Dictionary of Welsh Biography

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GRIFFITH , DAVID ( 1841 - 1910 ), schoolmaster, cleric, and diarist ;

he was b. at Bontnewydd , near Caernarvon , became pupil teacher at the national school there and, in 1860 , entered the North Wales Training College , Caernarvon . He left without a certificate, but through the kindness of dean J. H. Cotton (q.v.) , he was placed in charge of the school at Capel Curig ( 1861-75 ); his diaries, fifty-two in number, and usually long books in ledger form, are particularly full about the persons, places, and folk-lore of this highland region. He entered as a two-year student at Lampeter , and left in June 1877 to become curate of S. Mary's at Aberdare ( 1877-83 ). From 1883 to 1896 he was curate in various places in Anglesey , from 1896 to 1910 , sometimes in North Wales , sometimes in South, and d., a curate still, at Cwmavon , Jan. 12 1910 . In every district he worked in he took the greatest interest in the local church, its story, and traditions, as proved by his numerous articles in Yr Haul and the Anglican Cymro ; a summary of his contributions, especially from 1873 to 1887 , will be found in Bangor MSS. 1673 and 1721 ; very valuable notes on various parishes occur in manuscripts 3001-3005, 4573 . As a man, he was ultra-sensitive, prone to morbid imaginings, unforgiving to a fault (he even kept anniversaries of some unpleasant incidents that had happened to him). He had all kinds of prejudices against the Englishry of the Church in Wales , against the ritualistic practices of some of the Aberdare churches, against Unitarians and the Salvation Army , against Berw (q.v.) , whose curate he had been at Waun-fawr . Notwithstanding all these disabilities, his diaries give one of the most illuminating pictures of Anglican activity in Wales , by a Welsh clergyman before the days of Disestablishment .


  • Bangor Manuscripts at University College North Wales Library, Bangor 1636-74, 1709-21, 1777, 3001-3006, 4573, 5393 (7).


Thomas Richards, D.Litt., (1878-1962), Bangor

Published date: 1959