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

b. 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 (Flints.) for nearly sixty years (1704-1763); his grandfather, James Pryce, was vicar of Betws-yn-Rhos from 1746 till 1758, and rector of Llansannan (Denbs.) 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, Mont., while living at Pwll-y-crochan and Plas-yn-Llysfaen — he d. 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 Oct. 1887, aged 84.

Author

Published date: 1959

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