1902 Encyclopedia > John Henry Parker

John Henry Parker
Architectural archaeologist

PARKER, JOHN HENRY (1806-1884), architectural archaeologist, was the son of a London merchant, and was born in 1806. He was educated at Manor House School, Chiswick, and in 1821 entered business as a bookseller. Succeeding his uncle Joseph Parker as a bookseller at Oxford in 1832, he conducted the business with great success, the most important of the firm's publications being perhaps the series of the "Oxford Pocket Classics." The cares of business did not prevent him from devoting, in the earlier period of his life, much of his time to those architectural studies which latterly engaged his chief attention. In 1836 he brought out his Glossary of Architecture, which, published in the earlier years of the Gothic revival, had considerable influence in extending the movement, and supplied a valuable help to young architects. In 1848 he edited the fifth edition of Rickman's Gothic Architecture, and in 1849 he published a handbook based on his earlier volume, and entitled Introduction to the Study of Gothic Architecture. The completion of Hudson Turner's Domestic Architecture of the Middle Ages next engaged his attention, three volumes being published (1853-60). In 1858 he published Mediaeval Architecture of Chester. Parker was one of the chief advocates of the " restoration " of ecclesiastical buildings, and published in 186G Architectural Antiquities of the City Wells. Latterly he devoted much attention to explorations of the history of Rome by means of excavations, and succeeded in satisfying himself of the historical truth of much usually regarded as legendary. Two volumes of his Archaeology of Rome have been published, the one in 1873, and the other in 1875, while six additional parts have also appeared, and two others were in the press at his death. In recognition of his labours he was decorated by the king of Italy, and received a medal from Pope Pius IX. 1,1 1869 he endowed the keepership of the Ashmolean Museum with a sum yielding X250 a year, and under the new arrangement lie was appointed the first keeper. In 1871 he was nominated C.B. He died 31st January 1884.

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