Parkin, Charles (DNB00)

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PARKIN, CHARLES (1689–1765), antiquary, son of William Parkin of London, was born on 11 Jan. 1689, and educated at Merchant Taylors' School, whence he proceeded in 1708 to Pembroke Hall, Cambridge, and graduated B.A. 1711, M.A. 1717. Entering holy orders, he became rector of Oxburgh, Norfolk, in 1717, and assisted Francis Blomefield [q. v.], the county historian, in describing that and the adjoining parishes. In 1744 he engaged in a controversy with Dr. Stukeley as to the antiquity and imagery of the cell at Royston, then lately discovered, provoking a somewhat contemptuous rejoinder, to which he replied with much spirit. After the death of Blomefield in 1752, when about halfway through his third volume, Parkin undertook the completion of his unfinished ‘History of Norfolk,’ and the fourth and fifth volumes of that work (in the original folio edition of five volumes, completed in 1775) are described as from his pen. According to Craven Ord, however, the last sheets were finished by some bookseller's hack employed by Whittingham of Lynn. Parkin died on 27 Aug. 1765, and by his will (dated 17 June 1759) bequeathed a considerable sum of money to his old college for the foundation of exhibitions to be held by scholars from Merchant Taylors' and from the free school at Bowes, Yorkshire, which had been founded by his uncle, William Hutchinson of Clement's Inn.

Parkin wrote:

  1. ‘An Answer to, or Remarks upon, Dr. Stukeley's “Origines Roystonianæ,”’ London, 1744, 4to.
  2. ‘A Reply to the … Objections brought by Dr. Stukeley,’ Norwich, 1748, 4to.
  3. ‘The Topography of Freebridge Hundred and Half in Norfolk, containing the History and Antiquities of the Borough of King's Lynn, and of the Towns, Villages, and Religious Buildings in that Hundred and Half … also an account … of all Rectories and Vicarages,’ London, 1762, fol. (reprinted from vol. iv. of Blomefield and Parkin's ‘History of Norfolk’).

[Robinson's Register of Merchant Taylors' School; Admission Register of Pembroke Hall; Nichols's Lit. Anecd. ix. 409, 424; Brit. Mus. Cat.; Wilson's Hist. of Merchant Taylors' School.]

C. J. R.