Dictionary of National Biography, 1885-1900/Perry, Henry

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PERRY or PARRY, HENRY (1560?–1617?), Welsh scholar, was born at Greenfield, Flint, about 1560. He was descended from Ednowain Bendew, founder of one of the fifteen tribes of North Wales (Bishop Humphreys's additions to Wood's Athenæ Oxon.) He matriculated from Balliol College, Oxford, 20 March 1578–9, at the age of eighteen, and graduated B.A. (from Gloucester Hall) 14 Jan. 1579–80, M.A. 23 March 1582–3, and B.D. (from Jesus College) 6 June 1597 (Alumni Oxon.) On leaving the university, about 1583, he went abroad, and, after many years' absence, returned to Wales as chaplain to Sir Richard Bulkeley of Baron Hill, near Beaumaris. During his stay at Beaumaris he married the daughter of Robert Vaughan, a gentleman of the place. An attempt was made by his enemies to show that his first wife (of whom nothing is known) was still living, but Perry succeeded in clearing his reputation. He may possibly be the ‘Henry Parry, A.M.,’ who, according to Browne Willis (St. Asaph, edit. 1801, i. 315), was rector of Llandegla between 1574 and 1597. He was instituted to the rectory of Rhoscolyn on 21 Aug. 1601, promoted to that of Trefdraeth by Bishop Rowlands on 30 Dec. 1606, installed canon of Bangor on 6 Feb. 1612–13, and received in addition from Rowlands the rectory of Llanfachreth, Anglesey, on 5 March 1613–14. The date of his death is not recorded, but as his successor in the canonry was installed on 30 Dec. 1617, it probably took place in that year.

Dr. John Davies, in the preface to his ‘Dictionary’ (1632), speaks of ‘Henricus Perrius vir linguarum cognitione insignis’ as one of many Welsh scholars who during the preceding sixty years had planned a similar enterprise. But the only work published by Perry was ‘Egluryn Ffraethineb’ (‘Elucidator of Eloquence’), a Welsh treatise on rhetoric, the outlines of which had previously been written by William Salesbury [q. v.], translator of the New Testament into Welsh. This appeared in London in 1595 in the new orthography adopted by John David Rhys in his recently published grammar (1592). A reprint, with many omissions, was issued by Dr. William Owen Pughe [q. v.] (London, 1807), and this was reprinted at Llanrwst in 1829. The preface shows that Perry knew something of eleven languages.

[ Wood's Athenæ Oxonienses, with Bishop Humphreys's additions; Rowlands's Cambrian Bibliography, 1869; Rowlands's Mona Antiqua (catalogue of clergy); Hanes Llenyddiaeth Gymreig, by Gweirydd ap Rhys.]

J. E. L.