PRICE, JOHN ('Old Price'; 1803 - 1887), cleric, naturalist, and eccentric

Name: John Price
Pseudonym: Old Price
Date of birth: 1803
Date of death: 1887
Parent: James Pryce
Gender: Male
Occupation: cleric, naturalist, and eccentric
Area of activity: History and Culture; Nature and Agriculture; Religion
Author: Robert Thomas Jenkins

Born in 1803 at Pwll-y-crochan, Colwyn Bay, of a long and long-lived line of clerics. His great-grandfather, Ellis Pryce, was rector of Ysgeifiog, Flintshire for nearly sixty years (1704-1763); his grandfather, James Pryce, was vicar of Betws-yn-Rhos from 1746 till 1758, and rector of Llansannan, Denbighshire from 1758 till 1782; his father, again James Pryce, was rector of Cerrig-y-drudion from 1784 till 1800, and then for half a century (1800-50) non-resident rector of Llanfechain, Montgomeryshire, while living at Pwll-y-crochan and Plas-yn-Llysfaen - he died at 94, 'having complained of his health all his life.' All three were buried at Ysgeifiog.

John Price went to Shrewsbury School, where he was a form-mate of B. H. Kennedy and a school-fellow of Charles Darwin - Darwin aroused his interest in nature, and became a great friend in after years. He graduated, as third classic, from S. John's College, Cambridge, in 1826. But though he became a master at Shrewsbury and at other schools, he developed an instability and an oddity in dress and behaviour which unfitted him for a normal career. He boasted of his nickname 'Old Price.' He published a number of books (now very scarce), such as Llandudno and how to enjoy it (1869), and Old Price's Remains , an extremely odd monthly periodical (April 1863-March 1864), of great interest to dwellers in the Llandrillo-yn-Rhos district. The chapter on natural history in the History of Aberconwy by Robert Williams (1810 - 1881) is by Price. He died at Chester, 14 October 1887, aged 84.


Published date: 1959

Article Copyright:

The Dictionary of Welsh Biography is provided by The National Library of Wales and the University of Wales Centre for Advanced Welsh and Celtic Studies. It is free to use and does not receive grant support. A donation would help us maintain and improve the site so that we can continue to acknowledge Welsh men and women who have made notable contributions to life in Wales and beyond.

Find out more on our sponsorship page.