Saturday, July 24, 2021

Richard Jackson father of Rev. William JACKSON (1737-1795)

This post is shared in the hopes of learning more as well as in the hope of helping others with their research.

 In the late 1600s, Richard was a common forename for male Jacksons who lived in the border regions of England and Scotland as well as in Ireland. The name is seen frequently in several Irish pedigrees of those in the landowner and merchant class in Londonderry and Coleraine.

The Richard Jackson that I seek, likely born about 1680 (give or take ten years) remains elusive. He is still on my radar because I remain curious about the early life of one of his sons - the famous (or infamous) United Irishman Rev. William Jackson (1737-1795). The Rev was convicted of treason. When he was in the docks, on April 30th, 1795, awaiting sentence, he took poison and died. It was a conscious strategy. Should he be sentenced to death, all that he owned could be seized by the State and his wife would be left with nothing. 


Rev. William had been born to a well-off family with many connections to the powerful, thanks to the deeply rooted Irish ancestors of both of his parents. His mother’s ancestors were members of the extended Gore family. Little is known about the family of his father, the elusive Richard Jackson, and even less is known of William’s two middle brothers, although we do know that his eldest brother, Richard, was a lawyer. If we knew more about the family, it might explain why Rev. William’s wife ended up in Paris after her husband’s death begging for financial help from the French government to help her with the needs of her two children.

Some of William’s relations were mentioned in the Nov 3, 1794 edition of the Northern Star. SEE : Rev. William JACKSON – dead Ends #1.

 According to this article, Rev. William was:

1.      accidentally an alien to this country … Irish blood only flows through his veins. Does this mean that he was born outside of Ireland, or only that he lived elsewhere as an adult? And what is the meaning of accidentally?

2.      immediately descended from a family of the first respectability in Ireland.  His mother’s ancestors, the GORES were wealthy in both money and land, but also held church, legal, and political positions. The SALEs also held prestigious positions in the courts. On his father’s side, although there were numerous JACKSONs serving in politics and the courts at the time, they may or may not have been related.

3.      His father officiated in the Prerogative Court of Dublin. I have not yet found this Richard Jackson mentioned in any records where I would have expected to find him.

4.      Older brother Richard Jackson vicar-general to the late Archbishop of Cashel.: Based on Trinity school records, he was born abt 1720. His will and the subsequent probate indicated that he died btw 1768-69.

5.      Mother Miss Gore, whose paternal estate was situated near Sligo. His mother, Anne Gore (probably born late 1690s died aft 1740), was the daughter of Col. Francis Gore (d. abt 1701) and Elizabeth Tiffin (d. abt 1735). Col Francis Gore was the son of Sir Francis Gore of Ardtarmon and Elizabeth Parke. After the death of Col. Francis Gore, Anne’s mother married  Judge John Sale (d. abt 1730).


6.      The aunt of Mr. Jackson (by the mother's side) was married to Dr. Sall, many years register to the archiepiscopal court of Dublin. This is a step-relationship. Rev. William’s aunt Katherine was the wife of Dr. Edward SALE (died 1743), son of Judge John SALE and his first (unnamed) wife.


Five of these six points are corroborated by research mentioned in other posts.






·         JACKSONS mentioned in St. Michan’s Church in Dublin Registry.

·         JACKSONs mentioned in various editions of the Gentleman and Citizen’s Almanac

 The 3rd point raised in this 1795 article – His father officiated in the Prerogative Court of Dublin. -  is the only one that I cannot corroborate. A generation later, an 1846 account repeats many of the same facts and adds a bit:

The family of this man was very respectable in this country. His father was many years a proctor, and officiated in the prerogative court in Dublin, and maintained a most excellent character. His mother was the daughter of Colonel Gore, of the county Sligo. He was the youngest of four sons, the eldest of whom was Dr. Richard Jackson, an eminent civilian, vicar-general to the late archbishop of Cashel, and an intimate friend of those respectable characters, the late Dr. Ratcliffe, and the Right Hon. Philip Tisdall. At an early age he was sent to the University of Oxford, where he made a rapid proficiency in all branches of scientific and classical knowledge

SOURCE: The Lives And Trials  Of  Archibald Hamilton Rowan,  The Rev. William Jackson,  The Defenders,  William Orr, Peter Finnerty,  And Other  Eminent Irishmen.  by Thomas McNevin, 1846, Dublin.

 The few new bits in this version:

1.      His father was many years a proctor, and officiated in the prerogative court in Dublin

2.      His mother was the daughter of Colonel Gore, of the county Sligo. If he inherited any land there, I have yet to find a record of it..

3.     youngest of four sons The two middle sons are still unnamed, and they may or may not have been married. There may have been sisters. Women often go unmentioned.

4.      First born brother: Dr. Richard Jackson, an eminent civilian, vicar-general to the late archbishop of Cashel, and an intimate friend of those respectable characters, the late Dr. Ratcliffe, and the Right Hon. Philip Tisdall. According to Trinity records[1], Richard jr. was born abt 1720 at Ballycastle[2]. A Dr. Richard Jackson is recorded in the Dublin Registers between 1761 and 1769 as one of the officers in the Consistory Court: Metropolitan Court of Cashel[3], Vicar-General Richard Jackson, J.U.D., Dublin. J.U.D[4]. To get this position, you needed connections and his may have been thanks to the SALEs rather than the JACKSONs. Based on his will[5], Richard jr. died abt 1768.

5.      At an early age he [Rev. William] was sent to the University of Oxford, where he made a rapid proficiency in all branches of scientific and classical knowledge I have searched the prerogative wills at Canterbury in the British National archives.  Also Oxford Alumni Oronienses but he was not recorded there – nor was his brother Richard JACKSON. Was it possible that his record was expunged because of his notoriety or did I just miss him?

I had high hopes that The Gentleman and Citizens’s Almanac would help me to prove or disprove that Rev. William’s father was a proctor in Dublin’s Prerogative Court. SEE my notes:  JACKSONs mentioned in various editions of the Gentleman and Citizen’s Almanac


Each annual edition of the Gentleman and Citizen’s Almanac, begun in 1732, included: tide tables, what to pay a Company of Foot, the weight of bread, Coach routes and times, and a table of interest at 7%., and so on. It puzzles me that The Marriages and Issues of the Sovereign Princes of Europe were also considered to be essential knowledge for gentlemen, but no matter. For me, the most useful information was in the sections headed:

·         The Names of the Lord Lord Lieutenant, His MAJESTY’s and Hon Privy Council, the Archbishops and Bishops, and all the Chief Officers, Civil and Military in Ireland. Specially the lists of the Court of Chancery, Court of Kings Bench, Court of Common Pleas and the Court of Exchequer.

Since Rev. William’s mother was described in a 1740 deed as a widow[6], we can infer that his father was already deceased by 1740, and so there is no point in looking past that date. In the 1732-1740 issues of the almanac, there was not a single mention of a Richard Jackson. As a consolation, there were two SALE mentions worth noting:

·         1732. John SALE Esq was mentioned as Commissioner of Oyer and Terminer for the Country of Dublin. He was probably the John SALE who married Elizabeth TIFFIN, the grandmother of Rev. William

·         1736 Constitort COURT: Register Edward SALE Esq. J.U. D. Bride Street. p66. Edward SALE (1709-1743) was a son of John SALE and his 1st wife (name unknown). Edward was the husband of aunt Katherine mentioned in the early news reports.

It seems unlikely that The Gentleman and Citizens’s Almanac had somehow missed mentioning Richard sr. as a Dublin factor in the Dublin Prerogative Court. So then did the biographies and news reports of the day get it wrong? Or did the authors of contemporaneous reports confuse Richard Jackson sr with Richard jr, or onfuse the profession of Richard sr. with the SALE relations who did have court appointments. A final possibility is that Richard sr. was a proctor of some other Court, just not of a Dublin Court.[7]

 Given that Rev. William’s eldest brother, Richard, seems to have been born in Co. Down, that county is worth exploring for more leads. One suggestion that also makes this a good place to look next was made by Richard Robert Madden (1798-1886), who wrote in his 1842 book: The United Irishmen – Their Lives and Times:

THE subject of this memoir, though not born in Ireland, was descended from a highly respectable family of a northern county, of the Newtownards branch of the Jacksons, from which the celebrated American general of that name sprung, I am informed by Mr. John M'Adam of Belfast. From an account of his own, given in the Northern Star of the 6th of January, 1794, we learn the following particulars of his family The United Irishmen – Their Lives and Times, Catholic Publication Society of America. Shamrock edition, p. 162. This was a 1916 reissue (interesting timing). NOTE: The Northern Star account that Madden referenced was actually published in the Nov 3, 1794 edition and is quoted earlier in this post.

This may fit with a Dr. Jackson who was involved in the Battle of Saintfield in 1798: Harry Monro, of Lisburn, accompanied by a considerable body of men, joined Dr. Jackson, of Newtownards, and those whom he led, shortly after the destruction of McKee and his family. SOURCE: Betsy Gray.   NOTE: There were several medical doctors in the family tree of the Jacksons of Co. Down.

I cannot be certain which celebrated American general Madden might be referring to. Given that he had his eye on the American market, two likely candidates are:

·         Thomas Jonathon “Stonewall” Jackson (1790-1826)? Allegedly, Stonewall was the ancestor of a John Jackson (1715-1801) born at Coleraine. Some genealogies suggest that the father of this John Jackson was a Capt. Thomas Jackson, one of the Quaker Jacksons who emigrated to America. Although this is not impossible, more proof is needed. A 2nd family of Jacksons, who had originated from Kirkby-Lonsdale Westmoreland, settled in Coleraine in the mid-1600s Arguments in favour of Richard Jackson belonging to this 2nd line of Jackson is based not only the fact that the names of both Richard and William are common, but also that this family had a multigenerational connection to Coleraine. It is possible that Stonewall Jackson may have been a member of this family, but this can neither be proved nor disproved at this time.

·         President Andrew Jackson (1767-1845). Although his accepted genealogy includes a few wobbly bits, still there is a convincing level of proof that his ancestors came from Co. Down. [SEE: Jacksons of Co. Down]. Coincidentally, there is also a family member from Newtownards who has the right social status and a position as a provost.

James Jackson (1648-1711), one of the men in this line and a son of the first Robert, was a provost – a government post that also contributed coin to the family enterprises. His will of 1711 shows that he owned a tanyard and house in Newtownards, as well as lands at Ballymascaw, and a ship named the William and John. By all appearances, he was in the export business. Probably his father, Robert (?-1679), had also been a person with considerable financial resources. SOURCE: Early Jacksons of Co. Down Blog post.

With respect to considering the Jacksons of Co. Down as likely ancestors of Rev. William, one aspect of the Co. Down Jacksons gives me pause: none of them are called Richard. Since Richard Jackson sr., the father of Rev. William, called his eldest son Richard, it is a good bet that either his father or grandfather would have been named Richard. It is also a good bet that there would be the echo of another William Jackson in the family, also a forename not found in the Co. Down Jacksons.

My best guess – and it is no more than a guess – is that Richard Jackson, the father of Rev. William likely descended from the Jacksons of Coleraine. Next steps will include deeds work that focuses on the part of Co. Down where Richard jr. was born. In the meantime, there are a few stray Richard Jacksons who are worth sticking a pin in:

·         A child of a soldier named Richard Jackson died 1738 and was buried at St. Paul, Dublin, Ireland on October 18, 1738. [SOURCE: Ffolliot Collection} Who was this Richard Jackson? Since Rev. William’s father already had a son called Richard, one who lived until 1768-9, the best possibility for a link would be if this soldier Jackson were a cousin. Given the connection between St. Michans and St. Pauls, a bit of background might be helpful:

o   Saint Paul's, which, previously to the year 1697, formed part of Saint Michans parish, contains 10,570 inhabitants and 786 houses valued at £5 sterling and upwards the annual value being £21,632 the living is a rectory in the patronage of the Dean and chapter of Christchurch; The minister's money is £255.4.1, and the gross income £386.9.4. The church situated in North King Street, was rebuilt in 1824, and now is now a neat edifice in the gothic style, with a small but elegant Spire. The cemetery is usual place of interment for the Garrison of Dublin: it contains a monument to the memory of Lieut.-Col. Lyde Brown, of the 21st fusilier's; A mural tablet to that of three privates of the same regiment, who were killed in the insurrection of 1803; and a mausoleum for the family of Colonel Ormsby. The Chapel of the Kings or Blue-coat Hospital is in this parish. There are parochial schools for boys and girls, an Infant School, and a Sunday school. The late Lord Netterville bequeathed £9000 to this and the adjoining parishes St Michan for a dispensary and hospital, which is also supported by subscription. P556 A Topographical Study of Ireland

·         Family search has a record of a Richard Jackson who died at Kendal, Westmoreland, England on July 2, 1738.

·         Aug 5, 1738 St. Bartholomew’s near the Exchange, Richard JACKSON buried.

·         Feb 17, 1740. Richard JACKSON Leather Lane, St. Andrew Church Hoburn, London

One last (far-fetched) place to look. An etching of merchant Henry Jackson (1750-1817), a United Irishmen who fled to America makes him look a lot like Rev. William – as if they could be related. Henry’s family came from Monaghan, and prior to that in the early 1700s they were living at Lisnaboe, Co. Meath. SEE: Lisnaboe JACKSONs.These etchings were published as a free supplement to The Weekly Freeman and National Press, Saturday, September 17th, 1898. A copy of the supplement is at PRONI



[1] Alumni Dublinenses 1924 ed. JACKSON, RICHARD, S.C. (Dr. Sheridan, June 1, 1737, aged 17; s. of Richard, Dux; b. Ballycastle. B.A. AEst. 1740. NOTE: Although Ballycastle, Parish Doofeeny, Barony Tirawly, Co. Mayo is a possibility, it is more likely to be: Ballycastle (Baile an ChaisleƔin) , Grey Abbey Civil Parish, Barony of Ards Lower, Co. Down. UPDATE: August 10, 2023. I now believe that this Ballycastle is more likely to have been the Ballycastle in Co. Antrim: Ballycastle the town is in Town Parks, Parish Ramoan, Barony Cary]

[2] Although Ballycastle, Parish Doofeeny, Barony Tirawly, Co. Mayo is a possibility, it is more likely to be: Ballycastle, Grey Abbey Civil Parish, Barony of Ards Lower, Co. Down. UPDATE: August 10, 2023. I now believe that this Ballycastle is more likely to have been the Ballycastle in Co. Antrim: Ballycastle the town is in Town Parks, Parish Ramoan, Barony Cary]

[3] It helps to understand the different kinds of Courts in Dublin:

·         The consistory or diocesan courts regulated property within the jurisdiction of the Bishop of each diocese. Fees paid to the Bishop covered the cost of executing the will or administration. The establishment of the Prerogative courts resolved potential disputes between the Bishops of individual dioceses.

·         “The jurisdiction of the archbishops and bishops in their several dioceses was of a twofold nature, being (1) a voluntary jurisdiction, consisting of the granting of probates and administrations; sequestrations of livings; institutions and collations; licenses for marriage, for curates, schoolmasters, etc.; conservations of churches and churchyards; granting of faculties for building and altering glebe houses, and churches, etc., and (2) a contentious jurisdiction, which comprehended testamentary and matrimonial suits, tithe cases, and causes of correction, such as simony, immorality, non-residence of clergy, and defamation, adultery, etc., of the laity.  SOURCE: Wiki.

[4] J.U.D. refers to a doctorate in both church and civil law.

[5] SOURCE: Bethams Abstracts: Richard JACKSON Dublin Doctor of Laws 17 Nov 1768 proved 24 Apr 1769. Aunt Katherine SALE wife of Dr. Edward SALE

[6] ROD: 102-223-70490, Source that Anne JACKSON was widowed by 1740 Sept 3.

[7] NOTE: Until I can return to Ireland, or unless someone else can look this up for me, I will have to leave this be, but meanwhile it is worth noting some facts about Irish courts to help narrow the search:

The Inns of Court served as the place for educating those who were to become barristers, solicitors, lawyers, attorneys, proctors or Serjeants-at-law. With the exception of King’s Inn, all were located in London and have admission records dating well into the sixteenth century or earlier. For the Inns of Court in London, see London Court Records.

·         Society of King’s Inn, Dublin – founded in 1541, by a group of judges and prominent lawyers who leased property on the north side of the River Liffey. It was modeled after the English Inns of Court with several significant exceptions. 1) From its inception, an attorney or barrister could not practice the law in Ireland without spending at least some years in one of the English Inns, and 2) English Inns could admit members and call them to the bar. In Ireland however, the Irish society could admit members, but they had to be called to the bar by a Chief Justice.

·         For a list of attorneys and barristers admitted to King’s Inn, see Keane, Edward, P. Beryl Phair and Thomas U. Sadleir, editors. King’s Inn Admission Papers 1607-1867. Dublin: Dublin Stationery Office for the Irish Manuscripts Commission, 1982. (Family History Library book British 941.83/D1 C4k). See also: NL Dublin BB4237 Ir 340 k 1 GO B 67