Ann Griffiths

Ann Griffiths (née Thomas, 1776 – August, 1805) was a Welsh poet and writer of Methodist hymns.

A tenant farmer’s daughter from village of Llanfihangel-yng-Ngwynfa, near Llanfyllin in Powys, mid-Wales, she was brought up in the Anglican Church, but joined the Methodist movement after hearing the preaching of Rev. Benjamin Jones of Pwllheli, in 1796. Following the deaths of both her parents, she married Thomas Griffiths, a farmer from the parish of Meifod and an elder of the Methodist church. She died following childbirth aged 29, and was buried on 12 August 1805 at Llanfihangel-yng-Ngwynfa.

She left behind a handful of stanzas in the Welsh language. These were preserved and published by her mentor, the Calvinistic Methodist minister, John Hughes of Pontrobert, and his wife, Ruth, who had been maid at Ann Griffith’s farm and was a close confidante. Ann’s poems are an expression of her fervent evangelical Christian faith, and reflect her incisive intellect and thorough scriptural knowledge. She is the most prominent female hymn-writer in Welsh. Her work is regarded as a highlight of Welsh literature, and her longest poem was described by the dramatist and literary critic, Saunders Lewis, as ‘one of the majestic songs in the religious poetry of Europe’.

The service of enthronement of Rowan Williams as Archbishop of Canterbury in February 2003 included Williams’ own translation of one of her hymns: “Yr Arglwydd Iesu” (“The Lord Jesus”).

Use the links below to read the following in Welsh