Griffith, William
1806-1883; e.m. 1828

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Wesleyan Reformer and UMFC minister, son of William Griffith senr (1777-1860; e.m. 1808). Born in London on 4 November 1806, in 1828 he followed his father into the WM ministry, after initial misgivings. At the end of 1830, while in the Devonport Circuit, sudden misgivings about his worthiness caused him to flee to Jersey. A period of unofficial preaching was followed by his reinstatement in 1833.

An invitation to him in 1838 to go to Australia was vetoed by Jabez Bunting. The Fly Sheets appeared while he was in the Ripley Circuit. He declined to sign the 'Declaration of Abhorrence' issued 'for the voluntary signatures of those who may approve of it' and he was consequently expelled. He spent the next few years in Reform activities and eventually became minister of the WR chapel in Derby, where he remained for the rest of his life. He was thrice elected President of the UMFC Conference, but declined to serve. He was a radical in politics as well as in the Church and a republican who had his effigy burned in Derby market place; but his ministry was truly Methodist and evangelical. He died on 12 July 1883.

  • R. Chew, William Griffith: Memorials and Letters (1885)
  • B. Gregory, Sidelights on the Conflicts of Methodism (1898)
  • Methodist Recorder, Winter Number, 1899 pp.21-2
  • O.A. Beckerlegge, The United Methodist Free Churches (1957)
  • David A. Barton, 'William Griffith, the "Hercules of the Reform Movement"', in WHS Proceedings, 43 pp.165-70
  • O.A. Beckerlegge, The Three Expelled (Peterborough, 1996)

Entry written by: OAB
Category: Person
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