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Sir William Codrington
1804 – 6 August 1884
William John Codrington.jpg
Lieutenant General Sir W.J. Codrington, K.C.B., 1855
Place of death Heckfield, Hampshire
Resting place Woking, Surrey
Allegiance United Kingdom United Kingdom
Service/branch Flag of the British Army.svg British Army
Rank General
Battles/wars Crimean War
Awards Knight Grand Cross of the Order of the Bath

General Sir William John Codrington GCB (1804 – 6 August 1884) was a British general and politician who served in the Crimean War.


Military career

Born the son of Admiral Sir Edward Codrington, Codrington was commissioned into the 88th Regiment of Foot in 1821.[1]

In September 1854 he was appointed Commander of the 1st Brigade of the Light Division in the Crimea where he led his brigade into the Battle of Alma.[1] He also led his brigade at the Battle of Inkerman and, while General George Brown was wounded, took command of the whole division.[1] He was involved in the planning of the unsuccessful assault, in September 1855, on the Redan at Sevastopol.[1] However the French were more successful at the Battle of Malakoff and the siege came to an end.[1] After the resignation of General James Simpson in Novemenber 1855 he became Commander-in-Chief of the British Army in the Crimea.[1]

He became Colonel of the 54th Foot, then subsequently of the 23rd Foot and the Coldstream Guards.[1].

Political career

In politics, Codrington was a Liberal supporter of Viscount Palmerston.[1] He particularly liked his leader's foreign policy. He was in favour of "progressive reform" and "civil and religious liberty", but did not support the secret ballot.[1]

He was Member of Parliament for Greenwich between a by-election in February 1857 and 1859.[1] He contested Westminster in 1874 and Lewes in 1880.[1]

Codrington was Governor of Gibraltar from 1859 to 1865.[1]


In 1836 he married Aymes and together they went on to have two sons and two daughters. His son, Alfred, also joined the Army, commanding a Home Service army during the First World War; his daughter Mary married William Earle, an Army officer killed commanding the forces the Battle of Kirbekan. The other two children died young.[1]


  • Who's Who of British Members of Parliament: Volume I 1832-1885, edited by M. Stenton (The Harvester Press 1976)
Parliament of the United Kingdom
Preceded by
Peter Rolt and
Montague Chambers
Member of Parliament for Greenwich
Feb. 1857 – May 1859
With: Montague Chambers, to Mar 1857
John Townsend, Mar 1857–Feb 1859
David Salomons, Feb–May 1859
Succeeded by
David Salomons and
William Angerstein
Government offices
Preceded by
James Fergusson
Governor of Gibraltar
Succeeded by
Lord Airey


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