Parry, Benjamin (DNB00)

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PARRY, BENJAMIN (1634–1678), bishop of Ossory, was the second son of Edward Parry [q. v.], bishop of Killaloe, and younger brother of John Parry [q. v.], bishop of Ossory. He was born in Dublin in February 1634, and admitted to Trinity College there on 5 Dec. 1648, but migrated to Oxford along with his brother, and entered at Jesus. He graduated B.A. in February 1651–2, and M.A. in 1654. In September 1660 he was elected fellow of Corpus Christi, and Greek reader, and was made B.D. in July 1662. He held the prebend of Knaresborough in York Cathedral from 1663 to 1673, becoming D.D. in 1670. When Arthur, earl of Essex, assumed the viceroyalty of Ireland in 1672, he made Parry his chaplain, who about the same time obtained the prebend of St. Michan's in Christ Church, Dublin, of which his brother was then dean. He resigned St. Michan's on being made dean of Ossory in May 1674, but received instead the prebend of Castleknock in St. Patrick's, Dublin. His first act at Kilkenny was to make a contract for ‘plastering and whitening the whole cathedral church, chapels, and aisles’ (Hist. of St. Canice, p. 74). He held the rectory of Aghaboe, and perhaps also that of Callan in co. Kilkenny, along with his deanery. A few months later he became first precentor and then dean of St. Patrick's, Dublin. Monck Mason suggests that his election to the last deanery was a job. The letters patent passed the great seal on 17 Feb. 1674–5, and Parry produced them on the same day to the chapter, consisting on that occasion of himself as prebendary of Castleknock; of his brother, the bishop of Ossory, as precentor of St. Patrick's, and as such president of the chapter; and of three other prebendaries out of nineteen. To make all secure, he was installed before evening. The deanery had never before been conferred by letters patent, and two juries afterwards found that the crown had no right of presentation.

After his brother's death on 21 Dec. 1677, Parry was appointed, through Ormonde's influence, to succeed him in the see of Ossory; but he died at Kilkenny on 4 Oct. 1678. He was buried in St. Audoen's, Dublin, with his father and brother. He was married, ‘but not to his content,’ says Wood. His wife and two sons survived him. According to the same authority he succeeded his brother as rector of Llaniestyn in North Wales. Parry had not time to make much mark at Kilkenny, and his only known literary production was a book of pious meditations, published in London in 1659, and again in 1672, under the title of ‘Chimia Cælestis.’ He edited a manual of devotion by Brian Duppa [q. v.], bishop of Winchester, and this was published in London in 1674.

[Ware's Bishops and Writers of Ireland, ed. Harris; Wood's Athenæ and Fasti Oxonienses, ed. Bliss; Cotton's Fasti Ecclesiæ Hibernicæ; Monck Mason's Hist. of St. Patrick's Cathedral; Graves and Prim's Hist. of St. Canice's Cathedral.]

R. B-l.