Josias Jackson (1765-1819) was a West Indian planter who retired to Bellevue House in 1802 and later became prominent in the political and social life of the town. He was one of Southampton's MPs from 1807 to 1812.

He was born at St Vincent’s in the West Indies in June, 1765, the son of a local planter from whom he inherited five plantations on that island. In 1803 he settled at Bellevue House, Southampton and drew attention to himself through lavish hospitality and being colonel of the local volunteers. His first attempt, in 1806, to be elected to parliament failed, but he was successful the following year. No parliamentary speech of his is known until 29 July 1812, when he made a ‘eulogy on the character of the West India planters, who he said in accomplishments and humanity were equal to the most polished society of England’. His attempts to set up trading links with the West Indies were unsuccessful and he left Southampton soon after withdrawing from the 1812 election. He died in St Vincent in 1819.

Further reading:

More Stories of Southampton Streets, by A. G. K. Leonard, p46. (HS/h)


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