Born at Parc-y-neuadd, near Aberayron, Cardiganshire, 11 May 1820. He was educated by a private tutor and subsequently at the grammar school, Cardigan. He then went to S. David's College, Lampeter, and worked with much success. As he was too young for Orders, he returned to Cardigan and spent four years as headmaster of his old school. Ordained deacon in 1843, he was licensed to the curacy of Aberystruth, Mon., and he received priest's orders in 1844. Subsequently he was preferred to the living of Llansannor in Glam., holding with this the living of S. Mary Hill from 1847. In 1855 he became rector of Neath, and held this office till 1896. For the last twenty years of his life he was archdeacon of Llandaff. In 1877 he received the degree of B.D. (Lambeth).
John Griffith touched many sides of Welsh life. A devoted churchman, he was loved and respected by many nonconformists. He devoted much time and energy to building churches and schools in the parishes where he served, and he revived the Welsh services at Neath after a lapse of 100 years. He was an enthusiastic supporter of the university colleges at Aberystwyth and Cardiff in their early days, and from 1860 he was associated with Sir Hugh Owen and others in their efforts to reform the national eisteddfod. He was a convincing preacher and a popular platform speaker, and high tribute is paid to his gifts as a conciliator. He married, first Mary, daughter of Caleb Lewis of Cardigan; she died in 1880, and subsequently, in 1882, Jennet Matilda Morgan of Coed Ffranc, Glam. He. d. 1 September 1897 and was buried at Henfynyw, near Aberaeron. His second wife died aged 83 in 1933.
He is sometimes confused with John Griffith (1818 - 1885).
Published date: 1959
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