Papers of the Codrington Family

Scope and Content

Microfilm copies of papers relating to West Indian estates, Antigua andBarbuda, 1700-1869.

Administrative / Biographical History

In 1649 Christopher Codrington (of Cheltenham) emigrated with his family toBarbados. In 1684 his son founded a sugar estate at Betty's Hope,Antigua. The following year, he leased Barbuda from the BritishCrown at the rent of one fat sheep per year, the lease continuing until 1870,when Barbuda and Antigua were united. In 1689 he became Captain-General ofthe Leeward Islands. His own son took the same title, but after anunsuccessful campaign against Guadaloupe during the war against France andSpain at the end of the 18th century, he resigned his position and retired fromBarbados to the family home in Antigua. After his death in 1710 he left landin Barbuda to the Society for the Propagation of the Gospel for the foundingof a missionary college. Thereafter the family line decended through hisuncle John Codrington, who became Treasurer of Barbados and Colonel of theisland's Life Guards. John's eldest son William was created 1st Baronet ofDodington in 1721. He inherited two further Antiguan estates, 'The Cables'and 'Cotton Estate'. William also bequeathed to his third son, ChristopherBethell the Antiguan estate known as 'Rooms' and to his fourth son, Edwardthe 'Folly' estate. Edward later purchased the estates of 'Bolans' and'Jennings'. A fuller account of the descent of the Codrington family up to1894 can be found in The Codrington Correspondence1743-1851 by Robson Lowe (London, Robson Lowe Ltd., 1951), availablein the library reading room.found

Access Information

Bodleian reader's ticket required.


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

Other Finding Aids

Listed as no. 777 in Manuscript Collections in Rhodes House Library Oxford, Accessions 1978-1994 (Oxford, Bodleian Library, 1996).

Conditions Governing Use

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

Custodial History

The papers of the Codrington family were deposited by Sir Simon Codrington at Gloucestershire Record Office in 1959 but withdrawn again in 1980 by the family and put up for sale. A campaign was launched to save the records relating to the family's domestic estates (the papers having been temporarily purchased by a sympathetic businessman with a view to encouraging such an appeal). Consequently, they were purchased by the Gloucestershire Record Office, where they are still held as the papers of the Codrington family of Dodington, 1462-1940 (ref. D1610). Original material relating to the family's estates in the West Indies was purchased at Sotheby's by a Swiss businessman on 15th December 1980 for 106,000, although the Gloucestershire Record Office holds microfilm copies. These papers are now held by the National Archives of Antigua.

Related Material

The library holds papers of the United Society for the Propagation of the Gospel in Foreign Parts (ref. SPG Papers), which include material on Codrington College. Gloucestershire Record Office holds papers of the Codrington family of Dodington, 1462-1940, relating to their domestic estates, and architectural plans and building accounts of Dodington House, 18th-19th centuries (ref. D1610).

Additional Information

National Archives of Antigua, Long Street, St. Johns, Antigua