Jackson family papers

  • This material is held at
  • Reference
      GB 133 JACK
  • Dates of Creation
  • Name of Creator
  • Language of Material
  • Physical Description
      0.6 li.m.
  • Location
      Collection available at John Rylands Library, Deansgate.

Scope and Content

The collection contains the personal and official papers of Lieutenant Colonel Robert Jackson, his son Major General Alexander Cosby Jackson, their wives and several of their descendants.

All items are handwritten unless otherwise indicated; some printed material; 1 typed transcript.

Administrative / Biographical History

The Jackson family originated in Edmonton, Middlesex, and were united by marriage with the Cosby family in 1772, the Mitchell family in 1812 and the Armitage family in 1844. In the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries many of the members of these families were employed by the British East India Company and the British Army in India, and much of the collection reflects their military and legal interests in the subcontinent and elsewhere.

The most prominent members of the family were Robert Jackson (1738-1786), who fought at Plassey in 1757 and subsequently held several prestigious posts as an infantry officer in the East India Company; Alexander Cosby Jackson (1773-1827), who served in the Netherlands, Ireland, Egypt and India; and his son Charles Robert Mitchell Jackson (1813-1874), who became a member of the Legislative Council of India in 1859, a judge of the High Court of Judicature in 1862, a Royal Commissioner on the failure of the Bank of Bombay in 1868, and auditor of the India Office in 1873. Some other members of the family pursued careers in the legal profession and the Royal Navy.


A list was made around the time of the deposit, and may be found amongst the papers (JACK/14/2). It comprises 2 outlines of the contents arranged under various headings (primarily the names of members of the Jackson family), and a further item list which has been loosely cross-referenced with the others. When the collection was received at the Library, its physical arrangement seems to have reflected the order described in the outline lists. Reference codes were used when the papers were first listed, and have been added to the documents, but the codes on the documents and those on the lists (which use letters and numbers respectively) do not tally directly. The arrangement found in the outline lists has been preserved, although it has clearly been imposed upon the collection as a whole, and is unlikely to represent the order in which the papers were created or kept until a conscious effort was made to deal with them collectively as an archive.

Many of the papers are annotated in contemporary hands, but only in the case of the Robert Jackson papers can the original order be traced (see note for JACK/2/3/5). Within series, the arrangement of the papers has been left untouched unless there is an obvious anomaly, and as a result the order is not necessarily strictly chronological. The papers have been re- numbered, and the old codes retained in brackets on the documents.

The collection is arranged as follows:

  • JACK/1 Genealogical papers
  • JACK/2 Papers of Robert Jackson
  • JACK/3 Papers of Charlotte Cosby, wife of R. Jackson
  • JACK/4 Papers of Alexander Cosby Jackson
  • JACK/5 Papers of Elizabeth Mitchell, wife of A.C. Jackson
  • JACK/6 Papers of Charles Robert Mitchell Jackson
  • JACK/7 Papers of Jane Armitage, wife of C.R.M. Jackson
  • JACK/8 Papers of Charles William Leathley Jackson
  • JACK/9 Papers of Lawrence Colville Jackson
  • JACK/10 Papers of Nina Goss, wife of L.C. Jackson
  • JACK/11 Papers of Francis Sydney Jackson
  • JACK/12 Papers of Charles Bramwell Armitage Jackson
  • JACK/13 Miscellaneous papers
  • JACK/14 Documents relating to the Jackson papers

Access Information

The collection is open to any accredited reader.

This finding aid may contain personal or sensitive personal data about living individuals. Under Section 33 of the Data Protection Act 1998 (DPA), The John Rylands University Library (JRUL) has the right to process such personal data for research purposes. The Data Protection (Processing of Sensitive Personal Data) Order 2000 enables the JRUL to process sensitive personal data for research purposes. In accordance with the DPA, the JRUL has made every attempt to ensure that all personal and sensitive personal data has been processed fairly, lawfully and accurately, according to the Data Protection Principles.

Individuals have the right to make a request to see data relating to them held by the JRUL which falls under the provisions of the DPA. Access requests must be made formally in accordance with the provisions set out in the DPA and all enquiries should be directed to the University's Data Protection Officer.

Other Finding Aids


Conditions Governing Use

Photocopies and photographic copies can be supplied for private study purposes only, depending on the condition of the documents.

A number of items within the archive remain within copyright under the terms of the Copyright, Designs and Patents Act 1988; it is the responsibility of users to obtain the copyright holder's permission for reproduction of copyright material for purposes other than research or private study.

Prior written permission must be obtained from the Library for publication or reproduction of any material within the archive. Please contact the Head of Special Collections, John Rylands University Library, Oxford Road, Manchester M13 9PP.

Custodial History

The collection appears to have been retained by the Jackson family until 28 September 1976, when it was deposited at the John Rylands University Library by Mr Paul Lyall Jackson, a direct descendant of Robert Jackson, Alexander Cosby Jackson and Charles Robert Mitchell Jackson. Mr Jackson lived in Preston, Lancashire; his date of birth is noted as 11 May 1924 among the genealogical papers (JACK/1/1/1).