Dictionary of National Biography, 1885-1900/Jeune, Francis

JEUNE, FRANCIS (1806–1868), bishop of Peterborough, eldest son of Francis Jeune, who represented a family which had settled in Jersey in the reign of Elizabeth, by Elizabeth, daughter of B. Le Capelain, was born at St. Brelade, Jersey, on 22 May 1806, and was educated at St. Servan's College at Rennes. He matriculated from Pembroke College, Oxford, on 21 Oct. 1822, and became a scholar in the same year, passed first class in classics, and graduated B.A. 1827, M.A. in 1830, B.C.L. 16 Oct. 1834, and D.C.L. 23 Oct. 1834. For seven years, 1830–7, he was fellow of his college; during four years he acted as tutor, and in 1834 was one of the public examiners. In 1832 he went to Canada as secretary to Sir John Colborne, the governor-general, and as tutor to his sons, and on his return in 1834, became head-master of King Edward's School, Birmingham, an establishment which he largely remodelled. In 1838 he was appointed dean of Jersey and rector of St. Heliers, upon the recommendation of Lord John Russell. He worked zealously, and took an active part in the establishment of Victoria College at St. Heliers. There he remained until 1843, when he was recalled to Oxford as master of Pembroke College, to which office a canonry at Gloucester Cathedral is attached. Shortly afterwards he was appointed rector of Taynton, Gloucestershire. His services to his college and as subdean of Gloucester were justly very highly esteemed. His fame as a liberal had preceded him at Oxford, and it is said that there was consternation in the hebdomadal board when he took his seat. He justified his reputation by strongly recommending to the government the appointment of a commission of inquiry at Oxford, and on becoming a member of the commission in 1850 he took a very prominent part in its proceedings. He wrote the greater part of the report which the commissioners presented to her majesty, and from that time forward there was not a well-considered measure of progress and reform introduced at Oxford in which he did not take a leading share. He was probably the ablest man of business in his day at Oxford. To him are to be largely ascribed the examination statutes which established the schools of natural science and of law and modern history, and though the original idea of a middle-class local examination was suggested by Dr. Frederick Temple, now bishop of London, it was mainly worked out under his auspices and by his zeal and energy. He was vice-chancellor of the university from 1858 to 1862, during the residence of the Prince of Wales. In 1862 he preached a sermon in French in Westminster Abbey on the occasion of the International Exhibition. His opinions were of the evangelical order, and he was a determined opponent of Dr. Pusey and of the conductors of the ‘Tracts for the Times,’ and equally of the advanced broad church party. On 18 Jan. 1864, on the nomination of Lord Palmerston, he became dean of Lincoln, but soon vacated the office on his elevation to the bishopric of Peterborough, to which he was consecrated on 27 June following. He died at Whitby 21 Aug. 1868, and was buried in Peterborough cathedral-yard on 28 Aug. He published several single sermons, and his primary charge as bishop of Peterborough. On 15 Dec. 1836 he married Margaret Dyne, only child of Henry Symons of Axbridge, Somerset. His eldest son, Sir Francis Henry Jeune, was in 1891 made a judge of the high court.

[Times, 22 Aug. 1868, p. 7; Guardian, 26 Aug. 1868, p. 956, 2 Sept. p. 979; Peterborough Advertiser, 22 Aug. 1868, p. 4, 29 Aug. p. 4.]

G. C. B.