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GRIFFITHS , ANN ( 1776 - 1805 ), hymn-writer .

Born April 1776 at Dolwar Fach , Llanfihangel yng Ngwynfa, Mont. , (baptised 21 Apr. 1776), daughter of John (d. c. Feb. 1804 ) and Jane Thomas (d. 1794) . Her parents were church-goers. They had five children: (1) Jane , 1767 , (2) John , 1770 , (3) Elizabeth , 1772 , (4) Ann , and (5) Edward , 1779 . An extensive study of the children (and their descendants) has been made by David Thomas , Ann Griffiths a'i theulu ( 1963 ). Jane m. in 1794 Thomas Jones , Ty Cornel shop , Llanfyllin , and her grandson John Jones 's daughter Margaret Jane Jones was the wife of the minister and writer Owen Jones ( 1833 - 1899 ) ; she d. in Jan. 1909 .

As a girl she was fond of a gay life but sobered down after hearing Benjamin Jones ( 1756 - 1823 ) of Pwllheli preach. She joined the Methodist society at Pont Robert in 1797 and came into contact with John Hughes ( 1775 - 1854 ) , the teacher and preacher , with whom she corresponded extensively. She m. Thomas Griffiths ( 1779 - 8 Apr. 1808 ), a Meifod farmer , on 10 Oct. 1804 and d. in Aug. 1805 after the birth of her child; she was buried at Llanfihangel , 12 Aug . She used to recite her hymns to her maid , Ruth Evans , who treasured them in her memory; when Ruth m. John Hughes , the latter wrote them down in two note-books. It was he, doubtless, who gave them to Thomas Charles of Bala , but it is thought that Robert Jones ( 1745 - 1829 ) of Rhos-lan prepared them for publication. They were published in the 1805 ed. of Grawn-Syppiau Canaan and later ( 1806 ) in Casgliad o Hymnau gan mwyaf heb erioed eu hargraffu o'r blaen ( Bala , R. Saunderson ). Another impression under the same title was published in 1807 by J. Evans of Carmarthen 's press; and yet another in 1808 under the title Hymnau o Fawl i Dduw a'r Oen ( Bala , Saunderson ). The contents of John Hughes 's note-books were published by Sir Owen M. Edwards in Gwaith Ann Griffiths (‘ Cyfres y Fil ’), 1905 ; here at last the original version of the hymns is to be found. They are characterized by a wealth of scriptural allusion, by deep religious and mystical feeling, and by bold metaphors. They are written, for the most part, in an anacrustic 8-7 metre — a form which has given considerable trouble to composers of hymn-tunes .

Sources:

  • Y Traethodydd , 1846 , 420-33;
  • Cymru (O.M.E.) , Jan. 1906 ;
  • Y Llenor , iii, 110-29, 172-87;
  • Cylchgrawn Cymdeithas Hanes y Methodistiaid Calfinaidd , vi, 2-7;
  • Morris Davies , Cofiant Ann Griffiths gynt o Dolwar Fechan, Llanfihangel yn Ngwynfa, Swydd Drefaldwyn Ynghyd a'i llythyrau a'i hymnau , 1865 ;
  • E. Griffiths , Ann Griffiths ei llythyrau a'i hemynau, ynghyd a byr-nodiad ar ei bywyd a'i gweithiau , 1903 ;
  • J. Thickens , Emynau a’u Hawduriaid , 1945 , 14-18;
  • J. Thickens, Roberts, Gomer M. (ed.) , Emynau a’u Hawduriaid , 1961 , 12-16;
  • NLW MSS 682, 694, 4756;
  • Calvinistic Methodist Archives in the National Library of Wales , 5863-4;
  • Elfed , Ann Griffiths ei Hanes a'i Hemynau ;
  • William Morris, Cofio Ann Griffiths , Caernarfon, 1955.
  • John Ryan , The hymns of Ann Griffiths , 1980 ;
  • Siân Megan , Gwaith Ann Griffiths , 1982 ;
  • E. Wyn James , Rhyfeddaf Fyth … , 1998 .

Author:

Reverend Gomer Morgan Roberts, M.A., (1904-93), Pont-rhyd-y-fen / St Dogmael's / Llandybïe

Published date: 1959