Dictionary of Welsh Biography

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GRIFFITHS , DAVID ( 1792 - 1863 ), missionary ;

b. 20 Dec. 1792 , at Glanmeilwch , Gwynfe, Carms. He began to preach in 1812 , in 1814 he went to Neuadd-lwyd Academy , but in the same year was admitted to Wrexham Academy . In 1817 he went to the Missionary College , Gosport . He was nominated for the Madagascar missionary field ; he was ordained on 27 July 1820 , sailed with his wife in Oct. of the same year and arrived in the spring of 1821 . He laboured in Madagascar for fifteen years, but had to leave the island during the period of persecution. He was condemned to death but the sentence was commuted on his paying a ransom and promising to quit the island; all his belongings and property were confiscated without compensation. He spent some time around the African coast trying to assist the native Christians to escape. Returning to Britain in Feb. 1842 , he settled at Hay . He did much work for the Malagasy people , writing and translating books . His chief literary works were: Hanes Madagascar , a History of the Martyrs , a Malagasy grammar, catechisms, a hymn book, etc. With the help of others, he translated the Bible into Malagasy and also edited and revised many books including the Pilgrim's Progress . Dr. Griffith John (q.v.) m. one of his daughters. He moved to Machynlleth where he d. 21 March 1863 ; he was buried in Capel y Graig graveyard.


  • The Congregational Year Book , 1864 , 216;
  • Oriel Coleg Aberhonddu , 65;
  • Geiriadur Bywgraffyddol o Enwogion Cymru , i, 401;
  • Hanes Eglwysi Annibynnol Cymru , iv, 359.


Reverend Ebenezer Curig Davies, (1895-1981), Swansea

Published date: 1959