Dictionary of Welsh Biography

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GRIFFITHS , EVAN ( Ieuan Ebblig , 1795 - 1873 ), Independent minister ;

b. 18 Jan. 1795 at Gellibeblig , near Bridgend, Glam. , the youngest of seven children. His father d. when he was only three years old, and owing to the poverty of the family he enjoyed few educational advantages. At 21 years of age he started preaching and attended for about a year a school kept by the minister of his chapel, W. Jones of Brynmenyn . Later he went for two years to a school at Newport, Mon. , kept by Jenkin Lewis (q.v.) . At the end of this period he was recommended by his teacher to lady Diana Barham (q.v.) as a suitable person to take charge of two Independent churches, Pilton Green and Park Mill , in Gower . He commenced his ministry 3 May 1822 . He resigned his pastorate, 4 Aug. 1828 , and removed to Swansea to work on the translation of Mathew Henry 's Commentary into Welsh , and when the printer , J. A. Williams , became bankrupt in 1830 , Griffiths purchased the business and undertook both the translation and publication of the last three volumes. Vol. II appeared in 1831 and the remaining two by 1835 . Other publications from his press include a children's monthly, Y Rhosyn Oct. 1832-Dec. 1833 , and Y Drysorfa Gynnulleidfaol , Jan. 1843-Dec. 1845 . Though he ceased to have charge of a church, he continued preaching regularly on Sundays. Besides his translation of Mathew Henry he published over forty translations and original works, including translations into Welsh of Finney 's Lectures ( 1839 ) and Sermons ( 1841 ), Burder 's Eastern Customs ( 1837 ), Brook 's Mute Christian ( 1830 ), J. A. James 's Church Member's Guide , and Doddridge 's Rise and Progress … He also published a Welsh-English dictionary ( 1847 ). Some of his manuscripts, consisting mainly of sermon notes, are preserved in the National Library of Wales ( N.L.W. MSS. 28, 176, 177, 275 ). He m. 26 May 1829 , Mrs. Mary Jones , who predeceased him. He d. 31 Aug. 1873 and was buried at Sketty .


  • Oxford Dictionary of National Biography ;
  • Hanes Eglwysi Annibynnol Cymru , iv, 467-8;
  • Ifano Jones , A history of printing and printers in Wales to 1810, and of successive and related printers to 1923 (1925) , 187;
  • J. H. Davies , ed., Catalogue of Additional Manuscripts in the National Library of Wales ;
  • Cardiff Free Libraries: Catalogue of Printed Literature in the Welsh Department (1898) .


Walter Thomas Morgan (1912-90), Aberystwyth

Published date: 1959