David Jenkins was never officially a curate at Cocking, although he conducted services several times between 1801 and 1822.
David Jenkins was born at “Dyffryn Bern” near Penbryn, Cardiganshire in Wales, and was baptised at St Michael’s, Penbryn in January 1749, the third son of Griffith and Katherine Jenkins. In May 1768, he matriculated at Wadham College, Oxford from where he graduated as Bachelor of Arts in 1772.
He was ordained on 1 September 1771 at the Chapel of St John the Baptist, at the Palace of Abergwili, near Carmarthen, by Charles Moss, then Bishop of St David’s, and was appointed stipendiary curate at Llandysiliogogo in Cardiganshire the same day. On 8 August 1773, he was ordained as a priest at Chichester Cathedral. On 5 April 1777, he was instituted as rector at nearby Llanllwchaiarn, retaining this office until his death.
Although he conducted marriages up to 1784, David Jenkins spent little time at his parish in Llanllwchaiarn, as he then appointed curates to look after the parish, including his younger brother, Henry, for two years from 1786 to 1788.
By this time, he was living in Midhurst, where he married Elisabeth Marchant on 18 May 1785 at St Mary Magdalene and St Denys Church. The marriage register refers to him as “of this parish” and Elisabeth as from Hurstpierpoint (near Burgess Hill).
David and Elisabeth Jenkins had three children, all baptised at St Mary Magdalene and St Denys Church as follows:
Henry 5 September 1786
William 9 July 1788
Sarah 17 December 1790
From about 1785, David Jenkins was the curate (and de facto minister) at Lodsworth, although it is not known when he was appointed to that position.
David Jenkins was licenced as curate for the neighbouring parishes of Selham (where his name had first appeared in the parish register in 1790) and Heyshott on 2 January 1801 by John Buckner, Bishop of Chichester, serving the rector, Walter Islip, who had preceded him as curate at Lodsworth.
From time to time, David Jenkins officiated at services at Cocking church, during the latter years of the incumbency of Melmoth Skynner. He is first recorded in the parish register on 12 October 1801, when he conducted the marriage of James Dearling and Ann Stoner. His next recorded appearance at Cocking was in July 1813 at a funeral, after which he appears to stand in occasionally for his son William until June 1822, including on 14 September 1817, when David and William officiated together at the baptism of George Dearling, whose parents David had married 16 years earlier.
His wife, Elisabeth, died in March 1806 and was buried at Easebourne church on 11 March 1806. The burial register describes her as the wife of “The Reverend David Jenkins”.
David Jenkins remained as curate at Lodsworth until 1810, when he was replaced by Francis Whitcombe. It is not clear when he ceased acting as curate at Selham, where he was still recorded as such in the Episcopal register for July 1815. His last entry in the parish register was on 13 February 1818.
At Heyshott, his successor Charles Baumgarten (later a curate at Cocking) was appointed on 31 October 1822, so it is probable that he left both parishes shortly before then.
Nothing is known about David Jenkin’s later life until he died, aged 87, at the home of his elder son, Revd. Henry Jenkins, at Stanway, near Colchester, Essex on 24 May 1836. He was buried at St Albright’s Church, Stanway on 31 May. The burial register records his last abode as at Selham, Sussex.
Cardiganshire, Wales, Anglican Baptisms, Marriages and Burials, 1633–1993
England & Wales, Prerogative Court of Canterbury Wills, 1384–1858
Essex, England, Church of England Deaths and Burials, 1813–1994
Oxford University Alumni, 1500–1886
Challen, W.H. The Parish Register of Cocking, Sussex (1558–1837) pp. 75–76, 97, 120–122
Clergy of the Church of England Database:
Gravel Roots. Heyshott clergy
Ipswich Journal. 28 May 1836. Died
Journal of the Cardiganshire Antiquarian Society. 1971. Vol. 6. Notes on the Jenkins family of Dyffryn Bern. p. 245.
Lodsworth Heritage Society: