30 May 1778, but transferred himself to the Inner Temple in 1795, and became in turn bencher (1795), reader (1814), and treasurer (1816). He went the western circuit. His practice was not large, but his fame soon spread as a diner-out and a contributor of witticisms to the newspapers. His contributions chiefly appeared in the ‘Morning Chronicle’ and the ‘Evening Statesman,’ and the best-known of his jeux d'esprit in the former paper was the satire, the ‘Tears of the Cruets,’ on Pitt's salt-tax, which is reprinted in ‘Notes and Queries,’ 1st ser. x. 172 (1854), and 4th ser. viii. 300–1 (1871). On 20 Aug. 1787 he was returned, through the favour of the Marquis of Lansdowne, to parliament for Calne, and represented that constituency continuously until he resigned the seat on 23 Feb. 1816. Oldfield, in his ‘Parliamentary History,’ v. 152, asserts that the marquis contemplated ousting him in 1807, but that the corporation refused their consent, and returned him free of expense. On his first election he was attacked for his connection with Lord Lansdowne in a satire entitled ‘Jekyll, an Eclogue,’ which is said to have been written by Joseph Richardson. It was printed separately in 1788, included in the numerous impressions of the ‘Rolliad,’ and in at least four editions (1788 and 1789) of a collection called ‘Extracts from the Album at Streatham, or Ministerial Amusements.’ Jekyll supplied his patron with political and social news from London, for which services Jeremy Bentham, in somewhat exaggerated language, dubbed him the ‘tale-bearer of the household at Bowood.’ The same candid friend attributed his lack of success in parliament to his want of ‘serious knowledge,’ and Abbot, first lord Colchester, mentions him as ‘a frequent speaker, but positively without weight, even in his own (the whig) party.’ In June 1798 he communicated to the House of Commons information to the effect that the expedition to Ostend had resulted in failure, which on the following day he had to acknowledge to be erroneous. For this he was caricatured by Gillray in ‘Opposition Telegraphs, or the Little Second-sighted Lawyer.’ He was also depicted by the same artist as on the top of the ‘Morning Chronicle’ office, and figured in two other caricatures (Wright, Caricatures of Gillray, pp. 142–9, 182, 203). Jekyll, being a favourite at Carlton House, was appointed by the Prince of Wales in 1805 his solicitor-general, and was at the same time raised to the dignity of king's counsel. Through the same influence he became a commissioner of lunacy, and in 1815 was created a master in chancery. His legal knowledge was insufficient for the post, and his practice was confined to the common-law courts. The appointment was generally condemned. Lord Eldon acknowledged that he ‘hesitated for weeks and months’ before bestowing it, and the common belief was that the prince went alone to the chancellor's house in Bedford Square, forced his way into the bedroom, and exclaimed, ‘How I do pity Lady Eldon; she will never see you again, for here I remain until you promise to make Jekyll a master in chancery.’ After several years of service he retired on a pension, and at the age of eighty-four died at 22 New Street, Spring Gardens, London, on 8 March 1837, being then the senior king's counsel and senior bencher. He married, at South Stoneham, Hampshire, on 20 Aug. 1801, Maria, daughter of Hans Sloane, M.P. for Lostwithiel, Cornwall, a lady of considerable fortune. Their issue was two sons. Jekyll was elected F.R.S. on 3 June 1790, and F.S.A. on 16 Dec. 1790. A portrait of him, painted by Lawrence, was engraved by Say; another portrait, by Dance, was engraved by Daniel, but for private distribution only. The ‘Letters of the late Ignatius Sancho, an African,’ who knew many celebrities, were printed in 1782 in two volumes, and to them was prefixed a slight and anonymous memoir by Jekyll. This work passed through many editions. Under his direction the hall of the Inner Temple and the Temple Church were carefully restored, and the anonymous volume of ‘Facts and Observations relating to the Temple Church and the Monuments contained in it, 1811,’ was compiled by him. Several letters are in Johnstone's ‘Samuel Parr,’ vii. 103–4; Clayden's ‘Rogers and his Contemporaries,’ i. 152–3; Bentham's ‘Works,’ x. 486, xi. 144–5; and ‘Correspondence of W. A. Miles’ (1890), ii. 338–40. His correspondence was collected in 1894 by Algernon Bourke. Specimens of his jests are in Jerdan's ‘Men I have known;’ Colchester's ‘Diary,’ ii. 38; Croker's ‘Diaries,’ i. 408; and Fitzmaurice's ‘Lord Shelburne,’ iii. 547–9.
[Gent. Mag. 1801 pt. ii. p. 764, 1837 pt. ii. p. 208; Jerdan's Men I have known, pp. 273–81; Romilly's Memoirs, iii. 186–7; Benchers of Inner Temple, pp. 90–1; Lipscomb's Buckinghamshire, iv. 356; Wilson's House of Commons, 1808, pp. 103–4; Twiss's Lord Eldon, iii. 266–9; Foster's Oxford Registers; Bentham's Works, x. 239–40; Fitzmaurice's Shelburne, iii. 435.]
JEKYLL, THOMAS (1570–1653), antiquary, born in the parish of St. Helen, Bishopsgate, London, on 12 Jan. 1570, was eldest son of John Stocker Jekyll of Newington, Middlesex, by Mary, daughter and heiress of Nicholas Barnehouse of Welling-