GRIFFITH, THOMAS TAYLOR (1795 - 1876), surgeon and antiquary

Name: Thomas Taylor Griffith
Date of birth: 1795
Date of death: 1876
Gender: Male
Occupation: surgeon and antiquary
Area of activity: History and Culture; Medicine; Scholarship and Languages
Authors: Arthur Herbert Dodd, Robert Thomas Jenkins

Born at Wrexham, 11 December 1795, he was one of the eleven children (and the eldest son) of Thomas Griffith (1753 - 1846, surgeon), and great-grandson of John Griffith (1654 - 1698) or Siôn Gruffydd of Cae Cyriog, genealogist and herald, who died 31 October 1698. The family of Cae Cyriog in the Hafod township, Ruabon, was there at least as early as the mid 15th century (P. Fadog, ii, 184). His manuscripts descended to his great-grandson Thomas Taylor Griffith, and he exhibited them at the Cambrian Archaeological Association meeting at Wrexham in 1874. They were later (1910), deposited at the National Library of Wales, and in 1923 became its property - NLW MSS 7006-10 . The most important of them is NLW MS 7006D, the famous 'Black Book of Basingwerk ' (see under Gutun Owain). NLW MS 7008E is Griffith's collection of North Wales pedigrees.

Thomas Taylor Griffith was educated at Dr. Williams's school and the grammar school, Wrexham, and after apprenticeship to his father went to Guy's and S. Bartholomew's hospitals, then to Leeds under Hoy (1810), and to Paris under Puytryne, becoming M.R.C.S. in 1817 and an Hon. Fellow 1844. He entered into partnership with his father at Wrexham (c. 1820) and in 1826 set up on his own account, marrying in the same year the grand-daughter of William Robertson (1721 - 1793), the Scottish historian. In 1832 he attended princess Victoria on a visit to Wynnstay with the duchess of Kent.

He took a large part in setting up the North Wales branch of the British Medical Association, of which he was twice president, and in the founding (1832) of Wrexham infirmary, where his portrait is hung. He was active in supporting the incorporation of Wrexham (1849-57), endowing the new corporation with a special trust fund but declining to become its first mayor. He and his wife were among the pioneers of free education in the town, helping to found the Ragged School (1852-81), of which he was first treasurer. He died 6 July 1876.


Published date: 1959

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