GRIFFITH, John I (-d.1607/9), of Plas Mawr, Caern. and Llanidan, Anglesey

Published in The History of Parliament: the House of Commons 1604-1629, ed. Andrew Thrush and John P. Ferris, 2010
Available from Cambridge University Press



1604 - by 15 Nov. 1609

Family and Education

1st s. of William Griffith of Plas Mawr and Margaret, da. of John Wynn ap Meredith† of Gwydir Castle, Caern. (nr. Llanrwst, Denb.) m. Margaret, wid. of Edward Griffith of Penrhyn, Caern. da. of Rhys Thomas of Coed Helen, nr. Caernarvon, 4s. 3da. suc. fa. 1587.1 d. 1607/9. sig. John Gruffythe.

Offices Held

J.p. Anglesey, 1578/9-d., Caern. c.1584-d.;2 sheriff, Caern. 1582-3, Anglesey 1586-7, 1592-3.3


A cadet branch of the prodigiously wealthy Griffith family of Penrhyn, which had provided three long-serving chamberlains for the principality of North Wales during the century after 1440, the Caernarvon Griffiths had the highest subsidy rating in the borough, and provided most of the town’s MPs during the Elizabethan period.4 It has often been assumed that the man returned in 1604 was John Griffith the elder of Cefnamwlch (father of John Griffith III*), but this man was ineligible for election, as he was then serving as sheriff.5 The Caernarvon man left no trace on the records of his final Parliament, and probably missed most of the second session: he wrote to Sir William Maurice* on 2 Jan. 1606 asking him to make his excuses in the event of a call of the House. Presumably dead by the time he was removed from the commission of the peace in the autumn of 1607, Griffith’s seat was filled at a by-election on 15 Nov. 1609.6 No will or inquisition post mortem has been found. His younger son Nicholas represented Caernarvon Boroughs in the parliaments of 1601, 1614 and 1621.

Ref Volumes: 1604-1629

Author: Simon Healy


  • 1. J.E. Griffith, Peds. Anglesey and Caern. Fams. 125, 202.
  • 2. JPs in Wales and Monm. ed. Phillips, 2-6, 20-4.
  • 3. List of Sheriffs comp. A. Hughes (PRO, L. and I. ix), 236, 248.
  • 4. Griffith, 125, 185; DWB sub Griffith of Penrhyn; HP Commons, 1558-1603. i. 310-11.
  • 5. List of Sheriffs, 248.
  • 6. NLW, Clenennau Letters 213; JPs in Wales and Monm. 6, 24; C219/35/2/193.