GRIFFITH, John I (d.1580), of Caerwys, Flints.

Published in The History of Parliament: the House of Commons 1558-1603, ed. P.W. Hasler, 1981
Available from Boydell and Brewer



Family and Education

Illegit. s. of Piers Griffith (d.1541), serjeant-at-arms to Henry VIII and (prob.) doorkeeper of Rhuddlan castle, of Caerwys by Margaret, da. of John ap Tudor. m. Ellin, da. of William Hanmer of The Fenns by Elena or Eleanor, da. of Sir Thomas Hanmer, of Hanmer.1

Offices Held

Sheriff, Flints. 1547-8, 1556-7, 1564-5, 1571-2, j.p.q. from c.1559, custos rot. 1559, escheator 1561, 1572.2


Little is known of the Griffiths of Caerwys though they ranked among the dozen chief families of Flintshire, assessed for the 1570 musters at ‘one light horseman furnished’, when only two inhabitants were rated above this. The family’s position in the county was no doubt due to its connexion with the Stanleys and—to a lesser degree—the Conways.3

About 1574, Griffith was engaged in lead-mining operations on crown wastes in Caerwys, which involved him in an Exchequer suit with a rival prospector claiming a crown grant. Twice elected for his county, his only known part in parliamentary proceedings was to obtain leave of absence on 18 Apr. 1559 to discharge his duties as custos rotulorum at the next county day.4

Griffith refers in his will to his sons-in-law Harry Salisbury and John Trevor, and his daughter-in-law Kathleen Salisbury. The will, drafted 25 Jan. 1578, when he was ‘intending with the sufferance of God to take my journey towards London, knowing that all men be mortal and are born to die’, named a brother, Piers Griffith of Rhuddlan, and a nephew, Robert Evans, as the principal heirs to his lands in Caerwys, Ysceifiog, and Bryngwyn in his own county, and to some outlying property in Denbighshire. The parish churches and the poor of five local parishes—Caerwys, Ysceifiog, Bodfari, Rhuddlan and Tremeirchion—benefited from the will, proved 5 May 1580. The executors were Piers Griffith, Robert Evans, William Thomas, a brother-in-law, and a nephew, Thomas Griffith.5

Ref Volumes: 1558-1603

Author: A.H.D.


  • 1. Dwnn, Vis. Wales, ii. 298; Harl. 1969, f. 323; 1972, f. 290; 1977, ff. 71, 131; LP Hen. VIII, xvi. 53, 175, 464; Old Wales, ed. Williams, ii. 378-9; iii. 120.
  • 2. Flenley, Cal. Reg. Council, Marches of Wales, 127, 132. 141; CJ, i. 60; APC, xi. 292; Lansd. 1218, f. 41.
  • 3. Flenley, 75.
  • 4. PCC 15 Arundel; Flenley, 60, 69, 109, 127; Exchequer, ed. E. G. Jones (Univ. Wales Bd. of Celtic Studies, Hist. and Law ser. iv); CJ, i. 60; Old Wales, ii. 251.
  • 5. PCC 15 Arundel.