James Hennessy

Actor, Writer


Sir James Patrick Ivan Hennessy (born 26 September 1923) is a retired British diplomat and served as Her Majestys Chief Inspector of Prisons from 1982 to 1987.Educated at Bedford School and then Kings College, Durham (now part of Newcastle University), Hennessy aged 21 joined the Royal Artillery in 1942, later being seconded to the Indian Army in 1944 until 1946.After the War, Hennessy joined what was then HM Overseas Service, serving initially in Basutoland, South Africa from 1948 in a number of roles, seconded in 1961 to the Office of the High Commissioner in Pretoria and taking on a number of positions in the government of South Africa. He retired from the Overseas Service in 1968 and was appointed to the Foreign Office, serving as Chargé dAffaires to Montevideo, Uruguay for 1971–72, and then High Commissioner to Kampala, Uganda and non-resident Ambassador to Kigali, Rwanda, 1973–76. He served as Consul-General in Cape Town from 1977 to 1980, before ending his career as the last Governor and Commander-in-Chief of British Honduras (now Belize) from 1980–1981.In 1982, Hennessy was appointed as the second ever HM Chief Inspector of Prisons, taking over from Bill Pearce, previously the Chief Inspector of Probation for Inner London whose tenure as HMCIP was cut short by illness. James Hennessey served a five-year term until 1987. After stepping down as Chief Inspector to be replaced by Judge Sir Stephen Tumim, Hennessy served on the Parole Board for England and Wales until 1991 and as a Trustee of the Butler Trust until 1998.Hennessy was appointed a Member of the Order of the British Empire (MBE) in the 1959 New Year Honours, an Office of the same Order (OBE) in the 1968 New Year Honours, a Companion of the Order of St Michael and St George (CMG) in the 1975 New Year Honours and finally a Knight of the Order of the British Empire (KBE) in the 1982 New Year Honours.

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