Dictionary of Welsh Biography


A  B  C  D  E  F  G  H  I  J  K  L  M  N  O  P  Q  R  S  T  U  V  W  X  Y  Z



GRIFFITH , ROGER (d. 1708 ), Presbyterian minister and tutor, afterwards archdeacon ,

seems to have been b. at Abergavenny . In 1690-2 he was being supported by the ‘Common Fund’ (Presbyterian and Congregational) at Bishop's Hall , Bethnal Green , where Charles Owen (see under Owen , James ) was a fellow-student. Griffith then ( 1693 ) went to Utrecht university , again at the charges of the fund. In or about 1695 he became minister at Abergavenny ; and in 1697 , on the death of Samuel Jones ( 1628 - 1697 ) (q.v.) of Brynllywarch , the Presbyterian board (but not the Congregational board ) placed its students under Griffith 's care; his academy, of some five or six students (including Samuel Jones ‘of Tewkesbury and Thomas Perrott , qq.v.), was highly spoken of. In 1698 he began to exhibit leanings towards the Establishment , and in 1702 resigned and conformed. He was given the Crown rectory of New Radnor , perhaps as early as 1704 — according to Jonathan Williams , Hist. of Radnorshire , his years there were 1706-8 . Yardley records that on 9 Oct. 1704 he was instituted archdeacon of Brecon , having been presented by the Crown during a vacancy in the see, at the instance of Robert Harley , later earl of Oxford , who was at the time M.P. for Radnor . Edmund Calamy (who was with Griffith at Utrecht ) naturally laments his defection, and says that he died in debt and dishonour; and Yardley ends his very chilly notice of him with ‘he d. in October 1708 , and was buried in S. Mary's church in Abergavenny , without any inscription to his memory.’ According to New Radnor parish register, he d. ‘ soon after 10 October .’ The ‘ B.D. ’ with which Yardley credits him was perhaps the honorary B.D. granted by Cambridge to a ‘ Roger Griffith ’ in 1705 ( Venn , Alumni Cantab .).

Sources:

  • Hanes Eglwysi Annibynnol Cymru , i, 41-2, 47;
  • W. D. Jeremy , The Presbyterian Fund and Dr. Williams' Trust , 1885 (index);
  • E. Yardley , Menevia Sacra. Arch. Camb. , Supplement, 1927 , 203;
  • Manuscript (the property of the Presbyterian Board) published by Alexander Gordon under the title Freedom after Ejection. A Review (1690–1692) of Presbyterian and Congregational Nonconformity in England and Wales, 1917 (index).

Author:

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

Published date: 1959