Parker, John (d. 1681), Church of Ireland archbishop of Dublin, was born in Dublin, the son of John Parker, prebend of Maynooth. Educated at Christ Church, Oxford, and TCD (where he received a DD in 1661), he was ordained deacon on 19 June 1638. He also became a minor canon of St Patrick's cathedral and a prebend of Kildare. In 1643 he was appointed second canon of Kildare, dean of Killaloe and prebend of Christ Church. Sometime in 1645–7 he became chaplain to James Butler (qv), marquess of Ormond. He presumably remained in Dublin when Ormond left Ireland in July 1647. When Ormond besieged Dublin in September 1649, Parker was accused of being a spy, stripped of his clerical offices and imprisoned. He was released in 1650 in a prisoner exchange and resumed his duties as chaplain to Ormond. When his patron departed for France in 1650, Parker travelled to England, where he spent the next decade in obscurity.
Following the restoration of the monarchy and Ormond's return to political prominence in 1660, Parker was consecrated bishop of Elphin on 27 January 1661. In May he preached before both houses of the Irish parliament, when he called for unity among Irish protestants and acceptance of the episcopalian state church. Later that summer he was chosen with two others by the Church of Ireland clergy to travel to London to present the king with an overview of the ecclesiastical affairs in Ireland, and was also chosen by the Irish parliament to accompany the bill sent to London for the land settlement. He remained in London until the end of 1661, lobbying on behalf of the Church of Ireland and against the efforts of the Irish catholics to recover their lands.
On 9 August 1667 he was translated to the archbishopric of Tuam. He appears to have made little impression as either bishop of Elphin or as archbishop of Tuam; both sees were in Connacht where protestants were few and the established church was poorly endowed with income, property and clergy. The resources available were disproportionately invested in providing the bishops with generous salaries, Parker's annual pay being £1,500 in 1668. William King (qv), a future archbishop of Dublin, was a member of Parker's household at this time and noted that those at the archbishop's table could enjoy ‘sixteen dishes for dinner and twelve for supper, with a very large variety of wines and a profusion of other generous liquors’ (King, 14). However, King also praised Parker for inspiring him to lead a virtuous life and to continue his studies. Parker lived at Fermoyle near Lanesborough in county Longford.
On 28 February 1679 Parker became archbishop of Dublin. Ormond had originally pressed for Parker's appointment as archbishop of Armagh, but settled for his being given the second most important see. As archbishop of Dublin he also held the treasurership of St Patrick's cathedral, Dublin. He died 28 December 1681 and was buried in Christ Church cathedral. He was married to Mary, daughter of Thomas Clarke of Fermoyle, Co. Longford. They had a son, John, and a daughter, Mary.