Edward Griffith (1819 – 1891) was born in Bath, Somersetshire, England. He was an Independent minister in Wales and England prior to being invited to Australia by the Colonial Missionary Society. Griffith arrived in Australia on the Nile in 1854 with his wife Mary and their five children, including 8-year old Samuel Walker Griffith (born in Merthyr Tydfil, Glamorganshire, Wales) — later Sir Samuel Walker Griffith, Attorney General, Chief Justice and Premier of Queensland.

Shortly after arriving, Edward Griffith and his family travelled to Ipswich where he founded a Congregational Church for the Colonial Missionary Society. He remained at Ipswich from 1854-1856, then moved to Maitland, New South Wales from 1856-1860, before returning to Wharf Street, Brisbane where he was minister for 30 years from 1860 to 1889.

A book, Memorials of the Rev. Edward Griffith, written by Edward’s daughter Mary Harriett Griffith — a philanthropist who dedicated her life to charitable works — is dedicated to her father, brothers and sisters. Chapters describe the family’s journey on the Nile in 1854 and some of their experiences at Ipswich and West Maitland in 1857.

Rev. Edward Griffith died at New Farm, Brisbane in 1891 and is buried at the Toowong Cemetery.


Lee Butterworth and Jan Richardson, ‘Edward Griffith (1819 – 1891)’, Harry Gentle Resource Centre, Griffith University, 2018 (updated 2023), https://harrygentle.griffith.edu.au/life-stories/edward-griffith/

Archival Resources

Will of Rev Edward Griffith

Queensland State Archives, Supreme Court (Southern) Ecclesiastical Files (Wills), Item ID ITM2808157.


Griffith, Mary Harriet, Memorials of the Rev. Edward Griffith

Brisbane: R. S. Hews and Co.


Memorials of the Rev. Edward Griffith, Maitland Mercury and Hunter River General Advertiser, 21 February 1893, p. 2.

The Late Rev. Edward Griffith, Brisbane Courier, 28 September 1891, p. 5.

Online Resources

Griffith University, 'Sir Samuel Walker Griffith'

Australian Dictionary of Biography, 'Griffith, Sir Samuel Walker (1845-1920)' by R. B. Joyce

Free Settler or Felon, 'Memorials of Rev Edward Griffith'

Dictionary of Welsh Biography, 'Griffith, Sir Samuel Walker (1845 - 1920)'

Harry Gentle Resource Centre, 'Mary Harriet Griffith'