Dictionary of Welsh Biography

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GRIFFITHS , WILLIAM ( 1788 - 1861 ), Calvinistic Methodist minister ;

b. 21 Dec. 1788 at Blaenbrwynen , Clydau, Pembs. , son of Thomas and Mary Griffiths . In 1807 he was compelled to enlist in the militia ; in the course of his military service he came under the influence of the Methodists , whom he joined. On his release from the army he kept a school in his native parish for a time. In 1814 he began to preach at Bwlch-y-groes . In 1817 the Association , at the request of Diana , lady Barham , sent him as a missionary to the English -speaking people of Gower, Glam. He was ordained at the Association meeting at Llangeitho , 1824 . He laboured unceasingly in his field and, although the relations between him and lady Barham were not always happy, succeeded in founding a number of churches . He was the father of Methodism in Gower and it is as the ‘ Apostle of Gower ’ that he is known to this day. He d. at Burry Green , 21 July 1861 . Samuel Griffiths of Horeb ( 1783 - 1860 ) was his brother.


  • Y Drysorfa , 1862 , 241;
  • Y Traethodydd , 1870 , 176-93;
  • W. Williams , A memoir of the life and labours of the Rev. William Griffiths, Burry Green, Gower (1863) , 1863 ;
  • see also his autobiography, Gower memories of William Griffiths (Llandysul, 1957), ed. Alicia Gower-Jones.


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

Published date: 1959