Born on 15 October 1864 at Grimsby, he trained at Richmond College and was sent to Edinburgh in 1888 to evangelize new suburbs. His modern outlook coupled with loyalty to the gospel drew widespread support for building the Central Hall there. In 1906 he went to aToronto circuit, where he encountered fundamentalist hostility for accepting scientific evidence of the creation of the universe and man. He later taught at Toronto University. His Fernley Lecture, The Preacher and the Modern Mind (1912), aroused opposition in the Conference of 1913 to his appointment to Didsbury College, where he served as Tutor in Pastoral Theology, 1913-1916 and in English Literature, 1919-1928.
He was Free Church correspondent of the Manchester Guardian and regularly contributed 'A Parson's Log' to the Methodist Recorder. He died on 16 April 1945.
His son, George Basil Jackson (1898-1973; e.m. 1922), was born at Edinburgh on 27 January 1898 and educated at Kingswood School and Manchester University. After war service he went to Wesley House, Cambridge and graduated in theology in 1923. He served in Ceylon (now Sri Lanka) from 1926 to 1966. He was Principal of the training college for Sinhala-speaking teachers at Peradeniya, 1928-1941, and Chairman of the S. Ceylon District, 1942-1943 and 1945-1950. As founder and first Director of the National Christian Council's Study Centre in Colombo (renamed The Ecumenical Institute for Study and Dialogue in 1977) he published a monthly commentary on social and political affairs. In 1963 he became first Principal of the Theological College of Lanka, the first Protestant institute to provide training in both Sinhala and Tamil. He died on 24 April 1973.
'My Richmond experiences will always remain a big item in the balance sheet of my life. I entered college a penniless youth - my mother was a widow with a large and young family and I could ask nothing from her. Yet my Church, with a generous trustfulness which probably no other Church in the world would have shown to an untried youth, provided me with tuition and board for two whole years without the cost to me of a single penny… It was thanks largely to these things that I was able - not then, indeed, but at a later time - to pass through the revolution in men's thoughts of the Bible to which my generation was born without danger to my faith in Jesus as Lord.'
George Jackson, in Frank H. Cumbers, Richmond College 1843-1943 (1944) p.73