Dictionary of Welsh Biography

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PARRY , JOHN ( 1770 - 1820 ), poet ;

b. 29 June 1770 in a farm called Y Wern , near Llanelian, Denbs. He may be the John Parry , son of Edward and Catherine Parry , whose christening is recorded on 31 Aug. 1770 in the bishops’ transcripts for the parish of Llanelian . He received a good education, as is evident from the character of his poetry. At the age of 28 Parry m. Elsbeth Hughes , Ffermnant , Llanelian , and there were six children of the marriage. Parry lived in or near Llanelian for the whole of his life, and for a period he and his wife kept an inn in the village. He d. 25 June 1820 , and was buried three days later in Llanelian churchyard. He composed a number of poems, mainly of a religious nature, and was noted for his gift of repartee. A selection of his works is to be found in Robert Humphreys , Y Wenynen Bach (2nd ed., Llanrwst , 1840 ). His best-known poem is ‘ Myfyrdod Mewn Mynwent ,’ which is in parts reminiscent of the more famous elegy by Thomas Gray .


  • Y Geninen , Jan. 1893 (56-8), 1904 (72);
  • Geirlyfr Bywgraffiadol o Enwogion Cymru (1870) , 809;
  • Owen Williams , Awduron Sir Ddinbych a'u gweithiau (1937) , part iii, 136;
  • Cardiff Free Libraries: Catalogue of Printed Literature in the Welsh Department (1898) , 366;
  • The Records of the Church in Wales at the National Library of Wales (in N.L.W.).


Hywel David Emanuel, M.A., (1921-70), Aberystwyth

Published date: 1959