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Parr, Thomas

PARR, THOMAS (c. 1483-1635), English centenarian, known as " Old Parr," is reputed to have been born in 1483, at Winnington. Shropshire, the son of a farmer. In 1500 he is said to have left his home and entered domestic service, and in 1518 to have returned to Winnington to occupy the small holding he then inherited on the death of his father. In 1563, at the age of eighty, he married his first wife, by whom he had a son and a daughter, both of whom died in infancy. At the age of 122, his first wife having died, he married again. His vigour seems to have been unimpaired, and when 130 years old he is said to have threshed corn. In 1635 his fame reached the ears of Thomas Howard, 2nd earl of Arundel, who resolved to exhibit him at court, and had him conveyed to London in a specially constructed litter. Here he was presented to King Charles I..

but the change of air and diet soon affected him, and the old man died at Lord Arundel's house in London, on the 14th of November 1635. He was buried in the south transept of Westminster Abbey where the inscription over his grave reads: " Tho: Parr of ye county of Salopp Born in Ao 1483. He lived in ye reignes of Ten Princes viz. K. Edw. 4, K. Ed. V. K. Rich. 3. K. Hen. 7. K. Hen. 8. K. Edw. 6. Q. Ma. Q. Eliz. K. Ja. and K. Charles, aged 152 yeares and was buried here Nov. 15. 1635." A post-mortem examination made by the king's orders by Dr William Harvey, revealed the fact that his internal organs were in an unusually perfect state, and his cartilages unossified.

Note - this article incorporates content from Encyclopaedia Britannica, Eleventh Edition, (1910-1911)

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