Parr, Richard

, an English divine, was the son of Richard Parr, likewise a divine, and was born at Fermoy, in the county of Cork, where, we presume, his father was beneficed, in 1617; and this singularity is recorded of his birth, that his mother was then fifty-five years of age. He was educated in grammar at a country school, under the care of some popish priests, who were at that time the only schoolmasters for the Latin-tongue. In 1635, he was sent to England, and entered as a servitor of Exeter college, Oxford, where his merit procured him the patronage of Dr. Piideaux, the rector, by whose interest, as soon as he had taken his bachelor’s degree in arts, in 1641, he was chosen chaplain-fellow of the college. He found here another liberal patron and instructor in the celebrated archbishop Usher, who, in 1643, retired to this college from the tumult then prevailing through the nation and


Life by Goldsmith, prefixed to his Poems. Johnson’s Life. Swift’s and Pop‘ Works; (Bowles’s edition) see Indexes. Nichols’s Poems, vol. Hi. &c.

| observing the talents of Mr. Parr as a preacher, made him his chaplain; and, about the end of that year, took him with him to Glamorganshire. On his return with this prelate, he obtained the vicarage of Ryegate in Surrey, on the presentation of Mr. Roger James, gent, son of sir Roger James, knight, whose sister he married, a widow lady of considerable property. In doctrinal points he appears to have concurred with the assembly of divines, who were mostly Calvinists; but it seems doubtful whether he ever took the Covenant. In 1649, he resigned his fellowship of Exeter college, and continued chaplain to archbishop Usher, while that prelate lived. In 1653, he was instituted to the living of Camberweli in Surrey, and appears to have been some time rector of Bermondsey, where his signature occurs in the register of 1676, and he is thought to have resigned it in 1682. At the Restoration he was created D. D. and had the deanery of Armagh, and an Irish bishopric, offered to him, both which he refused; but accepted a canonry of Armagh. He remained vicar of Camberweli almost thirty-eight years, and was greatly beloved and followed. Wood, in his quaint way says, “He was so constant and ready a preacher at Camberweli, that his preaching being generally approved, he broke two conventicles thereby in his neighbourhood that is to say, that by his out- vying the Presbyterians and Independents in his extemporarian preaching, their auditors would leave them, and flock to Mr. Parr.” All who speak of him indeed concur in what is inscribed on his monument, that <c he was in preaching, constant in life, exemplary in piety and charity, most eminent a lover of peace and hospitality and, in fine, a true disciple of Jesus Christ.“He died at Camberweli Novembers, 1691, and was buried in the church-yard, where the above monument was erected to his memory. His wife died before him. Dr. Parr wroteChristian Reformation: being an earnest persuasion to the speedy practice of it: proposed to all, but especially designed for the serious consideration of his dear kindred and countrymen of the county of Cork in Ireland, and the people of Ryegate and Camberweli in Surrey,“Lond. 1660, 8vo. He published also three occasional sermons; but the most valuable present he made to the publick was his” Life of Archbishop Usher," prefixed to that prelate’s Letters, printed in folio, 1686. It is the most ample account we have of Usher; and few men could | have enjoyed better opportunities of knowing his real character. Wood mentions Dr. Thomas Marshall’s intention of enlarging this, as noticed in oiir account or’ him. 1

Ath. Ox. vol. II. Lysons’s Environs, vol. I. Manning and Bray’s Surrey, vol. I.