Australian Dictionary of Biography

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Jackson, Samuel (1807–1876)

by P. R. S. Jackson

This article was published in Australian Dictionary of Biography, Volume 2, (MUP), 1967

Samuel Jackson (1807-1876), pastoralist and architect, was born in London, the second son of Henry Jackson and Jane Paynter. He received a better education than did other members of his family. He sailed from London in the brig Lion and arrived in Hobart Town on 7 August 1829. He soon established himself as a builder in Brisbane Street, Launceston. In May 1831 he moved to premises in St John Street near the wharf. In 1829-36 he established quite a busy architectural practice. However, only three of his buildings can be traced with certainty: Hythe near Longford, the Paterson Street Methodist Sunday School, Launceston, and a residence for Henry Reed at the corner of Cameron and Charles Streets, Launceston.

In 1835 he and his brother William joined the Fawkner syndicate which hoped to establish a settlement at Port Phillip. William sailed in the Enterprise and after satisfying himself as to the possibilities of the area returned to Launceston. It was decided to migrate at once. In company with Joseph Gellibrand, Charles Swanston and Evans, the brothers chartered the brig Chili, Captain Nixon, and finally landed with their sheep and plant at Williamstown on 10 July 1836. A homestead, situated between the present Rupertswood and Jackson's Creek, was built and became known as Koorakooracup. This property was absorbed in 1850 by the William John Clarke special survey.

In 1839 Jackson returned to architecture and in 1840 was listed as having an office and residence in Little Collins Street at the rear of the present Scots Church. A brisk practice was soon established. The following are his recorded works: the first St Francis', 1839; the second St Francis', 1841; the first Scots Church, 1841; St Patrick's Hall, 1847; St Mary of the Angels, 1846; Melbourne Hospital, 1846; St Patrick's Church, 1850; St Paul's, Coburg, 1850; the Tower House, Flinders Street; a residence for Colonel Anderson; and a warehouse in North Geelong. In 1841 he made one of the earliest panoramic sketches of Melbourne from the parapet of the partly finished Scots Church; it now hangs in the Newspaper Room, State Library of Victoria.

In 1845 Jackson moved to St Kilda where he lived in the present Acland Street. A few years later he built a larger residence, Wattle House, and eventually owned 200 acres (81 ha) between Fitzroy and Grey Streets from which he later profited greatly. In July 1847 he bought Sandford station (15,000 acres) (6070 ha), near Casterton, from John Henty. In 1852 at St James's, Melbourne, he married Mary Ann Lowther; they had one daughter, Mary Ann. In 1862 Jackson and his family returned to England and resided in a fine Georgian mansion, Yarra House, Baker Street, Enfield, Middlesex. He died there on 7 May 1876, leaving a large estate, and was buried in the Highgate cemetery, London.

Although Jackson had little formal architectural training, his artistic sense combined with the strong Georgian influence of his Tasmanian stay enabled him to produce the simplicity and fine proportions of some of the most delightful buildings of pre-gold-rush Melbourne.

Select Bibliography

  • H. F. Gurner, Chronicle of Port Phillip, now the Colony of Victoria, from 1770 to 1840 (Melb, 1876)
  • Garryowen (E. Finn), The Chronicles of Early Melbourne, vols 1-2 (Melb, 1888)
  • R. V. Billis and A. S. Kenyon, Pastoral Pioneers of Port Phillip (Melb, 1932)
  • A. Henderson, Early Pioneer Families of Victoria and Riverina (Melb, 1936)
  • M. L. Kiddle, Men of Yesterday (Melb, 1961)
  • Kerr's Melbourne Almanac, 1840
  • Hobart Town Courier, 15 Aug 1829
  • Launceston Advertiser, 16 May 1831, 20 Apr 1835
  • Cornwall Chronicle (Launceston), 4 Apr 1835
  • Port Phillip Herald, 9 Apr 1846
  • Observer (Enfield), 20 May 1876
  • Advocate, 13 Nov 1897
  • I. Batey manuscript (State Library of Victoria)
  • S. Jackson to W. P. Weston (Weston papers, Queen Victoria Museum, Launceston)
  • E. S. Jackson, Chronicles of the Jacksons (privately held).

Citation details

P. R. S. Jackson, 'Jackson, Samuel (1807–1876)', Australian Dictionary of Biography, National Centre of Biography, Australian National University, http://adb.anu.edu.au/biography/jackson-samuel-2266/text2901, published in hardcopy 1967, accessed online 20 October 2014.

This article was first published in hardcopy in Australian Dictionary of Biography, Volume 2, (MUP), 1967

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