Roger Griffith's Academy, Abergavenny (1697-1702)

After the death of Samuel Jones of Brynllywarch in 1697, the Presbyterian Fund Board decided on Abergavenny as the new location to educate its students. From the lists available, one student, Philip Pugh, can be identified as having moved from Brynllywarch to Abergavenny. There could be others, because a complete list of students has not been preserved. The Board chose Roger Griffith, minister of the Independent church at Abergavenny, as tutor. He was a person well prepared for the work, having been educated at Bethnal Green and the University of Utrecht, supported at both by the Common Fund.

The number of students supported at Abergavenny by the Presbyterian Fund Board was small. On 21 June 1697 it was agreed that £30 a year would be paid for six students proposed by Griffith. £30 was paid for six students for 1700 and 1701, and £15 for six students for 6 months in 1702. Griffith was attracted to the established church, and left Abergavenny and conformed in 1702. When he left, the numbers in the Independent church were quite low. Only fourteen persons were present at his last communion service, two of them mentioned by name; two were from the town, and five were soldiers. From 1706 to 1708 Griffith was rector of New Radnor, and he was instituted archdeacon of Brecon in 1704. He was buried in St Mary's Church, Abergavenny, in 1708.

Although the academy was small, it produced two future academy tutors: Thomas Perrot of Carmarthen, and Samuel Jones, who received part of his education with Roger Griffith, of Gloucester and Tewkesbury.

Noel Gibbard


Information about the academy at Abergavenny can be found in the minutes of the Presbyterian Fund Board (DWL, MS OD68) and in 'A list of Tutors and Students at Nonconformist Academies in Wales from 1696 to 1800' (NLW, ADD MS 373C).

Published sources

Jenkins, Robert Thomas, 'Griffith, Roger (d. 1708)', Welsh Biography Online.

Noel Gibbard, 'Roger Griffith's Academy, Abergavenny (1697-1702)', Dissenting Academies Online: Database and Encyclopedia, Dr Williams's Centre for Dissenting Studies, June 2011.