William Jackson was born in Exeter on 29 May 1730 and died there on 5 July 1803. His early aptitude for music led him into studies probably with John Silvester, the organist of Exeter Cathedral. In 1746, he went to London and studied there with John Travers, but penury brought him back to Exeter after only a short period. His earliest compositions date from the 1750s, and in 1767, he wrote the music for an adaptation of Milton's Lycidas; that music is now unfortunately lost. His first real musical and dramatic success came with his opera, The Lord of the Manor, first performed on 27 December 1780, at Drury Lane. In 1792, he was responsible, with at least one other person, for starting the Literary Society in Exeter. He spent the rest of his life in Exeter, active in musical and literary circles.
From The Continuum Encyclopedia of British Philosophy in Oxford Reference.