An English author and teacher, he was known during his lifetime for his Whig political views and for such politically-themed publications as Characters of Charles James Fox (1809).
He undertook studies in divinity at the University of Cambridge and, in 1776, became the headmaster at the Colchester Royal Grammar School.
He received a law degree from the University of Cambridge in 1781, after abandoning his divinity studies.
His father, a physician, was unsuccessful in his attempts to convince the young Samuel Parr to pursue a career in medicine.
He was a contemporary of fellow English Whig Party member, Edmund Burke.