1911 Encyclopædia Britannica/Cobham

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COBHAM, a village in the Medway parliamentary division of Kent, England, 4 m. W. of Rochester. The church (Early English and later, and restored by Sir G. G. Scott) is famous for its collection of ancient brasses, of which thirteen belonging to the years 1320–1529 commemorate members of the Brooke and Cobham families. There are some fine oak stalls and some tilting armour of the 14th century in the chancel. Cobham college, containing 20 almshouses, took the place, after the dissolution, of a college for priests founded by Sir John de Cobham in the 14th century. The present mansion of Cobham Hall is mainly Elizabethan. The picture gallery contains a fine collection of works by the great masters, Italian, Dutch and English.

The Cobham family was established here before the reign of King John. In 1313 Henry de Cobham was created Baron Cobham, but on the execution of Sir John Oldcastle (who had been summoned to parliament, jure uxoris, as Baron Cobham) in 1417, the barony lay dormant till revived in 1445 by Edward, son of Sir Thomas Brooke and Joan, grand-daughter of the 3rd Baron Cobham. In 1603 Henry Brooke, Lord Cobham, was arraigned for participation in the Raleigh conspiracy, and spent the remainder of his life in prison, where he died in 1618. With him the title expired, and Cobham Hall was granted to Lodowick Stewart, duke of Lennox, passing subsequently by descent and marriage to the earls of Darnley. The present Viscount Cobham (cr. 1718) belongs to the Lyttelton family (see Lyttelton, 1st Baron).