Jesuit historian; b. London, 1587; d. Saint–Omer, Flanders, Aug. 11, 1652. After a novitiate begun at Louvain (1607), and after the usual course of philosophy in the English College, Seville, and theology at Louvain, during which he was ordained, Alford (originally Griffith), spent two years among the English at Naples. For five years (1615–20) he was English penitentiary at St. Peter's, Rome. He was socius to the master of novices at Liège (1620) and later rector of the tertians at Ghent before going to England in the winter of 1628–29. Upon landing, he was mistaken for Richard Smith, Bishop of Chalcedon, and arrested, but he was released at the intervention of Queen Henrietta Maria. Alford worked in Leicestershire and Herefordshire, becoming superior of the residence of St. Anne in 1636. He spent his leisure mainly in historical studies and writing, and retired to Saint–Omer in 1652 to finish his three–volume Fides Regia Britannica sive Annales Ecclesiae Britannicae (Liège 1663). He wrote also a life of St. Winefride (1635) and Britannia Illustrata (1641).
Bibliography: h. more, Historia Provinciae anglicanae Societatis Jesu (Saint–Omer 1660) 394–395. g. oliver, Collections toward Illustrating the Biography of the Scotch, English, and Irish Members of the Society of Jesus (London 1845). a. de backer, Bibliothèque des écrivains de la compagnie de Jésus, 3 v. (Paris 1869–76) 1:71. t. cooper, The Dictionary of National Biography From the Earliest Times to 1900, 63 v. (London 1885–1900) 1:284. c. sommervogel et al., Bibliothèque de la Compagnie de Jésus, 11 v. (Brussels–Paris 1890–1932) 1:175–176.