Page:Dictionary of National Biography volume 23.djvu/252

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[Rees and Thomas's Eglwysi Annybynol Cymru, vol. iv.]

R. J. J.

GRIFFITHS, FREDERICK AUGUSTUS (d. 1869), military writer, entered the army as an ensign in the royal artillery on 13 Dec. 1813. He was gazetted lieutenant 8 Oct. 1816, captain 19 Aug. 1835, and major 28 Nov. 1854. He died in 1869. Griffiths wrote: 1. The Artillerist's Manual and Compendium of Infantry Exercise,' Woolwich, 1840; 10th edition 1868. 2. 'Notes on Military Law,' Woolwich, 1841.

[Hart's Annual Army List; Brit. Mus. Cat.]

C. L. K.

GRIFFITHS, JOHN (1731–1811), congregationalist, was born in 1731 at Castellgarw, Llanglydwen, Carmarthenshire. It was intended that he should take orders in the established church, and he received a good preparatory education at the school of the vicar; but changing his views, he entered the presbyterian college, under the presidency of the Rev. Evan Davies, at Haverfordwest in 1752. During his stay a rupture led to the formation of the New Independent College at Abergavenny, whither he and three other students of orthodox sympathies removed (1755). For over fifty years he held the pastoral oversight of the independent church at Glandwr, Pembrokeshire, and of several other neighbouring churches. He laboured zealously, his churches were well filled, notwithstanding two secessions, due perhaps to his extreme Calvinism. He acted as a school-master, and young men often received episcopal and other ordination direct from his school. He was the founder of what are known in Pembrokeshire as expository classes. He studied medicine for the benefit of his people, and his knowledge was supposed by the ignorant to imply a mastery of the magic art. He was a successful translator of English hymns into Welsh. He published two editions of the 'Shorter Catechism' in Welsh, a revised edition of Matthias Maurice's translation of Dr. John Owen's 'Guide to Public Worship,' a translation of a work on domestic worship, 1791, and an elegy on Morris Griffiths, Trefgarn. He died 7 Nov. 1811.

[Jones's Geir. Bywgr.; Hanes Eglwysi Annybynol, iii. 50.]

R. J. J.

GRIFFITHS, JOHN (1806–1885), keeper of the archives at Oxford, was born in 1806. His father, Dr. John Griffiths, was head-master of the grammar school at Rochester. After receiving his preliminary education at Winchester, he was elected a scholar of Wadham College, Oxford, on 30 June 1824. He graduated B.A. with a second-class both in classics and in mathematics in 1827, and was elected fellow of his college in 1830, and after holding a classical lectureship was appointed tutor in 1834 and divinity lecturer in 1848. In 1837 he was appointed sub-warden, and he held the office for seventeen years. He was an accurate scholar, and always ready to assist his pupils; but he had a reserved and somewhat formal manner which diminished his popularity. He was a high-principled and religious man, and his hatred of needless controversy makes it somewhat remarkable that he should have been one of the 'Four Tutors' who drew up and signed the memorable protest against Newman's 'Tract XC' in March 1841. His three colleagues were Thomas T. Churton, Henry B. Wilson [q. v.], and Archibald C. Tait (afterwards archbishop of Canterbury). Griffiths defended his action in 'Two Letters concerning No. 90' in the series called 'Tracts for the Times.' He was appointed Whitehall preacher in 1843. He resigned his fellowship in 1854, being superannuated according to the old statutes, and resided for some time at Hampton Wick, near Kingston-on-Thames. Here he employed himself in editing for the delegates of the university press Inett's 'Origines Anglicanæ' (Oxford, 1855, 3 vols. 8vo). In 1857 he succeeded Dr. Philip Bliss [q. v.] as keeper of the archives, which was a post well suited to his exact turn of mind. He returned to Oxford, and lived in St. Giles's till he was elected warden of Wadham in 1871, on the resignation of Dr. Benjamin P. Symons [q. v.] In 1881 he resigned this office, which was never altogether to his taste, and for which he was in some respects not well fitted, and returned to his house in St. Giles's, where he died on 14 Aug. 1885. He held at different times such academical offices as select preacher (1850), delegate of the press, secretary of local examinations, curator of the university chest, and member of the hebdomadal council. In the latter part of his life he exercised great influence in the university.

Griffiths edited two of the plays of Æschylus, with English notes, the ‘Prometheus’ (1834) and the ‘Septem contra Thebas’ (1835), and published in 1831 a little work on ‘Greek Accents,’ which was very popular (4th edition, 1839; 5th edition, 1853). He also edited the ‘Homilies’ for the university press in 1859; and issued ‘An Index to Wills proved in the Court of the Chancellor of the University of Oxford,’ Oxford, 1862; and ‘Enactments in Parliament specially concerning the Universities of Oxford and Cambridge,’ Oxford, 1869. An edition by Griffiths of the Laudian ‘Statutes of the University of Oxford’ appeared in 1888. At the time of his death he had been collecting materials for