[From Manx Families, A.W.Moore, MS 1889]

Parr's of Ballaugh & Malew


This family, though not of native origin, was closely connected with the Island for several generations. It was one of the Lancashire families 1 who came over in the train of the Stanley's. The first member of it to hold official rank was William, who was Comptroller. In 1561, Gilbert was one of the Commissioners appointed by Edward, Earl of Derby, to make regulations concerning the Castles of Peel and Rushen. In 1635, William Earl of Derby appointed Richard Bishop of Sodor and Man, and he was consecrated on the 10th of June of the same year. The patent signifying the Royal assent, addressed to Neile, Archbishop of York, is in 'Repuer's [?] Feodera' xix 637. Richard, who had been a fellow of Brazenose, Oxford, and a Doctor of Divinity, was Rector of Eccleston 2 in Lancashire, when he received his appointment to the Manx Bishopric. He died on the 23rd of March 1644, and was buried in St Germain's Cathedral in the same grave as his predecessor, Bishop Philips. There is no inscription on the tomb. Robert , who was Rector of Ballaugh from 1640 to 1670 or 1673, was the son of Robert Parr, parish clerk of Arbory, died 1645. His name is first met with as Vicar of Malew in 1633, where he was succeeded by his brother Thomas 3 in 1640. While at Malew, he married Grace, sister of Deemster Robert Norris by whom he had issue: Jane born 1639 at Malew; Elizabeth born 1641 at Ballaugh; Margaret born 1643 (she married Deemster Dan McYlrea (see the Mylrea's); Charles born 1644; James born 1647 and died young; Robert born 1648; John born 1651; Henry born 1654; James born 1659; Ellinor born 1657, and two others died young. All these were born at Ballaugh during the troublous times of the Parliament. He seems to have acted with great discretion and to have rendered himself acceptable to Chaloner, the Parliamentary Governor, who, Puritan though he was, with the exception of dispensing with a Bishop,4 interfered but little with the clergy, who conducted the services of the church very much as they had been accustomed. Chaloner had appointed him as one of his examining chaplains and in his 'Treatise of the Isle of Mann,' he mentions that he was 'beholden' to Mr. Robert Parr, parson, 'for some derivation of places.' It is clear that there was considerable intimacy between them as in the Ballaugh Register of Baptisms in 1659, we find that Chaloner stood as sponsor along with Deemster John Christian and the wife of Deemster Edward Christian to Robert's son James. His son John, afterwards Deemster (see Manx Worthies) was the most distinguished member of the family. Charles, the eldest son, succeeded his father as Rector of Ballaugh in 1673, and held that living till his death in 1684.5 He was buried in the churchyard of that parish on the 23rd of October. John,6 his younger brother, was chaplain of Ballure in 1688, Vicar of Rushen from 1691 to 1700, and Rector of Ballaugh from 1700 till his death in 1723. [Incorrect - see correction in Manx Worthies]We find the following entries with regard to him in the Ballaugh Register: '1687, Sir John Parr and Margrett Patton were married by Mr Richard Thompson, February 9th.' . . . 'Ellin Parr daughter of Sir John Parr and Margrett his wife was born August the 11th about 5 of ye clock in the morninge, halfe floud, wind at southwest, and christened August 18th.' Robert, the second son, was vicar of Lezayre from 1686 to 1698, and was succeeded by his son Robert, who held that living till 1713, when he was appointed Rector of Bride and Vicar General.7 He died and was buried at Bride in 1729. Thomas, the brother of the Rector of Ballaugh, was appointed Vicar of Malew in 1641, and held that living for 54 years till his death in 1691 (or 169x). From the entries in the Register, we gather that he was twice married: 'Henereta Maria Parre daughter of Sir Tho. and Ellinor his wife was borne the 27th of 9ber at one a clocke in the afternoone, the winde at north and by east, the sign in the secreats[sic] 3 dayes before ye change of the mone: 1662.' In November of the same year, he was brought before the Court of Enquiry into the Rebellion of 1651, when he states that he 'never had any hand in or any knowledge of the rising,' and that he had declined to take the oath tendered to him by the conspirators. His first wife died in 1674, and in 1677, 'Tho Parre, Cleark, Vicar of KK Malew and Christian Kermod of Douglas were married in Duglas Chapple July 4th.' On the 5th of April 1695, he was buried under the altar in Kirk Malew. Judging from his entries in the Malew Register, he must have been a man of a genial, lively disposition. He must have lived to a great age, but up to within a few days of his death, all the entries in the Register were made by him and the handwriting shows no sign of infirmity. None of the Parr's above mentioned seem to have left any male issue as by the end of the eighteenth century, the name was extinct in the Island.

1 Sir Thomas Parr, Marquis of Northampton, father of Queen Katherine Parr, was a member of this family.

2 This he continued to hold in commondam. Chaloner speaks of Bishop Parr as having been ‘very eminent for piety and learning.’ In 1609, when only 17, he entered Bragennose; in 1613, he took his BA degree; in 1614, he was elected fellow, M.A. in 1616, BD in 1624. Chaloner, who was a fellow student, remarks that ‘he was very painfull[sic], to my own knowledge, in reading the arts to young scollers[sic]; and afterwards having cure of souls, no less industrious in the ministry.’ Fullerton tells us that he ‘excellently discharged his place’ as Bishop, and Wood adds that ‘he rebuilt Ramsey Chapel, and was eminent for his preaching and instructing the natives of his diocese.’

3 He was appointed Vicar General in 1646.

4 No Bishop had been appointed in 1643 by James Earl of Derby for some unknown reason [FPC - at this period Earl James needed money to help support Royalist cause as well as to defend the Island - possibly he could thus use both Bishopscourt, which he defended, and the money] , so when the Parliament took the Island, there was none in existence.

5 JMO: Per Ballaugh Parish Register, Charles died 1687 (Manx Note Book Vol I, 1885, Notes from the Parish Register of Ballaugh)

6 JMO: were there 2 John’s in this family (unlikely) or were Deemster Jn & Revd Jn cousins (more likely)

7 JMO: per God’s Acre, under KK Christ Lezayre, Mr. Robert Parr was a Vicar General. Also : Archdeacon Will 1712 #48, Lezayre, of Reverend Mr. Robert Parr, Vicar General, made 7 November 1712: "The last will of the Reverend Mr. Robert Parr Vicar General made and declared before us the witnesses hereof this seventh day of November 1712, as followeth: Being in good and perfect mind and memory at the making thereof, First, he committed his soul to God and body to Christian burial. Item, he left to the poor of the parish two bolls of barley. To Margaret Moor twenty shillings. Item, to his brother Mr. John Parr 5 pounds. To his sister Mary Christian als Parr 5 pounds. Item, to his daughter Mary ten pounds. Item, to his two sons Thomas and John Parr five pounds apiece. All the rest of his goods moveable and immoveable of what nature soever he left to his wife, whom he constituted his Executrix to dispose thereof to his children at her discretion, and as they best deserve it. Witnesses: John Curghey, Edward Gill. The Executrix sworn in Court according to Law. Pledges in form of Law, the witnesses of the will." This indicates to me that Robt son of Vicar Gen’l Rbt was also a Vicar General and his son was only a Reverend. AND the second VG Rbt died in 1712, not 1698, as Moore has listed. John Curghey & William Walker were Vicar Generals after this time, per listings in the Archdeacon Wills, John Curghey continuing in the position after John Parr died, and William Walker taking John Parr’s place.

FPC:  This is confirmed by John Gelling 'History of Manx Church' who has the 2nd Robert Parr, Vicar of Lezayre 20 June 1686 to death, becoming Vicar General 11 June 1698 until death Dec 1712 . The Robert Parr who took over as VG was Vicar of Arbory from 1713 and a known opponent of Wilson , hence Lord Derby's appointment!.



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