PARRY, RICHARD (1560 - 1623), bishop and biblical translator

Name: Richard Parry
Date of birth: 1560
Date of death: 1623
Spouse: Gwen ferch John ap Rhys Wyn
Child: Catherine Thomas (née Parry)
Parent: Elen ferch Dafydd ap John
Parent: John ap Harri
Gender: Male
Occupation: bishop and biblical translator
Area of activity: Literature and Writing; Religion; Scholarship and Languages
Author: Glanmor Williams

Born in 1560, son of John ap Harri, of Pwllhalog, Cwm, Flintshire, and Ruthin, and his wife, Elen ferch Dafydd ap John, of Llanfair Dyffryn Clwyd. Richard Parry was educated at Westminster School under Camden. In 1579 he entered Christ Church, Oxford, where he graduated B.A. 5 February 1584. He was ordained a deacon by bishop Robinson of Bangor, 5 April 1584, and on 4 May was instituted to a comportion of Llanelidan, the endowment of Ruthin free school. While master of Ruthin, he proceeded M.A. 4 June 1586, and later, 4 March 1594, became a B.D. On 24 December 1592 he became chancellor of Bangor; 1 January 1593, vicar of Gresford; in 1596, rector of Cilcain; and 11 April 1599, dean of Bangor. Consecrated bishop of St Asaph, 30 December 1604, he retained in commendam the archdeaconry of St Asaph and his livings of Gresford (until 1609) and Cilcain (until 1622). He also acquired the livings of Rhuddlan (1605-18), Cwm (1610-16), and Llanrwst (1616-23). In 1610, at the earl of Salisbury's request, he intervened, unsuccessfully, in the dispute between Sir John Wynn of Gwydir and his tenants at Dolwyddelan. Parry's report on his diocese in January 1611 shows his deep concern over lay impropriation and the lack of a learned, resident, ministry.

Parry is chiefly remembered for his revised versions of the Welsh Bible and Book of Common Prayer, published in 1620 and 1621. Though Parry received the credit, his brother-in-law, Dr. John Davies of Mallwyd (c. 1567 - 1644), was mainly responsible for the work.

He married, c. 1598, Gwen ferch John ap Rhys Wyn, and had four sons and seven daughters. He died at Diserth, 26 September 1623, leaving a pension of £6 p.a. at Jesus College for a poor scholar of Ruthin.


Published date: 1959

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