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Papers of Robert Henry Codrington


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


  • Creation: 1866-1926


26 volumes, 7 boxes

Language of Materials

  • English

Preferred Citation

Oxford, Bodleian Libraries [followed by shelfmark and folio or page reference, e.g. MSS. Pac. s. 2].

Please see our help page for further guidance on citing archives and manuscripts.

Full range of shelfmarks:

MSS. Pac. s. 2-33

Collection ID (for staff)

CMD ID 1273

Biographical / Historical

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.

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).

Immediate Source of Acquisition

The papers were transferred to the library from Wadham College, Oxford, in December 1953.

Papers of Robert Henry Codrington
Language of description
Script of description

Repository Details

Part of the Bodleian Libraries Repository

Weston Library
Broad Street
Oxford OX1 3BG United Kingdom