Richard Jenkin

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Richard Garfield Jenkin (9 October 1925 – 29 October 2002), was a Cornish politician who was involved with Cornish nationalism projects as one of the founder members of the Cornish political party Mebyon Kernow.[1] He was also a Grand Bard of the Gorseth Kernow.[2]


Jenkin was born on 9 October 1925 in Ilkeston, Derbyshire, where his Cornish father was in training as a clergyman. He was proud of his Cornish identity.

The Gorseth[edit]

In 1947 Jenkin was made a Bard of the Gorseth Kernow through Cornish language qualification, while serving in the British Army. He chose the Bardic name “Son of Exile” (Map Dyvroeth). He was a Grand Bard of the Gorseth Kernow twice, between 1976 and 1982 and between 1985 and 1988.[3][4]

Mebyon Kernow[edit]

In 1951, he was one of the founder members of the Cornish political party Mebyon Kernow. Richard and his wife Ann Jenkin produced a magazine in 1952 called New Cornwall, which publicised Mebyon Kernow news and policies. He was chairman of Mebyon Kernow in 1973 and became its life president in 1998.

Election candidacies[edit]

Jenkin fought two Westminster parliamentary elections (Falmouth and Camborne in 1970 and St Ives 1983).

In 1979 he stood for the European parliamentary constituency on a platform of a “Cornwall Only” seat rather than one shared with part of Devon and polled 10,205 votes, 5.9% of the total vote.[5]

He was a member of Crowan Parish Council from 1964 until 1995.

Other activities[edit]

He was a teacher and fluent writer of the Cornish language. He was secretary of the International Celtic Congress and later its president. He gave strong support to the Cornish Constitutional Convention.

He was president of the Federation of Old Cornwall Societies from 1991 to 1992.

He was a teacher at Helston Grammar School.

He married Ann Trevenen, from Redruth in 1954. They had four children, Morwenna, Loveday, Gawen and Conan,[6] two of whom have stood as Mebyon Kernow candidates for Parliament. Ann Trevenen Jenkin became the first female Grand Bard from 1997 until 2000.

He died in Truro on 29 October 2002, aged 77.


  • Early life of R. M. Nance ed. Richard & Ann Jenkin (1961).
  • Cornwall the Hidden Land (with Ann Trevenen Jenkin, introduction by Philip Payton), Bracknell : West Country Publications, 1965.
  • Book of Sermons in Cornish produced by R.G. Jenkin (1983)
  • 40 Years of Mebyon Kernow, by Richard Jenkin and others. Publisher: Mebyon Kernow (1991)
  • Cornwall the Hidden Land (with Ann Trevenen Jenkin,new introduction by Philip Payton), 2nd edition, including new material, Leedstown: Noonvares Press, (2005) ISBN 0-9524601-5-7
  • Delyow Derow (Oak Leaves) - Cornish Language Literary Magazine, vols 1-15 (1988-1996)
  • New Cornwall - Political magazine. Founded by Richard Gendall in 1952. Edited by Richard and Ann Jenkin from 1956 to 1973.