Born in 1798 at Trelawnyd (‘Newmarket’), Flintshire, the son of Edward and Mary Parry. At an early age he moved to Chester, settling in business as a bookseller, first at the Exchange, Northgate Street, and afterwards in Bridge Street Row. Here he had for sale Welsh books (including his own works and illustrations). He was prominently connected with the city's Welsh life and his services in connection with the various Welsh movements and societies were much appreciated. In 1826 he took an active part in organizing the Welsh auxiliary of the Chester Bible Society and for many years he was its secretary. In April 1822 seven young tradesmen met to consider the formation of a Cymmrodorion society in the city. The preparations were achieved, the Chester Cymmrodorion Society was established with Hugh Jones (Erfyl) as president and Edward Parry as secretary, a post he held until 1839. A history of The Chester Cambrian Societies was written by Thomas Edwards in 1906. In 1826 Parry promoted a scheme for the establishment of a Sunday evening ‘lecture’ in Welsh at one of the churches, and the constant residence of a Welsh clergyman whose duties were to be exclusively devoted to the spiritual comforts of his countrymen in the city.
At Chester Parry was associated with Evan Evans (Ieuan Glan Geirionydd) and Y Gwladgarwr. In 1836 he bought the publishing rights after Ieuan himself had suffered financial loss. Hugh Jones (Erfyl) was the editor from 1836 but in 1841 its publication was undertaken by Robert Lloyd Morris at Liverpool. Parry was responsible for the publication of several Welsh books, e.g. Coffhad am y Parch. Daniel Rowlands, by John Owen, 1839, and The Poetical Works of Richard Llwyd, 1837. Parry wrote the memoir which forms the preface to this book, and he also edited and published Blodau Arfon, sef gwaith Dewi Wyn, 1842. He was a successful competitor on historical essays at eisteddfodau. He published Historical Researches on the Flintshire Castles, 1830, which was submitted by him to Denbigh Eisteddfod, 1830, and later his essay Undeb Cymru a Lloegr, 1837, which had been awarded the prize at Tegeingl eisteddfod held at Trelawnyd in 1829. He was well known for his contributions to the topography of the Principality and his authorship of various works for the use of travellers in North Wales; Cambrian Mirror, 1843 (with three other editions); Railway Companion from Chester to Holyhead, 1848 (2nd ed. 1849); Railway Companion from Chester to Shrewsbury. His last and most important work was Royal Visits and Progresses to Wales, which he published in 1850 (2nd ed. 1851). This is a repertory of facts, the collection of which does credit to his painstaking research over many years. He died 25 March, 1854, and was buried at Chester.
Published date: 1959
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