The Last Straw: gripping novel with Cotesbach roots

Looking for a good read over Christmas? Former Trustee and CET volunteer Paula Jeffery, who originally came to Cotesbach in search of her Rainbow ancestors, has published her first novel about one of them: Jabez.

His father John was born in Cotesbach in 1785, into a family whose forebears had been farming here for generations; John and Ruth moved to Coventry when he became a lawyer’s clerk, but his son got entangled in crime and was transported to Van Diemens Land in 1842. Jabez’s aunt Elizabeth Bradford still lived in Cotesbach then, at a time of Marriott generational upheaval: James’s cousin Fitzherbert was standing in as Rector 1842-3 after the death of his father Robert (1841) until 1844, the year of his induction as Rector and marriage to Lucy Strickland Constable (mentioned again below). In 1843 Fitzherbert was appointed first Archdeacon of Tasmania (Van Diemens Land) and in 1845 became superintendent of convict chaplains. It’s more than likely this would have been talked about over the church pews – and it’s over to you to read between the lines as well as being swept away by them.