Dictionary of National Biography, 1885-1900/Parr, Elnathan

PARR, ELNATHAN (d. 1632?), divine, was educated at Eton school, and was thence elected in 1593 to a scholarship at King's College, Cambridge, where he graduated B.A. in 1597, M.A. in 1601, and B.D. in 1615. He was afterwards presented to the rectory of Palgrave, Suffolk, a benefice which belonged to the Cornwallis family. Several letters to and from him are printed in the ‘Private Correspondence of Jane, Lady Cornwallis,’ London, 1842, 8vo. He appears to have died about 1632. Tom Martin, the antiquary, notes that a portrait of Parr was preserved at Earl Cornwallis's seat, Broome Hall, Suffolk, and adds that he himself had another at Palgrave.

Parr was the author of: 1. ‘Latin hexameter Verses on the Death of Dr. William Whitaker,’ 1595. Printed at the end of vol. i. of Whitaker's ‘Opera Theologica,’ Geneva, 1610. 2. ‘The Grounds of Divinitie, plainely discovering the Mysteries of Christian Religion, propounded familiarly in divers Questions and Answeres. … To the which is prefixed a very profitable Treatise, contayning an Exhortation to the Studie of the Word,’ London, 1614, 8vo; 3rd edit., corrected and enlarged, London, 1619, 8vo; 5th edit., London, 1632, fol.; 7th edit., London, 1633, 12mo; 8th edit., London, 1636, 12mo. 3. ‘Abba Father: or a plaine and short Direction concerning the framing of Private Prayer. Also sundry Godly Admonitions concerning Time,’ London, 1618, 8vo; 4th edit., London, 1632, fol.; 5th edit., London, 1636, 12mo. Dedicated to Sir Nathaniel Bacon and Jane, his wife. 4. ‘A Plaine Exposition upon the whole eighth, ninth, tenth, eleventh, twelfth Chapters of the Epistle … to the Romanes,’ London, 1620, 4to. 5. ‘A plaine Exposition upon the whole thirteenth, fourteenth, fifteenth, and sixteenth Chapters of the Epistle … to the Romanes,’ London, 1622, 4to. Dr. Edward Williams says this exposition is ‘equally remarkable for soundness of sentiment, familiarity of illustration, and want of taste in style and composition’ (Christian Preacher, 5th edit. 1843, p. 292).

‘The Workes of that faithfull and painefull Preacher, Mr. Elnathan Parr, Batchelour in Divinitie, late Minister in Suffolke,’ appeared in a third edition, ‘enlarged by the authors own hand before his death,’ 4 pts. London, 1632, fol.; 4th edit. corrected and enlarged, London, 1651, fol. Dedicated to Sir Nathaniel Bacon and the Lady Jane Bacon, ‘late his Wife, now Widdow.’

[Addit. MS. 19090, ff. 20, 30, 33; Bodleian Cat.; Cole's Hist. of King's Coll. Cambr. ii. 225; Darling's Cycl. Bibliographica; Fuller's Hist. of Cambridge (Prickett and Wright), p. 153; Harwood's Alumni Eton. p. 201; Wood's Athenæ Oxon. (Bliss), iii. 345.]

T. C.