Parry, Richard (1560-1623) (DNB00)

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PARRY, RICHARD (1560–1623), bishop of St. Asaph, was the son of John ap Harri or Parry of Pwllhalog (in the parish of Cwm, Flintshire) and of Ruthin, and Elen, daughter of Dafydd ap John of Llanfair Dyffryn Clwyd, his wife. He was born in 1560, educated at Westminster School, and in 1579 elected a student of Christ Church, Oxford. Matriculating at that university on 20 Nov. 1580, he graduated B.A. on 5 Feb. 1583–4, and on 1 May was ordained deacon by Bishop Robinson of Bangor. On 4 May he was instituted to the comportion of Llanelidan in the diocese of Bangor, the endowment of Ruthin free school. While master of Ruthin he proceeded M.A. on 4 June 1586, became vicar of Gresford on 1 Jan. 1592–3, took the degree of B.D. on 4 March 1593–4, and on 24 Dec. 1594 (?) was made chancellor of Bangor. The latter office he resigned on 6 Jan. 1594–5. On 16 Nov. 1597 he received the degree of D.D., and on 11 April 1599 was installed dean of Bangor. When, in 1604, Bishop Morgan died, he became bishop of St. Asaph (elected 19 Oct., consecrated 30 Dec.), retaining also, in accordance with what had now become the custom at St. Asaph, the archdeaconry in his own hands. He continued to hold the vicarage of Gresford (resigned in 1609); other livings in the diocese held by him in commendam were Rhuddlan (1605–1618), Cilcen (the rectory, 1605–1622), Cwm (the rectory, 1610–1616), and Llanrwst (the rectory, 1616–1623). Bishop Parry is chiefly remembered as the author of a revised edition of the translation of the Bible into Welsh issued by Dr. Morgan in 1588. This edition was published by the king's printers in 1620, and since its appearance the text of the Welsh Bible has remained practically unaltered. Though the fact is not mentioned in Parry's dedication to the king, it is believed he received much assistance in the task of revision from his chaplain and brother-in-law, Dr. John Davies (d. 1644) [q. v.] of Mallwyd.

Parry died at his house at Diserth (whither he had removed in 1609) on 26 Sept. 1623, and was buried in the cathedral. He had married, about 1598, Gwen, daughter of John ap Rhys Wyn of Llwyn Yn, who survived him and married again. They had four sons and seven daughters; a full account of them and their descendants is given in the ‘History of Powys Fadog’ (v. 212). Parry's portrait, showing him in episcopal robes, was at Goodrich Court, Herefordshire (Dwnn, Heraldic Visitations, ii. 320 n.)

[Wood's Athenæ Oxon. (ed. 1813), ii. 861; Browne Willis's St. Asaph (ed. 1801), i. 109–10; Dwnn's Heraldic Visitations, ii. 320; Y Cwtta Cyfarwydd; Ashton's Esgob Morgan (1891); Foster's Alumni Oxon.; cf. Yorke's Royal Tribes of Wales (ed. 1887), p. 142.]

J. E. L.