Codrington, Thomas

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Preacher to James II; place and date of birth unknown; d. Saint-Germain, France, 1691? He was probably the son of Edward Codrington of Sutton Mandeville, Wiltshire, England, who was presented for recusancy (1645 and 1669), together with his sons, Bonaventure and Thomas, secular priests who worked in England. He was educated at Douai, where he was ordained and became a prominent professor of humanities. Later, having been invited to Rome, he there became chaplain and secretary to Cardinal Philip howard. In July 1684 he returned to England, and he became one of the preachers in ordinary and chaplains to James, Duke of York, later King JamesII. In Rome he had joined a German institute of secular priests. John Morgan and he were appointed procurators to introduce the community into England. The rule was published in 1697, but elicited much opposition and was attacked by the Rev. John Sargeant in "A Letter to Our Worthy Brethren of the New Institute." This opposition proved fatal to the institute, which was ordered suppressed by Bishop Giffard in 1703. Codrington was preacher to James II at £60 per annum during his reign and followed him into exile at Saint-Germain, France.

Bibliography: The Victoria History of the County of Wiltshire, ed. r. b. pugh and e. crittall (London 1953) v.3, for the Codrington family. t. cooper, The Dictionary of National Biography from the Earliest Times to 1900 (London 18851900; repr. with corrections, 190809, 192122, 1938) 4:666. j. gillow, A Literary and Biographical History or Bibliographical Dictionary of the English Catholics from 1534 to the Present Time (London-New York 18851902; repr. New York 1961) 1:520522.

[h. s. reinmuth, jr.]