|Died||15 September 1822 (aged 27-28)|
He was born in Aberdeen on 29 January 1795. He studied at the University of Aberdeen and received an M.A. degree at the age of 16, then continued studies in Medicine in London, graduating as an M.D., and was admitted to the Royal College of Surgeons of England in 1812. He then travelled to London for further studies in surgery, becoming a Member of the Royal College of Surgeons in 1812.
Jack was employed by the East India Company as a surgeon in India, where he corresponded extensively with botanist Nathaniel Wallich. In 1818 he accompanied Stamford Raffles to Sumatra where he extensively documented the rich flora of that region until his death in 1822. Much of his work, including manuscripts, drawings, and collections, was destroyed by fire in 1824.
He died at Bencoolen in Sumatra on 15 September 1822.
Three plant genera are named after him:
- Jakkia Blume, 1823, a synonym of Xanthophyllum, in family Polygalaceae
- Jackia Wall., 1824, a synonym of Jackiopsis Ridsdale, in family Rubiaceae
- Jackia Spreng., nom. illeg., 1826, a synonym of Eriolaena in family Malvaceae
- Descriptions of Malayan Plants 1820–1822. Originally published in Malayan Miscellanies, and reprinted in various forms at later dates.
- William Jack, communicated by Robert Brown (1823) On the Malayan Species of Melastoma, Transactions of The Linnean Society of London 14(1): 1-22
- William Jack, communicated by Aylmer Bourke Lambert (1823) On Cyrtandraceae, a new Natural Order of Plants, Transactions of The Linnean Society of London 14(1): 23-45
- William Jack, communicated by Henry Thomas Colebrooke (1823) Account of the Lansium and some other Genera of Malayan Plants, Transactions of The Linnean Society of London 14(1): 114-130
- William Jackson Hooker (1835). "Description of Malayan plants by William Jack with a brief memoir of the author and extracts from his correspondence". Companion to the Botanical Magazine. 1: 121–147.
- Elmer Drew Merrill (1952). "William Jack's genera and species of Malaysian plants". Journal of the Arnold Arboretum. 33 (3): 199–251.
- Stafleu, F.A.; Cowan, R.S. (1976–1988). Taxonomic literature: A selective guide to botanical publications and collections with dates, commentaries and types. Second Edition. Utrecht: Bohn, Scheltema and Holkema.
- Stevens, P. F. "Angiosperm Phylogeny Website. Version 9, June 2008 [and more or less continuously updated since]".