Jackson, Joseph

, an ingenious letter-founder, whose history affords one of those edifying examples which cannot be too often placed before the eyes of the young artisan, was born in Old-street, London, Sept. 4, 1733, and was educated at Fuller’s school in that neighbourhood. At the usual age he was put apprentice to Mr. Caslon, letterfounder, son to the first of that family. Having acquired a knowledge of the common operations, he had an ambition to learn the method of cutting punches; which was so much a secret, that both his master and his master’s father always locked themselves into a private apartment, when employed in that important branch of the business. Mr. Jackson, however, surmounted this difficulty, by boring a hole through the wainscot, and prying into their operations | with such success, that he was soon enabled to finish a punch, and brought it in triumph to his master, probably expecting some reward. His surprise and chagrin must have therefore been great, when his master gave him a hard blow, and threatened him with Bridewell, if ever he made such another felonious attempt. Mr. Jackson, however, whose conscience was more easily reconciled to his crime, than his temper was to his punishment, was, by the assistance of his mother, provided with the necessary tools, and took every opportunity of improving himself in the art at her house. He continued also to work for his master for some time after the expiration of his apprenticeship, until a dispute respecting wages occasioned his being discharged, along with a Mr. Cottrell, with whom he united in partnership; but, on the death of his mother, in 1759, went on board the Minerva frigate, as armourer. He appears to have returned to London after the peace of 1762-3, and worked for some time under Mr. Cottrell, until, determining to adventure in business for himself, he was encouraged in the scheme, by two life-guardsmen, his felJow workmen, who engaged to allow him a small pittance for his subsistence, and to supply money to carry on the trade, for two years. Taking a small house in Cock-lane, he soon satisfied his partners that the business would be productive, before the time promised. When he had pursued his labours about six months, Mr. Bowyer, the cele.­brated printer, accidentally calling to inspect some of his punches (for he had no specimen), approved them so much, that he promised to employ him. Business increasing rapidly, Mr. Jackson removed to larger premises in Dorsetstreet; and about 1771 was applied to by the late duke of Norfolk, to make a mould to cast a hollow square. His grace informed him, that he had applied to allthe skilful mechanics in London, Mr. Caslon not excepted, who declared it impossible. Mr. Jackson howeve’r undertook, and in the course of three months produced it. He proceeded then in raising the reputation of his foundery; and among other articles of superior difficulty, we may mention the fac-simile types for the Domesday-book, and for the Alexandrian New Testament, and the types for Macklin’s Bible. Mr. Jackson died at his house in Dorset-street, Salisburysquare, Jan. 14, 1722. 1

1 Nichols’s Bowyer.