Show ContentsCobbe History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

Cobbe is a name of Anglo-Saxon origin. It was a name given to a large man. This surname originally derived from the Old English word Cobba recorded in 1201 which described a man of particularly large or impressive features and had great strength. [1]

However, the name could have also have originated from a multitude of other origins as the word "cobb" has many different meanings as a noun and as a verb. [2]

Early Origins of the Cobbe family

The surname Cobbe was first found in Suffolk where Leuricus Cobbe, a Saxon was listed in the Domesday Book of 1086. [3] [2] [1]

Later, Walter Cobbe was listed in the Feet of Fines for Essex for 1234-1235 and John Cobbe was found in the Subsidy Rolls for Somerset in 1327. [1]

The family quickly scattered throughout ancient England. The Hundredorum Rolls of 1273 give evidence: Richard Cobbe in Cambridgeshire; and Robert Cobbe in Oxfordshire. The Yorkshire Poll Tax Rolls of 1379 list Thomas Cobson as holding lands there at that time. [4]

Further to the north in Scotland, the name was first listed in 1479 when John Cob in Ardoch appears as witness. A few years later, in 1508 there is mention of land of Malcolm Cob in Brechin. John Cobb was citiner of Brechin in 1629 and thirteen more of the name appear in the Brechin Commissariot Record. Some individuals of this name gave name to Cobbisland in Brechin, in record in 1528, and a family of the name contributed to the expense of building the bellhouse at Novar in 1773. [5]

The famous Cobbe family in Ireland were originally from Steventon, Swarraton, Hampshire with Charles Cobbe (1686-1795), Archbishop of Dublin (1743-1765), and Primate of Ireland being the progenitor. In 2006, the Cobbe portrait held by Charles Cobbe was identified as an early Jacobean panel painting of a gentleman which has been argued to be a life portrait of William Shakespeare. This painting was presented in March 2009, but is still surrounded by controversy.

Early History of the Cobbe family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Cobbe research. Another 120 words (9 lines of text) covering the years 1234, 1235, 1500, 1478, 1595, 1655, 1675, 1713, 1683, 1687, 1765, 1717, 1718 and 1720 are included under the topic Early Cobbe History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Cobbe Spelling Variations

Before the last few hundred years, the English language had no fast system of spelling rules. For that reason, spelling variations are commonly found in early Anglo-Saxon surnames. Over the years, many variations of the name Cobbe were recorded, including Cobb, Cobbe and others.

Early Notables of the Cobbe family (pre 1700)

Notables of the family at this time include Ambrose Cobbs (1595-c.1655), an early Virginia colonist and planter who established the long lasting social and political Cobb dynasty in the Southern States; and Samuel Cobb (1675-1713), an English poet, critic and school master from London. He "was connected nearly all his life with Christ's Hospital, London. His father, Samuel Cobb, citizen and cooper of London, died before April 1683, in which month the boy was admitted into the hospital on...
Another 79 words (6 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Cobbe Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Ireland Migration of the Cobbe family to Ireland

Some of the Cobbe family moved to Ireland, but this topic is not covered in this excerpt.
Another 31 words (2 lines of text) about their life in Ireland is included in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Migration of the Cobbe family

To escape oppression and starvation at that time, many English families left for the "open frontiers" of the New World with all its perceived opportunities. In droves people migrated to the many British colonies, those in North America in particular, paying high rates for passages in cramped, unsafe ships. Although many of the settlers did not make the long passage alive, those who did see the shores of North America perceived great opportunities before them. Many of the families that came from England went on to make essential contributions to the emerging nations of Canada and the United States. Research into various historical records revealed some of first members of the Cobbe family emigrate to North America: Henry Cobb, who settled in Plymouth in 1629. It was said that his descendants were "like the sands of the beach," and many North American Cobbs are descended from this man. He was one of the founders of the church in Scituate in 1633. He was a representative of the colony's court for six years. John Cobb was another settler in 1658.

Contemporary Notables of the name Cobbe (post 1700) +

  • Anne Philippa Cobbe (1920-1971), English mathematician at the University of Oxford
  • John George Cobbe (1859-1944), New Zealand politician of the Liberal Party, United Party and the National Party. In 1935, he was awarded the King George V Silver Jubilee Medal.
  • General Sir Alexander Stanhope Cobbe VC GCB KCSI DSO (1870-1931), British Indian Army officer and a recipient of the Victoria Cross
  • Frances Power Cobbe (1822-1904), Anglo-Irish writer, philosopher, religious thinker, social reformer, anti-vivisection activist and leading women's suffrage campaigner
  • Lady Eliza Dorothea Cobbe (1764-1850), Irish author and poet, member of the Anglo-Irish gentry
  • Frances Power Cobbe (1822-1904), Irish social worker

HMS Repulse
  • Mr. Charles Hugh Cobbe (b. 1907), English Lieutenant Commander from Bolsterstone, Yorkshire, England, who sailed into battle on the HMS Repulse (1941) and died in the sinking [6]

The Cobbe Motto +

The motto was originally a war cry or slogan. Mottoes first began to be shown with arms in the 14th and 15th centuries, but were not in general use until the 17th century. Thus the oldest coats of arms generally do not include a motto. Mottoes seldom form part of the grant of arms: Under most heraldic authorities, a motto is an optional component of the coat of arms, and can be added to or changed at will; many families have chosen not to display a motto.

Motto: Virtutis stemmata
Motto Translation: Virtue is Valuable.

  1. Reaney, P.H and R.M. Wilson, A Dictionary of English Surnames. London: Routledge, 1991. Print. (ISBN 0-415-05737-X)
  2. Lower, Mark Anthony, Patronymica Britannica, A Dictionary of Family Names of the United Kingdom. London: John Russel Smith, 1860. Print.
  3. Williams, Dr Ann. And G.H. Martin, Eds., Domesday Book A Complete Translation. London: Penguin, 1992. Print. (ISBN 0-141-00523-8)
  4. Bardsley, C.W, A Dictionary of English and Welsh Surnames: With Special American Instances. Wiltshire: Heraldry Today, 1901. Print. (ISBN 0-900455-44-6)
  5. Black, George F., The Surnames of Scotland Their Origin, Meaning and History. New York: New York Public Library, 1946. Print. (ISBN 0-87104-172-3)
  6. HMS Repulse Crew members. (Retrieved 2014, April 9) . Retrieved from on Facebook