Henry Duffe

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Henry Duffe (died after 1488) was an Irish judge of the late fifteenth century.

He was born in Drogheda to an old Anglo-Irish family which had settled in Ireland soon after the Norman Conquest; later he and his wife Katherine jointly owned lands in County Meath. He was called to the Bar and became King's Serjeant in December 1471. The appointment, unusually, was stated to be for life, but in fact he apparently held it only until December 1476. In the latter year he became Controller of the Ports of Dublin and Drogheda. He was briefly Chief Baron of the Irish Exchequer in 1478–80 and was then demoted to the post of an ordinary justice of the Court of Common Pleas (Ireland).

LIke all his judicial colleagues in Ireland he backed the unsuccessful attempt by the pretender Lambert Simnel to seize the English throne in 1487, an attempt which was crushed decisively at the Battle of Stoke Field. He took part in a public ceremony of repentance the following year and received a royal pardon from the victorious King Henry VII.


  • Ball, F. Elrington The Judges in Ireland 1221-1921 London John Murray 1926
  • Hart, A.R. History of the King's Serjeant-at-law in Ireland Four Courts Press Dublin 2000