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National Maritime Museum

Codrington Collection


Reference code(s): GB 0064 COD

Held at: National Maritime Museum

Title: Codrington Collection

Date(s): 1786-1872

Level of description: Collection

Extent: 18ft

Name of creator(s): Codrington | Sir | Edward | 1770-1851 | Knight | Admiral
Codrington | Sir | Henry John | 1808-1877 | Knight | Admiral Of The Fleet


Administrative/Biographical history:

Sir Edward Codrington entered the Navy in 1783 and served in the LEANDER, AMBUSCADE and FORMIDABLE in North America and the Mediterranean until 1791. In 1794 he was Earl Howe's (q.v.) Flag Lieutenant in the QUEEN CHARLOTTE and subsequently commanded the fireship COMET and the sloop LA BABET in home waters. In 1796 he was appointed captain of the DRUID, again in home waters, but was unemployed from 1797 until 1805. In this year he commissioned the ORION and was present at Trafalgar. From 1807 he commanded the BLAKE for six years in the Mediterranean, during the Walcheren expedition, 1809, and off the coast of Spain. He was then appointed to the TONNANT, going to the North American Station where he organized the supplies of the army at the capture of Washington. He was promoted to rear-admiral in 1814, remaining on the station until 1815. It was not until 1826 that he again saw active service when he was appointed Commander-in-Chief, Mediterranean, flying his flag aboard the ASIA, and during this command he undertook operations against the pirates in the Levant. He subsequently took a leading part in the interpretation of allied policy in the Greek War of Independence. These operations culminated in the Battle of Navarino, 1827; this secured Codrington's fame while it also ensured his recall in 1828. After a short period of unemployment, he was appointed to command the Channel Squadron in 1831. He then became Member of Parliament for Devonport, 1832 to 1839, when he was appointed Commander-in-Chief, Portsmouth, a post he held until 1842. The papers have been used by Lady Bourchier, Codrington's daughter, in Memoir of the life of Admiral Sir Edward Codrington (London, 1873, 2 vols) and in C.G. Pitcairn Jones, ed. , Piracy in the Levant (Navy Records Society, 1934).

Sir Henry John Codrington, third son of Sir Edward Codrington (q.v.), joined the Navy in 1823 and spent the early years of his service in the Mediterranean, being Signal Midshipman in his father's flagship, ASIA, at the battle of Navarino, 1827, where he was severely wounded. He was made a lieutenant in 1829 and commander in 1831. His first command was the ORESTES, Mediterranean Station, 1834 to 1836. As Captain of the TALBOT he took a leading part in the operations culminating in the siege of Acre, in 1840. In 1846 he was again sent to the Mediterranean in the THETIS where the circumstances leading to the revolutions of 1848 involved him in various diplomatic missions. At the outbreak of the Crimean War, 1854, Codrington was in the Baltic in the Royal George, moving to the Algiers after the war. He became a rear-admiral in 1857 and was Admiral Superintendent of Malta Dockyard, 1858 to 1863. He was Commander-in-Chief at Plymouth, 1869 to 1872, but never hoisted his flag afloat. He was made Admiral of the Fleet in the year of his death. The papers have been used by Lady Bourchier, Codrington's sister, in Selections from the letters, private end professional, of Sir Henry Codrington Admiral of the Fleet (London, 1880).


Scope and content/abstract:

Papers of Sir Edward Codrington including logs, 1786 to 1791, 1794 to 1797, 1808 to 1813 and 1827 to 1828; an admiral's journal, 1831; official letter and order books, 1809 to 1815 and 1828 to 1848; private letterbooks, 1828 to 1848; muster books, 1808 to 1813; despatches and reports, 1801 to 1815, 1827 to 1828, and loose papers. Among these are letters to Codrington from the Duke of Clarence (later King William IV), Sir Pulteney Malcolm (q.v.), ministers, consuls, Greek government officials and various captains of the ships under Codrington's command, 1827 to 1828, and from Sir James Graham (1792-1861), in 1831. A small collection of additional material relating to Nelson and Codrington was deposited on loan by the family in 1974.

Papers of Sir Henry John Codrington including logs, 1825 to 1831, 1834 to 1835, 1839 to 1841, 1846 to 1850 and 1854 to 1856; letter and order books, 1834 to 1850, 1853 to 1856, 1858 to 1872, and loose papers, among which are personal letters from Codrington to his family, 1831 to 1855.


Language/scripts of material: English

System of arrangement:

Conditions governing access:

Please contact the Archive for further information.

Conditions governing reproduction:

Please contact the Archive for further information.

Finding aids:

Detailed catalogue online at the: National Maritime Museum website .


Archival history:

Immediate source of acquisition:

The papers were presented by Colonel G. Codrington between 1946 and 1950.



Archivist's note: Edited by Sarah Drewery, Jun 2011.

Rules or conventions: Compiled in compliance with General International Standard Archival Description, ISAD(G), second edition, 2000; National Council on Archives Rules for the Construction of Personal, Place and Corporate Names, 1997.

Date(s) of descriptions: 2010-08-26

Crimean War (1853-1856) | Wars (events)
Dockyards | Shipbuilding industry | Manufacturing industry | Industry
Naval affairs | Military affairs | Military science | Social sciences
Naval history | History
Naval operations | Military operations | Military engineering
Ships logs | Primary documents | Documents | Information sources

Personal names
Codrington | Sir | Edward | 1770-1851 | Knight | Admiral
Codrington | Sir | Henry John | 1808-1877 | Knight | Admiral Of The Fleet
Graham | Sir | James Robert George | 1792-1861 | 2nd Baronet | statesman
Malcolm | Sir | Pulteney | 1768-1838 | Knight | Admiral
Nelson | Horatio | 1758-1805 | 1st Viscount Nelson of the Nile and Burnham Thorpe | Vice-Admiral
William IV | 1765-1837 | king of Great Britain and Ireland

Corporate names
HMS Orestes
HMS Royal George
HMS Talbot
HMS Thetis
Royal Navy

Acre | Israel | Middle East
Greece | Western Europe | Europe
Malta | Western Europe | Europe
Plymouth | Devon | England | UK | Western Europe | Europe