Born 7 May 1775, son of Owen and Jane Parry of Groeslon-grugan, Llandwrog, Caernarfonshire. He received a better education than most boys of his time. He was for a time at Madam Bevan's school at Bryn'rodyn, at John Roberts's (1753 - 1834) school at Llanllyfni, and at Evan Richardson's school at Caernarvon. In 1793 he went to Brynsiencyn, Anglesey, where he kept a day school for the children and a night school for the older people.
He showed an early desire to enter the ministry and on Christmas day 1797 delivered his first sermon. In 1800 he moved to Holyhead, but because of the demands on his services as a preacher the school there was very intermittent. After his marriage to a Miss Bellis of Caerfallwch, Flintshire, he received a call to minister to the churches in London and, at the same time, assisted Thomas Charles by reading the proofs of the Welsh Bible published by the Bible Society.
In 1806 John Parry and his wife settled in Chester, where, after keeping a draper's shop for about four years, they turned to a more congenial form of trade, namely book-selling — a venture which was successful, for he was industrious, methodical, and careful.
He was an indefatigable writer all his life. In addition to a number of small books he published a memoir of the Rev. John Brown, 1806, and a translation of the latter's work Corph o Dduwinyddiaeth, 1812. He also published Pedwar Cyflwr Dyn, 1821, a translation, perhaps by Ieuan Glan Geirionydd, of a book written by Thomas Boston. He was, moreover, the author of Esboniad ar Lyfr y Prophwyd Esaiah, 1830, and of two grammars, etc. Nor must we forget the Rhodd Mam, a little book published in 1811, which for over a century remained the primer of systematic religious instruction for Welsh Calvinistic Methodist children.
Parry was an enthusiastic supporter of the Home and Foreign Mission, of religious instruction, of the Sunday schools, and of similar movements and activities. He was ordained as early as 1814, and had a hand in devising the Calvinistic Methodist Confession of Faith (1823) as well as the Constitutional Deed of the C.M. Connexion. After establishing his own press in 1818, he started a monthly magazine, Goleuad Gwynedd. Three years later, by public request, this became an undenominational publication and its name was changed to Goleuad Cymru; it was sold at 4d. a copy. In 1830 there was a general desire for restarting Y Drysorfa, which had hitherto only appeared intermittently, and in January 1831 the first number of a new series came out; he was its editor for the rest of his life.
He died 28 April 1846.
Published date: 1959
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