Dictionary of Welsh Biography

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PARRY , ROBERT ( fl. 1540?-1612? ), author and diarist ;

son of Harry ap Robert (of the Parry family of Tywysog , in the parish of Henllan, Denbs. ), and Elin , daughter of Rhys Wynn ap Gruffydd ap Madog Fychan , of Ffynogion . He m. Dorothy , daughter of John Wynn Panton . Parry owed friendly allegiance to the Salusbury family of Lleweni, Denbs. ; an English elegy written by him on the death of his cousin, Katheryn of Berain (q.v.) , mother of Sir John Salusbury , appears in Christ Church (Oxford) MS. 184 (facsimile in N.L.W. MS. 6496 ). By the marriage of his nephew, John Parry , to Oriana , daughter of Sir John Salusbury , another link was forged with the Lleweni family. His unpublished diary ( N.L.W. Plas Nantglyn MS. 1 ), shows that he travelled widely. He paid repeated visits to London ; during 1600 he was in Italy for six months. In 1595 he published a prose novel, Moderatus, the most delectable and famous Historie of the Black Knight (dedicated to … ‘ Henry Townshend one of her Maiesties Iustices of Assise of the countie Pallatine of Chester , and one of her Highnesse honourable Counsell , established in the marches and principality of Wales ’). Two years later ( 1597 ) appeared an exceedingly rare book (facsimile in N.L.W. ) entitled, Sinetes Passions vppon his fortunes, offered for an Incense at the shrine of the Ladies which guided his distempered thoughtes. The Patrons patheticall Posies, Sonets, Madrigals, and Roundelays … This is dedicated to Sir John Salusbury , ‘ Esquire for the Bodie ’ to queen Elizabeth , Salusbury being himself the author of most of the poems in the section of the book containing the ‘ Patrons patheticall Posies ,’ etc.; for the significance of these poems see Carleton Brown , The Poems of Sir John Salusbury and Robert Chester ( Brynmawr , U.S.A. , 1913 , and London , 1914 ). The writer of the account of Parry in D.N.B. suggests that he may be the ‘R.P.’ who co-operated with Margaret Tyler in translating from the Spanish original (by D. Ortunez de Calahorra , P. la Sierra , and M. Martinez ), the Mirrour of Princely Deeds and Knighthood ; ‘R.P.’ was apparently responsible for the second, third, and fourth parts of the English version, which appeared in nine separately-issued parts, the work being completed in 1601 . Parry 's diary is a valuable source-book for North Wales family and local history; it is also of some value for contemporary British history.


  • Oxford Dictionary of National Biography and sources named therein;
  • J. E. Griffith , Pedigrees of Anglesey and Carnarvonshire Families (1914) , 298.


Sir William Llewelyn Davies, M.A., LL.D., F.S.A. (1887-1952), Aberystwyth

Published date: 1959