CODRINGTON, John (1677-1754), of Codrington, Glos. and Wraxall, Som.
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Family and Education
bap. 10 Jan. 1677, 1st s. of Robert Codrington of Codrington and Didmarton, Glos. by Agnes (d. 1717), da. of Richard Samwell of Upton and Gayton, Northants. educ. Univ. Coll. Oxf. 1695. m. (1) Jane (d. 1702), da. of one Giffard of Cannington, nr. Bridgwater, Som., wid. of Fortescue Tynte (2nd s. of Sir Halswell Tynte, 1st Bt.) and Hopton Wyndham*, s.p.; (2) lic. 24 Sept. 1709, Elizabeth (d. 1740), da. and h. of Samuel Gorges of Wraxall, Som., 4da. (3 d.v.p.). suc. fa. 1717.1
Freeman, Bath 1702.2
Codrington was descended from an old Gloucestershire family which had lived at Codrington since Edward I’s reign and acquired the manor in the mid-15th century. Financial misfortune had forced his father to sell off extensive estates in the county including his large house at Didmarton, although Codrington himself went some way to repair this mishap through an advantageous second marriage, which brought him several Somerset manors, including Wraxall. He contested Bath in 1702 and 1705, but could make no headway against the two strongly entrenched sitting Members, Alexander Popham and William Blathwayt. Codrington’s chance came in 1710, however, when his near neighbour the Duke of Beaufort, anxious to extend his political influence in Bath, put Codrington forward as his own candidate. In view of the offence Blathwayt had given the corporation by his alleged vote against Dr Sacheverell, Codrington’s task, aided by Beaufort, of winning over the majority of the corporation was not difficult, although the result was by no means unanimous. Classed as a Tory in the ‘Hanover list’ of the new Parliament, he figured as one of the ‘worthy patriots’ who in the 1710–11 session detected the mismanagements of the previous administration, and was a member of the October Club. In 1712 he helped Beaufort secure the passage through Parliament of a bill to make the Avon navigable between Bristol and Bath, seconding his co-Member Samuel Trotman’s motion for the bill on 23 Jan., and taking responsibility for its later stages in the House. Re-elected for Bath in 1713 and 1715, he was classed as a Tory in the Worsley list and again in a further list comparing the 1713 with the 1715 Parliament. In the winter of 1718–19 he was dismissed as a Somerset j.p. for discouraging zeal against sedition, but retained his constituency seat at each subsequent election, except that of 1727, until 1741. He died on 17 Apr. 1754.3