Open main menu

Page:Dictionary of National Biography volume 29.djvu/306

This page has been proofread, but needs to be validated.


for the Army.’ 7. ‘A Scourge for the Directory and Revolting Synod, which hath sitten these five years, more for 4s. a day than for Conscience Sake.’ A second edition of this volume was published in 1681 (London, 12mo) under the title of ‘Jenkinsius Redivivus.’ Several of these pamphlets have also been published in Lord Somers's ‘Collection of Tracts’ (vol. v.) The ‘Works’ contain an engraving of the judge by William Marshall, and underneath some verses in his praise by John Birkenhead.

Jenkins was also the author of the following works: 8. ‘A Preparative to the Treaty: or a Short … Expedient for Agreement and Peace tendered to the two Houses of Parliament,’ London, 1648, 4to. 9. ‘God and the King; or the Divine Constitution of the Supreme Magistrate, especially in the Kingdom of England,’ London, 1649, 4to. 10. ‘A Proposition for the Safety and Happiness of the King and Kingdom, by a Lover of Sincerity and Peace,’ London, 1667, 4to.

Wood mentions three other works which were published under Jenkins's name, but were ‘disowned and disclaimed by him.’ They are ‘Pacis Consultum. The Antiquity, Extent, &c., of several Countrey-Corporation-Courts, especially the Court Leet,’ London, 1657, 8vo; ‘Exact Method for Keeping a Court of Survey for setting forth and bounding of Manors;’ and ‘Some Difficult Questions in Law, proposed unto and resolved by Judge Jenkings,’ London, 1657, 8vo.

During his long imprisonment most of his time was devoted to writing his reports, in Latin and French, of eight hundred leading cases in common law, a work which he entitled ‘Rerum Judicatarum Centuriæ Octo,’ London, 1661, folio. A second edition, known as ‘Eight Centuries of Reports,’ was published in 1734 (London, fol.); a third edition, translated by Theodore Barlow, in 1771, and a fourth, with additional notes by C. F. Morell, in 1885 (London, 8vo). The cases selected are from those decided in the exchequer chamber, and upon writs of error from 1220 to 1623, all obsolete cases in the year-books and the common abridgments being omitted. Jenkins's method is to give a short statement of the case and the decision, with a marginal reference to the authority from which it was taken. But when the case is important he adds a note of his own discussing the principle, and furnishing any necessary illustrations, so that his reports form a commentary on the judicial decisions of the preceding reigns. This method was in Jenkins's time unique, but has been generally adopted since the publication of John William Smith's ‘Leading Cases’ in 1837 (Bridgman, Legal Bibliography, pp. 174–6; Wallace, Reporters, ed. 1882, pp. 69–72).

[Authorities quoted; Introduction to Lex Terræ in Jenkins's Works; Wood's Athenæ Oxon. i. cxl–cxlix, and iii. 643–8; Lloyd's Memoires, pp. 589–90; Roland Phillips's Civil War in Wales and the Marches, i. 216, 254, 347, 387, ii. 286, 341.]

D. Ll. T.

JENKINS, HENRY (d. 1670), called the ‘modern Methuselah,’ was a native of Ellerton-upon-Swale, Yorkshire. He subsisted as a labourer and fisherman. Latterly he gained a livelihood by begging, and to attract attention regaled his patrons with anecdotes of his younger days. He claimed to have been born about 1501; to have been sent at the time of the battle of Flodden (1513), being then between ten and twelve years of age, to North Allerton with a horse-load of arrows for the army; to have been butler to Lord Conyers, whose carouses with Marmaduke, abbot of Fountains Abbey, he recollected; and to have witnessed the dissolution of the monasteries. He had sworn, he said, as a witness in a cause at York assizes, to 120 years. In an interview with Miss Ann Savile of Bolton-on-Swale, in 1662 or 1663, Jenkins asserted his age to be 162 or 163; but in April 1667, when he was called as a witness in a tithe cause between Charles Anthony, vicar of Catterick, and Calvert Smithson, a parishioner, he declared himself to be actually five or six years younger, that is to say, only 157. Anthony, a very careful parish priest, who conducted Jenkins's funeral at Bolton, in December 1670, merely described him in the register as ‘a very aged and poore man.’ Jenkins's wife, too, had predeceased him only a very few years, having been buried at Bolton on 27 Jan. 1667–8.

In 1743 an obelisk to Jenkins's memory was erected in Bolton churchyard. In the church a black marble tablet was placed, recording that he lived to the ‘amazing age of 169.’ But the belief in his marvellous age rests upon no better evidence than Jenkins's own contradictory statements.

There are two engravings said to represent Jenkins, executed by Worlidge and R. Page respectively ‘from an original painting done by Walker.’

[Miss Savile's letter in Phil. Trans. xix. 266–268; Thoms's Longevity of Man, 1879, pp. 67–84; Evans's Cat. of Engraved Portraits, i. 187; Whitaker's Richmondshire, 1823, ii. 39–40; Evidences of the Great Age of H. Jenkins, Richmond, 1859, 8vo; Clarkson's Richmond, pp. 396–7; Wilson's Wonderful Characters, i. 412–414; Granger's Biog. Hist. of England, 2nd edit., iv. 212.]

G. G.