JACKSON, William (-d.1623), of Bermondsey, Surr.

Published in The History of Parliament: the House of Commons 1604-1629, ed. Andrew Thrush and John P. Ferris, 2010
Available from Cambridge University Press



Family and Education

m. 1602, Martha, da. of Thomas Lawrence, Goldsmith, of London and Chelsea, Mdx., at least 1da.1 d. c.Nov. 1623.2

Offices Held

Servant to Charles Howard†, 1st earl of Nottingham c.1600-8;3 freeman, Dover, Kent 1602,4 Plymouth, Devon 1605.5


This Member’s origins are obscure; nevertheless he was almost certainly the defendant in the suit brought in Chancery by the earl of Nottingham in 1620. The earl stated that about 20 years earlier he had employed Jackson, and that ‘for the space of eight years or thereabouts’ he had trusted him with his receipts and disbursements. This suggests that Jackson was Nottingham’s receiver-general, although Jackson styled himself (and was described by others) as the earl’s secretary.6

It was presumably Nottingham who secured Jackson’s return for Guildford in 1601, where the earl was high steward.7 It may also have been Nottingham, as lord admiral, who secured his admission to the freedom of Dover in 1602, which qualified Jackson to assist in carrying the canopy at the coronation of James I.8 Nottingham, too, presumably recommended him in 1604 to his friend Sir George More* for election at Haslemere, where More was lord of the manor.9 Jackson, though, left no mark on the records of the first Jacobean Parliament.

In May 1604 Jackson shared in a grant of lands in Derbyshire and Leicestershire, made at Nottingham’s request.10 Shortly afterwards, according to his widow’s later account, Jackson became bound ‘for necessaries to furnish his embassage into Spain and for other uses’ in sums amounting to over £3,000, ‘and for his indemnity he relied only upon his lordship’s promise’. Nottingham offered him either £200 a year from the wine licences or £400 a year on the more hazardous revenue of the Irish customs; but neither came to anything, and Jackson agreed to accept, in satisfaction of two-thirds of the money a conveyance of his master’s lease of the Surrey rectory of Dorking for three lives, agreeing to buy out a reversionary interest for £633. However, this deal also fell through and his debts forced Jackson to leave Nottingham’s employment and ‘hide his head and to suffer executions to come against him, his goods and lands’. He brought the Chancery suit in 1620 to oblige his former employer to take a reconveyance of the rectory and provide better security. He also became embroiled with Nottingham’s widowed daughter-in-law and her servant Henry Lovell*, but in a counter-suit he was charged with embezzlement. He had been living in the suburban parish of Bermondsey for at least two years when he died intestate in November 1623, before the matter was settled. Administration of his estate was granted to his widow, who exhibited a further Chancery bill against Nottingham in the following year. The outcome of the case is unknown.11

Ref Volumes: 1604-1629

Authors: Alan Davidson / Ben Coates


  • 1. Soc. Gen. Boyd’s London Units 14765; Vis. Bucks. (Harl. Soc. lviii), 80-1; C2/Jas.I/I3/6.
  • 2. C3/362/19.
  • 3. C2/Jas.I/N5/40.
  • 4. Add. 29625, f. 38.
  • 5. W. Devon RO, W46, f. 306v.
  • 6. C2/Jas.I/N5/40; The Jacobean Commissions of Enquiry, 1608 and 1618 ed. A.P. McGowan (Navy Recs. Soc. cxvi), 193.
  • 7. HP Commons, 1558-1603, i. 253.
  • 8. Add. 29623, f. 2.
  • 9. Loseley Mss ed. A.J. Kempe, 372; VCH Surr. iii. 45-47.
  • 10. CSP Dom. 1603-10, p. 111.
  • 11. C2/Jas.I/I3/6; 2/Jas.I/N5/40; C3/362/19; PROB 6/11, f. 67.