Griffiths, Ann (DNB00)

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GRIFFITHS, ANN (17801805), Welsh hymn-writer, born in 1780, was the eldest daughter of John Thomas, a respectable farmer, living at Dolwar-fechan, Llanfihangel yn Ngwynfa, Montgomeryshire. She received a fair education, and was able to read English and to write. In her early youth she is said to have been of a lively disposition, fond of a dance and a song, and supposed to make little of religious customs. A great change came over her somewhat later, through hearing a sermon by the Rev. Benjamin Jones, the independent minister at Pwllheli. She attached herself to the independents, but eventually cast in her lot with the Calvinistic methodists. She possessed a retentive memory, and could generally repeat oft-hand any sermon she heard, and is said to have written out several of those of John Elias [q. v.] in full. Her hymns and religious verses are often lacking in rhythmic smoothness, but they are spirited, and indicate a deep piety and warmth of emotion. Her biographer says her songs, hymns, and letters are all worthy of preservation. She committed very few of her hymns to paper, and most of them have been preserved from the memory of the servant-girl to whom they were recited. They may be found to-day in the hymn-books of most of the popular churches. Her literary remains, with memoirs, have been published. She died in August 1805.

[Memoir in Traethodydd, 1846; Methodistiaeth Cymru, ii. 416; Jones's Geiriadur Bywgraffyddol, i. 434.]

R. J. J.