Brick walls aren’t there to keep you out.
They’re there to see how badly you want it.
Lyra McKee quoted in The Guardian 28 April 2019.
When I first read that Dr. Richard Jackson, the brother of Rev. William Jackson (1737-1795), had served as vicar-general to the late Archbishop of Cashel, I had assumed that the term vicar-general meant that I should be looking for a man of the cloth. After spending close to half a day at the Representative Church Body Library, south of Dublin City, looking for an ordained minister named Richard Jackson in the right time frame, I concluded that there wasn’t one – but what to make of that?
As I bused back to my lodgings on the #14 bus, I felt like the character of Carrie Mathison in the TV series Homeland. Over and over again, she keeps asking herself: What am I missing?
Months later, the penny dropped. Richard Jackson was probably a Dr. of Law rather than a Rev. Dr.. Since he was the first-born son, and given that his father had a legal background, this
made sense. Although Vicars-General
retain important administrative and judicial functions within the church – they
need not be ordained. When Dr. Richard was recorded in the Dublin Registers, the acronym J.U.D. was tacked on after his name.
This indicated that he held a doctorate in both church and civil law. From 1761 until his death in 1769 he continued
to be listed as one of the officers in the Consistory Court:
Metropolitan Court of Cashel,
Vicar-General Richard Jackson, J.U.D., Dublin.
|Just imagine me at home - much older and less stylish than Claire Danes - staring at the pool table in my study, covered in layer after layer of various maps and documents.|
Fortunately, there is a record of his time spent as a student at Trinity which gives us a few more leads. The acronym beside his name of S.C. or Socius Comitatus means that he was one of the students who paid double fees and enjoyed certain privileges, including being allowed to complete the course in three years instead of four. Then as now, money talks. These students were seen as the elite of the college and most of them would have seen themselves that way as well.
|JACKSON, Richard, S.C. (Dr. Sheridan),
June 1, 1737, age 17; s. of Richard, Dux; b. Ballycastle. B.A. AEst. 1740. NOTE:: AEst means that Richard graduated in the summer. |
SOURCE: Alumni Dublinenses 1924 ed.,
Three new facts arise from this entry:
- Not included in other histories, we now know that the name of Richard’s father was Richard Jackson. NOTE: The description of Dux in the Trinity record is from the Latin word for leader and is a perfect fit with Richard senior’s known profession as Proctor.
- Since Richard jr. was born abt 1720 and we know that he was the eldest, it is likely that his parents married not long before this. A marriage record would be fun but perhaps impossible to find. Also, since he was about 17 years older than Rev. William, his parents likely had more children in between. If there were other children, who were they? So far, we only know of two more sons, both unnamed as yet. There also could have been daughters since females were pretty much under-reported in the records of the day.
- This recorded birthplace of Ballycastle is a good fit with contemporary reports which allege that the family came from Newtownards. For geeks like me, it also helps to know that this townland is in the Parish of Grey Abbey, and in the Barony of Ards Lower in Co. Down.
Unfortunately, after a day of searching the townland index, I could find no Jacksons connected to Ballycastle. None. Not about to give up, because other work that I had done had turned up scads of them in Newtownards, I then turned to Bethams Abstracts.
Sir William Betham (1779-1853) would have known of Rev. William Jackson, even though he was only 16 years old at the time of Jackson's trial. About a decade after Jackson's death, Betham was appointed deputy Ulster King of Arms and later was promoted to head. While serving in these roles, he doggedly created indexes and abstracts of many thousands of the manuscripts held in the Record Tower of Dublin Castle. His focus was on the landed gentry, although thankfully he also hoovered up other records along the way. This was a vital service to future historians since so much Irish history had subsequently been lost in the fire of 1922. Included in one of his notes, was an abstract of Richard Jackson’ jr.'s will:
|Richard JACKSON Dublin Doctor of Laws 17 Nov 1768 proved 24 Apr 1769. Aunt Katherine SALE wife of Dr. Edward SALE.|
In my previous post: Rev. William JACKSON - Dead Ends, I mentioned an aunt on Rev. William's mother’s side who was married to Dr. Sall who was described as many years register to the archiepiscopal court of Dublin. The paydirt was a reference in the Deeds Registry Names Index under Katherin SALE - executor for Dr. Richard Jackson. May 10, 1769. The ink was barely dry on the probate when this was registered.
Whereby Katherin SALE widow & sole executor of the last will and testament of Richard JACKSON of City of Dublin Esq. deceased in consid of sum of £100 transferred to Richard COOPER of City of Dublin Esq. all his the said Richard JACKSONs right Title and Interest and of her the said Katherine SALE as his Executrix on House situate in Great Cuffe Street Dublin containing in front 19'3" and from front to rere 63' to hold to Richard COOPER for term of 241 years unexpired in the original lease made of said premises to the said Richard JACKSON by Henry HAWKSHAW of Newport Co. Dublin Chirurgeon … WITNESSES: Richard HALL and Bartholemew NOWLAN of Great Britain St. Gents SOURCE: ROD: 265-383-176738. Image 205
What have we learned? Both in this abstract and in the Betham's record, there is no mention that Richard Jackson had a living wife or children. Since Betham's abstracts usually included the names of beneficiaries I suspect that he was unwed, as they say: sans issue.
The new questions raised by this abstract are:
The new questions raised by this abstract are:
- Is the address of Great Cuffe Street significant in terms of other family connections in the area?
- Is the length of the lease (241 years) significant? NOTE: The memorial just above this memorial and on the same page - #176738 - indicates that Richard first signed this lease for Great Cuffe Street in 1760, just before he started with the Consistory Court. There are slight discrepancies between the two documents with respect to the term of the lease and the measurement of the depth of the property, but both are for the same place: to hold from 25 March 1760 for term of 250 years for rent of £26 yearly payable half yearly the said Richard JACKSON to hold the same for seven years and afterwards to be at Liberty in any year after to surrender the said House giving the said Henry HAWKSHAW 6 months notice.
- Are other nearby leases held by potential relations? NOTE: Rev. William Jackson’s pregnant wife was staying at Stephens Green during the year before his death. I have yet to find exactly where.
- Who was Katherine SALE?
It may be that there is no connection between Thomas, James or Dr. Richard Jackson, but two things leap out at me: firstly, the proximity of these three holdings and secondly the mention of 3 full undivided fourth parts of said dwelling house in Cuff Street. Is it possible that Thomas Jackson the Glass seller could be a brother of Rev William and Richard Jackson? That will take more work to suss out, although it is worth bearing in mind.
As for the outstanding question of who was Katherine Sale?, that is where I will kick off the next post. Records of her land transactions have provided the clue which was key to determining the forename of the mother of both Richard and Rev. William Jackson. And along the way, there was one surprising twist. Stay tuned.