Dictionary of Welsh Biography


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JOHN , GRIFFITH ( 1831 - 1912 ), missionary in China ;

b. 14 Dec. 1831 at Swansea . A member of Ebenezer Congregational church , Swansea , 1840 , he was educated at the Memorial College , Brecon , and at Bedford . He offered himself to the Madagascar field, but was directed to China . He m. Jane , daughter of David Griffiths , Madagascar ( 1792 - 1863 ) (q.v.) . Ordained at Ebenezer , Swansea , 5 April 1855 , he arrived at Shanghai in Sept. In 1857 he visited Soochow , planted stations in Sung Kiang , and founded a permanent base at Hankow . In 1868 he travelled 3,000 miles in touring the provinces. His wife d. whilst returning from England in 1873 . John was chairman of the Central China Tract Society and the author of many popular tracts. In 1885 he published a version of the New Testament in the Wen-li dialect of China . Elected chairman of the Congregational Union of England and Wales , 1888 , he declined the honour. In 1889 the University of Edinburgh conferred a D.D. upon him, [and in 1911 the University of Wales had resolved to do so but he died before the appointed day]. In 1905 he celebrated his missionary Jubilee at Hankow . Compelled by ill health to leave China for a time, he returned again in 1907 . In 1912 he returned to England , d. in London , 25 July , at the age of 80, and was buried at Sketty , Swansea . In 1874 he had m. Mrs. Jenkins , a missionary 's widow, who predeceased him in 1885 . He was the author of A voice from China and other books.

Sources:

  • H. M. Hughes , Dr. Griffith John, D.D., Arwr China , London, 1914 .

Author:

Reverend Dr Evan Lewis Evans, D.Th., (1898-1978), Pontardulais / Swansea

Published date: 1959