Parry, Thomas (d.1560) (DNB00)

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PARRY, Sir THOMAS (d. 1560), controller of the household, was son and heir of Henry Vaughan, of Tretower, in Cwmdu, Brecknockshire, by Gwentlian, daughter of William ap Grono of Brecknock. He softened his patronymic of ‘ap Harry’ to Parry. The friendship with Sir William Cecil, his kinsman, introduced him to the court of Edward VI; in Mary's reign he was one of the protestants who were allowed to attend on the Princess Elizabeth in her confinement at Hatfield, and he became her steward (Cal. State Papers, Dom. 1547–80, pp. 28, 116). He was gained over by Lord Seymour of Sudeley to further his suit to Elizabeth, with whom he was known to be a favourite (Froude, Hist. of Engl. v. 140). His curious confession of the design, made to Elizabeth, is printed in the ‘Burghley State Papers,’ ed. Haynes, pp. 95–8. Elizabeth at her accession rewarded his services by knighthood (Metcalfe, Book of Knights, p. 116), a seat at the privy council, and the appointments of controller of her household in Nov. 1558 (Froude, vii. 17), and of master of the court of wards and liveries on 26 April 1559 (Cal. State Papers, Dom. 1547–80, p. 128). On 5 Jan. 1558–9 he was elected M.P. for Hertfordshire (Lists of Members of Parliament, pt. i. p. 400). He acquired the manor of Hampstead Marshall, Berkshire, of which county he was lord lieutenant in 1559 (Cal. State Papers, Dom. 1547–80, p. 152), and built there a fine house, which was pulled down in 1662 (Lysons, Mag. Brit. ‘Berkshire,’ i. 286). Parry is said to have been the chief promoter of Lord Dudley's proposed marriage with the queen, and to him Sir Nicholas Throgmorton, the French ambassador, addressed in Nov. 1560 a vigorous remonstrance on the subject. After reading it, he was not ‘over-courteous’ to the secretary, Jones, who brought it, though he appeared ‘half ashamed of his doings’ (Froude, vii. 297). He died on 15 Dec. 1560, of ‘mere ill-humour’ according to popular report (ib. vii. 313; Cal. State Papers, Dom. 1598–1601, p. 204), and was buried in Westminster Abbey (Registers, ed. Chester, p. 113). He married Anne, daughter of Sir William Reade of Boarstall, Buckinghamshire, and widow, first, of Sir Giles Greville, and, secondly, of Sir Adrian Fortescue, by whom he had two sons and two daughters. His eldest son, Sir Thomas Parry (d. 1616) [q. v.], is separately noticed. Lady Parry, who was one of the ladies of the privy chamber, was granted, about 1566, an annuity of 50l. for thirty-three years (Cal. State Papers, Dom. 1566–1579, p. 25).

Parry's portrait by Holbein is in the royal collection at Windsor; it has been engraved by Dalton, and finely mezzotinted by Bartolozzi (Evans, Cat. of Engraved Portraits, i. 263). From him were descended the poets Henry and Thomas Vaughan. Autographs of his are at the British Museum in Addit. MSS. 33924, f. 3, and 34079, f. 5.

[Chamberlaine's Imitations of Original Drawings by Hans Holbein (letterpress by Edmund Lodge); Nichols's Progresses of Queen Elizabeth, vol. i.; Hatfield House MSS. (Hist. MSS. Comm.) pt. i.]

G. G.