1911 Encyclopædia Britannica/Parker, John Henry

PARKER, JOHN HENRY (1806–1884), English writer on architecture, the son of a London merchant, was born on the 1st of March 1806. He was educated at Manor House School, Chiswick, and in 1821 entered business as a bookseller. Succeeding his uncle, Joseph Parker, as a bookseller at Oxford in 1832, he conducted the business with great success, the most important of the firm's publications being perhaps the series of the “Oxford Pocket Classics.” In 1836 he brought out his Glossary of Architecture, which, published in the earlier years of the Gothic revival in England, had considerable influence in extending the movement, and supplied a valuable help to young architects. In 1848 he edited the fifth edition of Rickman's Gothic Architecture, and in 1849 he published a handbook based on his earlier volume and entitled Introduction to the Study of Gothic Architecture. The completion of Hudson Turner's Domestic Architecture of the Middle Ages next engaged his attention, three volumes being published (1853-1860). In 1858 he published Medieval Architecture of Chester. Parker was one of the chief advocates of the “restoration” of ecclesiastical buildings, and published in 1866 Architectural Antiquities of the City of Wells. Latterly he devoted much attention to explorations of the history of Rome by means of excavations, and succeeded in satisfying himself of the historical truth of much usually regarded as legendary. Two volumes of his Archaeology of Rome were published at Oxford in 1874 and 1876. In recognition of his labours he was decorated by the king of Italy, and received a medal from Pope Pius IX. In 1869 he endowed the keepership of the Ashmolean Museum with a sum yielding £250 a year, and under the new arrangement he was appointed the first keeper. In 1871 he was nominated C.B. He died at Oxford on the 31st of January 1884.