David Brythonfryn Griffith 1837 – 1889

This poet and minister was born in Pendryn Cych in the parish of Cenarth on the 11th December 1837. I know very little about his early life but it seems he was extremely intelligent and, if he had used his incredible intellect properly, and showed a little more self-respect, doubtless he would be one of Wales’ greatest poets and a great public figure. Along with the Rev John Williams, Newcastle Emlyn, he was prominent in starting “Y Byd Cymreig” (The Welsh World) or, as it was first called “Cyfaill y Werin” (The People’s Friend) in 1863 of which Brythonfryn was editor for some years. He started to win prizes in the Eisteddfodau as early as 1858 and in 1879 he won the chair of Eisteddfod Gadeiriol Eryri (Snowdonia) which was held in Llanberis. The subject was “Crefydd” (Religion) and that poem has been published. We do not know for certain when he came to Aberdare but I know he was one of the most important and enthusiastic elements in forming “The Great Choir” that competed in Crystal Palace conducted by Caradog in 1872 and 1873. Brythonfryn was everything in the Aberdare valley at that time and was extremely influential. On the 20th December 1875 he was inaugurated as minister of the small church in Penderyn, Breconshire, but his connection was not long with the church. He died in the year 1889.