Monday, 13 March 2017

Newbridge House

THE COBBES WERE THE GREATEST LANDOWNERS IN COUNTY DUBLIN, WITH 9,948 ACRES

WILLIAM COBBE, of Steventon, Hampshire, born ca 1450, was father of

JOHN COBBE, of Swarraton (The Grange), who married Army Barnes, and had a son,

THOMAS COBBE, of Swarraton, born ca 1510, living at the time of the Visitation of Hampshire, 1575, when he received from Robert Cooke, Clarenceux King-of-Arms, a ratification of the "armes and chriests of his ancestors."

By his second wife, Agnes, daughter of John Hunt, Thomas Cobbe was father of Richard, BD, Fellow and Vice-President of Corpus Christi College, Oxford, and one of its earliest benefactors; also of two other sons, joint possessors of the Northington estate, adjoining Swarraton.

By his first wife Margaret, daughter of Edward Beronshaw, Thomas Cobbe had, with other issue,

MICHAEL COBBE, of Swarraton (1547-98), who married Joan, eldest daughter and heiress of George Welborne, of Allington, Dorset, and had issue.

The eldest son,

THOMAS COBBE, of Swarraton, 1575, Captain of a foot company, 1634, married Catherine, daughter of the Ven Owen Owen, Archdeacon of Anglesey, and Rector of Burton Latimer, sister of John Owen, Bishop of St Asaph.

By her he had Michael, who married Anne, daughter of Bishop Broomfield, of Titchfield, MP, and had issue, Arthur; Lucy; and

RICHARD COBBE, born in 1607; returned Knight of the Shire for Hampshire, 1656; who wedded Honor, daughter of Sir Richard Norton Bt, of Rotherfield, and had issue,

THOMAS COBBE, Governor of the Isle of Man, who espoused Veriana, daughter of James Chaloner MP during the Long Parliament, by his wife Ursula, daughter of Sir Philip Fairfax, of Steeton, and had issue,
Richard Chaloner;
William;
CHARLES.
The youngest son,

THE MOST REV AND RT HON CHARLES COBBE (1686-1765), successively Lord Bishop of Killala, Dromore, and Kildare, and Lord Archbishop of Dublin, married Dorothea, daughter of the Rt Hon Sir Richard Levinge Bt, Speaker of the House of Commons, and Chief Justice of Common Pleas in Ireland, widow of Sir John Rawdon Bt, of Moira.

His Grace built Newbridge House about 1737.

He died in 1765, leaving one surviving son,

THOMAS COBBE (1733-98), of Newbridge, MP, Colonel of Militia, who wedded, in 1751, the Lady Eliza Beresford, daughter of Marcus, 1st Earl of Tyrone, and sister of George, Marquess of Waterford.

By her he had issue (with two daughters), an only son,

CHARLES COBBE MP (1756-98), of Newbridge, who married Anne Power Trench, sister of William, 1st Earl of Clancarty, and had issue,
CHARLES, his heir;
George, General in the army;
Henry, Vicar of Templeton;
Thomas Alexander, East India Company;
William Power, Captain RN.
The eldest son,

CHARLES COBBE JP DL (1781-1857), of Newbridge, High Sheriff, 1821, espoused, in 1809, Frances, only daughter of Captain Thomas Conway, of Morden Park, Surrey, and had issue,
CHARLES, his heir;
Thomas, Barrister; father of LEURIC CHARLES;
William;
Henry (Rev), Rector of Maulden;
Frances Power.
Mr Cobbe was succeeded by his eldest son,

CHARLES COBBE JP DL (1811-86), of Newbridge, High Sheriff of County Dublin, 1841, and County Louth, 1867, who married firstly, in 1839, Louisa Caroline, daughter of George Frederick Brooke, of Summerton, County Dublin; and secondly, in 1883, Charlotte, daughter of the Rev Henry Moore, of Julianstown Rectory, County Meath.

He was succeeded by his nephew,

LEURIC CHARLES COBBE (1859-97), of Newbridge, who espoused, in 1881, Edith Corrine, and had issue,
THOMAS MABERLEY, his heir;
Charles Conway Grahame;
Janet Corrine; Vereana Estelle Beresford.
Mr Cobbe was succeeded by his eldest son,

THOMAS MABERLEY COBBE (1884-1914), of Newbridge, who married, in 1905, Eleanor Colville, second daughter of Colonel Colville Frankland, and had issue,
THOMAS LEURIC;
Francis Charles (1913-49).
Mr Cobbe was succeeded by his elder son,

THOMAS LEURIC COBBE (1912-84), of Newbridge.




NEWBRIDGE HOUSE, near Donabate, County Dublin, was built ca 1737 by Richard Castle for Dr Charles Cobbe, later Lord Archbishop of Dublin.

It consists of two storeys over a high basement.

The ashlar entrance front is of six bays, with a tripartite, pedimented door-case.

There is a broad flight of steps up to the hall door; while the solid roof parapet has urns, with eagles at the corners (not swans!).

Shortly after the Archbishop's death in 1765 his son, Colonel Thomas Cobbe MP, whose wife was Lady Elizabeth Beresford, added an enormous drawing-room and a picture gallery to hold the extensive collection of Old Master paintings.

This room, forty-five feet long, was given a Rococco ceiling.

In the Red Drawing Room, added by them, they lavishly entertained and hung many of their superb pictures, purchased on their behalf by the incumbent of Donabate Church, the Rev Matthew Pilkington, who was well qualified to buy on their behalf, as it was he who composed the first major English Dictionary of Painters.

Their eldest son Charles died in 1770, and the eldest grandson, also Charles, became heir apparent.

He joined the army, served in India and returned to Bath in 1805.

Four years later he married Frances Conway and immediately went to live at Newbridge where he carried out much refurbishing with the aid of his wife's wealth.

It appears that, during the family's absence in Bath, the estate had become run down. Charles' considerable energies were used to build it up again.

He threw down the "wretched mud cabins" occupied by his tenants and built new houses on his estate which were paid for be the sale of some of the family's most prized paintings, viz. The Gastor Poussin and a Hobbema.

In the 1830s, Mr Cobbe sold the finest picture in his collection, a large landscape, in order to rebuild the houses on their mountain estates. It fetched £3,000 at auction, about £300,000 in today's money.

Charles Cobbe died in 1857 and was succeeded by his son, another Charles.

He, in turn died in 1886 leaving no male issue - his estate passing to his wife for her lifetime.

Prior to her death she had persuaded Thomas Maberley Cobbe, a grandnephew of her late husband, to return to Newbridge from America to take over the estate.

He died young in 1914 leaving two infant children, Thomas and Francis, the latter dying in 1949.

Thomas did not marry and on his death, in 1985, he was succeeded by Francis's family, Hugh, Alec and Mary.


*****

IN 1986, Newbridge, complete with many of the original contents on loan, passed from the Cobbe family to Dublin County Council.

The Cobbe family continue to reside at Newbridge House from time to time, due to a unique arrangement which had been entered into between the family and the Council.

The family have use of what had been their dining-room for entertaining; and they can stay upstairs in their own bedrooms.


On display in the coach-house is the magnificent state coach made in London, in 1790, for John FitzGibbon, 1st Earl of Clare, Lord Chancellor of Ireland and a relation of the Cobbes.

The coach had been painted black until restored by the Irish National Museum to its former golden magnificence ~ even the fresco panels had been painted out, probably for the funeral of Queen Victoria.

First published in April, 2011. 

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