During the archaeological excavations at Quay Place as part of the renovation project, two coffin plates were discovered. They belonged to Charles and Ann Jobson whose story is told below. The coffin plates are now on display in the church.
The first record we have of Charles Jobson is in 1794 when he is listed as a Freeman of Ipswich, in the same record his father is listed as William Jobson. Based on his given age upon death we estimate that he was born in 1773 which would make him 21 in 1794.
On 29th May 1796 Charles Jobson was married to Ann Ramsey by John Sharpe at St Mary at the Quay, what is now Quay Place. Both Charles and his wife signed their marriage certificate with a X – their witness Elizabeth Jobson seems to have signed with a signature. It appears from this that Charles Jobson and his wife couldn’t write. All the documents relating to Charles Jobson in the Suffolk Records Office requiring a signature were only signed by his mark (a X) and occasionally with a seal.
We then do not hear of Charles for almost 10 years until on the 18th January 1806 there is a newspaper article in which it is stated that Charles swore on oath that his apprentice, Rich Burroughs ran away and was absent for 10 days without leave. For this Rich was committed to the borough gaol for 14 days.
On 8th March 1809 William Jobson, Charles’ father, was buried at St Mary at the Quay.
In 1819 Charles is listed as a mariner. In the May of that year he leased a tenement in the parish of St Mary at the Quay from Mr Joseph Waspe and Mr William Smart. On 29th December 1819 there was a newspaper article relating to Jobson’s sailing vessel sailing up the Thames stating that two men fell overboard and one of them drowned. From the records we know that over the course of his life Charles ran several Smacks and Brigs; Ceres, Britannia, Union, Good Intent, Lord Nelson, Prince of Wales, The Lively and Draper, trading with Liverpool, Sunderland and Portsmouth as well as London, often carrying corn.
On 4th October 1820 it was reported in the newspaper that ‘the election for the inferior offices of the Corporation were strongly contested: of the three returned two were in Yellow interest; the successful one for the Blue Party was Charles Jobson, Water Bailiff.’ He was to lose this position in the following year’s elections.
Later that year, on the 23rd December, Charles Jobson added his name to a letter published in the Ipswich Journal. The letter was to the King’s Most Excellent Majesty, with assurances of fidelity. The letter was the result of a meeting that had taken place in Ipswich at the Great White Horse Tavern on Tuesday 12th December with The Rev Thomas Cobbold in the Chair.
Charles Jobson had become political, the Blue party for which he stood, like the county’s Tories, were regarded as the ministerialist party of church and state, but the anti-Catholicism of their hierarchy was more pronounced, as was their approval of Canning and Huskisson’s ‘liberal’ trade policies.
On 9th July 1821, Charles Jobson’s son, also called Charles, married Miss Mary Wade, of the parish of St Mary Stoke Ipswich.
In July 1822 Charles Jobson posted the following advertisement in the Ipswich Journal;
New Wherry/To and From Harwich Daily/From Smack Inn, Common Quay, Ipswich/to the Half Moon and Ship Inns, Harwich/Mr Charles Jobson/Begs Leave to inform his Friends and the Public/that he has built the said Wherry for the purpose/of taking passengers to and from Harwich daily. She/has commodious and neat accommodation and is every way fitted up for the enjoyment of those friends who may confer favours upon his which he respectfully solicits ensuring them nothing will be found wanting to contribute to their convenience and comfort, or safe delivery of all parcels entrusted to his care.
Select parties wishing for a day’s excursion may be accommodated on the lowest terms.
In 1823 Charles Jobson is listed as the innkeeper at the Smack Inn, which stood where the Premier Inn stands today, right next door to St Mary at the Quay.
On 16th November 1823 Charles Jobson’s eldest daughter, Mary, married Mr James Trott of Woodbridge. Charles has two other daughters, Caroline and Charlotte. Caroline married John Bush in August 1828 and Charlotte married John Randall in May 1829. Both marriages took place at St Mary at the Quay.
In 1826 the below letter was printed in the Ipswich Journal;
To the Editor of the Ipswich Journal.
Sir, In the Suffolk Chronicle of last Saturday was inserted “that the bed hanging in one of my Chambers were carelessly set on fir by a drunken man:” consequently I respectfully beg to assert, though the medium of your valuable Paper, in order to convince my friends and the public in general, to the contrary, – that the person was quite sober, and the accident was occasioned by a spark falling from the candle. I am, Sir, Your most humble Servant CHARLES JOBSON, Smack Inn, Ipswich 21st April 1826.
On 8th December 1830 there was an article in the Newspaper stating that ‘On Wednesday last The Lively, fishing smack belonging to Mr Charles Jobson of Ipswich got upon the Cork Sand and bilged. The crew saved themselves but the vessel is feared lost.
It was reported in the newspaper on 7th September 1831 that Ann, wife of Charles Jobson, died aged 56. She was buried at St Mary at the Quay.
On 14th March 1832, Charles, perhaps feeling his own mortality after his wife’s death, made his Last will and Testament before, on 12th June, marrying Jemima Hamblin at St Mary at the Quay. Charles then died on 23rd August 1832 and was buried at St Mary at the Quay on 28th August. He was 59 years old.