Monday, March 30, 2015

An Interesting bit of family serendipity about Cobbett’s Pond, Windham, New Hampshire

Cobbett's Pond, Windham, New Hampshire

The other night I watched WMUR TV’s Chronicle.  My favorite part of this show is when Fritz Wetherbee gives a few minutes of fun trivia about New Hampshire history.  Are you surprised?

Fritz was standing in the frozen parking lot of the community beach at Cobbett’s Pond, next to a mound of snow.  I recognized this spot from the Mystery Tour I had taken with the Windham Historical Society two years ago.  He mentioned that the pond was named for Reverend Thomas Cobbett (1608 – 1685) of Ipswich, Massachusetts.  I also remembered that bit of trivia from the Mystery Tour.  Click HERE to see my blog post about this. 

Then he mentioned a few other things about Reverend Cobbett that sent me running to my family tree data base.  Yes, it was true.  Reverend Thomas Cobbett was in my family tree.  Not as a family member really, but by marriage.  Reverend Cobbett’s daughter, Mary, had married my 8th great uncle, Reverend Samuel Belcher (1639 – 1713/4).  

The life of  Thomas Cobbett in a timeline:

1608 born in Newbury, Berkshire, England

12 Oct 1627 matriculated at Trinity College at Oxford University, didn’t graduate because of the plague so he went home to Newbury to be taught by a Dr. Twiss

26 June 1637 arrived in Massachusetts

1637 – 1655 Religious Teacher at Lynn, MA with Rev. Samuel Whiting (who had replaced Rev. Stephen Bachiler (1561 - 1656, my 11th great grandfather in another lineage)

1653 author of The Civil Magistrates Power in matters of Religious Modesty Debated, and other books.  He was a prolific author. 

1655 – 1685 Minister at Ipswich, MA, replaced Rev. Nathaniel Rogers

1662 Given the grant of land now Windham, and where Cobbett’s pond now lies. 
Died 5 Nov 1685 in Ipswich, MA and Rev. Cotton Mather wrote his epitaph.  At his funeral “there were consumed one barrel of wine and two barrels of cider; and as it was cold, there were ‘some spice and ginger for the cider.’ “  

Six Children?  (I haven’t been able to verify some of these):
1.  Deacon Samuel Cobbett, b. 1645. m. Sarah Unknown
2.  Mary Cobbett m. about 1668 to Rev. Samuel Belcher
3.  John
4.  Thomas, captured by Indians and ransomed for a coat
5. Elizabeth, d. 23 August 1661, Ipswich
6. Eliezer, d. 27 Nov 1657, Ipswich

And what was that epitaph that was written by Rev. Cotton Mather?  I finally found it by Googling in the History of Essex County, Massachusetts: With Biographical Sketches, Volume 1, page 582
“Stay, passenger, for here lies a treasure,
Thomas Cobbett, of whose availing prayer and most approved manners,
You, if an inhabitant of New England, need not be told.
If you cultivate piety, admire him;
If you wish for happiness, follow him.”

Rev. Cobbett's gravestone does not appear to have survived the ages. It is not listed in any cemetery listing in Ipswich, Massachusetts.

Felt’s History of Ipswich “The land allowed to Mr. Cobbett was laid out at Methuen, [Massachusetts], and was included by New Hampshire in 1741, when his grandchildren, Nathaniel and Ann Cobbet, petitioned the General Court for an equivalent.  They were allowed 1,500 acres near Charlemont.  This farm was in Windham, and upon the south line from a swamp that joyns upon Haverhill bounds, so ranging by west and by north joint until you come to a great rock upon the north side of a long pond.”   This pond is now known as Cobbett’s Pond, Windham, New Hampshire.

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Copyright © 2015, Heather Wilkinson Rojo

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