Parr, John (DNB00)


PARR, JOHN (1633?–1716?), dissenting minister, born about 1633, was doubtless related to Dr. Parr, bishop of Man (J. E. Bailey in the Antiquary, ix. 118; Baines, Lancashire, ii. 718; Sir G. F. Duckett, Duchetiana, pp. 24 seq.). In the will of the regicide John Bradshaw, dated 20 March 1653, he is mentioned as ‘my chaplain Mr. Parr,’ to whom the testator allowed ‘24 li yearly for 5 years to enable him in his studies.’ By a codicil of September 1655 Bradshaw revoked the legacy (Earwaker, East Cheshire, ii. 76). At the Restoration Parr was studying at Cambridge, and he proceeded M.A. from Trinity College in 1662. He subsequently repaired to his native county, and on the declaration of indulgence in 1672 ministered for a time to the Darwen nonconformists, in the house of ‘William and Mary Berry’ of Darwen (Nightingale, Lanc. Nonconf. i. 9). Some time before 1687 he left Darwen for Walton chapel, where on one occasion he was arrested for holding a conventicle (Calamy, Account, p. 418; Continuation, p. 573). Refusing to submit himself to the local court, he was bound over to the next assizes (see ib. and Nonc. Mem. ii. 382). The trial ended in a non prosequitur. At another time, about the end of Charles II's reign, he and his wife being invited by a neighbour to stay the night, ‘a few friends were got together in expectation of some religious exercise.’ The meeting was surprised, and all present proceeded against, and Parr himself was forced to compound for a fine of 20l. on his own account, and 4l. for his wife, for holding a conventicle.

During Monmouth's rebellion Parr was kept prisoner five or six weeks without knowing the reason, first at Warrington and afterwards at Chester, where he and eight other ministers were thrust into the common gaol (ib.)

On 20 Oct. 1690 Newcome (Autobiography, p. 272, Chetham Soc.) chronicles a visit from Parr. He was then preaching alternately at Preston and Walton, and was at the same time a frequent moderator of worship at Hoghton Tower (Abram, Independency in Blackburn, p. 14).

On the establishment of the meetings of the united brethren in Lancashire, in imitation of the movement in London, Parr attended the meetings as representative of the northern district from 6 Aug. 1695 onwards (Manchester Minutes, p. 355, Chetham Soc.)

Calamy mentions Parr as ‘still living at Preston’ in 1713. He is variously said to have died about 1714 (Nightingale, ubi supra, i. 9) and in 1716. Administration of the goods of John Parr of Preston was granted in 1716 (‘Lancashire and Cheshire Wills proved at Richmond,’ Rec. Soc. Publ. vol. xiii.). The Preston and Walton dissenters elected as their succeeding minister John Turner in 1714.

[Palmer's Nonconformist's Memorial, ii. 382; Smith's Preston, p. 175; Minutes of the Manchester Classis (Chetham Soc.), ubi supra; Earwaker's East Cheshire, ii. 76; Lancashire and Cheshire Record Society Publ. vol. xii. 109, i. 59, vol. xiii.; Rose's Hist. and Gen. Gleanings, i. 70, 72, 102, 128, 341, 384, 393; Nightingale's Lanc. Nonconformity; Halley's Nonconformity in Lancs., pp. 145, 324; Abram's Hist. of Blackburn, p. 742; Heywood's Diaries, i. 9; Northowram Register; Newcome's Autobiogr. p. 273, Hist. of Kirkham, p. 169 (both Chetham Soc.); preface to the Surrey Demoniac; Jolly's Vindication of the Surey Demoniac; p. 61; Hunter's Life of Oliver Heywood, p. 368; 39th Rep. of the Deputy-Keeper of the Rolls, p. 471.]

W. A. S.