Christopher Bethell-Codrington

Christopher Bethell-Codrington (born Christopher Codrington; October 1764 – 4 February 1843) was a British Member of Parliament, owner of sugar plantations in the Caribbean, and English amateur cricketer.

Career as member for TewkesburyEdit

In 1797 he inherited from his uncle Sir William Codrington, 2nd Baronet, plantations in Antigua and Dodington Park estate in south Gloucestershire.[1] Later that year he was elected as a Member of Parliament (MP) for Tewkesbury, holding the seat until 1812.[1][2]

In 1806 he rejected pressure from constituents to support the abolition of the slave trade, but denied being motivated by his self-interest as a plantation-owner.[1] Later in 1832, he had a very public debate in the newspapers with Sir Fowell Buxton on abolition, quoting a letter from his attorney and resident manager for Barbuda in 1825, John James, detailing the contentedness of the slaves there.[3]

In 1817, he purchased further lands at Wapley in Gloucestershire, which made his estate "extend upwards of 15 miles in one continued line".[1]

Caribbean estatesEdit

Christopher Bethell-Codrington's sugar estates included Betty's Hope, Clare Hall, Garden, Cotton, New Work, Bolans, and Jennings, on the island of Antigua and also the island of Barbuda which was used to supply the sugar estates with provisions and also earned commissions by salvaging the many ship wrecks on its reefs.[4] These estates where managed by resident managers and attorneys. Many of their letters back to Christopher Bethell-Codrington at Dodington Park still exist and are available to read on microfilm and PDF in a collection known as the Codrington Papers.[4] In the 1830s, the British government emancipated the slaves, and Bethell-Codrington was compensated to the tune of over £30,000 for nearly 500 slaves in his ownership.[5]

Cricket careerEdit

He was mainly associated with Marylebone Cricket Club (MCC)[6] and made five known appearances in first-class cricket matches in 1797.


  1. ^ a b c d Williams, M. J.; Fisher, David R. (1986). R. Thorne (ed.). "BETHELL CODRINGTON, Christopher (1764-1843), of Dodington, nr. Chipping Sodbury, Glos". The History of Parliament: the House of Commons 1790-1820. Boydell and Brewer. Retrieved 5 June 2014.
  2. ^ Leigh Rayment's Historical List of MPs – Constituencies beginning with "T" (part 1)
  3. ^ The Anti-slavery Reporter, Volumes 5-6. J. Hatchard and son. p. 301. Retrieved 15 November 2014.
  4. ^ a b "Codrington Papers, West Indies Correspondence". The History of Parliament: the House of Commons 1790-1820. Simon Fraser University. Retrieved 15 November 2014.
  5. ^
  6. ^ Arthur Haygarth, Scores & Biographies, Volume 1 (1744–1826), Lillywhite, 1862

External sourcesEdit

Parliament of Great Britain
Preceded by
William Dowdeswell
James Martin
Member of Parliament for Tewkesbury
With: James Martin
Succeeded by
Parliament of the United Kingdom
Parliament of the United Kingdom
Preceded by
Parliament of Great Britain
Member of Parliament for Tewkesbury
With: James Martin to 1807
Charles Hanbury-Tracy 1807–12
Succeeded by
John Edmund Dowdeswell
John Martin