 1480. She died sometime after 1482. They had the following children:
+29 i. Alexander COBBES (born about 1480).
+30 ii. John COBBES (of Faversham) (born about 1482).
31 iii. Edward COBBES was born after 1482 in Kent.
24. Alice COBBES (Edward-8, William-7, John-6, Edmund (Edward)-5, Edward (Edmund)-4, Richard-3, John-2, Henry-1) was born about 1524 in Cobbs Court, Romney, Kent. She inherited Cobbes Court from her father.
Alice COBBES married first Lord John NORTON. Lord John NORTON was also known as Sir John NORTON (of Northwood).
Alice COBBES married second Lord John COBHAM. He was born on 22 Apr 1534, and died on 25 Sep 1594. Lord John Cobham (alias Brooke) was the son of George Lord Cobham. He was a Member of Parliament and a favourite at Court. In Cobham Church there is an effigy of him bearing his arms impailed with the Cobbe arms, viz: argent, a chevron between three cocks. He was buried with Alice at Newington Church.
The following is taken from Archaelogia Contiana. Vol. 12, page 139.
“Lord John Cobham (alias Brooke) was born 22nd April 1534, his education was under the care of Martin Bucer who, in a letter from Strasburg in May 1548 speaks highly of his abilities and attainments. He distinguished himself as a soldier in the wars of the Low Countries in a struggle for civil and religious liberty. But we have complaints of him, William Prince of Orange writes to Elizabeth March in 1560/7 concerning his elopement from the island of Walcheron with one Lucretia de Affelate, a lady under the special probation of the Queen, who was therefore much offended by this affair. Later we hear that John Brocke Captain in Her Majesty's service keeps the whole pay of her soldiers from them and that Brocke has gotten Mr. Norton Green, a Roman Catholic, guilty of no other crime than disobedience to her majesty in not going to Church, from whom he means to squeese 2,000 marks before he shall be at liberty. Afterwards we find him in his own country aiding in the preparations against the Armada and a possible landing of the Duke of Parma.
In May 1584 John Cobham is named amongst the commoners as the Master in the County of Kent, He married Alice, daughter and heir of Edward Cobbe Esq., widow of Sir John Norton or Northwood, Knight. He died in September 25th 1594 - buried at Newington Church where there is a, fine monument in alabaster erected to his memory by his nephews William and George representing him in armour, kneeling within a niche. Lady Norton was also buried here where still remains a brass representing her sons by her side and a rhyming which speaks of her as John Cobham's late and loving wife."
25. James ("of Aldington") COBBES (Thomas-8, Thomas-7, John-6, Edmund (Edward)-5, Edward (Edmund)-4, Richard-3, John-2, Henry-1). He married Johanna LNU (COBBES). James ("of Aldington") COBBES and Johanna LNU (COBBES) had the following children:
+32 i. James COBBES.
27. Richard COBBES (of Bilsington) (Thomas-8, Thomas-7, John-6, Edmund (Edward)-5, Edward (Edmund)-4, Richard-3, John-2, Henry-1). He married Elizabeth SCOTT.
28. Martin COBBES (of Chilham) (Thomas-8, Thomas-7, John-6, Edmund (Edward)-5, Edward (Edmund)-4, Richard-3, John-2, Henry-1) died in 1551. He married Miss CRESSY was born. They had the following children:
+33 i. Thomas COBBES (born between 1551 and 1554).
+34 ii. Anne COBBES.
29. Alexander COBBES (Thomas-8, John-7, Thomas-6, Edmund (Edward)-5, Edward (Edmund)-4, Richard-3, John-2, Henry-1) was born about 1480 in Chislete, Reculver, Kent, England. He signed a will on 7 Apr 1541. He died before 31 May 1541. His Will was probated on that date, indicating he had passed since signing it on April 7.
Alexander, lived at Reculver, and his inheritance and ability brought him considerable property. At the time of his death in 1541, he owned lands which extended from Reculver to Herne, Whitstable, Swaycliffe and Sturry near Canterbury, which is called Rashbourn. His mansion as he describes it, lay between Reculver and Hillborough and was called Bishopston.
The following is taken from Hasted's History of Kent: "The parish of Reculver is low, marshy land, excepting towards the west, where May Street and the hamlet of Holsborough stand, the latter in the road towards Hoath and Canterbury and a little northward from it, near the sea, Bishopstone, once accounted a manor, which for many years was the seat and property of the family Cobbe who resided here until the latter end of the last century (1676). Alexander Cobbe of Reculver died possessed of it in 1541 and divided his mansion of Bishopston with its lands, and those at Old Hevyn to his son Robert whose descendant Henry died seised of it in 1618. There is an entry of this branch of the Cobbe family who lie buried in this Church in the Heralds Office book D 18, folio 144 b."
[NOTE: September 2007. Hasted erred in the respect that there was no son Robert. The reference is actually to son Richard; who did receive the manor at Bishopston, and did have a son Henry who died in 1618. See below.]
Extract of Last Will & Testament of Alexander Cobbes.
"ALEXANDER COBBE, yeoman.
7 April 1541. Buried beside the Palm cross in the churchyard of Reculver. At my burial in dirige and masses for my soul and to poor people, 100s.
Son Richard have 150 wethers, 100 ewes, when he is twenty-one.
Daughters Margaret, Cristen, Agnes and Frideswide, £20 each at their marriage, but if any daughter die, then Thomsine my wife have £5 to her own use, and £5 among the others.
To every child of my daughter Sawkyn, and of my daughter Knoller, 4 ewes each.
Residue of goods to wife Thomsine my ex'or.
That my mansion house called Bishopston with all its appurtenances and lands, also four acres of land at Rushbourne yeate (sic), four acres at Holt Hill, a piece called Town-piece, three acres in a close called Ewellscroft, two acres at Little Blakesham, one acre at Taylerscroft, one acre and a rood at the Crokydtree, all my lands and tenements at Old Hevyn, and all lands in Well-lease otherwise Bogywell, with their appurtenances to son Richard and his heirs.
To my Sons Richard and Alexander, as much land in Rushbourne Marsh as will keep and feed yearly 150 sheep.
The tenement called Danys in Herne and all lands, etc., thereto in Reculver, with all my other lands and tenements in Herne, to son Michell and his heirs; also as much land in Rushbourne Marsh as will keep and feed yearly 50 sheep.
My tenement at Helbrough and other lands in Reculver to son Alexander, also all my land at Rushbourne in Sturrey.
Sons Michael and Alexander have all my lands and tenements in Whitstaple (sic) and Swayclif, and to their heirs.
That wife Thomasine have all my lands and tenements and the profits therefrom to her own use, until sons be of full age of twenty-one years, and as every son comes to that age to have his share and pay to his mother 40s. yearly.
Witnesses: Sir Alexander Bullok, clerk, Robert Seeth, John Cobbe, William Paramore. Probate 31 May 1541.
Alexander COBBES and Thomasyn DEATH were married before 1520. Thomasyn DEATH (daughter of John DEARTH of Hearne) was born between 1480 and 1520. She was still living in 1581 in Reculver Parish, Kent. She was named as Executrix of her husband's Will in 1541. Alexander COBBES and Thomasyn DEATH had the following children:
35 i. James COBBES died between 1536 and 1541. This is based on the fact he was named in the 1536 Will of his uncle Richard Cobb; but was not listed in the 1541 Will of his father Alexander.
36 ii. Sawkyn COBBES was living in 1541. The spelling of her name is taken directly from her father's Will of 1541. The wording of the instrument lends the impression she was already married by that time.
37 iii. Knoller COBBES was living in 1541. The spelling of her name is taken directly from her father's Will of 1541. The wording of the instrument lends the impression she was already married by that time. The wording of the instrument lends the impression she was already married by that time.
+38 iv. Alexander COBBES (born before 1520).
+39 v. Michael COBBES (born before 1520).
+40 vi. Richard COBBES (born after 1520).
41 vii. Margaret COBBES was living in 1541. She was named as a beneficiary of her father's Will of 1541.
42 viii. Cristen COBBES was living in 1541. She was named as a beneficiary of her father's Will of 1541.
43 ix. Agnes COBBES was living in 1541. She was named as a beneficiary of her father's Will of 1541.
44 x. Frideswide COBBES was living in 1541. She was named as a beneficiary of her father's Will of 1541.
30. John COBBES (of Faversham) (Thomas-8, John-7, Thomas-6, Edmund (Edward)-5, Edward (Edmund)-4, Richard-3, John-2, Henry-1) was born about 1482 in Chislete, Reculver, Kent, England. He was living in 1510. He was named in the Will of his mother in law Isabelle HAWLETT. Although he relocated to Faversham, he retained control of the home at Eastleigh Court, until he gave it to his son Thomas.
John COBBES (of Faversham) married Rose HAWLETT before 1510. The number of children actually produced from this marriage is difficult to estimate. The only reference available is the Last Will & Testament of Isabelle HAWLETT, mother of Rose. Only two children; John "the younger" and Alice are specifically named. However "every daughter of John Cobb" was to receive an inheritance. Rose HAWLETT (daughter of Nicholas HAWLETT and Isabelle LNU (HAWLETT)) was living in 1510. She was named in the Will of her mother Isabelle. John COBBES (of Faversham) and Rose HAWLETT had the following children:
45 i. Alice COBBES was born before 1510. She was named as a beneficiary in the Will of her grandmother Isabelle HAWLETT.
46 ii. John COBBES was born before 1510. He was named as a beneficiary in the Will of his grandmother Isabelle HAWLETT.
+47 iii. Thomas COBBES (born after 1510).
32. James COBBES (James-9, Thomas-8, Thomas-7, John-6, Edmund (Edward)-5, Edward (Edmund)-4, Richard-3, John-2, Henry-1) died in 1587. He married Edith SMITH. They had the following children:
+48 i. William COBBES.
33. Thomas COBBES (Martin-9, Thomas-8, Thomas-7, John-6, Edmund (Edward)-5, Edward (Edmund)-4, Richard-3, John-2, Henry-1) was born between 1551 and 1554. He died in 1627 in Chilham, Kent, England. Both he and his wife are buried at Chilham and their memorial stones show the Cobb arms He was buried in Chilham, Kent, England. Thomas became the owner of the Payne estate which remained in his family from about 1575 until 1712 when it was sold to Thomas Belke. Thomas also inherited the lands at Bislington from his father; they had been owned by his uncle, Richard, who died in 1557.
Thomas COBBES married Mary PAYNE. She was the daughter and heiress of William Payne of the Manor of Northbrookes, at Oldwood Lees, sometimes called Old Wives Lees or Old Lees, about a mile east of Chilham, which is six miles west of Canterbury. She is buried at Chilham with her husband. Thomas COBBES and Mary PAYNE had the following children:
+49 i. Jane COBBES.
+50 ii. William COBBES (born in 1604).
34. Anne COBBES (Martin-9, Thomas-8, Thomas-7, John-6, Edmund (Edward)-5, Edward (Edmund)-4, Richard-3, John-2, Henry-1). She married Thomas WILMOT (of Hythe, Kent).
38. Alexander COBBES (Alexander-9, Thomas-8, John-7, Thomas-6, Edmund (Edward)-5, Edward (Edmund)-4, Richard-3, John-2, Henry-1) was born before 1520. He was named as a beneficiary of his father's Will; and the impression is given that he was already of legal age in 1541. This Alexander is mentioned in his father's will but his name has not been recorded at the College of Arms.
Alexander COBBES married Agnes PEAKE. She was the daughter of Nicholas Peake, a juriat of Sandwich and Mayor in 1544 and 1553.
39. Michael COBBES (Alexander-9, Thomas-8, John-7, Thomas-6, Edmund (Edward)-5, Edward (Edmund)-4, Richard-3, John-2, Henry-1) was born before 1520. He was named as a beneficiary of his father's Will; and the impression is given that he was already of legal age in 1541.
Michael COBBES married Mary LEIGH in 1558. It is reported she was the daughter of Sir Thomas LEIGH, Lord Mayor of London in 1558. However, this appears to be erroneous. An examination of the Leigh genealogy does reflect a daughter Mary who married a Cobb; but one name Richard. Also, the daughter of Sir Thomas would have been close to thirty years younger than this Michael Cobbes. Mary LEIGH was born. Michael COBBES and Mary LEIGH had the following children:
+51 i. Thomasyn COBBES.
40. Richard COBBES (Alexander-9, Thomas-8, John-7, Thomas-6, Edmund (Edward)-5, Edward (Edmund)-4, Richard-3, John-2, Henry-1) was born after 1520. He was referred to as being less than 21 years of age in his father's Will of 1541. He signed a will on 26 Feb 1581. He died before 30 Jun 1582 in Reculver Parish, Kent. His Will was proved at Canterbury on that date.
Richard COBBES married Elizabeth LNU (COBBES) before 1561. She was still living in 1581. Richard COBBES and Elizabeth LNU (COBBES) had the following children:
+52 i. Henry COBBES (born in 1561).
53 ii. Alexander COBBES was born. Alexander was a jurist of Sandwich and Mayor of that town in 1574. As a jurist he took some part in the welcome accorded to Queen Elizabeth I when she visited Sandwich in 1573.
54 iii. Richard COBBES was born.
55 iv. William COBBES was born.
56 v. Nicholas COBBES was born.
57 vi. Mary COBBES was born.
58 vii. Margaret COBBES was born.
59 viii. Elizabeth COBBES was born.
60 ix. Suzanna COBBES was born.
61 x. Thomasine COBBES was born.
47. Thomas COBBES (John-9, Thomas-8, John-7, Thomas-6, Edmund (Edward)-5, Edward (Edmund)-4, Richard-3, John-2, Henry-1) was born after 1510 in Faversham, Kent. The exact date of his birth can only be estimated. It is known he was not yet born at the time his grandmother Isabelle HAWLETT made her Will in 1510. He died in 1599 in Eastleigh Court, Lyminge, Kent. He was buried in Faversham, Kent.
Thomas COBBES married first Christina YOUNG on 21 Jan 1543 in Chislete, Reculver, Kent, England. The surname of this wife is not confirmed. It is known however that all of Thomas' children were by her; and that she died sometime after 1563. Thomas COBBES and Christina YOUNG had the following children:
+62 i. Edmund\Edward COBBES (born in 1560).
+63 ii. Ambrose COBBES (born between 1563 and 1565).
+64 iii. FNU COBBES.
Thomas COBBES married second Agnes MUSARED (of Thanet) in Jul 1579 in St. Nicholas Church, Kent, England. From the time Thomas Cobbs married Agnes Musared, he was involved in one aggravating and troublesome court action after another, right up to the time of his death. These suits seem to have stemmed from debts Agnes had accumulated while still a widow. It seems she had failed to pay the Lord's rent on the property she had inherited from her first husband, and had also accumulated additional unpaid debts. Thomas did not think he should be held responsible for all her former accounts and refused to pay them. Much litigation ensued, during which he won some cases and lost others.
All these legal problems caused a strain on the marriage. At one time, Thomas and Agnes were either living with, or visiting, Ambrose Cobbs (son of Thomas by his first wife) at Eastleigh Court. He had become concerned about his estate and had determined to write his Will, a decision Agnes adamantly opposed. He found it necessary to order her return to Faversham, after which he summoned a Notary Public and composed his Last Will and Testament.
Thomas died in 1599 at Lyminge, probably at Eastleigh Court. He left a sizeable estate, and was more than generous to all his heirs. However, even though he had left Agnes well cared for, she contested the Will and further litigation continued for several years. In the end, the Will of Thomas Cobbs was upheld. Agnes MUSARED (of Thanet) was born.
48. William COBBES (James-10, James-9, Thomas-8, Thomas-7, John-6, Edmund (Edward)-5, Edward (Edmund)-4, Richard-3, John-2, Henry-1) was living in 1619, at the time of the Herald's Visitation to Kent, and left three sons and one daughter.
Extract of Last Will & Testament of William Cobbes; March 13, 1619
"William Cobbes of Sellendge, County Kent, Esq.
My Wife: Son James Cobbes: Only daughter Margaret Cobbes (under 18) 2nd Son; Thomas Cobbes of Chilham: Cousin, John Finche of Grovehurste, County Kent, Esq: Sister, Mrs Elizabeth Collins, Wife of William Collins, Gentleman. One Dozen Apostle Spoons to be kept as an heirloom.
Godson and Nephew, William Collins, elder son of said sister:
Exor: Son James, Cousin and old servant John Edwards:
Cousin Mr John Wright of Allington, Gentleman, and his Wife: Cap Mess known as Goldwell in the Parish of Allington, in tenancy of John Wright Road, Brambly.
George Bealings, Robert Hope, Widower, Jeckey, John Friend, George Spurling, William Chittenden and Thomas Colman: My Manor of Hody Ford, in the Parish of Sellenge: Cottage where Widow Duckett now dwells: One Demense called Southerendge, in Parish of Lympne in tenancy of Thomas Redsole: One Demense called Cobbs or Cobbs Marsh, Cratherne, Gt Fragges and Gates Leaze in Parish of Ivy Church and Newchurch, in the level of Romney Marsh, County Kent. Marsh one Demense in occupancy of Thomas Colman: One Demense know as Lamdeyes in the Parish of Allington. One Demense near Allington Fryth, in the said Parish: Wood called Landry Wood, in the said Parish: House in High Holborn in Suburbs of London. Manor of Heyton. Cousin George Smythe of Standford County Kent (No Sig"
William COBBES married Margaret PELHAM. She was the daughter of Sir Edmond Pelham, Sergeant at law, and Chief Baron of the Exchequer of Ireland in James I's reign. They had the following children:
+65 i. James COBBES.
66 ii. Thomas COBBES was born.
67 iii. William COBBES was born.
68 iv. Margaret COBBES was born.
49. Jane COBBES (Thomas-10, Martin-9, Thomas-8, Thomas-7, John-6, Edmund (Edward)-5, Edward (Edmund)-4, Richard-3, John-2, Henry-1). She married first John Osborne, who owned Nutts Manor. Her second marriage was to John Pettit, one of Queen Elizabeth's personal servants who, with Jane, is buried at St. Peter and St. Paul, Boughton.
50. William COBBES (Thomas-10, Martin-9, Thomas-8, Thomas-7, John-6, Edmund (Edward)-5, Edward (Edmund)-4, Richard-3, John-2, Henry-1) was born in 1604. He died in 1626 in Chilham, Kent, England.
William COBBES married Mary BARHAM. She was the daughter of Arthur BARHAM. William COBBES and Mary BARHAM had the following children:
69 i. Thomas COBBES died in 1649.
70 ii. Martin COBBES was born.
71 iii. Jane COBBES was born.
72 iv. Suzanna COBBES was born.
73 v. Maria COBBES was born.
74 vi. Elizabeth COBBES was born.
75 vii. Dorothy COBBES was born.
51. Thomasyn COBBES (Michael-10, Alexander-9, Thomas-8, John-7, Thomas-6, Edmund (Edward)-5, Edward (Edmund)-4, Richard-3, John-2, Henry-1). She married Esquire Ralph BROOKE who was born in 1553. He died on 15 Oct 1625 in Hillsborough, Reculver, Kent.
He was a member of a Cheshire family and for some reason changed his name from Brooksmouth to Brooke. He was born in 1553 and went to Merchant Taylors School in 1564 being appointed first a Rouge Croix Pursuivant and later York Herald in 1593. They lived at Reculver and were buried there. 0n the South Wall of old Reculver Church was hung his portrait showing him with a short trimmed beard in full Herald's ceremonials and under was inscribed:
"Here under, quiet from worldly miseries,
Ralph Brook Esquire, late York Herald lies,
Fifteenth of October he was last alive,
One thousand six hundred and twenty five,
Seventy three years bore he fortunes harms,
and forty five an officer of arms.
He married Thomasin, daughter of Michael Cobb of Kent,
Sargent at Arms, by who two daughters God him lent,
Surviving, Mary, William Dicken's wife,
Thomasine, John Eaton's, Happy be their life."
Ralph Brook seem to have brought the records of the Cobbe family to date during the Heralds Visitation in 1619 and it may be that he added a ducal coronet to the family crest, with, no doubt, the consent of the family.
Brook's reputation has been used by some American researchers to discredit the pedigree of this Cobb family line. It is their argument that Ralph Brook fabricated a totally false pedigree for the descendants of John Cobb (1482).
Let us take a moment to determine whether Brooke's reputation is deserved. Quoting and paraphrasing selected passages from “Dictionary of National Biography” edited by Leslie Stephen; Vol. VI; Smith, Elder and Co; London; 1886: “ ... the entry of his admission into Merchant Tailors' School, on 3 July 1564, simply records the fact that his father was Geoffrey, and a shoemaker. In 1576 he was made free of the Painter Stainers' Company, and four years afterwards was appointed Rouge Croix persuivant in the College of Arms. In March 1593 he became York Herald, but attained no higher rank. That he was an accurate and painstaking genealogist there can be no doubt; it seems equally clear that he was of a grasping and jealous nature, and much disliked by his fellow-officers in the Herald's College.”
In 1597, a man named Camden who was not a professional herald was made Clarenceux King-at-Arms. Brook took great offense by this; and published “A Discoverie of certaine Errours published in print in the much commended Brittania 1594, very prejudiciall to the Discentes and Successions of the auncient Nobilitie of this Realme.”
A long and acrimonious controversy followed ... “the only good result being that, through the researches of Brooke, Camden, and Vincent, the genealogies of the nobility were closely investigated, and the first attempt at a printed peerage was made.”
Brooke also wrote “A Second Discovery of Errors”, which was published in 1723, as part of the manuscript of Anstis. He also authored two editions in 1619 and 1622, which bore the lengthy title “A Catalogue and Succession of the Kings, Princes, Dukes, Marquisses, Earles, and Viscounts of the Realme of England since the Norman Conquest to this present yeare 1619. Together with their Armes, Wives and Children, the times of their deaths and burials, with any other memorable actions, collected by Ralph Brooke, Esquire, Yorke Herauld, Discovering and Reforming many errors committed by men of other Professions and lately published in Print to the great wronging of the nobility and prejudice of his Majestie's Officers and Armes, who are onely appointed and sworne to deale faithfully in these causes.”
Conclusions are first, Brooke may or may not have been a product of nobility; and second, there seems to be ample evidence that he had a difficult personality. But there can be no doubt that he was a competent and skilled genealogist ... and utterly dedicated to insure nobody got away with a title they did not deserve ... so much so that he was willing to make himself unpopular and controversial by “blowing the whistle” (as we Americans call it) on his peers, by publicly exposing their own false claims.
52. Henry COBBES (Richard-10, Alexander-9, Thomas-8, John-7, Thomas-6, Edmund (Edward)-5, Edward (Edmund)-4, Richard-3, John-2, Henry-1) was born in 1561 in Reculver Parish, Kent. He died in 1618 in Reculver Parish, Kent. He made his Will the previous year.
Henry was married twice. His first wife is unknown; but he had at least one child by her, son Benjamin in 1584.
+76 i. Benjamin COBB (born in 1584).
His second wife was Pleasance REDWOOD who he married on 27 September 1603. She was deceased by 1633. This is based on the fact she was named as being deceased in the Will of her brother John REDWOOD, dated April 16, 1633.
Henry and Pleasance had no known children. However, they are popularly credited as being the parents of the Henry Cobb who immigrated to Barnstable, Massachusetts about 1631. The results of the COBB DNA PROJECT have proven conclusively that this is an error. The Henry of Barnstable was in no way related to the Cobbs of Kent.
62. Edmund\Edward COBBES (Thomas-10, John-9, Thomas-8, John-7, Thomas-6, Edmund (Edward)-5, Edward (Edmund)-4, Richard-3, John-2, Henry-1) was born in 1560 in Eastleigh Court, Lyminge, Kent. He died between May 1602 and Oct 1602 in Faversham, Kent. Between 1590-1602, Edmund was a member of the Common (City) Council of Faversham. Although married twice, it is believed he died without issue. This would indicate that his younger brother Ambrose, came into possession of all the property that their father Thomas, had bequeathed to Edmund... "All house and land... and all other of my houses and lands in the Parish of Reculver and Herne, and also in Chislet in the County of Kent, and also my tenement in Faversham... on West Street with grounds... I give and bequeath unto Edmund Cobb, my son, to be had and holden to him... his natural life. And after his decease... if he die without heirs... then, I will all my lands and tenements before mentioned shall remain unto Ambrose Cobb, my son".
Edmund\Edward COBBES married first his step-sister Margaret MUSARED on 6 Jul 1584 in Lyminge, Kent. She was deceased by 1594.
Edmund\Edward COBBES married second Ann ELFRITH on 14 Dec 1594. She was a widow at the time of her marriage to Cobbs.
63. Ambrose COBBES (Thomas-10, John-9, Thomas-8, John-7, Thomas-6, Edmund (Edward)-5, Edward (Edmund)-4, Richard-3, John-2, Henry-1) was born between 1563 and 1565 in Eastleigh Court, Lyminge, Kent. He died between 31 Dec 1605 and 26 Mar 1607 in Petham, Kent. He signed a will on 31 Dec 1605/6. It was proved March 26, 1607, indicating he had died during the interim. In it his three sons shared an inheritence per the Kentish custom of "gavelkind", meaning all shared equally, without preference to the eldest son. His brother in law, Stephen Hunt, was named Executor. He was buried in Petham, Kent. He was the first in our lineage to be called "Ambrose", a name which has been repeated so many times in America.
His sixth child was also named Ambrose, however this infant died within days of being born. To continue the name in the family, the eighth child was also named Ambrose. And this child would become our emigrant ancestor.
Ambrose Cobbs relocated from Eastleigh Court to Petham, about 1601. Quoting from "The Cobbs of Tennessee", Ruralist Press; Atlanta,1968, " It is possible that while living at Petham, Ambrose and his family lived on a tract of land there known as 'Great Cobbs'. This tract contained 5 acres and was bounded in 1660 by lands of John Thompson to the north, south and east and by the highway to the west, and another parcel of land called 'Little Cobbs' containing 2 acres bounded by the highway to the east, land late of William Crammer to the south and west, and lands of John Thomsen (sic) to the north. The two tracts of land, Great Cobb and Little Cobb, were across the highway from each other, making a total of 7 acres. This land was sold the first of June 1660 by John Hawked of Petham, yeoman, to John Thompson (sic).
He died at Eastleigh Court and was buried at Petham Parish, which is about six miles south-southwest of Canterbury, near Faversham. In his Will he requested that his brother-in-law Stephen Hunt be the sole executor. He also requested that Hunt be appointed the guardian of his minor children, a responsibility which Hunt chose to reject. He petitioned the court to be excused from this duty, and was excused from it.
"THE LAST WILL AND TESTAMENT OF AMBROSE COBBS, OF EASTLEIGH COURT AND PETHAM: In the name of God, Amen, the 31 December 1605/6. I, Ambrose Cobb(s) of Petham in the County of Kent of perfect remembrance make my last will and testament in the manner and form following:
FIRST, I bequeath my soul to Christ, my Redeemer, and my body to be buried in Petham Churchyard.
ITEM: My will is that my Manor of Eastleigh Court with all services and appurtenances thereto belonging in the County of Kent and all my land goods and chattels wheresoever shall be sold by my executor for the payment of my debts and these my legacies following:
First, I give and bequeath of the premises 20 shillings unto the poor of the parish of Petham.
ITEM: I give unto my daughter, Susanna, three score pounds.
ITEM: I give unto my daughter, Rachel, 50 pounds.
ITEM: I give and bequeath unto my daughter, Elizabeth, 50 pounds.
ITEM: I give and bequeath unto my daughter, Jane, 50 pounds.
ITEM: I give and bequeath unto my son, Thomas, 120 pounds.
ITEM: My will is that the remnant of my goods, chattels and the price of my said manor and lands with the appurtenances shall be equally divided between my other two sons, Edmund and Ambrose Cobb(s) unto whom I give and bequeath it by even portions. And of this my last will and testament, I make Stephen Hunt of Chislet, my brother-in-law, my sole executor and my daughter, Susanna, overseer. In witness whereof to this my last will and testament I have set my hand seal and delivered the same day above written in the presence of:
Elizabeth Maxted (her mark),
Richard Stimson (his mark),
Elizabeth Gilven (her mark).
Signed: Ambrose Cobb(s) by his mark"
Ambrose COBBES and Angelica HUNT were married about 1584/85 in Kent. Angelica HUNT died in Sep 1603 in Petham, Kent. She was buried on 18 Sep 1603 in Petham, Kent. Angelica Hunt had at least one brother, Stephen Hunt of Chislete, County Kent. However, it is reported she had at least two others; the Reverend Robert Hunt who migrated to America on the original voyage to Jamestown, in 1607; and Thomas Hunt who arrived in Jamestown on the second supply ship in September 1608. Ambrose COBBES and Angelica HUNT had the following children:
77 i. Susanna COBBS was born about 1586 in Eastleigh Court, Lyminge, Kent. She was christened on 27 Nov 1586 in Lyminge, Kent.
78 ii. Rachel COBBS was born about 1588 in Eastleigh Court, Lyminge, Kent. She was christened on 19 Nov 1588 in Lyminge, Kent.
+79 iii. Thomas COBBS (born about 1590).
80 iv. Edmund COBBS was born about 1592 in Eastleigh Court, Lyminge, Kent. He was probably about 13 years of age when his father died in 1605. He was one of three sons to share gavelkind from his father's estate. He was eventually apprenticed to Thomas Pordag of Canterbury, and after completing his training, he became a "freeman" of Canterbury, on 28 Oct 1619, at Elmstone. He was successful at business and was the bondsman for the marriage of his sister Elizabeth, in 1619. He was a dealer of textiles and fabrics, especially silks. He probably died single without issue.
+81 v. Elizabeth COBBS (born about 1594).
82 vi. Ambrose COBBS died in Aug 1595 in Eastleigh Court, Lyminge, Kent. He was christened on 24 Aug 1595 in Lyminge, Kent. He was buried on 27 Aug 1595 in Eastleigh Court, Lyminge, Kent.
+83 vii. Jane COBBS (born about 1597).
+84 viii. Ambrose COBBS "the Emigrant" (born about 1603).
64. FNU COBBES (Thomas-10, John-9, Thomas-8, John-7, Thomas-6, Edmund (Edward)-5, Edward (Edmund)-4, Richard-3, John-2, Henry-1) was born. The will of Thomas Cobb indicates he had a daughter, given name unknown, who married one Richard Tylman of Faversham. This based on the fact that Thomas bequeathed to each of Richard Tylman's children 20 shillings; the same amount he had bequeathed to each of the children of Ambrose Cobb. This indicates that the Tylman children were Thomas Cobb's grandchildren.
65. James COBBES (William-11, James-10, James-9, Thomas-8, Thomas-7, John-6, Edmund (Edward)-5, Edward (Edmund)-4, Richard-3, John-2, Henry-1) died in 1664. The eldest son and heir to the Aldington property, James, who is referred to under the title Aldington Cobbs, went to Bury St. Edmonds and died there in 1664. He had married the daughter of Sir Edmond Bury and left no sons to succeed him. Hasted, in his History of Kent, states that James, or his executors, sold his property at Aldington and Hodeford to Thomas Godfrey. These properties which were acquired by the Aldington Cobbs in early times had not been inherited from the Newchurch Cobbs and the Reculver branch had therefore no claim to them. However, it seems that some of the lands owned by the Aldington family near New Romney, which had come originally from the Newchurch Cobbs (notably Goddy Hall and Land and Hope All Saints) fell to Robert Cobb of Reculver either by inheritance under Gravelkind custom, or by purchase on the death of James. It is not explained, however, why these lands did not go to either of James' brothers, Thomas or William.
His arms, quartered, with the Bonnington and Ermyners, are given in the 1664 Visitation of Suffolk. This branch failed on the male line and he left three daughters, Margaret, Dorothy and Winifred.
James COBBES married Dorothy BURY. She was the daughter of Sir Edmund Bury, a Physician.
76. Benjamin COBB (Henry-11, Richard-10, Alexander-9, Thomas-8, John-7, Thomas-6, Edmund (Edward)-5, Edward (Edmund)-4, Richard-3, John-2, Henry-1) was born in 1584 in Reculver, Kent. He died in 1642. He was buried in Reculver, Kent.
Benjamin COBB married Alice KNOWLER. There were at least six children produced from this marriage; two sons and four daughters. However, the names of only the sons are known. Alice KNOWLER was born in 1586. She died in 1641 in Reculver Parish, Kent. She was buried in Reculver, Kent. Benjamin COBB and Alice KNOWLER had the following children:
+85 i. Robert COBB (born in 1634).
86 ii. Francis COBB was born. From his father, Francis inherited two houses at Canterbury, some houses in Herne, and some small pieces of land in Chislet and Reculver. However, he died before he was 21 and his property reverted to his brother Robert.
79. Thomas COBBS (Ambrose-11, Thomas-10, John-9, Thomas-8, John-7, Thomas-6, Edmund (Edward)-5, Edward (Edmund)-4, Richard-3, John-2, Henry-1) was born about 1590 in Eastleigh Court, Lyminge, Kent. He was about eleven years of age when his parents moved from Eastleigh Court to Petham and was about 15 years old when his father died. He was one of the three sons who shared his father's estate gavelkind. He was living at Willesborough in 1619 when he married Susan white of Hinxhill.
Thomas COBBS married Susan WHITE on 8 Oct 1619 in St. Andrews Church, Canterbury, Kent. At the time of her marriage, her father was already deceased and she was living with her mother at Hinxhill. Susan WHITE (daughter of Robert WHITE and Susanna BOULDEN) was born about 1600. Susan White was the sister of Ann White, the wife of Ambrose Cobbs, who was the brother of Thomas, Susan's husband. The last notice of Thomas Cobbs is that he resided at Willesborough, and had at least twelve children.
81. Elizabeth COBBS (Ambrose-11, Thomas-10, John-9, Thomas-8, John-7, Thomas-6, Edmund (Edward)-5, Edward (Edmund)-4, Richard-3, John-2, Henry-1) was born about 1594 in Eastleigh Court, Lyminge, Kent.
Elizabeth COBBS married Thomas SMITH in 1619 in St. Andrews Church, Canterbury, Kent. Her brother Edmund was her bondsman, and the date of the instrument was June 4, 1619. Thomas SMITH was born about 1589.
83. Jane COBBS (Ambrose-11, Thomas-10, John-9, Thomas-8, John-7, Thomas-6, Edmund (Edward)-5, Edward (Edmund)-4, Richard-3, John-2, Henry-1) was born about 1597 in Eastleigh Court, Lyminge, Kent. She married William SHOTWATER on 22 Oct 1629 in Willesborough, Kent.
84. Ambrose COBBS "the Emigrant" (Ambrose-11, Thomas-10, John-9, Thomas-8, John-7, Thomas-6, Edmund (Edward)-5, Edward (Edmund)-4, Richard-3, John-2, Henry-1) was born about 1603 in Petham, Kent. He died before 15 Jan 1656 in Henrico County, Virginia (Bristol Parish). He was the third son named in his father's Will to share gavelkind from his estate.
Ambrose COBBS "the Emigrant" and Ann WHITE were married on 18 Apr 1625 in Norton Parish, Kent. At the time of her marriage, her parents were both deceased and she was living in Willesborough, under the government of Thomas Cobbs, the brother of her groom Ambrose. Thomas had married her sister Susan White in 1619.
In 1633, Ambrose and Ann sold their lands in England, possibly as the preliminary preparation for their immigration to the Virginia Colony. It is believed they made the voyage in 1635, most likely landing at Jamestown. Their party consisted of Ambrose and Ann; children Ambrose, Robert, and Margaret; and Richard Barker, Hugh Barker, and Thomas Harding. It is not known positively, but probably safe to assume, that the latter three men had indentured themselves to Ambrose, in order to gain free passage to the New World. It is known that under the Land Grant laws of the day, Ambrose as a "Headright" was entitled to 50 acres of land for each person for whom he had paid the transportation charges to Virginia.
The Virginia Colony had only been established in 1607, when our Cobbs first came to America. Jamestown, though the center of commerce, government, and protection from indians, was nonetheless a very unhealthful place, being situated on a low, swampy, mosquito infested island. Sweltering heat, disease, starvation, and the lack of potable water took a heavy toll on all new arrivals. But it was most likely here that Ambrose situated his family in temporary quarters, while he no doubt began an immediate search of the area for the land he would claim as a Headright.
This researcher has noted that Ambrose did not exercise his headright for a period of several years after his arrival in Virginia. One cannot help but wonder as to the state of the family's finances. Certainly, while they were persons of respectability in England, they were not of the upper class. Were their resources sufficient to sustain them for that long period in Virginia, from the time they arrived until they had established their home and made their first crop? Possibly with the discovery of still "lost" records, perhaps we will know someday. It is also known that some persons did not file their headrights until after they had occupied their land for some time, and it is possible this was the case with Ambrose.
On July 25, 1639, Ambrose patented 350 acres on the Appomattox River, near its confluence with Swift's Creek, about nine miles from present Petersburg, about fifty miles upriver from Jamestown, and adjacent to properties owned by Abraham Wood and John Baugh. And referring to the above paragraph, what did he do first...start construction on a house for his family, or start preparing the land for the first planting? It was already mid-summer; rather late in the season to be breaking previously untilled soil to start a planting. Conditions were primitive to say the least. The location was isolated and the situation with the indians was always tenuous. Ann could have been but little help, her hands full with four children under the age of Twelve. Indeed, one cannot help but wonder how difficult those first years in the New World must have.
No doubt, the first home Ambrose built was a temporary structure, intended just to get a roof over their heads. With the passage of time, he may have added onto this dwelling, or started over again with a permanent house nearby. Whatever the case, one thing does seem logical; that it was of an architecture one would expect to find in England...thatch roofs covering outer walls whose supporting inner beams are exposed. It was the style that was known by those early colonists. And certainly, with conditions being as harsh as they were, one was hardly ever of a mind to experiment.
By the time of the American Revolution (almost a century and a half later), a great mansion plantation was standing on the land Ambrose Cobbs had claimed as his Headright in 1639. A picture of it now hangs in the Library of the University of Virginia; and is duplicated in "The Cobbs of Tennessee". Also, even during his lifetime, the entire locale had become known as 'Cobbs' or 'Cobbs Hall', a name that was used to identify the area until well after the Civil War. Ambrose is credited with being the one that built this mansion, however, this does seem unlikely.
The facts that he lived only another seventeen years after obtaining title to the land, and that his heirs did not continue to live there, are the primary reasons for taking this position. And, the reader must forgive this redundancy, but the issue of 'family finances' also again enters the picture. By the time the first crop was in, the Cobbs could have been in America as long as five years. It would hardly seem unreasonable to assume that, by then, the family purse was near empty, if indeed it wasn't already and they were living on credit. Certainly, Ambrose was chiefly concerned with the clearing and preparation of the land; and the planting and harvesting of the corn, rice, and tobacco that he produced. And this alone, was more than a full-time job. As long as the dwelling they did occupy held up, it seems most likely that the construction of an extravagant mansion would have been the last priority. As mentioned earlier, Ambrose may have simply added onto the original temporary dwelling, or he may have begun construction of a new house nearby. But the essential point being made is that the project probably proceded in phases (as time and money permitted), as did many of the early colonial plantations.
After Ambrose died in early 1656, his son Robert, acting as executor of the estate, sold the property to one Michael Masters, who then sold it to John and Thomas Burton, in that same year. In 1704, a son of Thomas Burton sold "Cobbs" to John Bolling. Bolling was the son of Colonel Robert Bolling and his wife Jane Rolfe, daughter of Thomas Rolfe and granddaughter of Pocahontas. During the Revolution, the property was raided by the British and the crops burned, but the mansion was left untouched. However, during the Civil War, the entire property was over-run and burned by Federal trooops, in 1864.
The land settled by Ambrose and Ann Cobbs is now "Point of Rocks Park", belonging to the City of Petersburg. A historical marker identifies the park as being the original location of the first Cobbs family home in America. Ambrose and Ann were most likely buried in the small cemetery that is located at the extreme northeast corner of the tract. In 1864, invading Union troops destroyed all the headstones, except that of Wyndham Robertson, one-time colonial governor of Virginia, and the only great grandson of Pocahontas. The cemetery is not accessible directly from the park. It can only be reached by a public street that runs parallel to the northern park boundary. It is surrounded by a rock wall approximately four feet in height. Ann WHITE (daughter of Robert WHITE and Susanna BOULDEN) was born in 1608 in Norton Parish, Kent. She died before 1656 in Henrico County, Virginia. This date is speculative. Ann was not mentioned in her husband's Will. Also, following Ambrose's death, son Robert immediately sold "Cobbs" out of family possession. Ambrose COBBS "the Emigrant" and Ann WHITE had the following children:
87 i. Ambrose COBBS was born before 12 Mar 1625 in Willesborough, Kent. He died before 18 Aug 1626 in Kent.
+88 ii. Robert COBBS (born before 7 Jan 1627).
89 iii. Jane COBBS was born before 1630 in Willesborough, Kent. She died before 12 Jan 1634 in Kent. She was buried in Willesborough, Kent.
+90 iv. Margaret COBBS (born in 1631).
+91 v. Ambrose COBBS (born in 1635).
92 vi. Thomas COBBS was born in 1637 in Charles River County, Virginia. In 1643, the county name was changed to York. He died in 1702 in York County, Virginia. Thomas Cobbs lived and died in York County. He never married and died without issue. His Will was probated 24 February 1702... "To cousin William Cobbs, my house and lot where I now live, and if he died then the same to go to Thomas Cobbs; to Isaac Sart a black mare running now at Powhatan; two sows to Alice Newman; to Robert Cobbs, son of Ambrose Cobbs; all the remaining part of my estate to cousins Ambrose Cobbs, Robert Cobbs, Otho Cobbs, and Robert Kerle (related through the Thorpe-Cobb family connection), to be equally divided between them."
Click HERE to continue to the Descendants of Ambrose Cobbs of Virginia.
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As a result of the COBB DNA Project, and the work of Robert S. Cobb (1890-1959), the descendants of Ambrose Cobb have been reunited with those branches of the family that remained in England. Their family tree up to the present can be found here ...
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