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Queen Mary. Such were the immediate parents of Mr. William Jenkyn.
His father dying while he was very young, he was sent for by his grandfather above-mentioned, who seemed softened by bis son's death, and promised to take care of his education. With him he lived much beloved till he was nine years old, when his mother, fearing his want of a religious education, took him home, to the great displeasure of the old gentleman. Under her care, and that of his father-inlaw, (his mother having married again) he was trained up in serious piety.
Mr. Jenkyn having made rapid advances in schoollearning, was sent, at fourteen years of age, to St. John's College, Cambridge, and placed under the care of Mr. Anthony Burgess. There he pursued his studies with great success, and bis progress in piety was as eminent as iu learning. His sprightly genius occasioned his company to be earnestly courted by some young wits in the university ; bụt perceiving their looseness, he waved any intimacy with them. At the university he proceeded M. A. but did not begin to preach till a considerable time afterwards. Upon his leaving the college he went to London, and was chosen lecturer of St. Nicholas Acons. From thence he was called to Hytbe, near Colchester, in Essex, where he first married. The unhealthiness of that place, and the solicitation of his London friends, brought him back to the metropolis about the year 1641, when he was chosen minister of Christ-Church, Newgate-street. He was admitted to this living February 1, 1642, void by the death of Mr. Edward Finch ; and, some months afterwards, was chosen lecturer of St. Anne's, Blackfriars. He continued to fill up this double station with great diligence and acceptance, till the destruction of monarchy. He was one of those London ministers who signed the remonstrance against bringing the King to trial; and after the death of the unhappy monarch, refused to observe the
public thanksgivings appointed by parliament, for which he was suspended his ministry, and his living of Christ-Church sequestered. This induced him to relre to Billericay, in Essex ; but after some time he returned to the metropolis.
In the year 1651, Mr. Jankyn was concerned with several other persons, in a conspiracy to place Prince Charles upon the throne, and a correspondence was carried on with him for that purpose. The principal persons concerned in this affair were several disbanded officers of the army, and some Presbyterian Divines. Bat so numerous a conspiracy could not be long concealed from the watchful eyes of the government. A discovery of the whole taking place, the principal persons were apprehended and lodged in the Tower. Two of thein were sacrificed as a terror to others. One of these was Mr. Christopher Love, a noted Presbyterian minister, whose fate excited great syınpathy in the nation. The other persons, upon their petition for mercy, and promising submission to the government, were released. The petition of Mr. Jenkyn being expressed in very strong terms, was ordered to be printed. It was entitled, “The humble petition of William Jenkins, prisoner, declaring his unfeigned sorrow for all his miscarriages, and promising to be true and faithful to the present government; with three queries, being the ground of his late petition, and subinission to the present powers.” Some of the positions in this petition, and the adulatory style in which it was drawn up, drew down not a little censure upon the author ; but it answered his purpose very
well: for the parliament not only voted him a pardon, and an immediate discharge from prison, but removed his sequestration. By this general amnesty, Mr. Jenkyn became again entitled to his living of Christ Church, which was then filled by Mr. F'eak, the noted fifth monarchy man, who had been placed there by the government. But he forbore to eject him. His parishioners, however, being desirous to enjoy his labours, set up a lecture on a Lord's-day morning, at seven o'clock, and raised a considerable subscrip
tion for him. In this, and his lecture at Blackfriars, out of which he had not been ejected, he continued till Dr. Gouge's death, in 1654, when he was chosen pastor of that church. Mr. Feak afterwards becoining obnoxious to government was removed; when the governors of Bartholomew-hospital presented Mr. Jenkyn to the living of Christ Church afresh. There he exercised his ministry, morning and afternoon, to a crouded congregation, with eminent success, particularly upon occasional hearers. He was very cautious of touching upon any thing that might give umbrage to the government, well knowing how many eyes were upon him. In this course he continued some years, and preached over the epistle of Jude, which he afterwards printed.
Upon the Act of Uniformity taking place, in 1662, Mr. Jenkyn, not being able to comply with the terms which it required, was obliged to quit his living. But he did not think himself called upon to relinquish the ministry. He, therefore, preached in private as he had opportunity. The Oxford Act taking place in 1665, and Mr. Jenkyn not chusing to conform to it, retired to bis own house, at Langley, in Hertfordshire, where he preached every Lord's-day, and through the good providence of God, met with but little disturbance. Upon the Indulgence in 1672, he returned to London, and had a new meeting-house erected for him in Jewin-street, where he soon raised a numerous auditory. The Pinners'-Hall lecture being established about the same time, he was one of the first ministers chosen to conduct it. When the indulgence was revoked, there was so far a connivance, that his services on Lord's-days continued undisturbed, till that terrible storm broke out against the Nonconformists, in 1682. After this, he continued to preach from place to place where he was the least observed, and out of the reach of the vile informers.
At length, on the 2d of September, 1684, he was apprehended while spending a day in prayer with several friends, at a house in Moorfields, where they thought themselves out
JEWIN-TRECT -- Presbyteriun.
of danger. Mr. Flavel, and some other ministers present, made their escape, as Mr. Jenkyn might have done, had it not been for a piece of vanity in a lady, whose long train hindered his going down stairs ; Iraving out of his too great civility let her pass before hinr. Being carried before two aldermen, Sir James Edwards, and Sir James Smith, they treated him very rudely, knowing that it would be acceptable at court. Upon his refusing the Oxford oath, they committed him to Newgate, rejecting his offer of a forty pound fine, which the law empowered them to take, although it was urged that the air of Newgate would infallibly suffocate him. He presented a petition to the King for a release, which was backed by an assurance from his physicians, that his life was in danger from close imprisonment. But no other answer could be obtained than this : “ Jenkyn shall be a prisoner as long as he lives.” This was most rigorously adhered to. He was not suffered to go out cven to baptize a grand-child, though a considerable sum was offered for that liberty, with security for his return. The keepers were ordered not to let him pray with any visitants ; nor was he allowed to perform that exercise even with his own daughter, who went to ask his blessing.
Soon after his confinement, his health began to decline, but he was favoured with the utmost serenity and joy of mind. To one of his friends he said, “ What a vast difference is there between this and my first imprisonment! Then I was full of doubts and fears, of grief and anguish ; and well I might, for going out of God's way, and my own calling, to meddle with things that did not belong to me. being found in the way of my duty, in my Master's business, though I suffer even to bonds, yet I am comforted beyond measure. The Lord sheds abroad his love sensibly in my heart. I feel it, I have the assurance of it.” Then turning to some who were weeping by him, he said,
Why weep for me? Christ lives : he is my friend; a friend born for adversity; a friend that never dies. Weep not for me, but
weep for yourselves, and for your children.” Mr. Jenkyn died in Newgate, January 19, 1685, aged 72 years, having been å prisoner there four months; and where, as he said a little before his death, a man might be as effectually murdered as at Tyburn. His friends buried him with great honour in Bunbill-Fields, being attended thither by at least one hundred and fifty coaches. His daughter, who was a high-spirited, though a very worthy and pious woman, gave mourning rings at her father's funeral, on which she ordered this motto to be inscribed : Mr. William Jenkyn, murdered in Newgate. A nobleman having heard of his happy release, said to the King, “ May it please your Majesty, Jenkyn has got his liberty.” Upon which he asked with eagerness, “ Aye, who gave it him?" The nobleman replied, “ A greater than your majesty, the King of kings ;" with which the king seemed greatly struck, and remained silent. In 1715, a tomb-stone was erected over his grave, in Bunhill-Fields, with the following Latin inscription, which expresses his having died a martyr, in the 52d year of his ministry. *
In Dom. GULI. JENKYN, M. D. V.
Dna. ELIZ. JUYCE,
Anno Dom. MDCCXV.
Mr. Jenkyn was in many respects a very considerable
Calamy's Acc. p. 17. Contin. p. 17. Noncon. Mem. vol. i. p. 109.