Skip to main content

Dr James Kelly


Honorary Professor in History
Head of History Department, St Patrick’s College, Dublin City University

Tel: 00 353 1 8842101

James Kelly was educated at University College Dublin where he completed his PhD on Anglo-Irish relations in the late eighteenth century.  He joined the Staff at St Patrick’s College in the 1980s and became head of Department in 1999. In recognition of his work for the Oxford Dictionary of National Biography, he was made a research associate of the Dictionary. A member of the Irish Manuscripts Commission, he edits the journal Studio Hibernica and the Irish Manuscripts Commission's record series, Analecta Hibernica.

Research Interests

James Kelly’s initial research focus was on the nature of the Anglo-Irish relationship subsequent to the achievement of legislative independence, which was the subject of his first book. He has maintained a strong interest in politics, and employed biography as a means to access the nature of patriot politics, and more recently conservative and ultra-protestant attitudes. Parallel with this, he has maintained an active engagement with social and religious history, which, in respect of the former, has resulted in a series of publications on duelling, capital punishment, print and gender relations, and in the case of the latter, a variety of publications on denominational issues. He is currently completing a study on the making of law in Ireland, 1660-1800 and examining the nature of medical provision.

Select Publications

Poynings’ Law and the making of law for Ireland, 1660–1800 (completed, forthcoming Dublin, 2007).

The Liberty and Ormond Boys: faction fighting in eighteenth-century Dublin (Four Courts Press: Dublin, 2005).

Sir Edward Newenham, 1734–1814: defender of the Protestant constitution (Four Courts Press: Dublin, 2004).

Henry Flood: patriots and politics in eighteenth-century Ireland (University of Notre Dame Press, Indiana; Four Courts Press: Dublin, 1998).

‘That damned thing called honour’: duelling in Ireland 1570–1860 (Cork University Press: Cork, 1995).

Henry Grattan (Historical Association of Ireland: Dundalk, 1993).

Prelude to Union: Anglo-Irish politics in the 1780s (Cork University Press: Cork, 1992).