The Numismatic Bibliomania Society



The E-Sylum: Volume 26, Number 12, March 19, 2023, Article 15


Julia Casey writes:

Prof. Jackson's Free Advice token reverse "Regarding David Pickup's question about "Prof. Jackson." I don't know if I located the correct individual, but I feel he is a distinct possibility.

"I focused my search on Yorkshire in the mid-19th century and found newspaper articles from 1872-3 in Hull mentioning the arrest of a "Quack Doctor" who is described as "Professor Jackson and his Indian Remedy." Professor Jackson was identified as "Henry Jackson, 35, well known in York" an "imperfectly educated" "herbalist," "formerly a drum-major of the Hull Rifle Volunteers" and "late of the Indian army R.C.A.R." These "mysterious initials were rendered in court into 'Railway crossing Albany-road,' near where the prisoner lived." Most of Professor Jackson's medicines were found to be composed "only of coloured water."

"Here is an advertisement for Professor Jackson in Hull from before his arrest (Hull Daily News 7/27/1872)."

  Professor Jackson 04Hull

David Powell writes:

"Not sure whether the following excerpts refer to the same Professor Jackson that the token does, but the man described seems to be the same sort of enigmatic individual, offering dubious services, as the issuer. He doesn't have any links with the Pavement in York, but he does with the one in Nottingham. Such characters would often travel around the country, especially if there was any danger of the quality of their product being exposed. They lived by their wits, using whatever skills they had, and turn their hand to anything.

"The Victorian era saw a fashion for quackery and pseudo-science which certain people, of debateable qualifications and origin, were very happy to try and professionally exploit. There were a number of token issuers amongst them.

"The Era, the main journal of the theatre and music hall at the time, also contains several late-1870s references to a Professor Jackson performing as a ventriloquist. Whether he is the same man I don't know, but you certainly wouldn't need an academic qualification to do that job."

  Professor Jackson 00 Alva
Alloa Advertiser, Saturday 15 May 1875 {page 3}
  Professor Jackson 01 Last night in Alva
Same newspaper, advert on page 1 deferred to above
  Professor Jackson 02 Legal Notice
Nottingham Guardian - Saturday 01 December 1877

From the Alloa Circular, Wednesday 22 February 1882: Professor Jackson 03 Phrenologist in Trouble

A PHRENOLOGIST IN TROUBLE. We find the following in the Evening News of the 18th current :- "The case of John Jackson, phrenologist and mesmerist, charged on remand with indecently assaulting ten or twelve young girls after religious services which he had conducted, was mentioned yesterday morning at Nottingham Town Hall. The prisoner was too ill to appear, and a solicitor appeared on behalf of his congregation for bail. The Town-Clerk opposed, and said he had a much more serious charge to prefer against Jackson, namely, that of rape. Bail was accordingly refused and the prisoner again remanded.

We remember some time ago, that a man, calling himself Professor Jackson, paid a visit to Alloa, and had a series of lectures on Mesmerism. The "Professor" favoured a number of tradesmen with his custom but left the town suddenly, on urgent private business, without clearing his scores, and as far we are aware they are not yet paid. John seems now to have fallen into the hands of those who will not allow the plea of urgent private business to have any effect on them, should he propose leaving Nottingham for that purpose.

Thanks, everyone. We can imagine what the "private examinations" entailed. -Editor

Julia adds:

"I think my guy is more likely...but the dates are just enough off to make me wonder if they were the same person."

To read the earlier E-Sylum article, see:
NOTES FROM E-SYLUM READERS: MARCH 12, 2023 : Query: Prof. Jackson's Free Advice (

Wayne Homren, Editor

NBS ( Web

The Numismatic Bibliomania Society is a non-profit organization promoting numismatic literature. See our web site at

To submit items for publication in The E-Sylum, write to the Editor at this address:

To subscribe go to:



Copyright © 1998 - 2023 The Numismatic Bibliomania Society (NBS)
All Rights Reserved.

NBS Home Page
Contact the NBS webmaster