Dictionary of Welsh Biography


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JENKINS , JOSEPH ( 1743 - 1819 ), Baptist minister ;

son of the Evan Jenkins ( 1712 - 1723 March 1752 ) who was pastor of WrexhamOld Meeting ’ for some months in 1737 and again (after a period at Exeter ) from 1740 till 1752 , and grandson of John Jenkins ( 1656? - 1733 ) (q.v.) , pastor of Rhydwilym . Joseph was only 9 when his father died, but Thomas Llewellyn (q.v.) saw to his education in London ; later, he went to Aberdeen ( M.A. 1765 , D.D. 1790 ). He was baptized in London in 1766 ; Benjamin Francis (q.v.) preached on the occasion. In 1769 he opened a school at Wrexham , also undertaking the pastorate of an Independent congregation in Crook's Lane , Chester — he had begun to preach while in Scotland . A sermon of his on the occasion of a great explosion at Chester was published ( 1772 ) in a Welsh version by Benjamin Evans ( 1740 - 1821 ) (q.v.) , at that time minister at Llanuwchllyn . In 1773 (8 Sept.) he was ordained pastor of his father's former church, the Old Meeting , at Wrexham ; the church had then twenty-seven communicants, and during his pastorate shrank to ten — he does not seem to have been a powerful preacher , though he was a careful administrator . It was a mixed congregation, of Independents and open-communion Baptists , and Jenkins made a practice of ‘dedicating’ infants, even when their parents were Baptists . However, in 1776 it was decided that whenever Jenkins 's pastorate should expire the church would become officially Baptist — the trust-deed was redrafted accordingly, in 1778 . Jenkins resigned in 1791 , but continued to give generous financial support to the Old Meeting in subsequent years. On the death in 1791 of Caleb Evans (q.v.) , he was put in charge of Bristol Baptist Academy , but owing to disagreements he removed in 1793 to be pastor of Blandford Street church in London ; thence he went to Walworth , where he d. 21 Feb. 1819 ; he was buried in Bunhill Fields . A firm Calvinist , he published a number of English sermons and essays — list in Price 's book mentioned below, pp. 203-5.

Sources:

  • Hanes y Bedyddwyr yn Nghymru , 1893–1907 , iii, 200-2, 210, 223-5;
  • A. N. Palmer , A history of the older nonconformity of Wrexham and its neighbourhood being the third part of ‘A history of the town and parish of Wrexham’ , 1888 ;
  • G. V. Price , The Old Meeting at Wrexham .

Author:

Emeritus Professor Robert Thomas Jenkins, C.B.E., D.Litt., Ll.D., F.S.A., (1881-1969), Bangor

Published date: 1959