Historian

Born in Senglea, the son of Captain Francesco and Francesca née De Bertis, Achille graduated from the UM at the age of 18, and was appointed headteacher of the government experimental primary school, Valletta.

In 1862 Ferres published Notizie Storiche sull’Etimologia dei nomi appropriati a varie località dell’Isola di Malta. His Storia Ecclesiastica di Malta (1887) is meant to complete the 700-page work entitled Descrizione Storica delle Chiese di Malta e Gozo (1866). Though facts and dates need to be revised and occasionally corrected, the book is an important source for historians. His Memorie dell’Inclito Ordine Gerosolimitano esistente nell’Isola di Malta (1881) gained for him the membership in the Order of Malta. On account of his works of religious character and various philanthropic activities, he was created knight of the Pontifical Order of St Gregory.

Though sometimes often unjustly heavily criticised, Ferres was a pioneer of ecclesiastical history. His works, especially Descrizione Storica, notwithstanding the fact that they lack documentation, are still profusely consulted.

Ferres died of arteriosclerosis, in his house at 10, Frederick Street, Valletta.

This biography is part of the collection created by Michael Schiavone over a 30-year period. Read more about Schiavone and his initiative here.

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