Geoffrey Jackson

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

Sir Geoffrey Jackson
Born4 March 1915
Died1 October 1987(1987-10-01) (aged 72)
Alma materBolton School;
Emmanuel College, Cambridge
Occupationdiplomat and writer
Spouse(s)Patricia Mary Evelyn Delany[1]

Background and earlier careerEdit

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.

HM Ambassador to UruguayEdit

In 1969 he became ambassador in Uruguay.[5] He was kidnapped by Tupamaros guerrillas in 1970, enduring a captivity of nine months. Released in September 1971, 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]


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. Three decades later it became known that Edward Heath, the UK Prime Minister at that time, negotiated a deal for Jackson's release, brokered by Salvador Allende, President of Chile, who was in contact with the Tupamaros rebels. £42,000 was paid for Jackson's release.[7][8]

Later lifeEdit

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.[9]


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


  • The oven-bird, and some others. Illustrations by George Adamson. London: Faber. 1972. ISBN 0571102018.{{cite book}}: CS1 maint: others (link)
  • 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. ^ "Obituary: Sir Geoffrey Jackson: Stoical Guerrilla Hostage". The Times. London. 2 October 1987. p. 18.
  8. ^ "Heath's Secret Deal to Free Ambassador". Daily Telegraph. London. 1 January 2002.
  9. ^ "Sensationalism 'conceals atrocity of violence'". The Times. London. 11 February 1976. p. 5.
  10. ^ "No. 42870". The London Gazette (Supplement). 1 January 1963. p. 5.
  11. ^ "No. 45485". The London Gazette. 1 October 1971. p. 10585.

External linksEdit

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
Preceded by Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary at Montevideo
Succeeded by