PARRY (AP HARRY), Stephen (c.1505-55), of Rathangan, co. Kildare, Ireland; Rotherwas and Moorhampton, Herefs.

Published in The History of Parliament: the House of Commons 1509-1558, ed. S.T. Bindoff, 1982
Available from Boydell and Brewer



Oct. 1553

Family and Education

b. c.1505, s. of John Parry of Herefs. by da. of one Gossington. m. (1) by 1532, Jane, da. of John Worlich of Wickhambrook, Suff., 2s. 1da., (2) by Dec. 1540, Jane, da. of John York of Ramsbury, Wilts., wid. of Thomas Bodenham (d. 12 May 1538) of Rotherwas.3

Offices Held

Servant of Lord Leonard Grey 1519-40; gaoler, Dublin castle c. 1535; constable, Rathangan castle c.1535; j.p. Herefs. 1541-d.; commr. musters 1542, relief 1550; sheriff 1545-6, 1555.4


The Parry family of Moorhampton, where it settled after Stephen Parry bought that manor from the crown in 1540, is not to be confused with its namesake of Poston, Herefordshire, and Llandefailog Tregraig, Breconshire, which furnished Queen Elizabeth with her maid of honour Blanche Parry.5

Parry early became servant to Lord Leonard Grey, sixth son of the 1st Marquess of Dorset, who took him to Ireland. He was not to return permanently until Grey’s own final recall in 1540. When he came under suspicion and was temporarily summoned back in 1536 he was described as the deputy’s ‘most intimate servant’ and Grey let him go ‘with grief’, telling Cromwell of his 17 years’ service and begging good treatment for him. Others were shocked by Parry’s corruption; he was accused of having ‘a fleece of all poor men that come from Ireland’ and of using his position for bribery and extortion. At Grey’s trial for treason in 1541 the bishop of Meath named Parry as one of the ‘rabblement of light persons’ who had ruled Grey and caused his downfall. Grey paid the penalty and Parry retired to Herefordshire, where he invested £300 of his gains in ex-monastic lands at Moorhampton.6

Parry spent his remaining years establishing himself there. Nominated as sheriff four years in succession from 1539, he was pricked in 1545 and took his place on the bench in 1541. Unless he was elected for the shire to the Parliament of 1545, for which the Herefordshire names are lost (but which, coinciding with the beginning of his shrievalty, he is unlikely to have attended), it was the accession of Mary which gave Parry his opportunity to sit in Parliament. He may have welcomed this not only as a Catholic but as a holder of ex-monastic property. In his first Parliament he did not oppose the initial measures towards the restoration of Catholicism. On the second occasion he was elected with John Baskerville whose daughter his son John may already have married. During the Parliament, Parry was pricked sheriff for a second time but he did not live to take up the appointment or to see the dissolution, as he died on 27 Nov. 1555. He made his will on the same day, asking for burial in a ‘Christian grave’ where it should please his brother. After providing for his servants and for the settlement of debts he named his son John as residuary legatee and, with Baskerville, as executor. The witnesses included the two executors, John Garnons and William Garnons. It was John Parry who on 6 Dec. following obtained probate of the will. The Queen chose Baskerville to replace Parry as sheriff, but it is unlikely that the vacancy in the House caused by his death was filled before the dissolution.7

Ref Volumes: 1509-1558

Author: A. J. Edwards


  • 1. Bodl. e Museo 17.
  • 2. Did not serve for the full duration of the Parliament.
  • 3. Date of birth estimated from early career. Vis. Herefs. ed. Weaver, 6, 82; LP Hen. VIII, xvi; C142/60/77, 107/57; PCC 11 Crymes.
  • 4. LP Hen. VIII, xi, xvi, xx; CPR, 1547-8, p. 84; 1553, p. 354; 1554-5, p. 20.
  • 5. LP Hen. VIII, xvi; DKR, ix(2), 157.
  • 6. R. Bagwell, Ireland under the Tudors, i. 189; CSP Ire. 1509-73, pp. 15, 22, 36, 40, 49; LP Hen. VIII, ix, xi, xii, xvi.
  • 7. C142/107/57; PCC 37 More.