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1679 portrait of Sir Leoline Jenkins by Herbert Tuer

Sir Leoline Jenkins (1625 – 1 September 1685) was a Welsh academic, diplomat involved in the negotiation of international treaties (e.g. Nimègue). jurist and politician. He was a clerical lawyer who served as Judge of the High Court of Admiralty from 1668 to 1685.


He was originally from Cowbridge in south Wales, son of Leoline (an anglicisation of Llewellyn) Jenkins, a small landowner. He went to school in Cowbridge and then to Jesus College, Oxford. As Principal of Jesus College from 1661 to 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 counsellor 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]

Although never married, it is now revealed he had an illegitimate child, one of whose descendants was the well known pilot and author V.M. Yeates (Victor Maslin Yeates, 1897-1934).

Leoline Fellows

His tombstone in the chapel of Jesus College, Oxford

In his will Jenkins stated: "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]


  1. ^ Dodd, Arthur Herbert. "Wynne, Owen (1652–?), civil servant". Welsh Biography Online. National Library of Wales. Retrieved 10 February cite.citation{font-style:inherit}.mw-parser-output .citation q{quotes:"\"""\"""'""'"}.mw-parser-output .citation .cs1-lock-free a{background:url("//")no-repeat;background-position:right .1em center}.mw-parser-output .citation .cs1-lock-limited a,.mw-parser-output .citation .cs1-lock-registration a{background:url("//")no-repeat;background-position:right .1em center}.mw-parser-output .citation .cs1-lock-subscription a{background:url("//")no-repeat;background-position:right .1em center}.mw-parser-output .cs1-subscription,.mw-parser-output .cs1-registration{color:#555}.mw-parser-output .cs1-subscription span,.mw-parser-output .cs1-registration span{border-bottom:1px dotted;cursor:help}.mw-parser-output .cs1-ws-icon a{background:url("//")no-repeat;background-position:right .1em center}.mw-parser-output code.cs1-code{color:inherit;background:inherit;border:inherit;padding:inherit}.mw-parser-output .cs1-hidden-error{display:none;font-size:100%}.mw-parser-output .cs1-visible-error{font-size:100%}.mw-parser-output .cs1-maint{display:none;color:#33aa33;margin-left:0.3em}.mw-parser-output .cs1-subscription,.mw-parser-output .cs1-registration,.mw-parser-output .cs1-format{font-size:95%}.mw-parser-output .cs1-kern-left,.mw-parser-output .cs1-kern-wl-left{padding-left:0.2em}.mw-parser-output .cs1-kern-right,.mw-parser-output .cs1-kern-wl-right{padding-right:0.2em}
  2. ^ Welsh Biography Online
  3. ^ Hazel, Alfred (3 May 1932). "The Rev. F. H. de Winton". The Times. p. 19.

External links

Political offices
Preceded by
The Earl of Sunderland
Secretary of State for the Northern Department
Succeeded by
The Earl of Conway
Preceded by
The Earl of Sunderland
Secretary of State for the Southern Department
Succeeded by
The Earl of Sunderland
Parliament of England
Preceded by
John Hervey
Sir Henry Wood, Bt
Member of Parliament for Hythe
With: John Hervey
Succeeded by
Sir Edward Dering, Bt
Julius Deedes
Preceded by
Heneage Finch
John Eddisbury
Member of Parliament for Oxford University
With: Charles Perrot
Succeeded by
Charles Perrot
George Clarke

2 Annotations

Bill  •  Link

Sir Leoline, or Lluellin Jenkins, who was born at Llantrissent in Glamorganshire, was the son of an honest, plain countryman, whom Mr. John Aubrey says he knew. As his father's circumstances were but narrow, and he was a distant relation of David Jenkins the famous Welsh judge, that gentleman contributed something towards his education. About the time that he took his batchelor's degree, sir John Aubrey sent for him home to his house at Llantrithied in Glamorganshire, to instruct his eldest son Lewis in grammar learning : he also took several other young gentlemen under his care, whom he taught in the church-house belonging to that place. He went to Oxford, together with his pupils, and afterwards travelled with Mr. Lewis Aubrey. Upon the resignation of Dr. Francis Mansell, which was soon after the Restoration, he was elected principal of Jesus college. He afterwards retired to London, and was made a judge of the admiralty, and of the prerogative court. In 1669, he was sent ambassador to France; and, in 1673, was sent to Cologn, in quality of plenipotentiary, together with the earl of Arlington and sir Joseph Williamson. In 1675, he was appointed a plenipotentiary at Nimeguen, together with lord Berkeley and sir William Temple; and, in 1680, he succeeded Mr. Henry Coventry in the office of secretary of state. He is said to have preserved the leather breeches which he wore to Oxford, as a memorial of his good fortune in the world. Ob. 1 Sept. 1685, Ætat. 62.
---A Biographical History of England. J. Granger, 1779.

Bill  •  Link

Sir Leolin Jenkins, son of a taylour, Judge of the Admiralty, [M.P., Hithe,] was in hopes to be Archbishop of Canterbury; imployed in four embassies, and whose indefatigable industry in promoting a peace for France, has been our ---; [sic] he affirmed in the House of Commons, "That upon necessity the King might raise monies without act of parliament."
---A Seasonable Argument ... for a New Parliament. Andrew Marvell, [1677] 1776.

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Chart showing the number of references in each month of the diary’s entries.