Archives relating to the English estates of the Codrington family
|Title:||Archives relating to the English estates of the Codrington family|
Wapley and Codrington
Marshfield, West Kington (Wilts.)
Wapley and Codrington
Somerset: Chew Magna
Wilts.: West Kington
Maps and plans
Wapley and Codrington
Wilts.: West Kington
Plans of Dodington House, etc.
General estate papers
Yorkshire (Bethell) estates
Family estate settlements
Papers of Baron Neumann
Dodington building accounts
Naval and military
Dodington and Marshfield Yeomanry Cavalry
Estate, legal and financial
Personal and family
Documents unconnected with Codrington family
Records not in the collection
The court rolls of the various manors belonging to the estate have not been found, except for a late court book for Wapley and Codrington, 1820-60 (D1610/M5). The collection as a whole contains little early material: apart from a grant of a market in Marshfield, 1462 (D1610/T18) the earliest deed is dated 1551 (D1610/T75) and except for a few rentals, accounts (beginning in 1757) and surveys, the estate records date from the inheritance of the property by C. B. Codrington in 1792. Two of the most celebrated members of the family are seldom mentioned in the collection: there is only one letter addressed to Christopher Codrington, the purchaser of Dodington, and a copy of his funeral sermon (C 1, F 12), which are included among the archives of the West Indian estates; the records of the English estates contain several letters from Admiral Sir Edward Codrington, the victor of Navarino, but they relate largely to the payment of an annuity bequeathed by his uncle (D1610/E169). There are also his school bills (D1610/A104).
The collection does, however, contain a number of interesting groups of records. Deeds, assignments and leases of small pieces of land in the open fields of Marshfield show the painstaking process by which Sir Wm. Codrington (1st bart.) was able to achieve the inclosure of part of the common fields after he had acquired the manor in 1730 (D1610/T8-50, E78, L11). Other estate papers include a good series of rentals and accounts, supplemented by plans and correspondence, which are particularly comprehensive during the period from 1792 to 1843 when the estate belonged to C. B. Codrington (D1610/E98-106, A76-79, C74-77). Modern correspondence from 1877 to 1936 shows the working of the estate during years of agricultural depression (D1610/C80-90). Separate accounts and letters refer to the Bethell family property in Yorkshire which was inherited by C. B. Codrington in 1797 and sold after his death
Particular interest attaches to the building of Dodington House, which was carried out by James Wyatt for C. B. Codrington from 1796 to 1813. Wyatt was killed in a coach accident when returning to London with his employer in 1813, but the house was completed several years afterwards. The architecture is described by U. Robertshaw in the Illustrated London News, 5 August 1967, and by J. A. Kenworthy-Browne in a printed guide to the house. Numerous plans and drawings by Wyatt survive (D1610/P58) and the estate accounts (D1610/A76-79) contain a full and detailed record of payments made to the builders and also to labourers making bricks and burning lime in the park; there are many references to the laying out of pleasure gardens and changes in the landscaping of the park, with the building of new entrance lodges. A separate analysis of expenses incurred upon the building of the house records the payment of Wyatt's fees as well as charges for chimney pieces by Henry Westmacott (D1610/A96). A drawing of the Elizabethan house which stood at Dodington before the rebuilding decorates the title page of a fine survey book of the manors of Dodington and Marshfield, 1770, (D1610/P18), which also contains a map of the park, showing the old house in block plan.
The general landscaping of the park has been attributed to 'Capability' Brown (1715-83) who, it is said, worked at Dodington after 1764. Unfortunately the estate accounts are lacking for the period and none of the other records in the collection mention Brown. It is clear, however, from the estate accounts referred to above and from a comparison between the 1770 plan book and later maps that the lakes and other important features of the park were considerably altered at the beginning of the 19th century when Dodington House was rebuilt.
Royal Gloucestershire Hussars
The records of the Dodington and Marshfield Troop of Yeomanry Cavalry, including the quartermaster's book and register of arms, form another interesting group of papers, covering in detail the period 1830-33, (D1610/X7-10). This troop was formed as a result of agricultural riots in Wiltshire and elsewhere in 1830, being used as a model for the formation of other yeomanry forces in the county shortly afterwards. The troop marched to Bristol during the riots there in 1831, but was obliged to remain inactive because of lack of direction from the city's civil and military authorities.
Although the family produced a number of members of Parliament, very few of their political papers survive. There is no record, for example, of the cost of building Tewkesbury town hall, which was given by Sir Wm. Codrington (2nd bart.), M.P. for the town. Nevertheless, the election accounts of C. B. Codrington, also M.P. for Tewkesbury, contain much information about his expenses at the elections of 1797, 1802 and 1807 (D1610/X17). There is a small collection of letters and election papers of his son, C. Wm. Codrington, who was M.P for East Gloucestershire from 1834 to 1864 (D1610/X19, 20) and more recent correspondence of Sir Gerald Codrington as chairman of the local Conservative Association for many years (D1610/X23-28). A separate small group of papers of political and diplomatic interest are those of Baron P. de Neumann, who was Austrian ambassador to London and brother-in-law of Lady Georgiana Codrington [see note on p. 67]. These papers cover the period 1835 to 1850.
|Date:||15th century-20th century|
|Held by:||Gloucestershire Archives, not available at The National Archives|
The main family archive, catalogued as D1610, was withdrawn from the Gloucestershire Record Office by the family in 1980. The West Indies portion was sold by auction to an anonymous purchaser on December 1980 and is now (1994) in the National Archives of Antigua, Long Street, St Johns, Antigua.
The English portion was purchased privately from Sir Simon in three groups of which two were later bought by Gloucestershire County Council after a public appeal; the third group which comprised the papers relating to Baron Neumann was sold elsewhere.
Accessions 4386 & 4413 comprise items which were never removed from Dodington House to Sothebys in 1980 and also a few newly discovered documents which were bought as part of the appeal.
(Acc 4386 & 4413) Additional records of the Codrington family purchased 4 February and 23 March 1982
(Acc 4770) Additional records of the Codrington family donated by Sir Simon Codrington of Dodington, 14 February 1984
On clearing the house at Dodington prior to its sale in 1984, Sir Simon discovered these few family and estate papers which had been omitted from the main series.
The Codrington family
The Codrington family has held an estate in the parish of Wapley and Codrington since at least the 13th century. At the end of the 16th century the neighbouring manor of Dodington was purchased from Wm. Herbert of Poole Castle, Montgomery, by Richard Codrington of Pucklechurch (D1610/T10). Other branches of the family owned property in Didmarton, Bristol, Frampton-on-Severn and elsewhere: the ramifications of their pedigree are traced in R. H. Codrington's 'Memoir of the family of Codrington of Codrington, Didmarton, Frampton-on-Severn and Dodington' in the Transactions of the Bristol and Gloucestershire Archaeological Society, vol. XXI, (1898).
Extent of the Dodington estate
The present collection comprises the estate and family archives of the heirs of Christopher Codrington (ob. 1710) Fellow of All Souls College, Oxford, and Governor of the Leeward islands in the West Indies. He purchased the Dodington estate from his kinsman, Samuel Codrington, in 1701. His grandfather, also called Christopher, settled in the West Indies in the reign of King Charles I and acquired the first family property there [for a brief account of the West Indies estates and catalogue of the records relating to them see Vol. I, p. iv]. The manor of Wapley and Codrington was purchased in 1807 from Sir C. W. Bampfylde, who had inherited it through his father's marriage to Jane Codrington, the representative of another branch of the family (D1610/T88-92). A rectorial manor also existed in the parish, belonging to the Dean and Chapter of Bristol, which was acquired in 1817 (D1610/T94). Other manors belonging to the Dodington estate were those of Marshfield, bought in 1730 (D1610/T23) and of West Kington (Wilts.) bought in 1808 (D1610/T115).
|Conditions of access:||
The catalogue includes some documents which are not available at the Gloucestershire Records Office, but are on display at Dodington House. The display may be changed from time to time.
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