Papers of Robert Henry Codrington

Scope and Content

Diaries, letters, lectures, correspondence, etc. mainly relating to missionary work in Melanesia (1867-1887), and as Prebendary of Chichester (1887-1922).

Administrative / Biographical History

Robert Henry Codrington was born on the 15 September 1830 in Wroughton, Wiltshire, England. He was educated at Charterhouse, and Wadham College, Oxford (he became a Fellow of the College in 1855). He was ordained as a Deacon in 1855 and as a Priest in 1857.

In 1860 Codrington emigrated to Nelson, New Zealand, and joined the Melanesian Mission; he was head of the Mission from 1871 to 1877. He travelled throughout Melanesia making the first systematic study of Melanesian society and culture.

Codrington left missionary work in Melanesia in 1887 and returned to England as Prebendary of Chichester (1887-1922). In 1888 he became Vicar of Wadhurst, Sussex (1888-1893), and in 1894 became Examining Chaplain to the Bishop of Chichester (1894-1901). For 25 years he was also a lecturer at Chichester Theological College. Codrington died on the 11 September 1922 in Chichester, Sussex.

Access Information

Bodleian reader's ticket required.


Collection level description created by Marion Lowman, Bodleian Library of Commonwealth and African Studies at Rhodes House.

Administrative/Biographical History compiled with reference to Encyclopaedia Britannica .

Other Finding Aids

The library holds a card index of all manuscript collections in its reading room and a handlist is also available for this collection.

Listed as no. 457 in Manuscript Collections (excluding Africana) in Rhodes House Library, Oxford, compiled by Louis B. Frewer (Oxford, Bodleian Library, 1970).

Conditions Governing Use

No reproduction or publication of personal papers without permission. Contact the library in the first instance.

Corporate Names

Geographical Names