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Tuesday, August 23, 2005

Sir Simon Codrington, 3rd Baronet (1923-2005)

Sir Simon Codrington, 3rd Baronet, who died at Frenchay Hospital, 17 August, 2005, aged 82, was the owner of Dodington House, Chipping Sodbury, near Bristol, the 18th century family seat which ranks in the top 10 of English stately homes, set in a Capability Brown park.

Sir Simon had a colourful marital career - much discussed in the tabloid press in the 1970s and 80s. Simon Francis Bethell Codrington was born 14 August, 1923, son of Sir Christopher Codrington, 2nd Baronet, by his wife, the former Joan Mary Hague-Cook (who died in 1961). He was educated at Eton.

Career:--->>Lieutenant Coldstream Guards; landowner (the family have lived at Dodington since the reign of Queen Elizabeth I); succeeded his father in the baronetcy (created in 1876) in 1979.

He married firstly, in 1947, Joanne (divorced 1959), daughter of J.W. Molineaux, and widow of William Humphrey Austin Thompson; married 2ndly, 1959, Pamela Joy Halliday Wise (divorced 1979); it was frightful bad luck for the second wife. She missed becoming Lady Codrington by one day. Her divorce became absolute just 24 hours before Codrington became Sir Simon on the demise of his father. Pamela Codrington refused to quit the stately home and retained hold on the big house whilst Sir Simon and his 3rd bride were reduced to living at the dower hosue on the 1,000 acre estate. Sir Simon married 3rdly, at Chipping Sodbury register office, 4 January, 1980 (divorced 3 Aug 1987) to Mrs Sarah Gwynne Gaze (nee Pennell). The tabloids oft referred to the 3rd Lady Codrington as a _descendant of Nell Gwynne_. Never a mention of Charles II. was she perhaps descended from Nell, if at all, from another liaison? Sir Simon married 4thly, in 1989, Shirley Ann, daughter of Percival Davis.

He is survived by his fourth spouse and three sons, Christopher, Bethell, and Hugo, from his second marriage. The eldest boy, Christopher George Wayne Codrington, b. 20 Feb, 1960, now succeeds to the baronetcy.

A Thanksgiving Service takes place at St Peter's, Wapley, Gloucestershire, 25 August, 2005.

Sources: Daily Telegraph 22 August, 2005; Daily Express 15 Nov, 1979; Daily Mail 22 Nov, 1979; Yorkshire Post 4 Aug, 1987.

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