the cobley family history
earl shilton image
detail from the doomsday book 1086
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It was in this village that Job Cobley of Thurnby, Leicestershire, settled with his wife Mary. Their first recorded child
being baptised at the local chuch in 1773.

The Cobleys 10 children went on to marry and produce their own large families in Earl Shilton and its neighbouring villages.

Sadly the Earl Shilton of today bares no resemblance to the village known to Job & Mary in the 1700's, however there are Cobleys still living in the area.

From the Doomsday Book 1086

Land of Hugh of Grandmesnil in Guthlaxton Wapentake

in SHILTON (Sceltone).
5. C of land. In Lordship 3 Ploughs, with 1 slave. 10 villagers with a priest, 4 Freemen and 5 smallholders have 3 ploughs.
meadow, 12 acres; a mill at 16d;woodland 8 furlongs long and 3 wide.
the value was 5s; now 70s.

Post Office Directory 1849

Earl Shilton,
a township and chapelry in the parish of Kirby Mallory, 4 miles from Hinckley, north-east, 6 north-west from Broughton Astley Station, 6 south-east from Market Bosworth, 9 miles south-west from Leicester, and 100 miles from London, in the hundred of Sparkenho, Union of Hinckley, and diocese of Peterborough. The living is a curacy, annexed to Kirkby Mallory rectory. The church is a very old building, with a tower, spire, and 3 bells. Here are four dissenting chapels, namely, for the Independents, the Baptists, the Wesleyans and Primitive Methodists, also a free school. Petty sessions are held every alternate Tuesday. here are charities of about the value of £70 per annum. In 1841 the population was 2,220; the acreage 2,000; the manor belongs to the Duchy of Lancaster. There is a court leet for 25 parishes. The Earls of Leicester had a castle here, of which the mount only remains. The people are mostly frame-work knitters. Lady Byron lets them 50 acres of land for spade husbandry.

POST OFFICE, - William Pickering, receiver. Letters arrive from Hinckley at 8 a.m. Box closes at 20 min past 4 p.m.


Abbott Isaac, shoemaker
Almey James, shoemaker
Almey Thomas "Lord Nelson"
Bannister Stephen, wheelwright
Breward Thomas, carpenter
Brown James, tailor
Burton John, butcher
Buxton William, butcher
Carr George, mason
Carr John, mason
Carr Josiah, Butcher
Carr Josiah, mason
Clarke William,farmer
Coley John, tailor
Coley William, beer retailer
Coley William, butcher
Cooke Charles, watch & clock maker
Cooper James, shopkeeper
Dolby Michael, shoemaker
Dowell William, farmer
Elliott John, butcher & shopkeeper
Fulshaw ralph, surgeon
Green Thomas, hairdresser
Hobill Ralph Oldacre, draper & c.
Holland Thomas, farmer
Homer John, hosier & shopkeeper
Kirkland Thomas, tailor
Kinder Mrs. Frances, shopkeeper
Kinder James, beer retailer
Kinder William, shopkeeper
Lampard William, carpenter
Mansfield William, blacksmith & wheelwright
Oliver Thomas, tailor
Orchard Mrs Elizabeth "Roal Oak"
Pawley James. shoemaker
Pickering William, post office
Poole, Mrs Sarah, farmer
Poole Thomas, farmer
Random William, shopkeeper
Ridgeway Joseph, farmer
rowe Frederick, draper
Rowley George, tailor
Rowley Richard, shoemaker
Salisbury John "Red Lion"
Sargeant William "Horse & Trumpet"
Seal John, shoemaker
Spencer Joseph, shopkeeper
Spencer Thomas, surgeon
Spooner John, saddler
Tibbal John, "Plough Inn"
Tilson Joseph "Dog & Gun"
Tomlinson Samuel, blacksmith
Tomlinson Samuel "King William"
Toon Thomas, butcher & grocer
Walker William Thorneloe, registrar of births & deaths
West James, blacksmith
White Mrs. Ann, farmer
Wileman Richard, hosier
Wileman Thomas, jun. butcher
Wileman Thomas, sen. butcher
Wilkinson Thomas, farmer
Woodcock George, hosier
Wright William, farmer

from White's History, Gazetteer and Directory
of the Counties of Leicester & Rutland, 1877

Earl (or Earl's) Shilton
, one of the largest villages in the county, consists chiefly of one long street, on the high road from Leicester to Hinckley, 9 miles S.W. by W of the former and 4 N.E. by N of the latter. Earl Shilton township, which is in Kirby Mallory Civil Parish, Sparkenhoe Hundred, but Hinckley Union and County Court District, was constituted an ecclesiastical district in 1854, and in 1871 contained 2053 persons, living in 477 houses on 920 acres of land. The inhabitants are chiefly engaged in framework knitting and shoe manufacturing. The soil is chiefly clay and a gravelly loam, and the open fields, &c, were enclosed in 1778, when the great tithes were commuted. The Queen, as Duchess of Lancaster, is the lady of the manor, but the rights thereof are reserved to the copyholders themselves. The chief rents were sold by Charles I to the Earl of Ilchester, whose descendant still receives them, but pays them over to Guy's Hospital, London."

from the website of St Simon & St Jude's, Earl Shilton

A tablet in the Earl Shilton Parish Church dating from 1694 refers to the village as Earl Shilton. Quoting the Rev. F.E. Tower's "History of Earl's Shilton "(1894) "This village is called Shilton, otherwise Shulton, otherwise Schelton, otherwise Earles Shilton as written in an apprentice indenture of 1698, and otherwise as Earl's Shilton, as written by Nichols, the County historian (1811).  Tower wrote, "Its situation is high, like "a city set on a hill which cannot be hid."  - hence the name of Shilton, or Shil-ton, or Shelfy-town, from the Saxon, "scylf", meaning a shelf or slope or incline, and "ton" or "town".  The first families settling here came from the southern parts of Germany and gave the Saxon name to the place. Earl Shilton was once a thriving industrial village of which there were several Hosiery and Shoe factories. Much of the industry has gone or moved away but Orton's Shoe Factory still remains as a thriving business and there are still one or two factories in the village.

With thanks to the Revd. Graham Gittings and Earl Shilton Parish Church