Archive for February 27th, 2013

February 27, 2013

The Olde, Old, Very Olde Man

or The Age and long Life of Thomas Par. John Taylor 1635. Note the variety of spelling in the title. Taylor was never slow to jump on the bandwagon. There was quite a rumpus when the old boy was brought to London by stages from his home in Gloucestershire. Tom claimed to be 152, having been born (so he said) in 1483. The book details the journey that William Harvey thought had killed Tom and ends with a poem about his life. Tom wears probably the same doublet he was painted in, but also wears a lined day cap and small collar band.

Here’s a flavour of John Taylor’s poetry

AN Old man’s twice a child (the proverb saies)
And many old men nere saw halfe his daies
Of whom I write; for he at first had life,
When Yorke and Lancasters Domestique strife
In her owne bloud had factious England drench’d,
Vntill sweet Peace those civil flames had quench’d.
When as fourth Edwards Raigne to end drew nigh,
Iohn Parr (a man that liv’d by Husbandry)
Begot this Thomas Parr, and borne was Hee
The yeare of fourteen hundred, eighty three.

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February 27, 2013

Old Tom Parr

Reputedly the oldest man in England when he died in 1635, Tom Parr claimed to have been born in 1483 which made him 152. The cause of death was declared by William Harvey to have been overexposure. The pressures of fame. Tom wears a simply cut, possibly russet doublet with shoulder wings and a small collar band. He’s also knotted something around his waist to act as a belt. There are several versions of this picture. This one hangs in the Ashmolean Museum in Oxford.


Tom Parr