Name: Samuel JENNINGS
NOTE: First governor of the Province of West New Jersey
Birth: in Buckingham, England
Death: AFT 1708 in Burlington, New Jersey
NOTE: Thomas Stevenson of London, England, and his descendants. Stevenson, John Rudderow. Flemington, N.J.: H.E. Deats, 1981.
"Samuel Jenings was the Governor of West Jersey. As his family is intimately connected with the Stevensons, a short sketch of him will be appropriate.
He came from that part of the town of Coleshill, England, that lies in Buckinghamshire; the other part of the town is in Hertfordshire, the adjoining county. Although considerable search has been made, nothing is known of his parentage [apparently his mother does not count.....]. His surname, variously spelled, was quite common in all parts of England in the 17th century. In the adjoining county, Hertfordshire, one of his name, Sir John Jennings, of St. Albans, was knighted in 1626, and became a Member of Parliament. If there was any relationship between the families it does not appear. It is more likely that Samuel Jenings was nearly connected with George Fox, the founder of the sect of Quakers, and was instructed in the faith by him, as in Governor Jenings' will he bequeaths a legacy to 'his cozen' (niece), Susannah Fox. His mother was one of the early 'Friends,' Sarah Jenings' death being entered on their records under date 7 day, 11: o., 1674, at Aylesbury, Bucks, England.
Samuel Jenings was a minster in the new sect and his name appears, amongst others, signed to an epistle issued by the London Monthly Meeting in 1677.
In the year 1680 the new colony of West Jersey owned by the creditors of Edward Byllinge needed a Governor, and Samuel Jenings was selected by them as its ruler. Byllinge was the nominal Governor, residing in England. The former reached his post in the fall of that year. This was a difficult and trying position in asmuch as the colonists themselves had no direct voice in his appointment. His conduct of affairs was, however, so satisfactory that after a year's service he was formally accepted by the Assembly on November 25, 1681. He continued to act in this capacity for three years, when the Assembly took upon itself the authority to elect a Governon, and in the spring of 1683 elected Samuel Jenings to that office for one year, his salary to be 600 acres of land to be located above the Falls of the Delaware. During this period he was engaged in commerce, as the deeds state that he was by occupation a merchant....
Samuel Jenings is described by his contemporaries as a man of warm and affectionate disposition, but of a hasty temper, which he kept under prudent control. he was naturally an orator, ready to speak his opinoins in the legislative hall, the 'Meeting' or the private house. He was a brave defender and courageous propagator of his religion, and at the same time a bold and fearless champion of the rights and liberties of the people. During the twenty-eight years of his life in America he united in his person the minster of the gospel, legislator, magistrate and chief executive of the State, and in all these positions he did his duty faithfully and with great ability, always enjoying the confidence of the people.
Father: male JENINGS
- -+- William JENNINGS b: 08 NOV 1675 in Aylesbury, Bucks, England
- Sarah JENNINGS b: 10 APR 1679 in Aylesbury, Bucks, England
- -+- Joyce JENNINGS b: 01 DEC 1681 in Pennsylvania
- Ann JENNINGS b: 25 AUG 1683 in Pennsylvania
- Elizabeth JENNINGS b: 12 OCT 1686 in Pennsylvania
- Mercy JENNINGS b: 27 AUG 1687 in Pennsylvania