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John Jackson (1778-1831)

John Jackson was the son of a tailor of Lastingham in Yorkshire. He was apprenticed to his father but showed such a talent for art that his release from his indentures was purchased through the patronage of Lord Mulgrave and Sir George Beaumont. He moved to London in 1804 and the following year began to study at the Royal Academy. While never being the height of fashion, Jackson established a successful career as a portrait painter and became a member of the Royal Academy in 1816. His subjects included the Duke of Wellington, the explorer Sir John Franklin and the eminent Wesleyan minister Dr Adam Clarke.

Jackson was himself a devout Wesleyan Methodist and regularly provided the monthly portrait for the Evangelist Magazine. He painted one of the best-known portraits of John Wesley in 1827, although it is not regarded as a particularly good likeness. Jackson's generous financial support of Methodist causes is said to have contributed to the fact that he died relatively poor.

Jackson was married twice and was survived by three children.

Source: Dictionary of National Biography

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