Parry, Thomas (1795-1870) (DNB00)

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PARRY, THOMAS (1795–1870), bishop of Barbados, fourth son of Edmund Parry, rector of Llanferras, Denbigh, was born in Denbighshire in 1795. Matriculating from Oriel College, Oxford, he took a first in mathematics and second in literis humanioribus at Michaelmas 1816, and became fellow and tutor of Balliol College. In 1817 he took orders, and received the college living of St. Leonard's, Colchester, while still continuing his tutorial duties. He proceeded M.A. in 1819.

Chosen in 1824, by Bishop Coleridge, as archdeacon of Antigua, he resided in that island for some years, devoting himself to the work of preparing the negro for freedom. He was transferred in 1840, as archdeacon, to Barbados. On 21 Aug. 1842 he was consecrated to the bishopric in Westminster Abbey, receiving at the same time the degree of D.D. Although the diocese of Barbados was at this date shorn of the Leeward Islands, it still included the whole of the Windward Islands and Trinidad; and this involved the bishop in much travelling. An account of one of his tours, in the ‘Colonial Church Chronicle’ of 1848, gives a good idea of the indefatigable energy which he threw into the work of his scattered diocese. After nearly twenty years of such work he was suddenly struck down by illness. Returning to England for rest, he endeavoured to arrange for retirement on a pension; but as the difficulties in the way appeared insuperable, he went back to his post for some years longer, having his son Henry (see below) as his archdeacon from 1861, and obtaining his consecration as bishop-coadjutor in 1868. Breaking down again in 1869, he returned to England, and settled at Malvern, Worcestershire, where he died on 16 March 1870. He was buried at West Malvern.

Parry was physically far from robust, but he possessed indomitable will, singleness of purpose, and a cheerful disposition. He was a ‘moderate high-churchman.’

Parry published several sermons and tracts, the chief of which are: 1. ‘Parochial Sermons preached in the West Indies,’ Oxford, 1828. 2. ‘A Practical Exposition of the Epistle to the Romans,’ 1832, 12mo. 3. ‘The Apostleship and Priesthood of Christ; an exposition of the Epistle to the Hebrews,’ London, 1834, 12mo. 4. Two sermons in Watson's collection, 1845. 5. ‘Ordination Vows,’ a series of sermons, 1846. 6. ‘Codrington College, Barbados,’ an account of the institution, 1847. 7. ‘The True Passover,’ London, 1868.

He married Louisa, daughter of Henry Hutton, rector of Beaumont, Essex.

His son, Henry Hutton Parry (1827–1893), bishop of Western Australia, born in 1827, was educated at Rugby and Balliol College, Oxford, where he graduated B.A. in 1851; he was ordained the same year, and went out to his father's diocese as curate of Holy Trinity, Trinidad. In 1855 he went to Barbados as tutor of Codrington (Theological) College; in 1860 he was made archdeacon of Barbados, and on 10 May 1868 was consecrated as bishop-coadjutor to his father. On 20 May 1876 Parry was appointed to the see of Perth, Western Australia, and died at Bunbury, on a visitation, on 16 Nov. 1893. He was twice married.

[Times, 19 March 1870; Colonial Church Chronicle, vol. xxiv. 1870; Brit. Mus. Catalogue; Western Australia Papers, 16 Nov. 1893.]

C. A. H.