hammer. Although leather for the tongue of the jack has been claimed to have been the invention of Pascal Taskin of Paris in the 18th century (his much-talked-of 'peau de buffle'), it has been found in instruments of the 16th and 17th; and it may be that leather preceded the quill, the introduction of which Scaliger(1484–1550) enables us to nearly date. He says (Poetices, lib. i. cap. lxiii) that when he was a boy the names clavicymbal and harpsichord had been appellations of the instrument vulgarly known as monochord, but that subsequently points of crowquill had been added, from which points the same instrument had become known as spinet—possibly from the Latin 'spina,' a thorn, though another and no less probable derivation of the name will be found under Spinet.
Shakspeare's reference to the jack in one of his Sonnets is well-known and often quoted—
'Do I envy those jacks that nimble leap
To kiss the tender inward of thy hand';
but appears to mean the keys, which as the 'sweet fingers' touch them make 'dead wood more blest than living lips.' A nearer reference has been preserved by Rimbault (The Pianoforte, London, 1860, p. 57) in a MS. note by Isaac Reed to a volume of old plays. Lord Oxford said to Queen Elizabeth, in covert allusion to Raleigh's favour and the execution of Essex, 'When jacks start up, heads go down.'
. One Jackson, who in 1669 held the office of 'Instructor in Musick' at Ely Cathedral for three months, has been conjectured to be identical with the John Jackson who early in 1676 was appointed nominally a vicar choral but in fact organist of Wells Cathedral.
His name is not found in the Chapter books after 1688, so that it is presumed that he died or resigned in that year. He composed some church music now almost wholly lost. An anthem, 'The Lord said unto my Lord,' included in the Tudway Collection (Harl. MS. 7338); a Service in C, in the choir books of Wells, and four chants in a contemporary MS. organ part in the library of the Sacred Harmonic Society are all his compositions that are to be found complete. The last-named MS. contains the organ parts of the Service in C and 8 anthems, and in the choir books at Wells are some odd parts of an anthem and a single part of a Burial Service.
, known as Jackson of Exeter, son of a grocer in that city, was born in May 1730 [App. p.685 "May 28"]. He received a liberal education, and having displayed a strong partiality for music, was placed under John Silvester, organist of Exeter Cathedral, for instruction. In 1748 he removed to London and became a pupil of John Travers. On his return to Exeter he established himself as a teacher. In 1755 he published a set of 'Twelve Songs,' 'which were so simple, elegant, and original, that they immediately became popular throughout the kingdom.' He afterwards produced 'Six Sonatas for the Harpsichord,' 'Elegies for three voices,' and a second set of 'Twelve Songs.' These were followed by 'Six Epigrams,' a third set of 'Twelve Songs,' and a setting of Warton's 'Ode to Fancy.' In 1767 he composed the music for a dramatic piece called 'Lycidas,' altered from Milton's poem, on the occasion of the death of Edward, Duke of York, brother of George III, and produced at Covent Garden on Nov. 4, but never repeated. He next published 'Twelve Canzonets for two voices,' which were highly successful, and one of which, 'Time has not thinned my flowing hair,' enjoyed a long career of popularity. To these succeeded 'Eight Sonatas for the Harpsichord,' and 'Six Vocal Quartetts.' In 1777 Jackson received the appointments of subchanter, organist, lay vicar, and master of the choristers of Exeter Cathedral. In 1780 he composed the music for General Burgoyne's opera, 'The Lord of the Manor,' which was produced at Drury Lane, Dec 27, with great success, and kept possession of the stage for more than half a century, mainly owing to Jackson's music. The beautiful song, 'Encompassed in an angel's frame,' is one of those gems which time can never affect. In 1782 Jackson published 'Thirty Letters on various subjects,'—three of them relating to music, which were well received and in 1795 reached a third edition. 'The Metamorphosis,' a comic opera, of which Jackson was believed to be the author as well as, avowedly, the composer, was produced at Drury Lane, Dec. 5, 1783, but performed only two or three times, In 1791 Jackson published a pamphlet entitled 'Observations on the present State of Music in London.' In 1798 he published 'Four Ages, together with Essays on various subjects,' intended as additions to the 'Thirty Letters.' His other musical publications comprised a second set of 'Twelve Canzonets for two voices,' 'Twelve Pastorals,' a fourth set of 'Twelve Songs,' 'Hymns in three parts,' and 'Six Madrigals.' His cathedral music was collected and published many years after his death by James Paddon, organist of Exeter Cathedral. He died of dropsy, July 12, 1803. Jackson employed much of his leisure time in painting landscapes in the style of his friend Gainsborough, in which he attained considerable skill. Whilst much of his music charms by its simplicity, melodiousness, refinement and grace, there is also much that sinks into tameness and insipidity; his church music especially is exceedingly feeble. Notwithstanding this, 'Jackson in F' is even now popular in some quarters.
, known as Jackson of Masham, born Jan. 9, 1816 [App. p.685 "correct to 1815"], was son of a miller, and furnishes a good instance of the power of perseverance and devotion to an end. His passion for music developed itself at an early age, and his struggles in the pursuit of his beloved art read almost like a romance in humble life. He built organs, learned to play almost every instrument,
- ↑ In some cathedrals the statutes do not specify an organist as an officer of the church. In such the custom is to assign to one of the vicars choral the performance of the duty of organist.