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Priests and Prelates of Armagh in the Age of Reformations, 1518-1558
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224pp. 1997
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Priests and Prelates of Armagh in the Age of Reformations, 1518-1558

Henry A. Jefferies

This title is now out of print.

Part I of this book presents a thematic study of the diocesan clergy in Armagh on the eve of the Tudor reformations. The clergy are shown to have been financially very poor, with few exceptions. Their imposition of fees may have caused some friction between them and some of the laity, though nothing so strong or widespread as to be characterised as 'anticlericalism'. It concludes that the parochial clergy seem to have served their parishes well. The church in Armagh is shown to have been well administered on the eve of the reformations.

Part II traces the impact of the Tudors' religious programmes on the diocesan clergy of Armagh up to the close of 1558. It shows that the pope's jurisdiction was effectively curtailed inter Anglicos, and to a degree inter Hibernicos also, under Henry VIII and Edward VI. Yet the liturgy celebrated by the priests in the parishes remained Catholic, with little break before Elizabeth's reign. The progress of the early Tudor reformations was retarded by clerical opposition, with the connivance of the secular authorities at local and national levels.

Dr Henry A. Jefferies teaches history at Thornhill College, Derry. He is the author of several studies on medieval and early modern history and specializes in Irish ecclesiastical history.

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