Dictionary of National Biography, 1885-1900/Parker, Henry (d.1470)

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PARKER, HENRY (d. 1470), Carmelite, was brought up at the Carmelite House at Doncaster, whence he proceeded to Cambridge and graduated D.D. He then returned to Doncaster, where apparently he spent the rest of his life. Villiers de Saint-Etienne calls him the Aristarchus of his time, and says he was a staunch advocate of clerical poverty. On one occasion, preaching at Paul's Cross in 1464, he vehemently attacked the secular clergy and bishops for their arrogance, pride, and self-seeking (Three Fifteenth-Century Chronicles, p. 180; Gregory's Chronicle, p. 288). According to Pits, he wrote out this discourse and showed it to any one who wished to read it. For this offence he was imprisoned by the Bishop of London. He died in 1470 (Villiers de Saint-Etienne, Bibl. Carmel. i. 628, quoting Lezana, Annales Sacri, ad annum 1470, a work of which the first three volumes only are in the British Museum Library).

Villiers de Saint-Etienne and others attribute to Parker the following works: 1. De Christi Paupertate, liber i.; incipit ‘Simul in unum Dives et Pauper.’ 2. Dialogus Divitis et Pauperis, liber alter; incipit ‘Dives et Pauper obviaverunt.’ 3. In Aristotelis Meteora, libri iv.; incipit ‘Intentio Philosophi in hoc primo.’ Pits says he wrote many other works, but does not specify them. Of those mentioned by Villiers, the last is not known to be extant; the second is no doubt substantially the same as the well-known treatise ‘Dives and Pauper,’ which is always attributed to Parker; and the first may be identical with the chapter ‘Of Holy Pouerte’ prefixed to the ‘Dives and Pauper.’ This work, written in English, is extant in Harleian MS. 149, and has been several times printed; another manuscript was extant in the library of Lichfield Cathedral. Cornelius à Beughem, in his ‘Incunabula Typographiæ,’ mentions an edition of 1488, but this is a mistake. The first edition was that of Richard Pynson [q. v.], 1493, folio, and it was the first of Pynson's books with a date that Ames had met with. The title-page is missing in the extant copies, and the work begins ‘RIche and pore have lyke comynge into the worlde.’ The colophon is: ‘Here endith a compendiouse Tretise dyalogue of Diues and Pauper, that is to say, the riche and the pore fructuously tretying upon the commandementes | fynisshed the v day of Juyl the yere of oure lord god mcccclxxxxiii. Emprentyd by me, Richard Pynson, at the Temple barre of London, Deo gracias.’ Copies of this edition are in the British Museum, Lambeth, Spencer, Chatsworth, and Huth libraries. Besides the dialogue on the ten commandments, in which Pauper convinces Dives of his duty with respect to each of them, the book contains a chapter ‘Of Holy Pouerte;’ it is in double columns, without pagination. Another edition, published by Wynkyn de Worde, Westmonstre, 1496, folio, is identical with the first, except in orthography; a third was published by T. Berthelet in 1536, 8vo, single columns, with pagination. The title-page bears the date 1534, but the colophon says it was finished ‘the xvi day of Octobre in the yere of our lorde, 1536.’ Wood (Athenæ Oxon. i. 115) mentions editions of 1538 and 1586, but these cannot be identified.

[Authorities quoted; Works in Brit. Mus. Libr.; Cooper's Athenæ Cantabr. i. 5; Pits, De Scriptt. Angliæ, p. 660; Tanner's Bibl. Brit.-Hib. p. 574; Simler's Epitome Bibl. Gesnerianæ, 1574, p. 280; Possevino's Apparatus Sacer, 1608, i. 730; Alegre de Casanate's Paradisus Carmelitici Decoris, 1639, p. 358; Fabricius's Bibl. Medii Ævi, 1736, v. 578; Chevalier's Repertorium; Panzer's Annales Typogr. i. 507; Maittaire's Annales Typogr. i. 318; Ames's Typogr. Antiq. ed. Herbert, i. 125, 242–3, ed. Dibdin, ii. 67–8, 401–403; Maitland's Early Printed Books in Lambeth Library, p. 20; Cat. of Huth and Chatsworth Libraries; Dibdin's Bibl. Spencer. iv. 417–419; Hunter's South Yorkshire, i. 18; Halkett and Laing's Dict. of Anon. and Pseudon. Lit. col. 449.]

A. F. P.