Tony Giffard, 3rd Earl of Halsbury

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John Anthony Hardinge Giffard, 3rd Earl of Halsbury FRS [1] (4 June 1908 14 January 2000), was a British peer and scientist. Halsbury succeeded to the title in 1943.

Giffard was Managing Director of the National Research Development Corporation 1949–1959, after having been Director of Research of Decca Record Company 1947–1949, and previously worked for Lever Brothers, and Brown-Firth Research Laboratories. Subsequently he served on many public bodies, including chairing the Committee on Decimal Currency (1961–1963). Between 1966 and 1997 he was Chancellor of Brunel University. [2]

He was President of the British Computer Society during 1969–70. [3] In 1970 he was awarded and Honorary Fellowship of the British Psychological Society. [4]

In addition, he was also a friend of J. R. R. Tolkien and was one of the few people to read The Silmarillion in Tolkien's lifetime in 1957.

His grandmother was the Edwardian couturiere Lady Duff-Gordon, otherwise known by her professional name Lucile, and who was a survivor of the RMS Titanic disaster.

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Earl of Halsbury

Earl of Halsbury, in the County of Devon, was a title in the Peerage of the United Kingdom. Halsbury is a historic manor in the parish of Parkham, near Bideford, Devon, long the seat of the Giffard family and sold by them in the 18th. century. The title was created on 19 January 1898 for the lawyer and Conservative politician Hardinge Giffard, 1st Baron Halsbury. He was Lord High Chancellor of Great Britain from 1885 to 1886, 1886 to 1892 and 1895 to 1905. Giffard had already been created Baron Halsbury, of Halsbury in the County of Devon, on 26 June 1885, and was made Viscount Tiverton, of Tiverton in the County of Devon, at the same time he was given the earldom. Those titles were also in the Peerage of the United Kingdom. He was descended from the family of Giffard of Brightley, Chittlehampton, a junior line of Gifford of Halsbury. A younger son of the first of the Brightley family was Roger Giffard (d.1603) who purchased Tiverton Castle which he made his home. The 1st Earl in fact had no close connection with Halsbury, as the closest of his ancestors born there was Sir Roger Giffard of Brightley (d.1547) and even less with Tiverton, the home of none of his ancestors but only of a very distant cousin, but nevertheless chose these places as his titles. The 2nd Earl styled himself "Lord Tiverton" until his succession to the title in 1921, and as a major in the Royal Navy Air Service during World War I produced in September 1917 the first comprehensive plan for strategic bombing that became a major influence for plans and doctrine used by British and American air forces in World War II. Halsbury's grandson, the third Earl, was a scientist and the first Chancellor of Brunel University. The fourth Earl did not use his title and did not use the courtesy title of Viscount Tiverton which he was entitled to from 1943 to 2000. All the titles became extinct on his death in 2010.

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John Giffard may refer to:

Weare Giffard Village, civil parish and former manor in Devon, England

Weare Giffard is a small village, civil parish and former manor in the Torridge district, in north Devon. The church and manor house are situated 2 1/2 miles NW of Great Torrington in Devon. Most of the houses within the parish are situated some 1/2-mile east of the church. The church is situated on a hillside to the north and slightly above the wide and flat valley floor of the River Torridge. The Church of the Holy Trinity and the adjacent Weare Giffard Hall are designated members of the Grade I listed buildings in Devon.


  1. Lindsay, C. O. J. M. (2001). "John Giffard, 3rd Earl of Halsbury, 3rd Earl of Halsbury. 4 June 1908 – 14 January 2000". Biographical Memoirs of Fellows of the Royal Society . 47: 239. doi: 10.1098/rsbm.2001.0014 .
  2. "Lord Halsbury". The Guardian. 31 January 2000. Retrieved 17 June 2018.
  3. BCS Past Presidents, British Computer Society, UK.
  4. "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 23 October 2017. Retrieved 22 May 2017.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
Peerage of the United Kingdom
Preceded by
Hardinge Gouburn Giffard
Earl of Halsbury
Succeeded by
Adam Edward Giffard