2019 marks 170 years since former law maker died in Exmouth

PUBLISHED: 07:00 08 December 2019

Castle Park House in Exmouth. Picture: Daphne Barnes-Phillips

Castle Park House in Exmouth. Picture: Daphne Barnes-Phillips


This year marks 170 years since a man who was responsible for law making in the sub-continent died at his Exmouth home.

Codrington Carrington was born 250 years ago in October 1769 and died at Castle Park House in November 1849.

In her book, 250 Years of Exmouth Firsts, Daphne Barnes-Phillips said he was appointed first chief justice of a supreme court in Ceylon (now known as Sri Lanka).

She wrote: "1799 was also significant for him as that was the year he was forced to return to England from India through ill health.

"In his early years, he had been involved in administering and codifying laws in India.

"After ill health had forced him to resign and return to England 220 years ago, he was employed by Henry Dundas, president of the board of control in William Pitt's ministry, to prepare a code of law for Ceylon.

"In the spring of 1801, he was appointed first chief justice of its supreme court, with a guaranteed life retirement pension of £1,200 per annum after five years' service."

Mrs Barnes-Phillips said he was knighted in June 1801 - just five weeks before marrying 16-year-old Paulina Belli.

She said: "They went on to have nine daughters and four sons, remaining in Ceylon for five years until ill health again brought him back to the UK.

"He declined further colonial appointments on medical advice and purchased an estate in Chalfont St Giles, in Buckinghamshire.

"He built a new house there, became a magistrate and deputy-lieutenant and was chairman of the quarter sessions."

After his wife died in 1823, he remained in politics as MP for St Mawes in 1826 and again in 1830.

Mrs Barnes-Phillips said: "That was the year he married Mary Anne Chapel and they went on to have four children - three girls and a boy."

Julia, Annie, Lucy and Eugene added to the 10 surviving children he had in his first marriage.

Mrs Barnes-Phillips said: "Finally, he moved with Mary Anne and their children to Exmouth."

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