Tunes, Songs and Dances from the 1798 manuscript of Joshua Jackson - Vol.1 & Vol.2 New Editions

North Yorkshire cornmiller & musician.

Introduction Ordering


cover photoJoshua Jackson was born in 1763 into a family of North Yorkshire cornmillers, who traded in South Stainley, West Tanfield, and adjacent parishes in the Ripon area. He was christened in Burton Leonard and was buried there in 1839.

Family tradition suggests that he was a fiddle player who played in some of the large houses in the neighbourhood. He may also have played in musical societies and in local hostelries like another local fiddler, Blind Jack of Knaresborough. In common with many of his musical contemporaries, he wrote out his repertoire painstakingly into a music manuscript book.

Joshua Jackson's book, dated 1798, still in the possession of the family, contains a remarkable collection of more than 500 handwritten tunes, dance notations and a few songs. English country dances, Scottish and Irish jigs and reels, a few anthems, incidental music for the theatre and excerpts of classical music, are all included in the leather bound volume, giving an indication of the kind of occasions when Joshua Jackson's musical skills would have been in demand.

In selecting the tunes for inclusion in the first volume we have tried to present a representative cross section of the material, including our own favourites and all of the tunes recorded on the Canny Fettle LP Trip to Harrogate (TSR 027) and the Magnetic North CD The Miller's Jig(YDW CD 005). We have generally excluded well known tunes which are readily available from other sources except where Jackson has an interesting personal or local variant.

Vol.1 Tunes, Songs and Dances from the 1798 Manuscript of Joshua Jackson
Published & presented by Bowen & Shepherd
Dance notes by Liz Bowen - historical notes by Robin Shepherd - family history notes by Rosalind Shepherd - music typesetting by Geoff Bowen

The first volume presents a selection of 190 tunes, 30 with dance notations and 5 with song words. There are also chapters on the family history, background information on music and dancing in Jackson's time, and help with interpreting and adapting the dance notations. The index includes a full listing of the Manuscript contents.

Vol.2 Mr Joshua Jackson. Book 1798 Published & presented by Robin & Rosalind Shepherd
This volume completes the publication of the entire manuscript. It contains over 300 tunes from Joshua Jackson’s book including country dance tunes, 4/4 & 3/2 hornpipes, reels, jigs, minuets, allemandes and marches, many of which are accompanied by dance instructions. A variety of songs are also included amongst the pages, romantic, patriotic and humorous

Back to top


To order a copy of the Jackson MS Volume 1 at £15 + P&P


To order a copy of the Jackson MS Volume 2 at £18 + P&P


For other payment methods enquire by e-mail to

Back to top

Updated: Tue, Jan 24, 2017
To find out more about YDW workshops and publications, use the navigation bar & home page