Jackson, Robert Wyse (1908–76), clergyman, writer, and artist, was born 12 July 1908 in Tullamore, Co. Offaly, only son of Richard Jackson, a bank manager from Killinane, Co. Kildare, and Belinda Hester Jackson (née Sherlock), of Bandon, Co. Cork. Educated at the Abbey School, Co. Tipperary, Drogheda Grammar School, Co. Louth, and the Bishop Foy School, Waterford, he read legal and political science in TCD, and law in the Middle Temple, London, being called to the bar in 1932; he received an LLD from TCD in 1936. He studied divinity at Egerton Hall, Manchester, becoming curate of St James's, Broughton, diocese of Manchester (1934).
On his appointment as curate-in-charge, Corbally, diocese of Killaloe (1937), he returned permanently to Ireland, where he went on to higher appointments: rector of Ballymackey, diocese of Killaloe (1938); rector of St Michael's, Limerick (1939–46); dean of the cathedral church of St John the Baptist and St Patrick's Rock, Cashel (1946–60); and prebendary of Swords in St Patrick's cathedral, Dublin (1949–60). His career in the church culminated in the bishopric of Limerick, Ardfert, and Aghadoe (1961–70). He received a DD (jure dignitatis) in 1961. Made a freeman of the city of Limerick in 1970, in the same year he retired for health reasons to Greystones, Co. Wicklow.
Jackson's writings deal with such subjects as the law, the life and times of Jonathan Swift (qv), and church and local history (The Bible and Ireland (1950), A history of the church of Ireland (1953), Cathedrals of the church of Ireland (1971), The story of Limerick (1973), The story of Kilkenny (1974)). His biographical works include Jonathan Swift, dean and pastor (1939), Swift and his circle (1945), Oliver Goldsmith: essays towards an interpretation (1951), and Archbishop Magrath: the scoundrel of Cashel (1974). An expert on church silver (Irish silver (1972)), he also wrote a play (‘Fair liberty was all his cry’, performed on RTÉ radio and at St Columba's College, Dublin (1972)), and two novels (Spanish man hunt (published in the Church of Ireland Gazette) and The journal of Corinna Brown). He received a D.Litt. from TCD (1939), and won the international Goldsmith essay competition (c.1974). He was a member of the RSAI and the RIA (1942).
An accomplished artist, he illustrated some of his own books with India ink line drawings. Registering in 1946 with the Water Colour Society of Ireland, he exhibited landscapes with them regularly until 1974; he also exhibited with the RHA (1970). One of his works is in the South Tipperary County Museum and Gallery, Clonmel. A witty cartoonist, as a young man he contributed to a TCD student magazine and a London socialist newspaper; in later years he sketched satirical cartoons pertinent to conservationist issues.
Jackson married firstly (1933) Margaretta Nolan Macdonald; they had one daughter and one son. He married secondly (1952) Lois Margery Phair; they had four sons and one daughter. He died 21 October 1976 at the Royal City of Dublin Hospital, Baggot St., Dublin.