PARRY, JOHN HUMFFREYS (HUMPHREYS,) (1786-1825), antiquary

Name: John Humffreys Parry
Date of birth: 1786
Date of death: 1825
Child: John Humffreys Parry
Parent: Anne Parry (née Wynne)
Parent: Edward Parry
Gender: Male
Occupation: antiquary
Area of activity: History and Culture

His father, Edward Perry (1752 - 1805), cleric, was the son of Edward Parry, ' gent. ', of Nerquis, Flintshire; he went up to Jesus College, Oxford, in 1772, but Foster has no record of his graduation; W. D. Leathart attributes ' high literary attainments ' to him; he was rector of Llangar, 1784-9, and of Llanferres, 1789-1805 (Thomas, A History of the Diocese of St. Asaph), but lived at Mold, keeping school and acting as curate of Mold. He married Anne Wynne.

J. H. Parry, it would seem, was his parents' eldest son. He was born at Mold 6 April 1786, and went to Ruthin school (Thomas, op. cit., ii, 132). He was afterwards in the office of his uncle, a lawyer at Mold. On his father's death he inherited some money, went up to London in 1807, and was called to the Bar in 1811. But he ' neglected his practice,' fell into debt, and took to journalism, writing under the pseudonym ' Ordovex.' In 1819 he founded The Cambro-Briton, of which he brought out three volumes (1820-2), and in 1824 published a biographical dictionary, The Cambrian Plutarch. He was a member of the Gwyneddigion Society, and was one of the men who, in 1820, revived the Cymmrodorion Society - he was its secretary for a year, and edited the first volume 1822) of its Transactions. When, in 1822, the government decided to print the older British historians, Parry was appointed editor of the Welsh section - Aneurin Owen was appointed to succeed him after his death. He was killed in a tavern brawl at the ' Prince of Wales,' Pentonville, 12 February 1825. Leathart describes him as ' a generally intelligent man, though somewhat hasty and overbearing.' He left a widow and five children in great poverty; the Gwyneddigion and Cymmrodorion, chiefly through the efforts of Bardd Alaw, collected more than £1,000 for their benefit. One of these children was JOHN HUMPHREYS PARRY (1816 - 1880), a barrister, and one of the last to be entitled 'Serjeant'; he appears in D.N.B. - a strong radical and a famous pleader, who appeared in some very notable cases, e.g. the Tichborne case, and Whistler v. Ruskin.

Another (the fourth) of Edward Parry's sons was THOMAS PARRY (1795 - 1870), bishop. According to D.N.B. (which misnames his father), he was born 'in Denbighshire ' - possibly, therefore, at Llanferres. He went up to Oriel College in 1812, 'aged 17,' graduated with distinction in 1816, and was Fellow of Balliol, 1818-25. In 1824, he was appointed archdeacon in the West Indies, and in 1842 bishop of Barbados. His health broke down and he returned to Britain in 1869; he died at Malvern, 16 March 1870.


Published date: 1959

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