Jenks, Benjamin

, a pious English divine and writer, was born in 1646, and was descended from an ancient family at Eaton under Heywood, in Shropshire. He was related to bishop Williams, of Chichester, to whom he dedicated his book of “Prayers.” Where he was educated we are not told, nor is it discoverable that he was at either university. He appears, however, when admitted into orders, to have been for some time curate of Harlay, in Shropshire. On the death of his rector, Richard earl of Bradford, the patron of the living, hearing Mr. Jenks spoken of respectfully by the parishioners, went one Sunday, in private, to hear him preach; and was so much pleased with the discourse, that he presented him to the living in 1668, and made him his chaplain. Mr. Jenks had also the living of Kenley, a small village about two miles from Harlay, at both which churches he officiated alternately, and kept no curate until old age and infirmities made assistance necessary. He died at Harlay on May 10, 1724, and was buried in the chancel of that church, where there is a monument to his memory. The work by which Mr. Jenks is best known is his “Prayers and offices of Devotion,” of which the 27th edition was published in 1810 by the Rev. Charles Simeon, fellow of King’s college, Cambridge, with alterations and amendments in style. Mr. Jenks also was the author of “Meditations upon various important subjects,” of which a second edition was published in 1756, 2 vols. 8vo, with a recommendatory preface by Mr. Hervey. This, however, has never attained any high degree of popularity. One of these “Meditations” is upon his coffin, which he kept by him for many years, and in which were two sculls, one of them that of a near relation. 2


Qrton and Stonehouse’s Letters, vol. I,