From 1763, there was a Thomas Jackson, trading as an ornamental composition manufacturer and frame maker, in the Tottenham Court Road. In 1793 he took out a lease on a new house at 46 Tottenham Court Road. By 1806, George Jackson was also living at this address, carving box wood moulds in reverse, in the Adam style.
From 1815 to 1822 the interior decoration of the Royal Pavilion in Brighton (owned by HRH George, Price Regent) was provided by Frederick Crace of London, who used Jacksons to embellish several rooms including the music room. This is the earliest evidence of Jackson’s work and in 1826 a Royal Warrant was issued by George IV.
By 1817 George had acquired 50 Rathbone Place, Oxford Street. Between 1820 and 1828 he secured further leases on properties in Soho Square; 12 Rathbone Place; Windmill Street; and two cottages in Shortlands, Hammersmith.
Many gentlemen’s clubs in the early 19th century grew up from the politically based coffee and chocolate houses of the previous century. Jacksons were commissioned in 1820 to by Sir Charles Barry to decorate two clubs in Pall Mall. Also in the same year, the 2nd Duke of Sutherland commissioned the Jacksons to decorate the Duchess’ boudoir with bulrushes and foliage in relief. They also provided four side tables for each corner of the banqueting room.
When the Prince Regent became King he had Buckingham House converted in to a state palace. For the throne room Jacksons supplied oak leaf pilaster strips. For the Green drawing room 9528 composition rosettes for the pilasters and cove, and for the music room composition roses, thistle and shamrocks in descending sizes. In March 1840, Jacksons provided four large glass frame-heads with composition enrichment to hang in the small drawing room (now called the white drawing room). Also for the same room were six large glass frames richly ornamented with composition husk and acorns richly festooned, with fruit and flowers, brass foliage, bases and ornament laid on glass.
In 1828 the Duke of Wellington employed Jacksons for their paste composition ornamentation on the recommendation of architect Benjamin Wyatt.
By 1834 George had taken a lease on 49 Rathbone Place. The façade of the building consisted of a portico flanked by Ionic pillars with an Adam-style fanlight over the door. The hall and board room were decorated in the Adam style.
Benjamin Wyatt, having inherited from his father to position of Surveyor of Westminster Abbey, commissioned Jacksons in 1838 to provide a temporary wood-grain panelled enclosure for marshalling the guests at Queen Victoria’s coronation. Jacksons also provided a gothic style organ case for St Saviour’s Church (in 1905 this building became Southwark Cathedral). Although this case was dismantled in 1890 the three angles are still on display in the Cathedral.
The company also applied decorative ornamentation to the SS Great Britain, when launched by Prince Albert in 1843 as the fastest ship in the world. After floundering near the Falkland Islands in 1886 she remained a wreck there until she was brought back to the UK in 1970 when the company was contacted to renew its association with this famous ship and refurbish and restore its original decoration!
George died in 1850, leaving his sons Thomas and John the sole partners in the firm.