Jenkin, Robert

, a learned English divine, son of Thomas Jenkin, gent, of Minster in the Isle of Thanet, was born Jan. 1656, and bred at the King’s school at Canterbury. He entered as sizar at St. John’s college, Cambridge, March 12, 1674, under the tuition of Mr. Francis Roper; became a fellow of that society March 30, 1680; decessit 1691 became master in April 1711;*


On the death of Dr. Humfrey Gower, who left him a country-seat at Thriptoe, worth 20l. per annum, on the death of Mr. West, his nephew and heir; and 500l. to buy a living for the college, to which society he also left two exhibitions of 10l. each, and all his books to their library.

and held also the office of lady Margaret’s professor of divinity. Dr. Lake being translated from the see of Bristol to that of Chichester, in 1685, made him his chaplain, and collated him to the precentorship of that church, 1688. Refusing to take the oaths at the revolution, he quitted that preferment, and retired to his fellowship, which was not subject then to those conditions, unless the bishop of Ely, the visitor, insisted on it; and the bishop was, by the college statutes, not to visit unless called in by a majority of the fellows. By these means he and many others kept their fellowships. Retiring to the college, he prosecuted his studies without interruption, the fruits of which he gave to the public in several treatises which were much esteemed. Upon the accession of George I. an act was passed, obliging all who held any post of 5l. a-year to take the oaths, by which Dr. Jenkin was obliged to eject those fellows who would not comply, which gave him no small uneasiness

The true account of the ejection is this: The statutes of that college require the fellows, as soon as they are of proper standing, to take the degree of B. D. But the oath of allegiance is required to be taken with every degree; so that, after the revolution, twenty-four of the fellows not coming in to the oath of allegiance, and the statutes requiring them to commence B.D. they were constrained to part with their fellowships. As to those who had taken the degree before the revolution, there was no cause for rejecting them, till they refused the abjuration oath, which was exacted upon the accession of George I.

and he sunk by degrees into imbecility. In this condition he removed to his elder brother’s house
| at South Rungton, in Norfolk, where he died April 7, 1727, in his seventieth year; and was buried, with his wife Susannah, (daughter of William Hatfield, esq. alderman and merchant of Lynne, who died 1713, aged forty-six), his son Henry, and daughter Sarah, who both died young in 1727, in Holme chapel, in that parish, of which his brother was rector. Another daughter, Sarah, survived him. A small mural monument was erected to his memory.

His works are, 1. “An Historical Examination of the Authority of General Councils,1688, 4to. 2. “A Defence of the Profession which bishop Lake made upon his Death-bed,1690, 4to. 3. “Defensio S. Augustini adversus Jo. Phereponum,1707, 8vo. 4. “An English translation of the Life of Apollonius Tyaneus, from the French of Tillemont,1702, 8vo. 5. “Remarks on Four Books lately published; viz. Basnage’s History of the Jews; Whiston’s Eight Sermons; Locke’s Paraphrase and Notes on St. Paul’s Epistles; and Le Clerc’s Bibliotheqne Choisie.” 6. “The Reasonableness and Certainty of the Christian Religion;” of which a fifth edition, corrected, appeared in 1721. 7. “A brief confutation of the pretences against natural and revealed religion,” and 8. An inaugural oration in ms.

Dr. Jenkin had an elder and a younger brother, Henry and John. John was a judge in Ireland, under the duke of Ormond. Henry, elder brother of the master, was vicar of Tilney, in Norfolk, and rector of South Rungton cum Wellington, where he died in 1732. 1


Gen. Dict. Nichols’s Bowyer. -Peck’s Desiderata.