JENKINSON, Charles (1779-1855), of Beech House, Hants.

Published in The History of Parliament: the House of Commons 1790-1820, ed. R. Thorne, 1986
Available from Boydell and Brewer

Constituency

Dates

1806 - 1818

Family and Education

b. 23 Feb. 1779, 1st s. of John Jenkinson by Fanny, da. of Adm. John Barker. educ. Charterhouse 1790. m. 4 Feb. 1803, Catherine, da. of Walter Campbell of Shawfield, Lanark and Islay, Argyll, 3da. suc. fa. 1805; cos. Hon. Charles Cecil Cope Jenkinson* as 10th Bt. and to some of fam. estates 3 Oct. 1851.

Offices Held

Ensign 3 Ft. Gds. 1794, lt. and capt. 1798, half-pay 1802-26.

Biography

Jenkinson was returned for Dover after a contest in 1806 on the interest possessed by his cousin Lord Hawkesbury (later 2nd Earl of Liverpool) in his capacity as lord warden of the Cinque Ports. He had made little progress in his army career and Thomas Lack, a family friend, hoped that his election would give him ‘credit and occupation, both of importance to him’.1 Like his cousin, he opposed the ‘Talents’, who listed him among those reckoned ‘adverse’ to the abolition of the slave trade. He voted against them on the Hampshire election petition, 13 Feb. 1807, when, in his only known speech in the House, he complained of the use made of government influence in both Dover and Hampshire.

At the general election of 1807, when his cousin had become Home secretary in the Portland ministry, he topped the poll at Dover, and was unopposed there in 1812 when Liverpool was prime minister. His only recorded votes in the 1807 Parliament were with government on the Scheldt inquiry, 23 Feb., 5 and 30 Mar. 1810, when the Whigs classed him as ‘against the Opposition’; against parliamentary reform, 21 May 1810; for the Regency resolutions, 1 Jan. 1811; and against the remodelling of his cousin’s newly formed administration, 21 May 1812. Unlike the rest of his family, he voted for Catholic relief, 2 Mar., 13 and 24 May 1813.

These were his only recorded votes in the 1812 Parliament and, along with financial problems, they may have contributed to his fall from grace. He left unpaid debts at Dover in 1812,2 did not stand in 1818 and in 1825 wrote to Liverpool from Paris, beseeching him to

mitigate the punishment which has followed me for twelve long years, and show mercy to penitence and suffering ... for I have not a single guinea in my pocket with a debt of £200 in Paris. I am not too old to work, and I humbly think I am capable of filling some employment, if I could but be restored to your favour and protection. I no longer expect happiness on earth, nor do I seek competence in the world’s acceptance of that word. Great as would be the pang of separating from my family, I would myself go to any place, not absolutely destructive of human life, if I could obtain a salary sufficient for my bare existence, after remitting to them such an addition to their present means, as would enable them to live in decent retirement. If I could obtain a situation in the diplomatique, or any other, in Europe it would be comparative happiness, but I am not in a situation to make a choice ... all my means consist of the interest of £6,000 settled on the estates of Mrs Jenkinson’s father, charged with an annual payment of £32, and my half pay which is little more than £60 per annum.

Liverpool found it impossible to give him any public appointment, but offered to provide an allowance of £50 a year for his two eldest daughters and £100 towards the liquidation of his debt. Jenkinson gratefully accepted.3 He died in Paris, 6 Mar. 1855.

Ref Volumes: 1790-1820

Author: J. M. Collinge

Notes

  • 1. Add. 38326, f. 359.
  • 2. Add. 38458, f. 234; 38578, ff. 72, 74.
  • 3. Add. 38475, ff. 190, 197; 38580, f. 159.

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