JENKINSON, Hon. Charles Cecil Cope (1784-1851), of Pitchford Hall, Salop and Buxted Park, Suss.
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Family and Education
b. 29 May 1784, o.s. of Charles Jenkinson†, 1st Earl of Liverpool, by 2nd w. Catherine, da. of Sir Cecil Bisshopp†, 6th Bt., of Parham, Suss., wid. of Sir Charles Cope, 2nd Bt., of Brewerne, Oxon; half-bro. of Hon. Robert Banks Jenkinson*. educ. privately by Rev. Charles Richards; Christ Church, Oxf. 1801. m. 19 July 1810, Julia Evelyn Medley, da. and h. of Sir George Augustus William Shuckburgh Evelyn*, 6th Bt., 3da. suc. cos. Adam Ottley to Pitchford estate 1803; half-bro. Robert Banks Jenkinson* as 3rd Earl of Liverpool 4 Dec. 1828; GCB 11 Dec. 1845.
Page of honour 1793-4; précis writer, Foreign Office Apr. 1803-Apr. 1804; priv. sec. to sec. of state for Home affairs May-July 1804; sec. of legation, Vienna 1804-7; under-sec. of state for Home affairs Nov. 1807-Nov. 1809; under-sec. of state for War and Colonies Nov. 1809-June 1810; prothonotary co. pal. of Lancaster 1838-d.; PC 3 Sept. 1841; ld. steward of Household 1841-6.
Cornet, Surr. yeomanry 1803; lt.-col. Cinque Ports militia 1810.
Cecil Jenkinson was the idol of his father’s old age. Lord Liverpool maintained that, as the younger son, he must ‘be the fabricator of his own fortune’. It proved unnecessary. The mutiny of 1797, during which he escaped from La Pomone, virtually ended his youthful naval career, though his father wished him to be rated until he determined on another. When he went to Oxford, Liverpool had thoughts of securing him a fellowship at Merton: he had scruples about awarding him a duchy of Lancaster place, though he held two in reversion. When his half-brother Lord Hawkesbury held the foreign seals under Addington, he became a précis writer, to secure which Henry Williams Wynn* was whisked off to Dresden. A year later, after a few months at the Home Office as his brother’s secretary, he went there himself, but en route for Vienna as secretary of legation. In July 1805 his father reported that he was at Baden, learning modern Greek. He fought as a volunteer at the battle of Austerlitz.1
In 1807, still his brother’s little lamb, he was brought into Parliament under his aegis and became his under-secretary at the Home Office. On 13 Dec. 1808 he wrote:
I am rather bored with politics and am inclined to believe that I shall give them up one of these days as a bad job, but perhaps they will be beforehand with me, and give me up; at all events I am very indifferent and wait with patience whatever time and circumstances may produce.2
A diary of March to July 1809 shows that he attended his office and Parliament regularly, without a spark of interest.3 On 26 May he quibbled with Romilly’s proposals for criminal law reform and on 31 May ‘answered Horner’, but scarcely featured in debate thereafter. He voted steadily with ministers, January-March 1810, and against parliamentary reform, 21 May 1810. He had followed his brother to the War Office, but relinquished public employment in June 1810 when about to marry an heiress. He further voted with ministers on the Regency, 1 Jan. 1811, and against a reconstruction of the government, 21 May 1812, having paired in favour of the orders in council on 3 Mar. ‘Time and circumstances’ had previously brought him a Shropshire estate worth over £2,000 p.a. on which he intended to settle, and in 1812, when Isaac Hawkins Browne* offered to make way for him at Bridgnorth, he accepted with alacrity, took a cavalier farewell of Sandwich (where trouble was brewing) and was flattered to be invited to contest Sussex, which he refused. Being now the prime minister’s brother, he had to be in Parliament, but obviously wanted a quiet seat.4
Jenkinson was a diehard opponent of Catholic relief, 22 June 1812, and though absent ill in March 1813 mustered against it on 24 May and again in 1816 and 1817. On critical divisions he usually rallied to ministers (including that on the property tax, 18 Mar. 1816), but he was probably a reluctant attender. Between 25 Feb. 1817 and 15 Apr. 1818 he was absent from surviving government division lists. In 1818 he came in quietly for East Grinstead on the interest of his half-sister the Duchess of Dorset. Of that Parliament only his taking three weeks’ leave (22 Mar. 1819), his vote against Tierney’s censure motion, 18 May, and his pair in favour of the foreign enlistment bill drew attention to his Membership. He retained this seat until he succeeded to his brother’s title. At his death, 3 Oct. 1851, the earldom became extinct.
Ref Volumes: 1790-1820
Author: R. G. Thorne
- 1. Abergavenny mss 667; Add. 38191, f. 107; 38310, f. 203; 38311, f. 147; 38448, f. 149; 38571, f. 38; NLS mss 11083, f. 12; W. Suff. RO, Hervey mss, Liverpool to Bristol, 30 Sept. , 17 July 1805; NLW mss 2790, H. to Lady Williams Wynn, 12 June 1806.
- 2. NLW, Pitchford Hall mss, Jenkinson’s letter books.
- 3. Ibid.
- 4. Ibid. Jenkinson to Sheffield, 4 Oct., to R. Emmerson 5 Oct., to Liverpool, 5 Oct. 1812; Add. 38328, ff. 45, 46.