Geoffrey Jackson

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Sir Geoffrey Jackson
Born 4 March 1915
Died 1 October 1987(1987-10-01) (aged 72)
Alma mater Bolton School;
Emmanuel College, Cambridge
Occupation diplomat and writer
Spouse(s) Patricia Mary Evelyn Delany[1]

Sir Geoffrey Holt Seymour Jackson KCMG (4 March 1915 – 1 October 1987) was a British diplomat and writer.


Jackson received his education at Bolton School and Emmanuel College, Cambridge. He entered the Foreign Service in 1937 and served in Beirut, Cairo, Baghdad, Basra, Bogotá and Berne before being appointed Minister to Honduras in 1956.[2] The next year he was promoted to ambassador when the post was upgraded.[3] He was Consul-General at Seattle for the north-western US states 1960–64[4] and Minister (Commercial) in Toronto 1965–69. In 1969 he became ambassador in Uruguay.[5] He was kidnapped by Tupamaros guerrillas in 1971, enduring a captivity of eight months. He retired at the end of 1972 with the honorary rank of Deputy Under-Secretary of State at the Foreign Office, having served for 35 years in the diplomatic service, of which 31 had been spent abroad.[6] He served for five years, 1976–80, on the BBC's General Advisory Council (abolished in the 1990s) and was chairman of a BBC advisory group on the social effects of television.[7]


Jackson was kidnapped by Tupamaros guerrillas on 8 January 1971 in Montevideo, Uruguay. He was released after eight months of captivity, on 9 September 1971. Later it became known that Edward Heath, the British prime minister at that time, negotiated a deal for Jackson's release. ₤42,000 was paid for his release, which was brokered by Salvador Allende, the Chilean president who enjoyed contacts with the Tupamaros rebels.[8][9]


Geoffrey Jackson was appointed CMG in the New Year Honours of 1963[10] and knighted KCMG in 1971 after his release.[11]


  • The oven-bird, and some others. Illustrations by George Adamson. London: Faber. 1972. ISBN 0571102018. 
  • People's Prison. London: Faber. 1973. ISBN 057110424X. 
  • Surviving the long night: an autobiographical account of a political kidnapping. New York: Vanguard Press. 1974. ISBN 0814907563. 
  • Concorde diplomacy: the ambassador's role in the world today. London: Hamilton. 1981. ISBN 0241105242. 



  1. ^ The Papers of Sir Geoffrey Jackson.
  2. ^ "No. 40759". The London Gazette. 20 April 1956. p. 2324. 
  3. ^ "No. 41082". The London Gazette. 28 May 1957. p. 3181. 
  4. ^ "No. 42185". The London Gazette. 4 November 1960. p. 7461. 
  5. ^ "No. 44918". The London Gazette. 14 August 1969. p. 8423. 
  6. ^ "Sir Geoffrey Jackson to retire". The Times. London. 16 December 1972. p. 4. 
  7. ^ "Sensationalism 'conceals atrocity of violence'". The Times. London. 11 February 1976. p. 5. 
  8. ^ "Obituary: Sir Geoffrey Jackson: Stoical Guerrilla Hostage". The Times. London. 2 October 1987. p. 18. 
  9. ^ "Heath's Secret Deal to Free Ambassador". Daily Telegraph. London. 1 January 2002. 
  10. ^ "No. 42870". The London Gazette (Supplement). 1 January 1963. p. 5. 
  11. ^ "No. 45485". The London Gazette. 1 October 1971. p. 10585. 

External links[edit]

Diplomatic posts
Preceded by
John Coghill
Envoy Extraordinary and Minister Plenipotentiary at Tegucigalpa
Succeeded by
himself, as Ambassador
Preceded by
himself, as Minister
Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary at Tegucigalpa
Succeeded by
Richard Tollinton
Preceded by
Sir Keith Unwin
Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary at Montevideo
Succeeded by
Peter Oliver