He was a pupil of Willoughby, William Shrubsole, and Samuel Arnold (1796). Jacob was born and died in London. He was an organist at various churches, finally at Surrey Chapel (1794–1825).
With Wesley and Crotch, he gave organ recitals to immense audiences from 1808-1814.
He conducted a series of oratorios in 1800, and the Lenten Oratorios at Covent Garden in 1818.