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Philip Jenkins

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Philip Jenkins (1854-1891), Professor of Naval Architecture at Glasgow University.

1891 Died 13th June at Llawrenny, Kelvinside. [1]

1891 Obituary [2]

THE sudden death on the 13th inst., after a brief illness, of Professor Jenkins, of the Naval Architecture chair in Glasgow University, has cut short a career which promised to be singularly brilliant. The immediate cause of his death was an attack of peritonitis, caused by a slight chill. Hopes of his recovery were entertained till the morning of the day on which he died, when the symptoms changed for the worse. Though only thirty-seven years of age, he has accomplished that which will give his name a place among the great workers in applied science. His labours in connection with Lloyd's Registry, the Bulkhead Commission, and the Shipping Registry of Glasgow are universally regarded as of the greatest value, and it may also be said of many of his contributions to current literature. As professor of naval architecture he was highly successful, the clearness and beauty of his diction rendering his knowledge of the science readily available by those he instructed, while his kindness and amiability endeared him to all with whom he came in contact.

Philip Jenkins was born at Dale, Pembrokeshire, in 1854, and after receiving a sound preliminary education he was apprenticed to the shipwright department at Pembroke Dockyard. In 1873 he entered the Royal School of Naval Architecture at Greenwich, where he acquired a thorough knowledge of modern naval architecture. Soon after the completion of his Greenwich studies he attracted the attention of the Committee of Lloyd's Registry, and accepted their invitation to join the scientific corps of the society, in which position be did good service to the Registry and to science up to the date of his acceptance of the Glasgow chair, rendered vacant by the appointment of Professor Elgar to the Directorship of her Majesty's Dockyards.

1891 Obituary [3]

By the death of Professor Philip Jenkins, at the early age of thirty-seven years, a promising career has been cut short and the science of naval architecture has been deprived of one of its most capable exponents. We might almost say indeed that thus far he had been gathering knowledge and becoming cognisant of all the problems associated with the science, and now when he had reached the stage when his ripe experience could be turned to advantage to his profession, death claims him.

Born in 1854 at Dale, in Pembrokeshire, it was almost natural that he should gravitate towards the dockyard at Pembroke, and there he served his time as a shipwright.

Entering in 1873 the Royal Naval College at Greenwich, he, like many of our promising marine constructors, acquired from the present Director of Naval Construction, that thorough knowledge of the theory of modern naval architecture, for which he in recent years became so distinguished. During his three years' course he took high honours.

From the college he went to the Portsmouth Dockyard, where he held a position of responsibility, but only for a short time, as his desire for experience induced him to become an assistant to Froude at the experimental tank at Torquay. From thence he passed to Whitehall, entering the office of the Director of Naval Construction, where he got an insight into the methods adopted in the designing of warships.

For close upon twenty years he had been a student, as in his various situations he contrived to glean the maximum of knowledge, and in 1880 the committee of Lloyd's Registry invited him to join their staff as assistant to Mr. Martell. The preferment was as judicious on the part of the committee as it was deserved by Mr. Jenkins. Lloyd's Registry was then being severely criticised by the younger naval architects, who wished it to move with the rapid progress in marine construction, and the committee recognising that the criticism was not to be despised sought to strengthen their professional staff by such a one as Mr. Jenkins, who was well fitted, not so much to defend the registry, as to reform the rules to suit improve...[more]

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