Jefferies, Henry A(lan) 1961-
JEFFERIES, Henry A(lan) 1961-
PERSONAL: Born October 25, 1961, in Cork, Ireland; son of George (a fisherman) and Ita (O'Callaghan) Jefferies; married Una O'Neill (a clerical officer), August 13, 1987; children: James, Rosemary. Education: National University of Ireland, B.A., 1982; Queen's University, Belfast, Ph.D., 1996. Religion: Catholic.
CAREER: Educator and author. Thornhill College, Derry, Northern Ireland, head of history department.
Priests and Prelates of Armagh in the Age of Reformation, 1518-1558 Four Courts Press (Dublin, Ireland), 1997.
(Editor, with Charles Dillon) Tyrone: History and Society, Geography Publications (Dublin, Ireland), 2001.
Sisters of Mercy, Thornhill College (Derry, Ireland), 2002.
(Editor, with Ciarán Devlin) History of the Diocese ofDerry from Earliest Times, Four Courts Press (Dublin, Ireland), 2001.
(With Gerard O'Brien) Cork City: Perspectives of anUrban Past, Four Courts Press (Dublin, Ireland), 2004.
SIDELIGHTS: Henry A. Jefferies, a teacher of history at Thornhill College in Northern Ireland, shares his understanding and enthusiasm for Irish history in several books. In Priests and Prelates of Armagh in the Age of Reformation, 1518-1558, Jefferies covers the status of the Catholic clergy just prior to the Reformation, showing that, despite poverty among clerics, the Irish people were well-served by their church. The English shift from Catholicism to Anglicanism—propelled by the personal agenda of English king Henry VIII—did not make its way quickly to Ireland, despite a curtailment in influence from Rome, due to the strong foundation the church had laid. Noting that "study of the early Reformation in Ireland is a task fraught with difficulties," Journal of Ecclesiastical History contributor Raymond Gillespie lauded Jefferies's work as "the first substantial contribution to untangling these knotty problems."
In Cork City: Perspectives of an Urban Past, Jefferies joins coauthor Gerard O'Brien in setting forth the history of that great city. In the first part of the book Jefferies presents the city's rise from a medieval town to a major seaport by the early 1800s, explaining the many influences that prompted the city's growth. Jefferies has also edited History of the Diocese of Derry from Earliest Times, which collects thirteen essays recounting the formation of one of the major strongholds of Irish Catholicism.
Jefferies told CA: "I have a passion for Irish history, and I try to expand and deepen our knowledge of Irish church history in particular. I was inspired originally by a personal interest in the Catholic/Protestant interface in doctrine and politics. I applied this to Ireland's reformation experience.
"My writing tends to be empirical, reflecting the underdeveloped nature of my field and my wish to make solid progress in developing it.
BIOGRAPHICAL AND CRITICAL SOURCES:
Catholic Historical Review, October, 1998, John J. Silke, review of Priests and Prelates of Armagh in the Age of Reformation, 1518-1558, p. 764; April, 2001, Fergus O'Donoghue, review of History of the Diocese of Derry from Earliest Times, p. 304.
Journal of Ecclesiastical History, October, 1998, Raymond Gillespie, review of Priests and Prelates of Armagh in the Age of Reformation, 1518-1558, p. 730.
Four Courts Press Web site,http://www.four-courts-press.ie/ (January 19, 2004).