COBB, Elder Henry - I53825

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The ancient meaning of the name is a harbor; as the Cobb of LymeRegis, Dorsetshire. I. Henry COBB was born in the County of Kent, England, near London, in the year 1596. He was an attendant at the meetings held by the non conformist party when they took a stand against the intolerance of the prevailing religion there, and became a follower of Reverend Lothrop and his fellows. "He was not, however, of the twenty four members who, with their preacher Lothrop, were confined in the 'foul and loothsome' prisons of London, but it was his privilege, a few years after, to welcome Lothrop and his fellow sufferers to New England, and help to organize for him a school at Scituate”. (New Jersey Genealogies, F. B. Lee, 2: 462.) The Reverend Mr. Lothrop, was an ancestor of Joseph Smith, husband of Emma Hale, and it becomes of interest to note that the blood of these two pioneers, so closely associated through years of ministry devoted to the spiritual welfare of the church gatherings at Scituate and Barnstable, finally merged two hundred years afterwards in the person of Joseph Smith, 3d, the father of the compiler of this book. It is believed Henry Cobb came to New England in 1629, in the ship Anne, for there is record of him at Plymouth that year. His name is also on a list of freemen at Plymouth in 103, but in that same year he was dismissed from the church there, to Scituate, where a considerable number of early settlers were locating and needing a church and a preacher. John Cobb, an inhabitant of Taunton, Massachusetts, 1659, is thought to be a brother of Elder Henry Cobb (Directory of Ancestral Heads, Holmes, li), though he does not appear with him at Scituate. On 18 September 1634, Reverend John Lothrop arrived, and in his writings of the persons who were there to meet and greet him, he mentions "Goodman Cobb." Mr. Lothrop's records are of great interest, and typical of their day and general sentiment. As, for instance; "Uppon January 8, 1634, Wee had a day of humiliation, and then att night joyned in covenant togeather, so many of us as had beene in Covenaunt before, To Witt: ." --and in the list which follows, is the name of "Goodman Cob and his wife." This would indicate that there had been an associa.tion previously in London. "December 15, 1635, our Brother Cobb was invested into the Office of a Deacon. In 1636 Brother Cobb built a house on his Lott at Scituate. April 15, 1640, att the investing of a Brother into the office of a Teaching Elder, uppon whome myselfe, Brother Hull, and Brother Cobb lay hands," etc. Again, on 10 June 1641, there was a day of humiliation "in regard of ye wett and very cold Spring, also for the quelling of Strange and heretical tenets raised principally by the Ffamlists, as alsoe for ye healing of a bloodye Coffe amonge children, especially at Plymouth." (History of the Cobb Family, Philip L. Cobb, 6, 7, 8.) It is known a plantation had been attempted in 1638 at Seppekann, now Rochester, but plans were changed, and they had, instead, on 13 June 1639, a "day of humiliation." I And again, on 29 June 1639, they fasted for the presence of God in mercy to go with us to Mattakeese. This place was later called Barnstable. As they went they prayed and fasted and took their crops with them, to bring about themselves the desired answers to their prayers! Henry Cobb had thirty five acres in Barnstable, besides being one of the proprietors of the common lands, and owning land in Falmouth. Of the two houses he built upon his home lot, the first was probably but a temporary one, until he had means to build a better one. "It is a curious fact that the three deacons of the church lived in stone or 'fortification' houses. It was required that such houses be built in every plantation, as a place of refuge for the inhabitants, should the Indians prove treacherous or hostile. It seems that the deacons then, provided for the personal safety as well as spiritual wants of the people." (Smith with Collateral Lines, Hannah S. L. Barnes, 39.) This is significant when one considers the extensive economic program included in the doctrines of the church established in 1830, and the stewardship tenets, to which many descendants of Henry Cobb today subscribe. For over a quarter of a century Henry Cobb served as deacon, and was then elevated to the office of ruling elder,14 April 1670, a position he held until his death, nine years later. (Cobb Family, Cobb, 10.) Otis, in writing of the life of Henry Cobb in his Genealogical Notes of Barnstable Families, say:

He was a useful and exemplary Christian, though not brilliantly talented. With but one exception, his life was a living illustration of his political and religious opinions. When in 1657, mainly through the influence of men in the Massachusetts Colony, a spirit of intolerance spread through the Plymouth Colony, and laws were enacted that an enlightened common sense condemns, and when made, in violation of the principles of religious liberty which the fathers had held sacred, Elder Cobb was one of the Deputies to the General Court, and there is no evidence to show that he did not approve of these enactments. in so doing, he violated principles he had long cherished, and held sacred. It would. have been better for his reputation had he, like his friends Smith, Cudworth and Robinson, and nearly all the "first comers" then living, protested against these intolerant measures, and like them retired to private life with a clear conscience and an unspotted reputation. Four years were sufficient to sweep away every vestige of the fanatical and intolerant spirit which had spread over Old Colony. How otherwise? How could men who had themselves suffered persecution, imprisonment and stripes for conscience's sake, and who had, through life, stoutly maintained that God alone was judge of men's consciences, how could they, when the excitement had passed away, believe it right to persecute Baptists and Quakers and wrong to persecute Puritans? The absurdity of such a course forced itself upon the minds of such men as Elder Cobb, and soon wrought a complete change in public opinion. Henry Cobb was many times a juror; was deputy to General Court at Plymouth, 1644, 1645, 1647, 16S2, 1659, 1660, 1661, 1662, --verily a lawmaker for the Colony, and, in addition, for many years he was one of the three selectmen who managed local affairs. (Cobb Family, 12.) After living in the Colony forty seven years and more, he passed away, and was buried in Barnstable's Old Cemetery, where a monument designed to preserve his Memory, reads: "Elder Hehry Cobb, the Ancestor of the Cobb Family in Barnstable. Died in 1679. Erected by Enoch T. Cobb, a Descendant, in 1871." (Cobb Family, Cobb, 13.) Elder Cobb was twice married, the first time in April 1631, in Plymouth, to Patience, daughter of Deacon James and Catherine (Thurston) HURST. (Ancient Landmarks of Plymouth, Davis, Appendix, 336.) A Charles Thurston, recorded as of Plymouth in 1643 (New England Historical and Genealogical Register 4: 255), may have been a brother or other relative of Mrs. Hurst. Included in Reverend Lothrop's interesting old records, there is the following: "Patience, wife of Henrye Cobb buryed May 4, 1648, the first that was buryed in our new burying place by our Meeting house." She was the mother of eight children. (Cobb Family, Cobb, 17.) Henry Cobb married (2) 12 December 1649, Sarah, daughter of Samuel and Sarah HINCKLEY, a sister of Governor Thomas Hinckley. Mr. Prince performed the marriage ceremony. She also bore eight children. She was born in England, and had come to New England in 1634, in the ship Herczdes, along with her parents, who settled first at Scituate and later at Barnstable. She died soon after her husband. CHILDREN of Henry and Patience: 1. John, born 7 June 1632, Plymouth. He married 28 April 1658, Martha, daughter of William and Martha (Ford) Nelson. They had four sons and one daughter . He died 22 February 1714, in his 83rd year. 2. James, born 14 January 1634, Plymouth. He married 26 December 1663, Sarah, the daughter of George and Sarah (Jenkins) Lewis, baptized 11 February 1643. She was a sister of Edward Lewis, husband of James's sister Hannah. James Cobb was a juror on "the Grand Enquest" in 1667, and the next year appears on a jury to try Nathaniel Soule "for his telling of a pnisious lye." They lived in Barnstable, where he died 1695. They were the parents of eight daughters and three sons. 3. Mary, born 24 March 1637, at Scituate. She married 15 October 1657, as his second wife, Jonathan Dunham, whose first marriage had been on 29 November 1655 to Mary Delanoy. They removed to Middleboro. He was a minister to the Indians. 4. HANNAH, born 5 October 1639; married Edward LEWIS. 5. Patience, born 19 March 1641; married (1) in August 1667, Robert Parker, who died about September 1682. She married (2), in 1686, Deacon William Crocker. 6. Gershom, born 10 January 1644; married Hannah Davis. He was, beheaded by the Indians, and buried at Swanzey, 24 June 1675. 7. Eleazer, born 30 March 1648. Was probably unmarried. His death is not recorded. 8. Edward; married Mary Hoskins. (Ancient Landmarks of Plymouth, 64.)

CHILDREN of Henry and Sarah, all born at Barnstable: 1. Mehitable, born I September 1652; died 8 March 1653. 2. Samuel, born 12 October 1654; married 20 December 1680, Elizabeth, daughter of Richard and Ruth (Wheldon) Taylor, of Yarmouth. (Boston Transcript, 9 August 1927.) He was a farmer. He died 7 December 1727 in his 73rd year. She died 4 May 1721, in the 66th year of her age. There were five sons and five daughters. 3. Sarah, born 15 January 1657/8; died same month. 4. Jonathan, born 10 April 1660; married 1 March 1683, Hope (Chipman) HUCKINS, daughter of Elder John Chipman, and widow of John Huckins. She was the ancestress of Emma Hale through her first marriage. About 1703 they removed to Middleboro, where she died 25 July 1728, and he 5 August same year. For continuation of this family line please see the HUCKINS biography. 5. Sarah, born 10 March 1663; married 27 December 1686, Deacon Samuel, son of Deacon John and Hope (Howland) Chipman, brother of Hope just mentioned. He was born 15 April 1661, and died 1723. She died 8 January 1742, aged 79. 6. Henry, born 5 September 1665; married at Barnstable 10 April 1690, Lois, daughter of Joseph and Elizabeth Hallett. In October 1705 they were "dismissed to Stonington, Ct." He died 24 September 1725, and is buried in the ancient graveyard at Wiequetequock, two miles northeast of Stonington. There were five sons and three daughters. 7. Mehitable, born 25 February 1668; died young. 8. Experience, born 11 September 1671; died young. II Hannah COBB, born 5 October 1639, in Scituate, Massachusetts, married 9 May 1681, Edward LEWIS. She died 17 January 1736.

For continuation of this family line please see the LEWIS biography.
  SOURCE:  The Ancestry & Posterity of Joseph Smith and Emma Hale by Audentia Smith Anderson (1926)