Jinkings, Reverend Edmund. [Album of poems, drawings, and autographs]
[Kent, England]: [1829-1849].
23.5cm, c.92ff. (of which c.30ff blank). Original black pebbled morocco binding (corners worn, upper joint cracking), flat spine with alternating embossed rectangles & squares (worn at head & tail with two cracks across leather), gilt titling, boards alike with embossed geometric design of bells & crosses.
This unusual volume appears to have been compiled by friends, family, and colleagues of Jinkings (1789-1856), a dissenting minister based in Maidstone, Kent for most of his career. Jinkings was educated at “Hoxton” (probably Hoxton Independent Academy, a training institute for Dissenters in Hackney, London). He was active in missionary societies for many years, serving as secretary to several of them.
A manuscript label pasted on front endpaper shows that this album was presented to him on March 17, 1834 “with the respect and affectionate regards of the Contributors,” though it is unclear what the occasion was.
Contributors included several members of the Allnutt family, a Colin Jinkings, a Miss VIney, and others unidentified or identified only by initials. Among the ten or so handwritten poems copied or pasted in are part of “The Cataract of Lodore” by Robert Southey and two poems by Felecia Hemans. One fine pencil drawing shows Virginia Water; others illustrate houses, pastoral scenes, or animals. There are several watercolours, some inside decorative paper mats. Jinkings appears to have added several items at later dates including a sample of five well-preserved pressed mosses, initialled and dated October 1848.
The most notable item is a poem (“My album is the savage breast...”) by the noted missionary Robert Moffat (1795-1883), evidently written out and signed by him for Jinkings. Moffatt spent many decades in Southern Africa, where he translated the Bible into a local language; his daughter Mary married David Livingstone.The autographs, numbered 1-576 (numbers 545-558 lacking) all seem to have been cut from letters, as bits of the closing words are visible on many. The uniform slips of paper, 1 x 3 inches, were numbered and coded by Jinkings (evidently shortly before his death) with red lines ruled down the page to indicate “ministers of the gospel,” (nearly half the total), black lines for “relations,” and no line on pages of “friends and acquaintances.” Some of the slips also have red numbers; Jinkings states what these mean, but illegibly. Jinkings also indexed the autographs alphabetically on three closely-written pages at the end of the volume. There are also offsets of various heads, silhouettes?, which may have been stored in the volume but no longer present.