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Codrington Sir Edward

Codrington, Sir Edward, British naval commander, was born in 1770, and entered the royal navy in 1783 on board the yacht Augusta. Until promoted to be lieutenant in 1793, he served successively in North America, the Mediterranean, and the Channel. Subsequently he joined the Queen Charlotte, flagship of Earl Howe, and in her participated in the action of the Glorious First of June, 1794. In the following October he was made a commander, and in 1795 was posted to the Babet, 22, in which he was present at Lord Bridport's action off Ile de Groix. He was captain of the Orion, 74, at Trafalgar, and received, in consequence, the gold medal. In 1808 he was appointed to the Blake, 74, and in her served with the unfortunate expedition against Walchcren with great distinction, especially on the occasion of the forcing of the passage of the Scheldt. In the same vessel he rendered valuable assistance against the French in Spain, and, landing, did also good work ashore. He returned home in 1813, and was made a colonel of marines. Sailing soon afterwards for North America with a commodore's pennant in the Forth, 40, he was, in the summer of 1811, promoted to the rank of rear-admiral, and appointed captain of the fleet to Sir Alexander Cochrane in the Tonnant, 80. He was present at the capture and destruction of Washington, and then, hoisting his flag in the Havannah, 36, took part in the operations against New Orleans. In 1815 he was made a K.C.B., in 1821 vice-admiral, and in 1826 commander-in-chief in the Mediterranean, with his flag in the Asia, 84. He was the senior officer of the combined British, French, and Russian squadrons which, on October 20, 1827, destroyed the Turco-Egyptian fleet in the Bay of Navarino. As a reward he was made a G.C.B., but he would undoubtedly have received from King George far higher honour had there been in England more unanimity than existed as to the wisdom of the policy which he had been deputed to carry out. From foreign sovereigns he received the orders of St. Louis of France, St. George of Russia, and the Redeemer of Greece, but he was recalled in 1828. In 1831 he commanded a squadron of observation in the Channel, and having in 1837 reached the rank of admiral, was, in 1839, appointed commander-in-chief at Portsmouth. He relinquished this post in 1842, and never again hoisted his flag. Sir Edward, who was a G.C.M.G. and F.R.S., represented Devonport in Parliament from 1832 to 1840. By his wife, nee Miss Jane Hall, he had, with other children, a son Henry John, who, after taking part in the attack on St. Jean d'Acre in 1840, also became an admiral, and died in 1877, at the age of 69, and a daughter, who married Sir Thomas Bourchier, R.N., and wrote her distinguished father's biography. Sir Edward, who was one of the last survivors of the Trafalgar captains, died in 1851.