Dictionary of Welsh Biography

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GRIFFITHS , HENRY ( 1812 - 1891 ), Independent minister and college tutor ;

son of James Griffiths ( 1782 - 1858 ) (q.v.) , who was at that time minister at Machynlleth , but Henry was b. at his mother's home, Llanferan , near S. Davids ( H. Egl. Ann. , iii, 27). From Neuaddlwyd ( Y Geninen , 1886 , 113) he went to University College , London , where he was greatly influenced by Augustus de Morgan , who strengthened his inclination to mathematics and philosophy. After pastorates in the Isle of Wight and at Stroud , he was appointed in 1842 senior tutor of Brecon Independent College . As a teacher , his standards were exacting, and he was not prone to suffer fools gladly, but his best students thought very highly of him (see Y Dysgedydd , 1891 , 405). In politics, he was a Radical , and in particular a strong supporter of the ‘voluntaryist’ movement in education; he read a paper at the voluntaryist conference at Llandovery in April 1845 , and was secretary of the voluntaryist training college at Brecon (see under Davies , Evan , 1826 - 1872 ). He presented a memorandum to the education commission of 1846-7 , which is printed in vol. ii of its report; was the author of several books on religion and philosophy , and in 1848 published a pamphlet, Education in Wales . At the end of 1853 he resigned his tutorship and returned to the ministry in England , at Liverpool , Bowdon , and New Barnet . He d. at Bushey Heath , 14 Aug. 1891 ; he was buried at Cowes . His contact with Wales had practically ceased for many years. His son, principal Ernest Howard Griffiths , is separately noticed. It may be as well to add that there was another HENRY GRIFFITHS ( 1825 - 1886 ) at Brecon , namely the minister of Glamorgan Street Independent chapel from 1849 to 1873 , afterwards representative in South Wales of the British and Foreign Bible Society (see Album Aberhonddu , 151).


  • Scattered references, of which the most important are named above.


Emeritus Professor Robert Thomas Jenkins, C.B.E., D.Litt., Ll.D., F.S.A., (1881-1969), Bangor

Published date: 1959