David James Jenkins (1824 - 26 February 1891)was a Welsh shipowner and Liberal Party politician who sat in the House of Commons from 1874 to 1886.
The Liberal Party was one of the two major parties in the United Kingdom with the opposing Conservative Party in the 19th and early 20th centuries. The party arose from an alliance of Whigs and free trade-supporting Peelites and the reformist Radicals in the 1850s. By the end of the 19th century, it had formed four governments under William Gladstone. Despite being divided over the issue of Irish Home Rule, the party returned to government in 1905 and then won a landslide victory in the following year's general election.
The House of Commons, officially the Honourable the Commons of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland in Parliament assembled, is the lower house of the Parliament of the United Kingdom. Like the upper house, the House of Lords, it meets in the Palace of Westminster. Owing to shortage of space, its office accommodation extends into Portcullis House.
Jenkins was the son of John Jenkins of Haverfordwest and his wife Mary Evans daughter of John Evans. He was educated at Teignmouth Grammar School. He served for several years in the merchant navy and in 1854 and 1855 commanded a troop ship in the Baltic.In 1860, he founded the firm of Jenkins & Co in London which began owning ships in 1861 and sailed mainly to India and the Far East.
He contested Harwich at the 1868 general election, without success.At the 1874 general election Jenkins was elected as a Member of Parliament (MP) for Penryn and Falmouth. He held the seat until the 1886 general election, when he was defeated by the Conservative Party candidate William Cavendish-Bentinck.
Harwich was a parliamentary constituency represented in the House of Commons of the Parliament of the United Kingdom. Until its abolition for the 2010 general election it elected one Member of Parliament (MP) by the first past the post system of election.
The 1868 United Kingdom general election was the first after passage of the Reform Act 1867, which enfranchised many male householders, thus greatly increasing the number of men who could vote in elections in the United Kingdom. It was the first election held in the United Kingdom in which more than a million votes were cast; nearly triple the number of votes were cast compared to the previous election of 1865.
The 1874 United Kingdom general election saw the incumbent Liberals, led by William Ewart Gladstone, lose decisively, even though it won a majority of the votes cast. Benjamin Disraeli's Conservatives won the majority of seats in the House of Commons, largely because they won a number of uncontested seats. It was the first Conservative victory in a general election since 1841. Gladstone's decision to call an election surprised his colleagues, for they were aware of large sectors of discontent in their coalition. For example, the nonconformists were upset with education policies; many working-class people disliked the new trade union laws and the restrictions on drinking. The Conservatives were making gains in the middle-class, Gladstone wanted to abolish the income tax, but failed to carry his own cabinet. The result was a disaster for the Liberals, who went from 387 MPs to only 242. Conservatives jumped from 271 to 350. For the first time the Irish Nationalists gained seats, returning 60. Gladstone himself noted: "We have been swept away in a torrent of gin and beer".
Jenkins died at the age of 66.
Jenkins married firstly Bessie Howe, daughter of Rev. John Howe of Cork, in 1851 and secondly Alice Nash of Malvern Wells in 1877.
His nephew Edward Jenkins was a barrister, novelist and MP for Dundee.
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|Parliament of the United Kingdom|
Sir Robert Nicholas Fowler
| Member of Parliament for Penryn and Falmouth |
1874 – 1886
With: Henry Thomas Cole 1874–80
Reginald Brett 1880–85
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