Memoir of Fleeming Jenkin Page 01
Memoir of Fleeming Jenkin
PREFACE TO THE AMERICAN EDITION.
ON the death of Fleeming Jenkin, his family and friends determined to publish a selection of his various papers; by way of introduction, the following pages were drawn up; and the whole, forming two considerable volumes, has been issued in England. In the States, it has not been thought advisable to reproduce the whole; and the memoir appearing alone, shorn of that other matter which was at once its occasion and its justification, so large an account of a man so little known may seem to a stranger out of all proportion. But Jenkin was a man much more remarkable than the mere bulk or merit of his work approves him. It was in the world, in the commerce of friendship, by his brave attitude towards life, by his high moral value and unwearied intellectual effort, that he struck the minds of his contemporaries. His was an individual figure, such as authors delight to draw, and all men to read of, in the pages of a novel. His was a face worth painting for its own sake. If the sitter shall not seem to have justified the portrait, if Jenkin, after his death, shall not continue to make new friends, the fault will be altogether mine.
R. L S.
SARANAC, OCT., 1887.
The Jenkins of Stowting - Fleeming's grandfather - Mrs. Buckner's fortune - Fleeming's father; goes to sea; at St. Helena; meets King Tom; service in the West Indies; end of his career - The Campbell- Jacksons - Fleeming's mother - Fleeming's uncle John.
IN the reign of Henry VIII., a family of the name of Jenkin, claiming to come from York, and bearing the arms of Jenkin ap Philip of St. Melans, are found reputably settled in the county of Kent. Persons of strong genealogical pinion pass from William Jenkin, Mayor of Folkestone in 1555, to his contemporary 'John Jenkin, of the Citie of York, Receiver General of the County,' and thence, by way of Jenkin ap Philip, to the proper summit of any Cambrian pedigree - a prince; 'Guaith Voeth, Lord of Cardigan,' the name and style of him. It may suffice, however, for the present, that these Kentish Jenkins must have undoubtedly derived from Wales, and being a stock of some efficiency, they struck root and grew to wealth and consequence in their new home.
Of their consequence we have proof enough in the fact that not only was William Jenkin (as already mentioned) Mayor of Folkestone in 1555, but no less than twenty-three times in the succeeding century and a half, a Jenkin (William, Thomas, Henry, or Robert) sat in the same place of humble honour. Of their wealth we know that in the reign of Charles I., Thomas Jenkin of Eythorne was more than once in the market buying land, and notably, in 1633, acquired the manor of Stowting Court. This was an estate of some 320 acres, six miles from Hythe, in the Bailiwick and Hundred of Stowting, and the Lathe of Shipway, held of the Crown IN CAPITE by the service of six men and a constable to defend the passage of the sea at Sandgate. It had a chequered history before it fell into the hands of Thomas of Eythorne, having been sold and given from one to another - to the Archbishop, to Heringods, to the Burghershes, to Pavelys, Trivets, Cliffords, Wenlocks, Beauchamps, Nevilles, Kempes, and Clarkes: a piece of Kentish ground condemned to see new faces and to be no man's home. But from 1633 onward it became the anchor of the Jenkin family in Kent; and though passed on from brother to brother, held in shares between uncle and nephew, burthened by debts and jointures, and at least once sold and bought in again, it remains to this day in the hands of the direct line. It is not my design, nor have I the necessary knowledge, to give a history of this obscure family. But this is an age when genealogy has taken a new lease of life, and become for the first time a human science; so that we no longer study it in quest of the Guaith Voeths, but to trace out some of the secrets of descent and destiny; and as we study, we think less of Sir Bernard Burke and more of Mr.