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Griffith, John (1622?-1700) (DNB00)

GRIFFITH, JOHN (1622?–1700), general baptist minister, appears to have joined the baptists about 1640, and founded about 1646 a congregation in Dunning's Alley, Bishopsgate Street Without. It is probable that he practised medicine, as he was known as Dr. Griffith. After the Restoration he frequently got into trouble as a conventicle preacher, and persistently declined the oath of allegiance. His difficulty was that the terms of the oath bound him to obey laws not then in being, and future sovereigns who might prove papists. His first imprisonment was in Newgate (1661) for seventeen months. He was again committed on 18 April 1683, and is said to have spent fourteen years more or less in gaol. He appears to have been free from molestation after James's declaration for liberty of conscience (11 April 1687). In 1698 his small congregation received an endowment under a trust created by Captain Pierce Johns' bequest. He was an advocate of close communion. He died on 16 May 1700, in his seventy-ninth year. He published:

  1. ‘A Voice from the Word of the Lord, to … Quakers,’ &c., 1654, 12mo.
  2. ‘Six Principles of the Christian Religion,’ &c., 1655, 4to.
  3. ‘A Complaint of the Oppressed,’ &c., 1661, 4to.
  4. ‘The Unlawfulness of Mixed Marriages,’ &c., 1681, 4to.
  5. ‘The Case of Mr. John Griffith,’ &c., 1683, 4to.
Posthumous was
  1. ‘Two Discourses,’ &c., 1707, 8vo (revised by J. Jenkins).

[Funeral Sermon by Richard Allen, 1700; Crosby's Hist. English Baptists, 1738, vol. ii.; Wilson's Dissenting Churches of London, 1808, ii. 175 sq.; Wood's Hist. General Baptists, 1847, p. 153.]

A. G.