James Jenkin was born 1780 in Dublin. In 1799 he served as a Lieutenant with the Royal Meath Militia, before purchasing an Ensigncy for £400 to the 84th Regiment of Foot, which consisted of one Battalion serving in India.
He did not serve in India, remaining with the Depot and by the end of 1800 he was made Adjutant; a post he held for two years, when he was promoted Lieutenant without purchase in May 1802.
From December 1807 he was with a recruiting party in the Leeds area, recruiting for the soon to be formed 2nd Battalion; when he was promoted Captain, and would continue recruiting Leeds area with two sergeants, one corporal, one drummer and 6 privates.
In July 1809 he was back with the 2nd Battalion who were to be part of the Walcheren Campaign in Grosvenor’s Divison, Ackland’s Brigade. Captain Jenkin was commander of the 4th Company. Landing at Walcheren, they took a position in the corn fields between East and West Souburg. The Battalion like all the allied force suffered greatly from the fever incurred on the island.
On returning they were sent to garrison duty in Ireland, assisting the Excise in destroying illicit stills. 23rd July 1813 he married at Holy Trinity Church, Cork Embarking for service in Spain 29th July 1813.
Landing at Passage, they were with Lord Aylmer’s Brigade and sent to overlook the Siege of San Sebastian, when after the storming and ransacking, the Battalion was ordered into the town to help in restoring discipline.
Their first action would take place 7th October 1813, when they waded waist deep across the Bidassoa, being one of the first Regiments to enter France in pursuit of Soult’s retreating army. They would then transfer to Hope’s Division, Robinson’s Brigade.
10th November at Nivelle, they took San Cullottes followed by the redoubt at Urrunge.
The next action would be a series of battles of three days commencing 10th December 1813. Lieutenant-Colonel Lloyd commanding 2/84th was fatally wounded. He would be replaced by Major Tonson, who would subsequently command the Brigade, following injury to Robinson. This would leave Jenkin as the senior Captain to command the Battalion, during which period he was slightly wounded, being mentioned in Wellington’s Despatches.
All three officers would be awarded the Field Officer’s Small Gold Medal for Nive, Lloyd’s & Tonson’s are held in the Regimental Museum. Jenkin’s has never been on the market; he however was the only recipient of the Military General Service Medal 1793-1814 with clasp Nivelle.
26th December 1813 he was promoted Brevet-Major. The Battalion would leave France in August 1814, returning to Ireland, where in 1817 he would be Superintending Officer for Recruiting.
The 2/84th was disbanded December 1817, when he took up the role of Pay Master for the Depot, a post he held to being placed on the Half-Pay List 1st June 1826.
March 1830 he was appointed Brevet Lieutenant-Colonel still on half-pay until being posted to 47th Foot in June 1831, he held this post for one month before selling his commission and retiring.
He died at his home 8 Dowry Square, Clifton, Bristol 24th January 1854, and was interred 31st January 1854 at St Andrew’s Church, Clifton
Provenance: Tombs Collection 1918; Glendining, February 1927 and January 1931 – DNW Lot 1237 11th December 2013