Dictionary of Welsh Biography

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PARRY , JOSEPH ( 1744 - 1826 ), painter and engraver ;

b. at Liverpool in 1744 , the son of a Welsh master pilot . He was apprenticed to a ship and house painter , but devoted his leisure to the study of art. In 1790 he removed to Manchester where he became known as ‘ Father of Art .’ He found many appreciative patrons there and painted numerous scenes of everyday life in the city, one of his best pictures being ‘ The Old Market and Shambles at Manchester .’ Another of his pictures, ‘ Eccles Wake ,’ contains 200 figures — all separate studies from nature. He was also a portrait painter and etched a fine portrait of himself, only ten impressions of which were taken. He d. in Manchester in 1826 .

His son, DAVID PARRY , b. in Manchester [7 June] 1793 , became a painter after studying in his father's studio. In 1816 he m. Elizabeth Smallwood of Macclesfield , and in May 1826 removed to London , where he d. 15 Sept. of the same year. He was buried in the churchyard of S. Martin-in-the-fields .

Joseph Parry 's younger son, JAMES PARRY (d. 1871 ), who was also an artist , exhibited in Manchester . His work, too, includes many Manchester scenes; he excelled as an engraver and produced many plates from his own, his brother's, and other artists’ works, especially of Lancashire scenes. There is a portrait of him in the Salford Museum .


was D. H. Parry 's youngest son, b. in Manchester in 1824 ; he was educated there and placed in a woollen business . As an amateur he painted from an early period landscapes in oil , for which he found a ready sale. He m. Alice Southern of Salford , and d. in London , 18 Dec. 1894 , leaving two sons, Charles James Parry and David Henry Parry , both of them artists .


  • Oxford Dictionary of National Biography ;
  • Bryan , Bryan's dictionary of painters and engravers iv, 1926 , 73;
  • Benezit , Dictionnaire critique et documentaire des peintres, sculpteurs, dessinateurs & graveurs des tous les temps et de tous les pays (Paris) iii, 1919 , 430-1;
  • Thieme-Becker , xxvi, 1932 , 259;
  • The Royal Academy of Arts (1905–6) , vi, 1906 ;
  • Annual Volume of the Walpole Society , vi, 1917-18, 86, 88, 93;
  • T. M. Rees , Welsh painters, engravers and sculptors, 1527–1911 (1912) , 117, 118.


Mary Gwyneth Lewis, (1912-99), Aberystwyth

Published date: 1959