1825 ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION

Rev. Richard Cobbold

Laetitia Jermyn, Memoir in Elizabeth Cobbet, Poems (1825) 8-9.



Mrs. Clarke, by the decease of her husband in 1791, became a widow within six months of her marriage. But it was not to be expected that a woman possessed of such amiable qualities of the heart, and gifted with so many attractions of the mind, should long remain in that condition, or should affect any undue delicacy, on her hand being so soon again solicited by a person fully competent to appreciate her merits, and of sufficient wealth and liberality to indulge her taste for literature; consequently, she a second time entered the conjugal state, and became the wife of John Cobbold, Esq. of the Cliff Brewery, in Ipswich, who, at the time of this marriage, was a widower with fourteen children. Placed in the bosom of this numerous family, and indulged in the means of gratifying her benevolent and liberal spirit, the Cliff became the home of her dearest affections, the residence of taste, and the scene of hospitality. Here it was, in a situation so congenial to her feelings, that her talents and her domestic virtues had ample scope for expansion; and here it was that her native genius more fully developed its varied and delightful powers. In this abode, while attracting and conciliating the regards of all her visitors, she passed the happiest hours of her life. The energies of her mind, and the exertion of her maternal duties were now, by a numerous family, with its attendant cares and anxieties, called into constant action, and it is only justice to say, that, devoted as she was to the charms of literature, and from her numerous accomplishments so well qualified to enjoy and participate in the elegancies of life, she considered her domestic claims of superior importance, and never neglected those higher duties which she had undertaken to perform. In the course of a few years she herself became the mother of six sons, the third and fourth Rowland and Francis, she lost in their youth, the former at the age of six, and the latter at fourteen; and of an only daughter who died in her infancy. Of the remaining four, Robert Knipe and Charles were brought up in their father's large mercantile establishment, and Richard and Edward are in the Church; the former is Rector of Wortham, and the latter by his recent marriage is possessed of the valuable Rectory of Watlington in Norfolk.