Maurice Griffith

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The Right Reverend

Maurice Griffith
Bishop of Rochester
ChurchRoman Catholic
DioceseDiocese of Rochester
In office1554-1558
PredecessorJohn Scory
SuccessorEdmund Allen
Consecration1 April 1554
by Edmund Bonner
Personal details
Bornc. 1507
Caernarfon area
Died(1558-11-20)20 November 1558
Southwark, London, England

Maurice Griffith (or Griffin; c. 1507 – 20 November 1558) was a Welshman who became Bishop of Rochester.


Little is known of his birth but it is thought to have been in the Caernarfon area around 1507. He was a friar at Blackfriars, Oxford and was admitted as B.D. on 5 July 1532.[1] In 1535 was appointed by John Hilsey, then Bishop of Rochester, to be his Vicar-General, and was appointed rector of St Magnus-the-Martyr in 1537.[2] A succession of posts in the church followed, mainly in the Diocese of Rochester but he also maintained his Welsh connection with the see of St. Asaph. Only towards the end of his career, in 1554, was he appointed to be Bishop of Rochester.[3]

He died on 20 November 1558, probably at the bishop’s palace in Southwark, and was interred in the church of St Magnus-the-Martyr, of which was still rector at the time of his death, on 30 November 1558 with much solemnity. In accordance with the Catholic church's desire to restore ecclesiastical pageantry in England, the funeral was a splendid affair, ending in a magnificent dinner. The three leading mourners were Sir William Petre, Sir William Garrard and Simon Lowe, who were also to be the executors of his will. Both Gerrard and Lowe were parishioners of his at St Magnus-the-Martyr.[2][4] He had been left, with William Glyn, Bishop of Bangor, property from the will of Geoffrey Glyn, in order to found a school in Bangor in North Wales. As William Glyn had also died and he was the only surviving trustee of Glyn's will, he transmitted this trust by his will to his executors – William Petre, William Garrard and Simon Lowe – who went on to found Friars School, Bangor as was intended.


  1. ^ Dictionary of National Biography, Volume 8, p. 677
  2. ^ a b Thomas F. Mayer and Courtney B. Walters (2008) The Correspondence of Reginald Pole, IV: a Biographical Companion. The British Isles, p.231
  3. ^ Gareth Alban Davies (2007), Maurice Griffin (?-1558), Esgob Rochester in Transactions of the Caernarvonshire Historical Society, volume 68, 2007
  4. ^ The Diary of Henry Machyn, Nicholas J.G. ed., Camden Society Original series 42: London, 1848, p. 180. The text reads: "The xxx day of November, was sant Andrewes day, the bysshope of Rochestur was cared from the plasse in Sowthwarke unto sant Mangnus in London; for he was parsun ther; and he had a herse of wax, and a v dosen pensels, and the qwyre hangyd with blake and armes; and he had ij whyt branchys and ij dosen torchys; and he had ij haroldes of armes, ser Wylliam Peter cheyff morner, and ser Wylliam Garrett, master Low, master Catter, and dyvers odur, and mony morners; and xij pore men had blake gownes, and xij of ys men bare torchys; and after my lord of Wynchester dyd pryche; and after he was bered they whent to ys plasse to dener, for ther was a grett dener, and he had a gret baner of armes and iiij baners of santes and viij dosen of skochyons."
Church of England titles
Preceded by
John Scory
Bishop of Rochester
Succeeded by
Edmund Allen