Griffith, David, Dd
Griffith, David, D.D.
a Protestant Episcopal clergyman, was born in New York city in 1742. His father was a native of Wales, who came to America in early life, settling on a farm on the East River. After preliminary study in his native city, David went to England and and graduated in London as a student of medicine. About 1763 he returned to America, and began practice in the interior of the province of New York. A few years after he studied theology, went to England, was admitted to orders in August, 1770; soon after was sent to Gloucester County, N. J., as a missionary of the Society for the Propagation of the Gospel in Foreign Parts. From the close of 1771 until May 1776, he was rector. of Shelburne Parish, London County, Virginia, when he entered the American army as chaplain of the 3d Virginia Regiment, remaining until the close of 1779. In 1780 he became rector of Christ Church, Alexandria, Virginia. Throughout the latter part of his life he is said to have enjoyed the confidence of General Washington, who was his parishioner for a number of years. It is reported that he was the first clergyman to propose a convention for the independent organization of the Church after the Revolution. In May 1785, he was a member of the first convention that met in Richmond, Virginia, under the act of incorporation and he was appointed a delegate to the ensuing General Convention. In May of that year he was chosen bishop, but was unable to meet the expenses of a voyage-to England for consecration. Accordingly, in May, 1789, he resigned his claim to the office. He died in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, August 3, 1789. Dr. Griffith was regarded as a sound and able divine, and was universally esteemed. See Sprague, Annals of the Amer. Pulpit, 5:270.