Jackson, Richard (c.1731–1789), MP and official, probably born in Coleraine, Co. Londonderry, seems to have been the only surviving son of William Jackson and Frances Jackson (née Eyre), who had also two sons who died young, and two daughters. William Jackson held a great deal of leasehold property, and was very influential in the politics of the borough; his family and his relations the Beresfords contended for twenty-five years for the right to select the town's mayors and MPs. They were related to the Gorges family, including Richard Gorges (qv); Gorges Edmond Howard (qv) was a cousin. Richard Jackson entered TCD in 1744 as a pensioner, graduated BA (1749) and MA (1752), and entered the Inner Temple (1752) and the King's Inns, Dublin (1755). His father died before 1746, and on the death (1751) of his great-uncle Thomas Jackson, who had been MP since 1728, Richard Jackson came to an agreement with Marcus Beresford (qv), Lord Tyrone, to share the borough's parliamentary representation. Jackson was MP for Coleraine 1751–60, was reelected 1761, 1768, 1776, 1783, and 1789, and was also returned for Lisburn (1776) and Randalstown (1783). The latter seat was under the control of his father-in-law; Richard Jackson had married secondly (December 1765) Anne, only daughter of Charles O'Neill of Shane's Castle, Co. Antrim. Her brother was John O'Neill (qv), 1st Viscount O'Neill. There is some uncertainty about Jackson's first marriage; his first wife may have been Lydia Richardson, who died in childbirth. He is also said to have married (1750) Nicola, daughter of Arthur Hamilton of Killeshandra, Co. Cavan.
From 1765 to 1772, except for a few months in 1766–7, Jackson was second (or ‘Ulster’) secretary to successive viceroys, and was also clerk of the paper office till his death. His responsibilities included compiling (1769) for the viceroy a list of sitting Irish MPs, with his assessment of their likely political loyalties, which is as useful to modern historians as it was to his employer. Jackson was a member of the Irish privy council from 1776, and in October 1777 was appointed to its place board. He was also agent for the Irish Society of Londonderry 1782–7. He obtained an act of parliament to set up a poor house in Coleraine, subscribed £200 to the rebuilding of St Patrick's church, Coleraine, and rebuilt Jackson Hall close to the town; in August 1779 he reviewed Coleraine's Volunteers, and in 1780 he was granted the freedom of the borough. In August 1781 his wife died; Jackson himself died in October 1789, probably in Oxfordshire. He was survived by two sons and three daughters, one of whom married Nathaniel Alexander (d. 1840), her brother's tutor, who later became bishop of Meath. Jackson may also have had two daughters and a son who died young. His eldest son, George, was made a baronet, but died without issue.