Parry, Edward (d.1650) (DNB00)

PARRY, EDWARD (d. 1650), bishop of Killaloe, was a native of Newry, but his father's name has not been ascertained. He was educated at Trinity College, Dublin, where he graduated B.A. in 1620, and was elected a fellow in 1624. He acted for a time as pro-vice-chancellor. In November 1627 he was collated to one portion of the prebend of Tipperkevin in St. Patrick's, Dublin; but this was objected to by the college, and at a visitation held in the following February his fellowship was declared vacant (Stubbs, p. 56). In 1630 he was incumbent of St. Bride's, Dublin. In May 1634 he was made treasurer of Christ Church, Dublin, and in 1636 became prebendary of Stagonil in St. Patrick's, resigning Tipperkevin at the same time. He was included in Wentworth's high commission for ecclesiastic causes 11 Feb. 1635–6. In March 1637–8 Parry was appointed dean of Waterford, with license to hold his other preferments in union; but he resigned in April 1640, on being appointed dean of Lismore. In 1643 he was made archdeacon of Glendalough, when he resigned Stagonil. He made a vain attempt to recover the deanery lands of Lismore, on which the Earl of Cork had laid his capacious hands (Cotton). The departure of Strafford and the breaking out of the civil wars put an end to all such ecclesiastical suits. Parry became bishop of Killaloe through Ormonde's influence, and was consecrated 28 March 1647 in Christ Church, Dublin.

The list of Parry's preferments looks imposing, but they were all small things, and after October 1641 it is unlikely that any of them produced an income. After he became a bishop he retained only the treasurership of Christ Church and the archdeaconry of Glendalough. It seems certain that Parry never visited Killaloe, where he would not have been safe, and where John O'Maloney was bishop by papal provision until the final triumph of the Cromwellians. Parry had a house in Stephen Street, Dublin, and probably occupied it until his death. Two days after his consecration the Irish capital was in the hands of the parliamentarians, though Ormonde did not leave till 28 July. On 24 June the parliamentary commissioners issued an order that the Book of Common Prayer should no longer be used in churches. The established clergy had for some time received rations of bread from Ormonde, but these were discontinued by the parliamentary authorities, who advised them to enlist as horse or foot soldiers, since they refused to use the directory and to act as ministers according to the new model. On 9 July they published a declaration of their reasons for not abandoning the Anglican liturgy, Parry being the first of the eighteen signatories, and the only one then a bishop. In consequence, perhaps, of this protest, the church of England service was not at once suppressed in Dublin, for Archbishop Bulkeley preached a farewell sermon in St. Patrick's on 1 Nov. 1649, and Parry's two sons were among the congregation (Harris).

Parry died in Dublin of the plague 20 June 1650, and was buried in St. Audoen's Church, where there is a monument to his memory. He left two sons, John [q. v.] and Benjamin [q. v.], who were successively bishops of Ossory. In his book on Killaloe diocese Canon Dwyer reproduces the engraved portrait of Parry prefixed to his posthumous work, ‘David Restored, or an Antidote against the Prosperity of the Wicked,’ which was edited and published by his son John at Oxford in 1660, and dedicated to Ormonde as the author's benefactor. This little book displays considerable learning, and is less political than might be supposed from the circumstances which suggested it—‘churches not preferred before stables, public resorts slighted, ministers most injuriously ejected.’ In the preface Bishop John Parry gives a character of his father, furnished by a divine who was intimate with him, and who describes him as a man of exemplary life, learned, industrious, and a constant preacher. He accepted a bishopric from the fallen king as a matter of duty, though he well knew that it would bring him nothing but persecution.

[Ware's Bishops and Writers of Ireland, ed. Harris; Cotton's Fasti Ecclesiæ Hibernicæ; Dwyer's Hist. of the Diocese of Killaloe; Taylor's Hist. of the University of Dublin; Mant's Hist. of the Irish Church.]

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