Nehemiah Griffith 1691-1738

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Nehemiah GRIFFITH 1691-1738

Biographical Note

Born in Llanfyllin, Montgomeryshire, son of Walter Griffith, a prominent mercer there and a member of a leading nonconformist family. In 1700-02 he inherited both his father's property and that of his uncle Thomas Edwards, whose estate at Rhual, Mold became Griffith's home thereafter. While continuing to hold to dissenting religious views, he became a leading local figure who developed serious antiquarian interests. He was a founder-member of the 'Honourable and Loyal Society of Antient Britons', a Hanoverian supporting society of London Welshmen, and was particularly remembered for erecting an obelisk in the grounds of his house which celebrated a 5th-century victory of a British Christian army over the Saxons. He published some poems - among them "The Leek, A Poem on St David's Day' (1715, reprinted or reissued 1717) - and his diaries reveal his social activities and contacts, as well as his interest in such things as astronomy and optics.


Griffith used an anonymous engraved armorial bookplate (Franks 12898-9); the extent and disposition of his library is not known.


  • Nehemiah Griffith (1691-1738).
  • Bridge, J. C. (ed.), The Diary of Nehemiah Griffith, Esq., of Rhual, Mold, for the Year 1715, Journal of the Chester and North Wales Architectural, Archaeological and Historic Society, 15 (1909), pp. 22-47.
  • Gambier Howe, E. R. J. Franks bequest: catalogue of British and American book plates bequeathed to the ... British Museum. London, 1903.
  • Information from Gerald Morgan.