102 – Jackson’s Celebrated Irish Tunes by Walker Jackson

An update by Geoff Hore 2008-2015.  The writing in black font is from A Bibliography of Bagpipe Music. The update comments are in blue font.


Jackson’s / celebrated / Irish Tunes /

Dublin / Published by Edmund Lee (No. 2) Dame Street near the Royal Exchange. / Of whom may be had the greatest variety of new music, songs &c. Also the most / extensive assortment of instruments of every denomination.

Below the title, right: Pr: 1/7h

p [i], title; p [ii] blank; pp 1-9, tunes (13).

  • National Library of Ireland, Dublin.  (press-mark JM 5411). 7.2 x 9.6″. Page 1 is watermarked 1794.
  • National Library of Ireland, Dublin.  (another copy, press-mark 784.5.11, with no watermark).

This is evidently not the first edition. Mr. B. Breathnach points out an advertisement in the Hibernian Journal of 3 March 1780, as follows: ‘The following is this Day published. 1. A Collection of favourite Irish Tunes, composed by W. Jackson, Esq., Author of the celebrated Dance “The Morning Brush”, Price 1s. 7d. h. . . . printed by, and to be had only of John Lee, at the Corner of Eustace-street, in Dame-street, No. 70.’ (Quoted in Ceol, Vol. III, No. 2, April 1968, p 43). (A similar advertisement appeared in the Dublin Evening Post, 14 March 1780, Page 2, Column 4.) If Grattan Flood is to be believed, there were other editions also, for he says in his History of Irish Music (1906, p 337) that there were three editions and he gives details of two, neither of which corresponds to the one described here. They are (1) Jackson’s Celebrated Irish Tunes, Dublin, Sam Lee, 1774, and (2) a second edition, Dublin, Edmund Lee, 2 Dame-street, 1790, price 2s 2d. Unfortunately Grattan Flood quotes no authority for either of these, though it is possible that he got the information from contemporary advertisements. Samuel Lee was a publisher in Dublin from 1752. He used the imprint ‘2 Dame-street’ from 1769 to 1776, when he died and was succeeded by his widow Anne. His son Edmund Lee took over c. 1788 and continued at 2 Dame-street until 1821. (Humphries and Smith, p 201).

The price given on the title-page is to be read as one shilling and sevenpence halfpenny.

A brief contemporary notice of the author is found in Ferrar, History of Limerick (A. Watson & Co., Limerick, 1787): ‘Walker Jackson is a native of the County of Limerick and a good musician, who has composed a number of excellent pieces of music, which are much admired for their harmony and expression. The most favoured of Mr. Jackson’s compositions are: Jackson’s Morning Brush: the Turret: the Humours of Castle Jackson: Jackson’s Ramble: Roving Blade and the Cream of the Jest.’ Mr. B. Breathnach points out that this clears up three points of doubt or dispute about ‘Piper Jackson’: his name was Walker, not Walter as Grattan Flood and O’Neill have it, he was not a clergyman as is sometimes thought, and he was a native of Limerick and not of Monaghan, as had been suggested by subsequent writers. He died apparently in 1798. For further details and a complete list of tunes attributed to him, see B. Breathnach, ‘Piper Jackson’, in Irish Folk Music Studies, 2, 41-57 (1974-5).


  • Rev 00. (15 October 2008)
  • Rev 01 (2 March 2015).  Format changed for bibliography.altpibroch.com.

© Geoff Hore 2015