Jakes were another name for outhouses, a type of toilet in a small structure separate from the main building which does not have a flush or sewer attached.
Although the first flushing lavatory with a cistern was invented as far back as 1596, the idea failed to catch on until the late 18th century. In 1775 Alexander Cumming was granted a patent for a flushing lavatory. Joseph Brahmah made a better design in 1778. The U-bend was invented in 1782. However, flushing toilets were a luxury at first and did not become common till the late 19th century