Leoline Jenkins

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Sir Leoline Jenkins (1625 – 1 September 1685) was a Welsh academic, jurist and politician. He was a clerical lawyer serving in the Admiralty courts, and diplomat involved in the negotiation of international treaties (e.g. Nimègue).


He was originally from Cowbridge in south Wales. As Principal of Jesus College, Oxford from 1661–1673, he was responsible for much construction work, including the college library. The position was one of several rewards he received from King Charles II of England for his loyalty to the Royalist cause during the English Civil War; he was also created a judge. As Judge of the Admiralty he won Samuel Pepys' warm praise for his ability and integrity.

Jenkins was made a privy councillor in February 1680. He served as Secretary of State for the Northern Department from 26 April 1680 to 2 February 1681 and Secretary of State for the Southern Department from 2 February 1681 to 14 April 1684. His major achievements include authoring the Statute of frauds (29 Car. II c. 3) and the Statute of distributions (22 & 23 Car. II, c. 10), dealing with the inheritance of personal property. Whilst Secretary of State, he was served by the Welsh lawyer (and former student of Jesus College) Owen Wynne, who has been called "an early example of the permanent civil servant."[1]

He is regarded as the second founder of the eminent Cowbridge Grammar School, renowned for its academic standards which he had himself attended.. He is buried in the chapel of Jesus College, at which he had previously been a student before becoming Principal, and to which he bequeathed most of his estate.[2]

Leoline Fellows

In his will, Jenkins stated that "It is but too obvious that the persons in Holy Orders employed in his Majesty's fleet at sea and foreign plantations are too few." To address this, he established two Fellowships at Jesus College, whose holders should serve as clergy "in any of his Majesty's fleets or in his Majesty's plantations" under the direction of the Lord High Admiral and the Bishop of London respectively. The last such fellow, Frederick de Winton, was appointed in 1876 and held his fellowship until his death in 1932. This category of fellowship was abolished in 1877 by the Oxford and Cambridge Universities Commission, without prejudice to the rights of existing holders such as de Winton.[3]


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