Jenkins, Sir Leoline

, a learned civilian and able statesman, was descended from a family in Wales, being the son of Leoline Jenkins, who was possessed of an estate of 40l, a year, at Llantrisaint, in Glamorganshire, where this son was born about 1623. He discovered an excellent genius and disposition for learning, by the great progress he made in Greek and Latin, at Cowbridge-school, near Llantrisaint; whence he was removed in 1641 to Jesus-r college, in Oxford, and upon the breaking out of the civil war soon after, took up arms, among other students, on the side of the king. This, however, did not interrupt his studies, which he continued with all possible vigour; not leaving Oxford till after the death of the king. He then retired to his own country, near Llantrythyd, the seat of sir John Aubrey, which, having been left void by sequestration, served as a refuge to several eminent loyalists; among whom was Dr. Mansell, the late principal of his college. This gentleman invited him to sir John Aubrey’s house, and introduced him to the friendship of the rest of his fellow-sufferers there, as Frewen, abp. of York, and Sheldon, afterwards abp. of Canterbury; a favour which through his own merit and industry, laid the foundation of all his future fortunes. The tuition of sir John Aubrey’s eldest son was the first design in this invitation; and he acquitted himself in it so well, that he was soon after recommended in the like capacity to many other young gentlemen of the best rank and quality in those parts, whom he bred up in the doctrine of the church of England, treating them like an intimate friend rather than a master, and comforting them with hopes of better times.

But this could not long continue unobserved by the parliament party, who grew so jealous, that they were resolved to put a stop to it; and, as the most effectual means of dispersing the scholars, the master was seized by some soldiers quartered in those parts; and being sent to prison, was indicted at the quarter sessions for keeping a seminary of rebellion and sedition. He was however discharged by the interest of Dr. Wilkins, then warden of Wadham-college, in Oxford; to which place he removed with his pupils in 1651, and settled in a house, thence called Little Welch-hall, in the High-street. During his residence in Oxford, he was recommended to the warden of Wadham by judge Jenkins, the subject of the preceding article; and employed on several messages and correspond-? | ences between the judge, Dr. Sheldon, Dr. Mansell, Dr. Fell, and others. But Dr. Wilkins, his protector, being promoted to the mastership of Trinity-college Cambridge, in 1655, Jenkins was obliged to remove; and being talked of as a dangerous man, sought his safety by flight. He withdrew with his pupils out of the kingdom, and resided occasionally in the most celebrated of the foreign universities. He thus kept a kind of moving academy; and by that method the best opportunities of improving the students in all sorts of academical learning were obtained; while they had the further advantage of travelling over a great part of France, Holland, and Germany. They returned home in 1658; and Mr. Jenkins, delivering up his pupils to their respective friends, gladly accepted an invitation to live with sir William Whitmore, at his seat at Appley, in Shropshire.

He continued with that patron of distressed cavaliers, enjoying all the opportunities of a well-furnished library, till the restoration, when he returned to Jesus-college, and was chosen one of the fellows. He was created LL. D. in. Feb. 1661, and elected principal in March following, upon the resignation of his patron Dr. Mansell; and sir William Whitmore soon after gave him the commissaryship of the peculiar and exempt jurisdiction of the deanery of Bridgenorth, in Shropshire. In 1662 he was made assessor to the chancellor’s court at Oxford; and the same year Dr. Sweit appointed him his deputy-professor of the civil law there. In 1663 he was made register of the consistory court of Westminster-abbey; and his friend Sheldon, newly translated to the see of Canterbury, soon after appointed him commissary and official for that diocese, and judge of the peculiars. Jenkins was very serviceable to that prelate in settling his theatre at Oxford; of which, as soon as it was finished, he was made one of the curators. He was useful to the archbishop on other occasions also relating to church and state; and it was by his encouragement that Dr. Jenkits removed to Doctors’ commons, and was admitted an advocate in the court of arches in the latter end of 1663. Here he was immediately made deputy-assistant to Dr. Sweit, dean of this court, as he had been to him before in the office of professor; and this situation brought his merit nearer the eye of the court. Upon the breaking out of the first Dutch war in 1664, the lords commissioners of prizes appointed Dr. Jenkins, with other eminent civilians, to review the maritime laws, and compile a body of | rules for the adjudication of prizes in the court of admiralty, which afterwards became the standard of those proceedings. Then, by the recommendation of Sheldon, he tvas made judge-assistant in that court, March 21, 1664-5, Dr. Exton, the judge, being then very aged and infirm; and upon his death soon after, our author became principal, and sustained the weight of that important office alone, with great reputation. He had advanced the honour and esteem of that court to a high degree by a three years service; when finding the salary of 300l. per annum, allowed by the king, not a competent maintenance, he petitioned for an additional 200l. per annum, which was granted Jan. 29, 1668. He was now considered as so useful a man by the government, that the king became his patron; and having recommended him to the archbishop as judge of his prerogative court of Canterbury, which appointment he obtained in 1668, employed him the following year in an affair of near concern to himself.

The queen-mother, Henrietta Maria, widow of Charles I. dying Aug. 1, 1669, in France, her whole estate, both real and personal, was claimed by her nephew Lewis XIV., upon which matter, Dr. Jenkins being commanded to give his opinion, it was approved in council; and a commission being made out for him, with three others f, he attended it to Paris. He demanded and recovered the queen-mother’s effects, discharged her debts, and provided for her interment; when, retnrning home, his majesty testified his high approbation of his services, by conferring on him the honour of knighthood, Jan. 7, 1669-70. Immediately after this honour, he was nominated one of the commissioners of England, to treat with those authorized from

* She had resided at Colombe, in quently, that whatever estate she posFrance, ever since her departure from sessed there, ought to be subject to

England in July 1644, being: enter- the laws and usages of the country

tained there at the charge of Lewis and that madame royale of France,

XIV. Upon the restoration, she came the aforesaid dutchess of Aujou, was

to London, and having settled her re- by those laws the only person capable

venues here, went back to Franc^, to of succeeding; Charles II. and the

bestow her daughter Henrietta in mar- duke of York, as well as the princess

riage to the dukeof Anjou. July 1662 of Orange, her othr children, being

coining again into England, she settled expressly excluded and disabled by the

her court at Somerset-house, where Droit d’Aubaine, because they were

she resided till May 1665. But falling not born nor inhabitants within the alinto a bad state of health, she returned legiance of the French king. But our

to her native country, where she died, court’s claim was at length admitted.

Under these circumstances it was pre- -|- Ralph Montague, esq. ambassatended that she was not only a native, dor at that court, the earl of St. Albut au inhabitant of France conse- ban’s, and lord Arundel. | Scotland, about an union between the two kingdoms. In 1671 he was chosen a representative in parliament far Hythe, in Kent, one of the cinque ports.

He did not approve the rupture which brought on the second war with the Dutch in 1672. Being appointed an. ambassador and plenipotentiary, with others, for settling a treaty of peace, and resigning his place of principal of Jesus-college, he arrived in his new character at Cologne, in June 1673; but after several fruitless endeavours to effect it, he returned to England in 1674. On his arrival in May, he gave the privy-council an account of his negotiation, which was well received; and in December was appointed one of the mediators of the treaty at NLmeguen. He continued there throughout the whole course of that long and laborious negotiation; and the chief part of the business lay upon him, as is acknowledged by sir William Temple, his brother mediator, who in his pleasant manner observes, that “where there were any ladies in the ambassador’s houses, the evenings were spent in dancing or play, or careless and easy suppers, or collations. In these entertainments,” says he, “as I seldom failed of making a part, and my colleague never had any, so it gave occasion for a bon mot, a good word, that passed upon it: Sue la mediation estoit tou jours en pied pour fair e safonction: that is, that the mediation was always on foot to go on with its business; for I used to go to bed and rise late, while my colleague was a-bed by eight and up by four; and to say the truth, two more different men were never joined in one commission, nor ever agreed better in it.

The detail of this negotiation is well known, and maybe seen in sir Leoline’s letters, and his colleague’s works, to which we must refer; it being sufficient to observe here, that all expedients proposed by the two mediators were rejected. Sir Leoline quitted the place on Feb. 16, 1679; and retiring to Neerbos, received a warrant from his royal master, dated Feb. 14, three days after the date of his letter of revocation, appointing him ambassador extraordinary at the Hague, in the room of sir William Temple, who had been then recalled. He accordingly arrived there, March 1; but continued in that station no longer than the 25th of the same month; for, by a new commission, dated Feb. 20, and which came to his hands six days after, he returned to Nimeguen March 26, authorised to resume his mediatorial function, at the desire of the prince | of Orange and the States, and the earnest intreaty of the Northern princes. His instructions now left him in a great measure to himself, without other direction than to act as Be s ould find most consistent with his majesty’s honour, and the good of the general peace; which, as he was a modest man and very diffident of himself, put him under great anxiety. He happily succeeded, however, in accommodating all differences, and returned home, Aug. 1679, after having been employed about four years and a half in this tedious treaty.

Soon after his arrival in England he was chosen one of the burgesses for the university of Oxford-and, in the parliament which met Oct. 17 following, opposed, to the utmost of his power, the bill brought in for the exclusion of the duke of York from the crown. He was sworn a privycounsellor before the expiration of this year; and received the seals as secretary of state, April 1680, being first secretary for the northern province, and in 1681 for the southern. He entered upon this arduous office in critical and dangerous times, which continued so all the while he enjoyed it yet he escaped the then common fate of being assailed by addresses against him,- or committed and impeached. Being chosen again for Oxford, in the parliament which met there March 21, 1681, he earnestly again opposed the exclusion of the duke of York, as he did also the printing of the Votes of the House of Commons; a practice which had then been lately (October 1680) assumed, but was considered by him as inconsistent with the gravity of that assembly, and a sort of improper appeal to the people. With similar zeal he withstood the command of the House, to carry their impeachment of Edward FitzHarris up to the Lords, regarding it as designed to reflect upon the king in the person of his secretary; nor did he comply till he saw himself in danger of being expelled the House for refusing *. But when the corporations began to

* The words which gave offence, be- ing of him to be a reflection upon his sides those mentioned in the text, were, master, and under that apprehension “And do what you will with me, I will he could not but resent it.I am not go.“Whereupon many called, heartily sorry,” continues he, “I have” To the bar/' and moved that, his incurred the displeasure of the House, words should be written down before and I hope they will pardon the freehe explained them. The chief speakers dom of the expression.“To which he against him were the famous J. Tren- added a little after,I am ready to chard and sir William Jones. At length obey the order of the House, and am the secretary made a sofiening speech, sorry my worrfs gave offence. “Colalleging, he did apprehend the send- lectiou of Debates, p. 316, 3116. | be new modelled by the court, and a quo warranto was brought against the city of London, the secretary shewed a dislike of such violent measures; and gave his opinion, for punishing only the most obnoxious members in their private capacities, without involving the innocent, who would equally suffer by proceeding to the forfeiture of the city’s privileges*. In many other instances, sir Leqline differed from the general disposition of the court. He was a determined foe to all ideal projects that came before the privy-council; and had resolution to dissent, and experience enough to distinguish what was practicable and really useful, from what was merely chimerical. He also constantly declared against every irregular or illegal proceeding; but, not having strength to sustain the business and conflicts of those turbulent times, he begged leave to resign for a valuable consideration, which was granted by his majesty on April 14, 1684. Having obtained his wish, he retired to a house in Hammersmith, where learning and learned men continued to be his care and delight. Upon the accession of James II. he was sworn again of the privycouncil, and elected a third time for the university of Oxford. He had gained some little return of strength, and fresh application was accordingly made to him to appear in business; but, indisposition soon returning, he was never able to sit in that parliament, and paid the last debt to nature on Sept. 1, 1685. His body was conveyed to Oxford, and interred in the area of Jesus college chapel. Being never married, his whole estate was bequeathed to charitable uses; and he was, particularly, a great benefactor to his college, leaving to it estates to the amount of 700l. per annum. All his letters and papers were collected and printed in two folio volumes, 1724, under the title of his” Works," by W. Wynne, esq. who prefixed an account of his life, which has furnished the substance of this memoir. This is now a work which bears a very high price, and is considered as a valuable repository of diplomatic information, knowledge, and skill. 1

1 Life by Wynne. Biog, Brit.