Thomas Pakenham (historian)

The Right Honourable
The Earl of Longford

Born (1933-08-14) 14 August 1933
Title Earl of Longford
Tenure 3 August 2001 – present
Predecessor Frank Longford
Spouse(s) Valerie Susan Scott
Parents The 7th Earl of Longford
Elizabeth Harman

Thomas Francis Dermot Pakenham, 8th Earl of Longford (born 14 August 1933), known simply as Thomas Pakenham, is an Anglo-Irish historian and arborist who has written several prize-winning books on the diverse subjects of African history, Victorian and post-Victorian British history, and trees.


He is the son of The 7th Earl of Longford, a Labour minister, and Elizabeth Longford. He has seven siblings, among them Lady Antonia Fraser, a writer who was married to playwright Harold Pinter; Lady Rachel Billington, also a writer and married to director Kevin Billington; Lady Judith Kazantzis, a poet; and The Hon. Kevin Pakenham, who currently works in the City of London. He is also the cousin of former Labour deputy leader, Harriet Harman.

Thomas Pakenham, Lord Longford, does not use his title and did not use his courtesy title before succeeding his father. However, he has not disclaimed his British titles under the Peerage Act 1963, and the Irish peerages cannot be disclaimed as they are not covered by the Act. Following the House of Lords Act 1999 he is not entitled, as a hereditary peer, to sit in the House of Lords. His father was created a life peer in addition to his hereditary titles in order to be able to retain his seat in the upper house.


He married Valerie Susan McNair Scott in 1964 and they have four children:


After graduating from Belvedere College and Magdalen College, Oxford, in 1955, Thomas Pakenham travelled to Ethiopia, a trip which is described in his first book The Mountains of Rasselas. On returning to Britain, he worked on the editorial staff of the Times Educational Supplement and later for The Sunday Telegraph and The Observer. He currently divides his time between London and County Westmeath, Ireland, where he is the chairman of the Irish Tree Society and honorary custodian of Tullynally Castle.


Books authored or co-authored by Thomas Pakenham:

Wikimedia Commons has media related to Thomas Pakenham (historian).
Peerage of Ireland
Preceded by
Frank Pakenham
Earl of Longford
Succeeded by
Peerage of the United Kingdom
Preceded by
Frank Pakenham
Baron Pakenham
Succeeded by
This article is issued from Wikipedia - version of the 8/10/2016. The text is available under the Creative Commons Attribution/Share Alike but additional terms may apply for the media files.