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The Papers of Sir Geoffrey Jackson

Reference Code: GBR/0014/JAKN

Scope and Contents

The collection contains press cuttings and correspondence relating to Sir Geoffrey's kidnap, and 8-month captivity, by the Tupamaros while he was Ambassador to Uruguay in 1971. This experience is reflected in his subsequent writings, lectures, broadcasts and interests covered in the rest of the collection. There is relatively little material on Sir Geoffrey's earlier diplomatic career.


  • Creation: 1940 - 1988


Conditions Governing Access

The collection is mainly open for consultation (except for specific files indicated, chiefly in JAKN 7) by researchers using Churchill Archives Centre, Churchill College, Cambridge.

Conditions Governing Use

Researchers wishing to publish excerpts from the papers must obtain prior permission from the copyright holders and should seek advice from Archives Centre staff.

Biographical / Historical

Geoffrey Jackson was born on 4 March 1915, the son of Samuel Seymour Jackson and Marie Cecile Dudley Ryder. He was educated at Bolton School, and Emmanuel College, Cambridge, and in 1939 married Patricia Mary Evelyn Delany; they had one son.

Jackson entered the Foreign Service in 1937 and his diplomatic career included the following positions: Vice-Consul at first Beirut [Lebanon], then Cairo [Egypt] and finally Baghdad [Iraq] (1937-46); Acting Consul-General, Basra (1946); 1st Secretary at Bogotá [Colombia] (1946-50), then Berne [Switzerland], (1954-56); Minister at Honduras (1956), then Ambassador to Honduras, (1957-60); Consul-General, Seattle [United States] (1960-64); Senior British Trade Commissioner in Ontario, Canada (1964); Minister (Commercial), Toronto (1965-69); Ambassador to Uruguay (1969-72), during which time Jackson was kidnapped by terrorists and held prisoner for 8 months, from January to September 1971; Deputy Under-Secretary of State, Foreign and Commonwealth Office (1973).

Following his retirement from the diplomatic service, Jackson became Chairman of the BBC Advisory Group on the Social Effects of Television (1975-77) and was a member of the BBC General Advisory Council (1976-80). Jackson was made a Companion of the Order of St Michael and St George (CMG) in 1963, and became a Knight Commander of the Order (KCMG) in 1971. He died on 1 October 1987.

Publications: The Oven-Bird (1972); People’s Prison (1973); Surviving the Long Night (1974); Concorde Diplomacy (1981).


48 archive box(es)

Language of Materials


Other Finding Aids

This finding aid is available at Churchill Archives Centre and at the National Archives in London.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

The papers of Sir Geoffrey Jackson were deposited in Churchill Archives Centre by his widow Evelyn, Lady Jackson, in March and September 1988.

Related Materials

Lady Jackson has also very kindly given her husband's collection of books relating to terrorism. These complement his collection of papers and are located in the Roskill Library at Churchill Archives Centre. See also an oral history interview by Sir James Hennessy, Jackson's Chargé d’Affaires in Uruguay, at


This collection (fonds) level description and catalogue was prepared by Katharine Thomson of Churchill Archives Centre in March 2005 from an existing catalogue.


Jackson, Sir Geoffrey Holt Seymour, 1915-1987, Knight, diplomat

2005-03-01 09:36:22.153000+00:00
Language of description
Script of description

Repository Details

Part of the Churchill Archives Centre Repository

Churchill Archives Centre
Churchill College
Cambridge Cambridgeshire CB3 0DS United Kingdom
+44 (0)1223 336087