Parry, Thomas (d.1616) (DNB00)

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PARRY, Sir THOMAS (d. 1616), ambassador in France, was eldest son of Sir Thomas Parry (d. 1560) [q. v.] He succeeded to the estate of Hampstead Marshall, Berkshire, of which county he was sheriff in 1576 and 1588, and deputy-lieutenant in 1596. He was also elected M.P. for Berkshire on 10 Oct. 1586. In 1601 he was appointed ambassador in France (Winwood, Memorials, i. 387). The post was not to his liking, and he delayed his departure so often that the queen, who had knighted him on the occasion, was seriously displeased (Cal. State Papers, Dom. 1601–3, p. 222). James reappointed him in Aug. 1603, and he remained in France until 18 March 1605 (Devon, Issues of the Exchequer, pp. 8, 37). In recognition of his services he was made chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster and a privy councillor on 30 Dec. 1607 (Cal. State Papers, Dom. 1603–10, p. 391), and in 1608 he instituted a searching inquiry for particulars of church property belonging to the duchy (cf. his ‘Demand,’ &c., in Addit. MS. 29975, f. 21). On 4 Jan. 1610 he was chosen M.P. for St. Albans, and on 9 June following Lady Arabella Stuart [see Arabella] was committed to his custody at his house at Lambeth (Devon, p. 121). But after Lady Arabella had been seven months with Parry, James, hearing that he treated her more as a guest than a prisoner, ordered him to resign her to the Bishop of Durham on 15 March 1611, giving him at the same time 300l. to pay the expenses of her sojourn with him (Bradley, Life of Lady Arabella Stuart). In Aug. 1612 Parry was one of the commissioners appointed to regulate the king's income (Bacon, Works, ed. Spedding, xi. 314). He was returned for Berkshire in 1614. Soon afterwards he was suspended from the chancellorship and the privy council, and ejected from parliament, for interfering in the Stockbridge election (Cal. State Papers, Dom. 1611–18, p. 233). He was eventually restored to favour, but Sir John Daccombe was joined with him in the chancellorship (Carew Letters, Camd. Soc., p. 13). In September 1615 he took part in the debate on the royal expenditure. He died, without issue, in St. Mary, Savoy, on 24 or 31 May 1616 (ib. p. 34), and was buried in Westminster Abbey on 1 June (Registers, ed. Chester, p. 113). His wife was Dorothy Brooke of Bristol, a maid of honour to Queen Elizabeth. She survived her husband until 1624, when she was buried at Welford, Berkshire.

To Parry, Pierre de Vezignol dedicated his poem called ‘Le Combat de la Princesse Areté à l'encontre du Roy Crœsus;’ it is Addit. MS. 18672.

Many of Parry's letters are in the Cottonian and Harleian MSS. In Addit. MS. (Birch) 4160 is an extract from his copybook, now preserved in the Pepysian Library in Magdalene College, Cambridge, besides copies of letters to and from him, dated 1603–6, his correspondents being James I and Cecil. There are also letters by him in Addit. MS. 5664; and warrants signed by him are in Addit. MSS. 5753, f. 233, and 5755, f. 143.

[Nichols's Progresses of James I, i. 253; Chamberlain's Letters (Camd. Soc.); Gardiner's Hist. of Engl. vols. i. ii.; Overall's Remembrancia; Birch's Memoirs of Queen Elizabeth.]

G. G.