Page:Dictionary of National Biography volume 43.djvu/375

From Wikisource
Jump to: navigation, search
This page has been proofread, but needs to be validated.


lady's ‘Confessions of an Elderly Gentleman,’ 1836, and ‘Confessions of an Elderly Lady,’ 1838, were also designed by him with much popular approval.

On Queen Victoria's first state visit to Drury Lane Theatre in November 1837, Parris, from a seat in the orchestra, made a sketch of her as she stood in her box, and from this painted a portrait, of which an engraving, by Wagstaff, was published by Messrs. Hodgson & Graves in the following April. In 1838 he was commissioned by the same firm to paint a picture of the queen's coronation, and he received sittings for the purpose from her majesty and all the chief personages who were present; a print of this, also executed by Wagstaff, appeared in 1842. At the cartoon competition in Westminster Hall in 1843 Parris gained a prize of 100l. for his ‘Joseph of Arimathæa converting the Britons.’ In 1852 the proposal to restore Thornhill's paintings in St. Paul's was revived and the commission given to Parris, who, bringing into use the scaffold he had designed for the purpose nearly thirty years before, commenced the task in 1853, and completed it in July 1856. The state of decay into which Thornhill's work had fallen rendered some kind of reparation necessary, but the complete repainting carried out by Parris almost wholly deprived it of such interest as it ever possessed. Parris was a frequent exhibitor of historical and fancy subjects at the Royal Academy and British Institution from 1816 to the end of his life, and in 1832 received the appointment of historical painter to Queen Adelaide. Throughout his career his untiring industry and great facility of invention led him to engage in almost every description of artistic work, and he made innumerable designs for stained-glass windows, carpets, screens, &c. He assisted Sir Robert Smirke [q. v.] in preparing Westminster Abbey for the coronation of William IV, and was much employed in decorating the mansions of the nobility. One of his last important undertakings was the preparation of a model for a piece of tapestry, forty feet long, for the Paris exhibition of 1867. At one time Parris carried on a life-drawing school at his house in Grafton Street, Bond Street. He invented a medium which, when mixed with oil, produced a dull fresco-like surface; this was widely known as ‘Parris's Medium.’ He died at 27 Francis Street, Bedford Square, 27 Nov. 1873.

[Builder, 1873, p. 979; Redgrave's Dict. of Artists; Universal Cat. of Books on Art; information from Algernon Graves, esq.]

F. M. O'D.

PARRIS or PARIS, GEORGE van (d. 1551), heretic, was said to have been born in Flanders, but is described by Wallace as of Mentz in the Grand Duchy of Hesse. He was a surgeon, and no doubt settled in London because the law of 1531 enabled foreign surgeons to enjoy a larger liberty of opinion than native surgeons enjoyed. He became naturalised 29 Oct. 1550, and was a member for a time of the Dutch church in Austin Friars. After the death of Joan Bocher, who had denied the humanity of Christ, considerable fear seems to have been felt lest unitarian opinions should spread. A commission was issued on 18 Jan. 1550–1, and Van Parris, having been arrested, was formally examined on 6 April. The Dutch church excommunicated him, and on 7 April he was condemned. His judges included Cranmer, Ridley, and Coverdale, and his offence was the denial of the divinity of Christ. Edward VI, in his ‘Journal,’ mentions the disputation (Lit. Remains of Edward VI, Roxb. Club, ii. 312); doubtless the proceedings were prolonged, owing to the fact that Van Parris knew little or no English, and it is stated that Coverdale acted as his interpreter. He appears to have been a man of upright life, and some efforts were made to secure a pardon for him. He was, however, burnt, on 25 April 1551, in Smithfield.

[Wallace's Antitrinitarian Biogr. ii. 124; Strype's Cranmer, p. 258, Memorials, II. i. 482; Publ. of the Huguenot Soc. viii. 243.]

W. A. J. A.

PARROT or PERROT, HENRY (fl. 1600–1626), epigrammatist, author of ‘Springes for Woodcocks,’ published six little volumes of profligate epigrams and satires during the first quarter of the seventeenth century. Some lines in one of his satires have been regarded as an indication that he was at one time a player at the Fortune Theatre. He wrote mainly for the delectation of choice spirits among the templars, and there seems little doubt that he was himself a member of one of the inns of court. The fact that the phrase ‘springes for woodcocks’ occurs twice in Hamlet, combined with the fact that another of Parrot's works is entitled ‘The Mous-trap’ (the name of the play which Hamlet presented to entrap the king), suggests that the epigrammatist sought to make capital out of the current popularity of Shakespeare's play. His verses contain allusions to Tom Coryate, Bankes's horse, and many other topics of contemporary interest. His epigrams (which have not been reprinted) contain probably more spirit than those of such rivals as Heywood, Bastard,