COBBIE, WALSALL, carpenter with the HBC; fl. 1676–82.
In the Company’s service by 1676, Cobbie sailed the following year as mate of the Shaftesbury (Capt. Joseph Thompson). He was on the same ship when it was wrecked off the Scilly Isles on the homeward journey in 1678.
Another voyage as mate of the John and Alexander was followed by promotion to captain of the yacht Colleton in 1680. Before he took it to the Bay that year, he was instructed to keep “a perfect account” of his voyage and send home a copy by the Prudent Mary. That unfortunate vessel was wrecked off Tetherley’s Island in James Bay and Governor Nixon assigned to Cobbie the salvaging of her boards, etc., for the storehouse he was building.
The winter of 1681–82, spent on Charlton Island, was a difficult one, for Capt. Nehemiah Walker drank heavily and created general disturbance. Antagonism between him and Cobbie brought them to blows. Cobbie, who had been well recommended for his ability and integrity, gave strong support to Nixon, who entrusted him with a duplicate of the Hudson’s Bay packet (letters) to take home in 1682. Cobbie still had a year to serve, but his wife had died and he wanted to look after his “childerine and his goods.”
During Cobbie’s absence his family was provided for with payments of wages made to his sister, Diana Hall, and his mother, Mrs. Eliza Cobbie, who acted as his attorney. Evidently he was not employed after 1682, although Nixon rated him “most fit for the Company’s service.”