JENNINGS, Sir John (1664-1743), of Newsells, in Barkway, Herts.
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Family and Education
b. 1664, 15th child of Philip Jennings of Dudleston, Salop by Christiana, da. of Sir Gerard Eyton of Eyton, Salop. m. Alice, da. of Francis Breton of Wallington, Herts., 1s. Kntd. 24 Oct. 1704.
Lt. R.N. 1687, capt. 1689, r.-adm. 1705, v.-adm. 1708, adm. 1708; c.-in-c. Mediterranean 1711-13; ld. of Admiralty 1714-27; gov. Greenwich Hospital 1720-d.; r.-adm. of England 1733-4.
A distinguished admiral, Jennings was returned as a Whig by the Administration under Queen Anne, but was defeated at Queenborough in 1710, when he was also returned for Portsmouth, only to be unseated on petition. Appointed a lord of the Admiralty at George I’s accession he was returned for Rochester on the Admiralty interest in 1715, voting with the Administration, except on the peerage bill, which he opposed. He commanded a squadron off the coast of Scotland against the Pretender early in 1716, and, for the last time, off the coast of Spain in 1726. Shortly afterwards he resigned from the Admiralty, ‘not so much upon the account of my indisposition as upon the objection I made to serve there with Lord Berkeley’, the first lord. On George I’s death Berkeley was dismissed but Jennings was ‘not at all solicitous to return to that board again’, desiring only ‘if my Lord Torrington is to be vice-admiral of England, that I may in my turn be rear-admiral of the same, till the proper time comes that you can prevail for my being created an English baron’.1 Though appointed rear-admiral of England in January 1733, he ‘quitted his flag’ a year later, when his junior, Sir John Norris, was made admiral of the fleet and commander-in-chief. He did not stand at the 1734 election, and died 23 Dec. 1743.
Ref Volumes: 1715-1754
Author: A. N. Newman
- 1. Jennings to Walpole, 26 July 1727, Cholmondeley (Houghton) mss.