Parr, Richard (1617–91), Church of England clergyman and biographer, was born in Fermoy, Co. Cork, in 1617, the son of Richard Parr, a local rector. After being taught in a local school, he entered Exeter College, Oxford, on 6 November 1635, going on to graduate BA (1639) and MA (1642), becoming a fellow in the same year. In 1643, while still at Oxford, he became chaplain to James Ussher (qv), archbishop of Armagh, and went with Ussher to live in Cardiff at the start of 1644. He became vicar of Reigate, Surrey, in 1646, vicar of Camberwell, Surrey, in 1653, and later rector of Bermondsey, Surrey (1676). He served as Ussher's chaplain until 1655.
After the restoration of the monarchy in 1660 he received a DD from Oxford and a canonry at Armagh. He was also offered the deanery of Armagh and an Irish bishopric, but he declined. At Bermondsey he was very popular with the parishioners and beat off competition from two nearby sectarian conventicles, due to his skill at preaching. During his life he published a number of sermons and religious works, but he is best remembered for his biography of Ussher, published in 1686. An earlier biography by Nicholas Bernard (qv) had stressed Ussher's Calvinism and closeness with puritans. In contrast, Parr portrayed Ussher as a staunch upholder of the established church against protestant nonconformists and particularly against catholics. The anti-catholic nature of this biography was controversial given that the catholic James II (qv) was now king; royal censors forced Parr to edit a number of passages before it could be published.
He died 2 November 1691 at Camberwell and was buried in a churchyard where a monument still stands in his memory. In 1649 he married Elizabeth James of Reigate, a wealthy widow; she predeceased him.