Dictionary of Welsh Biography

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PARRY , JOHN ( 1775 - 1846 ), Calvinistic Methodist minister, man of letters, and editor ;

b. [7 May] 1775 , son of Owen and Jane Parry of Groeslon-grugan , Llandwrog, Caerns. He received a better education than most boys of his time. He was for a time at Madam Bevan 's school at Bryn'rodyn , at John Roberts 's ( 1753 - 1834 ) (q.v.) school at Llanllyfni , and at Evan Richardson 's (q.v.) school at Caernarvon . In 1793 he went to Brynsiencyn , Anglesey , where he kept a day school for the children and a night school for the older people. He showed an early desire to enter the ministry and on Christmas day 1797 delivered his first sermon. In 1800 he moved to Holyhead , but because of the demands on his services as a preacher the school there was very intermittent. After his marriage to a Miss Bellis of Caerfallwch, Flints. , he received a call to minister to the churches in London and, at the same time, assisted Thomas Charles by reading the proofs of the Welsh Bible published by the Bible Society . In 1806 John Parry and his wife settled in Chester , where, after keeping a draper's shop for about four years, they turned to a more congenial form of trade, namely book-selling — a venture which was successful, for he was industrious, methodical, and careful. He was an indefatigable writer all his life. In addition to a number of small books he published [ 1806 ] a memoir of the Rev. John Brown , and [ 1812 ] a translation of the latter's work Corph o Dduwinyddiaeth . He also published [ 1821 ] Pedwar Cyflwr Dyn , a translation [perhaps by Ieuan Glan Geirionydd , q.v. ] of a book written by Thomas Boston . He was, moreover, the author of Esboniad ar Lyfr y Prophwyd Esaiah [ 1830 ], and of two grammars, etc. Nor must we forget the Rhodd Mam , a little book published in 1811 , which for over a century remained the primer of systematic religious instruction for Welsh Calvinistic Methodist children. Parry was an enthusiastic supporter of the Home and Foreign Mission , of religious instruction, of the Sunday schools , and of similar movements and activities. He was ordained as early as 1814 , and had a hand in devising the Calvinistic Methodist Confession of Faith ( 1823 ) as well as the Constitutional Deed of the C.M. Connexion . After establishing his own press in 1818 , he started a monthly magazine , Goleuad Gwynedd . Three years later, by public request, this became an undenominational publication and its name was changed to Goleuad Cymru ; it was sold at 4d. a copy. In 1830 there was a general desire for restarting Y Drysorfa , which had hitherto only appeared intermittently, and in Jan. 1831 the first number of a new series came out; he was its editor for the rest of his life. [He d. 28 April 1846 .]


  • Cofiant y diweddar Barchedig John Parry, o Gaerlleon yr hwn a fu yn weinidog yr Efengyl yn nghyfundeb y Trefnyddion Calfinaidd am fwy na 48 mlynedd bu farw Ebrill 28, 1846, yn min 71 oed (Caerleon, 1849) ;
  • Y Traethodydd , 1904 , 446;
  • Cymru (O.M.E.) , xii, 229;
  • Joseph Evans , Biographical Dictionary of Ministers and Preachers of the Welsh Calvinistic Methodist Body … to the close of the year 1850 (1907) , 238-41;
  • Y Drysorfa , 1846 , 192.


Reverend Richard Thomas, B.A. (1872-1950), Caernarfon

Published date: 1959