Ekins, Jeffery (DNB00)

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EKINS, JEFFERY, D.D. (d. 1791), dean of Carlisle, was a native of Barton-Seagrave, Northamptonshire, of which parish his father, the Rev. Jeffery Ekins, M.A., was rector. He received his education at Eton, whence in 1749 he was elected to King's College, Cambridge, where he obtained a fellowship (Welch, Aiumni Eton. p. 338). He graduated B.A. in 1755 and M.A. in 1758 (Cantabrigienses Graduati, 1787, p. 129). On leaving the university he became one of the assistant-masters of Eton school, where he was tutor to Frederick Howard, earl of Carlisle (Jesse, G, Selwyn and his Contemporaries, iii. 220). Subsequently he was chaplain to the Earl of Carlisle when lord-lieutenant of Ireland. He was inducted to the rectory of Quainton, Buckinghamshire, 30 March 1761, on the presentation of his father (Lipscombe, Bucks, 1. 422). In 1775, resigning Quainton, he was instituted to the rectory of Morpeth, Northumberland, on the presentation of the Earl of Carlisle; in February 1777 he was instituted to the rectory of Sedgefield, Durham; in 1781 he was created D.D. at Cambridge; and in 1782 he was installed dean of Carlisle, on the advancement of Dr. Thomas Percy to the see of Dromore (Le Neve, Fasti, ed. Hardy, iii. 248). He died at Parson's Green on 20 Nov. 1791, and was buried in Fulham Church.

He married in 1766 Anne, daughter of Philip Baker, esq. of Colston, Wiltshire, and sister of the wife of his brother, John Ekins, dean of Salisbury. His son. Admiral Sir Charles Ekins, is separately noticed.

His works are: 1. 'Florio; or the Pursuit of Happiness,' a drama, manuscript. 2. A manuscript poem upon 'Dreams,' which had great merit. 3. 'The Loves of Medea and Jason; a poem in three books translated from the Greek of Apollonius Rhodius's Argonautics,' London, 1771, 4to, 2nd edit. 1772, 8vo. 4. 'Poems,' London, 1810, 8vo, pp. 134, including the preceding work and a number of 'Miscellaneous Pieces.' Only sixty copies were printed of this collection (Martin, Privately Printed Books, 2nd edit. p. 190).

In early life he was the most intimate companion of Richard Cumberland, who says of him: 'My friend Jeffery was in my family, as I was in his, an inmate ever welcome; his genius was quick and brilliant, his temper sweet, and his nature mild and gentle in the extreme: I lived with him as a brother; we never had the slightest jar; nor can I recollect a moment in our lives that ever gave occasion of offence to either' (Memoirs, i. 124).

[Faulkner's Fulham, pp. 74, 75, 302; Hodgson s Northumberland, vol. ii. pt. ii. pp. 394, 527; Gent. Mag. vol. lxi. pt. ii. pp. 1070, 1239, 1240, vol. lxxxiii. pt. i. p. 557, 'Nichols's lllustr. of Lit. viii. 191, 267; Lempriere's Univ. Biog.; Cat. of Printed Books in Brit. Mus.; Lysons's Environs, ii. 369, 393; Addit. MS. 5868, f. 19 b.]

T. C.