lived in Paris in 1847–8, and from 1848 till 1851 in Genoa. At Genoa she was intimate with the Ruffinis and leading liberals, and supported enthusiastically all liberal movements. After 1868, when her son was appointed to an Edinburgh professorship, she lived in Edinburgh. Her health began to fail in 1875. She died on 8 Feb. 1885, three days after her husband. An attractive portrait of Mrs. Jenkin, by her son, taken at Genoa, is given in Mr. Stevenson's ‘Memoir of Fleeming Jenkin.’
[Memoir of Fleeming Jenkin, by R. L. Stevenson.]
JENKIN, HENRY CHARLES FLEEMING (1833–1885), engineer and electrician, son of Charles Jenkin, commander R.N., of a Welsh family long settled at Northiam, Sussex, was born near Dungeness on 25 March 1833. His mother, Henrietta Camilla Jenkin [q. v.], is separately noticed. An uncle, John Jenkin, invented many ingenious machines which proved useless. Fleeming Jenkin was educated at Jedburgh and at Edinburgh Academy. In 1846, owing to reduced circumstances, the family went to live on the continent, spending a year at Frankfort-on-Main, and 1847–8 in Paris, taking refuge after the revolution in Genoa, only to pass through another revolution in the latter city. Fleeming studied at the Genoa University, chiefly devoting himself to physical science, and took the degree of M.A. with first-class honours. He also studied art. In 1851 Fleeming was apprenticed at Fairbairn's works, Manchester, and learnt the practical details of mechanical engineering. After taking part in a railway survey in Switzerland in 1855, he was engaged as draughtsman at Penn's works at Greenwich. In 1855 he became acquainted with Alfred Austin (brother of Charles and John Austin (1790–1859) [q. v.]) and his wife, who were both intellectually and socially attractive, and he married their daughter Anne on 21 Feb. 1859 at Northiam. He had already entered in London the service of Liddell & Gordon, who took up marine telegraphy. Soon afterwards he entered into partnership as engineer with a Mr. Forde, but though he continued in the business for nearly ten years, it did not prove very profitable. Early in 1859 he made the acquaintance of Sir William Thomson, in concert with whom he commenced important experiments on the resistance and insulation of electric cables. In the last volume of the ‘Encyclopædia Britannica,’ eighth edition, 1861, Jenkin's measurements of resistance of gutta-percha are given as the only absolute measurements of the kind that had then been made. In 1862 Jenkin's memoir, ‘Experimental Researches on the Transmission of Electric Signals through Submarine Cables’ (Phil. Trans. 1862), gave the first true measurement of the specific inductive capacity of gutta-percha. From 1858 to 1873 he was largely occupied in the fitting out of submarine telegraph cables. He was in 1861 appointed secretary of the Electric Standards' Committee of the British Association, and its valuable reports, published in one volume in 1869, are largely due to his labours. Appended to these reports were his ‘Cantor Lectures,’ 1866, on the construction, laying, and testing of submarine cables. In 1865 he was elected F.R.S. and professor of engineering in University College, London. In 1868 his earlier engineering patents began to pay well, and he was elected professor of engineering in the Edinburgh University. In 1873 his little text-book of ‘Magnetism and Electricity’ appeared in Longman's Science Series, and marked a new departure in the exposition of the subject as a quantitative study. Many editions have since appeared, and it has been translated into Italian and German. In 1876 he took up the subject of sanitation, and in 1877–8 he vigorously promoted the formation of a sanitary association in Edinburgh, the parent of many similar societies. In 1878 his little book on ‘Healthy Houses’ did much to promote sanitary reform. He established a considerable school of engineering in Edinburgh, and at the same time did varied scientific and literary work. In 1882 the description of Professors Ayrton and Perry's electric railway block system suggested to him his invention of telpherage, or the automatic transport of goods by electricity. The maturing of practical methods for running carrier vehicles electrically along a steel rod suspended in the air from wooden posts occupied much of his later years, but he did not live to see the complete development of his system in the telpher line which was erected at Glynde in Sussex soon after his death. A trifling operation upon his foot was followed by blood-poisoning, and he died in Edinburgh on 12 June 1885, aged 52.
Very plain-featured, rather short in stature, always youthful and energetic in manner, Jenkin did not prepossess strangers, and his flow of words and love of disputation never made him very popular. As a lecturer he was interesting, and he was a good disciplinarian. His taste in literature was broad and unconventional, and he exhibits a sound critical faculty in his miscellaneous essays and reviews. He was an excellent amateur actor and dramatic critic. Like his mother, he was generous and enthusiastic,