JACKSON, Josias (1765-1819), of Bellevue House, Southampton.

Published in The History of Parliament: the House of Commons 1790-1820, ed. R. Thorne, 1986
Available from Boydell and Brewer



1807 - 1812

Family and Education

b. 28 June 1765, 2nd s. of Josias Jackson, MD, of St. Vincent by Elizabeth Gerrald of St. Kitts. educ. at boarding sch. in England.1 m. c.1785, Jenetta, da. of (?Edward) Barnewell (?of Demerara), 4s. 3da. suc. fa. 1803.

Offices Held

Member of council, St. Vincent; col. Island rangers, St. Vincent 1795, loyal Southampton vols. 1803-7.


Jackson, heir to five plantations on St. Vincent, took part in the Carib war of 1795. In 1803 he settled near Southampton and drew attention to himself through lavish hospitality and being colonel of the local volunteers. His wife was a lady of ‘charm and beauty’.2 In 1806 he was at loggerheads with the corporation over the cutting down of trees on Northern Common, a battle which he lost; his candidature at the general election that year was equally unsuccessful. Although he was sponsored by a local banker hostile to George Rose*, who in turn was hostile to the Grenville ministry, government backing was given primarily to Arthur Atherley*. Jackson was indignant, but attempts to remedy his disadvantage were unavailing.3 Had he been returned, he would have doubtless been one of the West Indian lobby against the abolition of the slave trade.

In 1807 Atherley withdrew and Jackson, then leader of opposition to the corporation over a local improvement scheme, came in unopposed. In his speech after the election he announced

that he had to thank them and the Pope equally for his success. He declared himself to have been the friend of the late ministers till they brought in the Catholic bill and that he would support their successors till they brought in some measure that had equally his reprobation.4

He was an unobtrusive Member. Perhaps he was the ‘Mr Jackson’ who took a month’s leave for ill health, 18 Feb. 1808. He was, however, in the minority for Turton’s motion critical of the Duke of York’s conduct, 17 Mar. 1809, evidently under his constituents’ pressure.5 He voted with ministers on the address, 23 Jan. 1810, but was absent on the Scheldt question three days later. The Whigs listed him ‘doubtful’ from their point of view. As John Jackson* was then in opposition, it was probably Josias rather than he who voted against parliamentary reform, 21 May 1810. No speech of his is known until 29 July 1812, when he made a ‘eulogy on the character of the West India planters, who he said in accomplishments and humanity were equal to the most polished society of England’, as a preface to a defence of the Leeward islands planters against Governor Eliott’s criticisms of them. He went on to testify from his own knowledge that the majority of Tortola planters were in favour of the execution of Hodge, a white who had murdered negroes.

Jackson canvassed again in 1812, but withdrew before the poll. Soon afterwards he left Southampton, where he had tried in vain to attract West Indian trade. He died in St. Vincent, 30 Aug. 1819, ‘one of the most worthy and polished men that ever adorned’ the island. His will was in dispute until 1834, owing to a bonded debt incurred in 1817, but eventually his plantations were divided among his sons.6

Ref Volumes: 1790-1820

Author: R. G. Thorne


  • 1. Diary of John Baker ed. Yorke, 428.
  • 2. Caribbeana, iii. 97-100; v. 321; A. Temple Patterson, Hist. Southampton, 99, 121, 145; Hants Chron. 11 June 1804; Hants Advertiser, 12 Jan. 1833.
  • 3. Fremantle mss, box 55, Temple to Fremantle, Sat. [Oct.]; E. Suff. RO, Tomline mss, Rose to bp. of Lincoln, 18 Nov. 1806.
  • 4. Brougham mss 34977.
  • 5. John Cotton Worthington, To the inhabitants of Southampton, 22 Dec. 1809.
  • 6. Guide to Southampton (1847), 123; Gent. Mag. (1819), ii. 471; Caribbeana, iii. 100.