JENKINSON, Sir Robert, 3rd Bt. (1685-1717), of Walcot, Charlbury, Oxon. and Hawkesbury, Glos.
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Family and Education
bap. 23 Nov. 1685, 1st s. of Sir Robert Jenkinson, 2nd Bt.* educ. Trinity, Oxf. 1703; L. Inn 1705. m. lic. 4 Feb. 1712 (with £6,000), Henrietta Maria, maid of honour to Queen Anne, da. of Charles Scarborough of St. James’s, Westminster, clerk of the Green Cloth, s.p. suc. fa. as 3rd Bt. 30 Jan. 1710.1
Freeman and bailiff, Oxford 1710.2
Less than a month after his father’s death, Jenkinson succeeded him as knight of the shire for Oxfordshire following a closely contested by-election. The new knight left a favourable impression upon the Oxford antiquary Thomas Hearne, who described him at this time as ‘a gentleman of great virtues and of singular integrity and probity, of a courteous affable temper, a lover of his country and an enemy to rebellion’. Almost immediately upon taking his seat in the Commons, Jenkinson had an early opportunity of demonstrating the soundness of his attachment to the Church, voting against the impeachment of Dr Sacheverell, and on 3 May presented his county’s loyal address to the Queen. Furthermore, he took a leading part in entertaining the Doctor during his progress through the county in July, and dined him at Walcot on the 19th. Though a devoted Tory, Jenkinson demonstrated at the ensuing election that he was not prepared to allow his party’s expectations to stand in the way of personal scruples. One of the Tory contestants in the Gloucestershire campaign, John Howe†, applying to Jenkinson for his interest in that county, where Jenkinson’s estate was ‘much more considerable’, found himself refused, however, on the grounds that at Jenkinson’s by-election earlier in the year Howe’s father (John Grobham Howe*) had compelled an ‘honest’ parson to oppose him.3
Jenkinson was naturally described as a Tory in the ‘Hanover list’ of the new Parliament, to which he had been returned without opposition. He featured in two other lists as a ‘worthy patriot’ who in the first session detected the previous administration’s mismanagements, and as a ‘Tory patriot’ who in 1711 was opposed to the continuance of war. In February 1712 he was named in a published list of the October Club. During preparations for the election in 1713, he flatly rejected moves to partner him with Simon Harcourt III*, son of the lord chancellor (Simon Harcourt I*), telling an acquaintance he ‘would never join his hand with that fellow’ despite the fact that Jenkinson was understood to be on amicable terms with the Harcourt family. The reason for Jenkinson’s objection is not known, however. Re-elected, he was classed as a Tory in the Worsley list. Like his father before him, Jenkinson was seemingly content with playing a spectator’s role in the Commons. Returned again in 1715, his continuing Tory allegiance was recorded in a comparative analysis of the old and new Parliaments. He died, ‘much lamented’, of a fever on 29 Oct. 1717 and was buried at Charlbury. In 1731 his widow married Charles Eversfield, a Tory MP in Anne’s Parliaments who had since become a pro-administration Whig.4