Capel Curig grave Frank Cobden

Frank Carroll Cobden (d.1932)

Photo of grave of Frank CobdenBorn in Nottinghamshire in 1849, Frank Cobden studied at Harrow School and Trinity College, Cambridge. He was a skilled cricketer. In 1870 his bowling rescued Cambridge University from defeat in the annual Varsity match – one of the most high-profile cricket fixtures in the era before international test matches.

Oxford University’s eleven looked certain to win because, with three batsmen to spare, they needed just four more runs to win. With Oxford chasing 179 to win, the game went on past 7pm on the final day with both sides still in the hunt. Frank, bowling at great speed from the Nursery End, settled the contest with the second, third and fourth deliveries of what proved to be the final over, having Sam Bourne caught at mid-off before clean bowling Will Stewart and Tom Belcher.


After studying at Cambridge, he moved to Radnorshire (Powys), where his family owned land and had business interests. He played for Radnorshire and was the local representative of the South Wales Cricket Club – a “gentleman’s team” which made annual tours of London and South-east England.

Frank played for the South Wales club from 1878 to 1883, besides appearing for a Montgomeryshire XXII against the United England Eleven in 1882.

In 1890 he bought the Tan y Bwlch Hotel in Capel Curig and changed its name to Cobden’s Hotel. He spent half of his life in the village. During that time he lost his first wife, Mary Agnes, who died in 1912 and is buried in a separate grave nearby. His second wife, also Mary, outlived him by 23 years and is buried with him here. Much later, one villager recalled that by c.1929 Frank had moved out of Cobden’s Hotel to live in a nearby hotel after a domestic dispute.

With thanks to Andrew Hignell of Glamorgan County Cricket Club

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