Dictionary of Welsh Biography

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PARRY , WILLIAM ( 1743 - 1791 ), portrait-painter ;

son of John Parry , ‘ the blind harpist ’ ( 1710? - 1782 ) . He was born on the 2 May 1743 in London , after his father's removal from Ruabon , and studied at Shipley's drawing school , the duke of Richmond's gallery , and the S. Martin's Lane academy , and eventually became a pupil of Sir Joshua Reynolds . He was awarded several premiums by the Society of Arts and became a member of the Incorporated Society of Artists . After some time spent painting near Ruabon , through the generosity of his patron, Sir Watkin Williams Wynn , he went to Italy in 1770 and stayed there until 1775 .

He was elected an Associate of the Royal Academy in 1776 and exhibited twenty-two pictures, mainly small full-length portraits, at the academy's exhibitions between 1776 and 1788 . Parry 's wife, a daughter of Henry Keene , the architect , d. in 1779 , and much of his time after that was spent in Rome . He returned to Wales early in 1791 , and d. 13 Feb. of that year.


  • Oxford Dictionary of National Biography ;
  • Graves ; The Royal Academy of Arts (1905–6) , vi, 63.


Megan Ellis, (1906-2001), Aberystwyth

Published date: 1959