Grave of David White Griffith

menai_bridge_grave_d_white_griffithDavid White Griffith (d.1876)

David White Griffith was chief constable of Anglesey for almost 20 years. He died, aged 60, at Brynteg, his Menai Bridge home, in November 1876. He had intended to retire from the post in March 1877.

His parents, Mr and Mrs William Glynn Griffith, lived at the Bodegroes estate near Pwllheli. After attending Shrewsbury School, he gained a BA degree from Jesus College, Oxford, in 1839. His public service career took off quickly. In 1841 he was high sheriff of Caernarvonshire. Two years later he married Elizabeth Moore, of the Moore Bennett family of Plas yn Rhiw, near Aberdaron (now a National Trust property).

As a member of the East Kent Militia, he was stationed in Malta during the Crimean War of the 1850s. The British army had training and supply facilities and hospitals on the island. He was a Captain with the militia and living in Canterbury in 1856, when he applied to become chief constable of Anglesey.

There were 20 other applicants. David was chosen by a meeting of 20 Anglesey magistrates in 1857. The press reported that the chief reason for his selection was his Welsh identity and fluency in the Welsh language.

In 1866 he was appointed Anglesey's inspector for the cattle plague (rinderpest virus). Special rules prohibited farmers and dealers from bringing livestock and supplies from the mainland, where almost 300,000 cattle were killed by the plague or as a precaution against transmission. Nine years later, he monitored an outbreak of foot and mouth disease which infected thousands of farm animals on Anglesey.

The most sensational case he prosecuted as chief constable was that of the Rev Thomas Morris Hughes, curate of Llanddaniel Fab and Llanedwen. Hughes was sent to Pentonville prison in 1875 for falsely registering the birth and death of the baby he had fathered with one of his stepdaughters. You can read more about him on our page about Llanedwen church.

Also buried here are the chief constable’s only son, David Glynn Griffith, who died in 1887, aged 43, and his widow, Elizabeth Moore White-Griffith, who died in 1893.

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