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PREFACE

A pathetic interest attaches to this volume. It was to have been the firstfruits of its author's wellearned leisure. Its completion was arrested by his untimely death.

Henry Jenkyns was born at Durham on September 2, 1838, and was the eldest son of the Rev. Henry Jenkyns, D.D. His father had been a Fellow of Oriel in the time of Arnold, Copleston, and Newman, and afterwards became Canon of Durham and Professor of Divinity and Ecclesiastical Literature in the Durham University. His mother was the eldest daughter of the Right Hon. Henry Hobhouse of Hadspen House, Somerset, who was permanent Under Secretary of State for the Home Department from 1817 to 1827. He was a nephew, on his father's side, of Richard Jenkyns, the well-known Master of Balliol, and, on his mother's side, of the present Lord Hobhouse. Lord Thring, whose mother was an elder sister of Canon Jenkyns, was his first cousin, though belonging to an older generation.

Henry Jenkyns was educated at Eton and Balliol. He rowed in the Balliol boat when it was head of the river in 1859, and was one of the three Balliol men who monopolized the first class in Literae Humaniores in the Easter Term of June, 1860, the

other two being Chaloner Chute and Lionel Tollemache. After taking his degree he went up to London to study for the bar, and began by reading with a conveyancer at Lincoln's Inn. After spending six months or so in the chambers of Mr. John Welch, the special pleader, at the Temple, he returned to Lincoln's Inn and read with Mr. John Wickens (afterwards Vice-Chancellor), whose pupil he remained until he was called to the bar at Lincoln's Inn in 1863. He had some practice as a conveyancer, and occasionally went on circuit, but he very soon left the highway of the legal profession for that special branch of legal work which was to be the occupation of his lifetime. He was entrusted by the Statute Law Committee with the duty of preparing a Chronological Table and Index to the Statutes of the Realm, a task which involved enormous labour and the most minute research into the contents of the statute-book. The first edition of the work appeared in January, 1870. When the office of Parliamentary Counsel to the Treasury was created in February, 1869, with Mr. Thring as its head, Jenkyns was offered and accepted the post of Assistant Parliamentary Counsel. He held that office until Lord Thring's retirement in July, 1886, when he succeeded his former chief. He retired in February, 1899, after thirty years' service under the Government. In 1877 he married Madalene Sabine Pasley, youngest daughter of Admiral Sir T. Sabine Pasley, Bart., K.C.B. He was made a C.B. in 1882 under Mr. Gladstone's government, and a K.C.B. in 1892 under the government of Lord Salisbury. He died, after a brief and unexpected illness, on December 10, 1899, within a year from his retirement.

Sir Henry Jenkyns was little known to the world at large. The record of his work is inscribed on the arid, anonymous, and ungrateful pages of the statute-book, and in the sixty and more folio volumes of confidential papers-drafts, notes, minutes, memoranda, and the like-which testify to his conscientious and unflagging industry.

The period which his official life covered was one of great legislative activity in the British Parliament, and among the many important legislative measures which he drafted, or helped to draft, may be mentioned Mr. Forster's Education Act and Ballot Act, the Army Act of 1881, Mr. Gladstone's Irish Church Act, Irish Land Act and Home Rule Bills, the Acts which transformed the system of Local Government in England and Ireland, and Sir William Harcourt's Finance Act. To make the list complete would be to write the history of English legislation for thirty years. It must not be supposed, nor will it be supposed by any one who is acquainted with the nature of English legislative machinery, that work of this kind was of a mechanical character, or even that it involved nothing more than putting into shape the suggestions of others. The sixty or seventy volumes to which I have referred, if their confidential contents could be disclosed, would tell a very different story. But, from their nature, they cannot be used as materials for a biography, nor will any biography be attempted here. All that is attempted is to give the impression produced by a very remarkable man on some of those who knew him best.

It was at the beginning of the year 1870 that I was first brought into close relations with Jenkyns. Mr. Henry Thring, as he then was, wanted a young barrister to give him assistance at his office, and at the suggestion of Jenkyns, whom I knew slightly, I undertook the work experimentally. The experiment, in that particular form, only lasted six months, but during the remainder of the twelve years which elapsed before I went to India I continued to do a great deal of drafting work for the Parliamentary Counsel's Office, and naturally had much to do with the Assistant Parliamentary Counsel. After my return from India in 1886 to take up the post which he had vacated, I was intimately associated with him in all his official work.

In personal appearance Sir Henry Jenkyns was a noticeably handsome man, above the ordinary stature, with a powerful frame, strong but clearly chiselled features, and large, dark, expressive, brown eyes.

His manners were reserved and sometimes brusque. He had a small circle of intimate friends by whom he was regarded with deep affection. To Ministers and ex-Ministers of the Crown, and in the precincts of Parliament, he was a familiar figure. Among the heads of the Civil Service there was no one who was more frequently consulted, whose opinion carried greater weight, whose character commanded more sincere and affectionate respect. But to the world at large he was little known. For this there were many reasons.

He was constitutionally shy. He lived the quietest of lives. Even his most intimate friends could not persuade him to dine out. He abhorred functions. He was the hardest and most indefatigable of workers, and found that he could not reconcile the claims of public duty with the charms of society. Social engagements were incompatible with his method of work, which was to take his papers in the evening to his house in the country, and think out, steadily and quietly, the conclusions which he dictated next morning in the form of memoranda, minutes, or Bills. And lastly, in spite of his robust physique, he had always, from his college days, felt the importance of being careful about his health. His favourite form of recreation was a holiday in the Alps.

For his reluctance to attend public dinners and similar gatherings there was another reason beside that referred to above. He always maintained that a civil servant, especially if engaged on confidential work, should keep in the background, and that the less he spoke in public and wrote for the press the better. It was probably for this reason that during his time of office he made no literary use of the vast mass of materials which he had collected in the course of his official labours. It may be that he was over strict in his self-imposed reticence. But if he erred it was on the side of virtue. The rules which he laid down for his own guidance in these

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