Edward Jenks

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Edward Jenks, c. 1930

Edward Jenks (1861–1939) was a jurist and noted writer on law and its place in history.

He was a brilliant law student at King's College, Cambridge and was placed first in the law tripos of 1886. He was called to the bar in 1887.

He held many seats: Director of Studies in Law and History at Jesus College, Cambridge 1888-9, Dean at the faculty of law University of Melbourne 1890, University College, Liverpool 1890-92 then later to 1895 at Victoria University of Manchester, reader of English at University of Oxford from 1896, and then at the University of London from 1928-1930 as a professor of English law in the London School of Economics and Political Science, being succeeded by Sir David Hughes Parry.

Jenks was a Fellow of the British Academy. He was a founder of the Society of Public Teachers of Law and its secretary 1909-1917.

He married first in 1890 to Annie Ingham, who died after giving birth to a son; the son would die fighting in the Great War. His second marriage in 1898 was to Dorothy Maud, a daughter of Sir William Bower Forwood, with whom he had a daughter, and a son Jorian Jenks.

Jenks wrote a number of books and essays dealing with law, politics and history. He was an editor of A Digest of English Civil Law (1905–1917) which led to receipt of an honorary doctorate from Paris.

Edward Jenks is most famous for his iconoclastic essay The Myth of Magna Carta published in the Independent Review in 1904.

Partial Bibliography[edit]

  • The Government of Victoria (Australia) (1891)
  • The History of the Doctrine of Consideration in English Law (1892) (Yorke Prize essay 1891)
  • A History of Politics 4th edition (1910)
  • A Short History Of The English Law, 1st edition (1912)
  • Law and Politics in the Middle Ages 2nd edition (1913)
  • An Outline of English Local Government 5th edition (1921)
  • Edward Plantagenet (Edward I) : The English Justinian or the making of the common law (1923)
  • A Short History of English Law 5th edition (1934)
  • The State and the Nation revised edition (1935)
  • The Book of English Law 4th edition (1936)
  • The Government of the British Empire 5th edition (1937)


Entry in Oxford Dictionary of National Biography

External links[edit]