William Albert Jenkins

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William Albert Jenkins

William Albert Jenkins (9 September 1878 – 23 October 1968) was a Welsh coal exporter and ship owner and Liberal politician.

Family[edit]

Jenkins was born in Swansea the son of Daniel and Elizabeth Jenkins. In 1906 he married Beatrice Tyler of Pirbright in Surrey. His wife died in 1967.[1]

Career[edit]

At the age of 13 years, Jenkins went to work as an office boy in the Swansea docks where he acquired a thorough knowledge of the coal and shipping trades. He later set up his own business W A Jenkins & Co, wholesale coal and coke factors and shipbrokers.[2] His business expanded greatly during World War One.[1] He served for some years as President of the Swansea Chamber of Trade and was Fellow of the Institute of Chartered Shipbrokers.[2]

Politics[edit]

Parliament[edit]

Jenkins was first elected to Parliament at the 1922 general election as a National Liberal. He may not have sat in the 1918-1922 Parliament but his support for Lloyd George at this time and his industrial success between 1914-1918 perhaps qualified him as ‘one of the hard-faced men who look as if they had done well out of the war’ in Stanley Baldwin’s famous phrase.[3] Jenkins was elected to represent Breconshire and Radnorshire which he won in a straight fight with Labour. At the 1923 general election he was returned unopposed as a Liberal (without suffix or prefix) for the same seat but in 1924 he faced a three-cornered contest against Labour and Conservative opposition and he lost the seat to the Tories.[4] During his time in Parliament, Jenkins was a contributor to debates concerning industrial questions and Welsh issues.[1] He did not fight again a Parliamentary election again until 1936 when he stood as the candidate of the National Government with the support of the local Liberal and Conservative parties [5] under the description National Liberal at a by-election in Llanelly. He did not win the seat however which was held for Labour by Jim Griffiths the president of the South Wales Miners' Federation with a majority of 16,221 votes, virtually unchanged since the 1935 general election.[6]

Local politics and public service[edit]

Jenkins sat as a member of Swansea Borough Council from 1927 to 1954 and served as Mayor of Swansea between 1947 and 1949. In 1928 he was appointed a Justice of the Peace for the County of Glamorgan and was sometime Chairman of the Bench of Magistrates, Gower Petty sessional division.[2] He was a member of the Court of Governors and Council of University College, Swansea.[1]

Other civic or public offices[edit]

During his long life, Jenkins held a number of other public positions including:

  • President of the South West Wales Savings Bank
  • President of the Royal Welsh Agricultural Society (1949)
  • President of the Swansea and Central Wales Adult Deaf and Dumb Mission
  • President of the Deaf and Dumb Regional Association for Wales [2]

Honours[edit]

Jenkins was knighted for political and public services and his award of a Knight Bachelor was announced in the New Year Honours List of 1938 [7] He was also awarded the Borough of Swansea Order of St John Council. Jenkins also qualified for a number of foreign decorations. In 1933 he became a Knight, First Class, of the Order of the Dannebrog (Denmark); a holder of the Gold Cross Royal Order of George I of Greece, (1938) [8] and was Chevalier de la Légion d’Honneur (France) in 1949.[2]

Death[edit]

Jenkins died at the age of 90 years on 23 October 1968.[9]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d The Times, 26 October 1968 p12
  2. ^ a b c d e Who was Who, OUP 2007
  3. ^ Robert Rhodes James, The British Revolution: British Politics, 1880-1939; Taylor & Francis, 1978 pp412-413
  4. ^ F W S Craig, British Parliamentary Election Results 1918-1949; Political Reference Publications, Glasgow, 1949 pp 548 & 542
  5. ^ The Times, 17 March 1936 p8
  6. ^ The Times, 28 March 1936 p12
  7. ^ The Times, 1 January 1938 p6
  8. ^ The Times, 4 January 1939 p13
  9. ^ Leigh Rayment's Historical List of MPs – Constituencies beginning with "B" (part 5)[self-published source][better source needed]

External links[edit]

Parliament of the United Kingdom
Preceded by
Sidney Robinson
Member of Parliament for Brecon & Radnor
19221924
Succeeded by
Walter D'Arcy Hall