Y Brodyr Griffith, Tryfan Mawr

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Y BRODYR GRIFFITH

Ymunodd William Griffith o Rostryfan â’r Llynges Frenhinol ar ganol cyffro Rhyfeloedd Napoleon. Roedd William yn drydydd fab i John Griffith, Sgweier Tryfan Mawr ac Owen, ei frawd hynaf, fyddai’n etifeddu tiroedd yr ystâd a’r gwaith o’u rheoli. Fel ‘bonheddwr ifanc’ o deulu parchus, cynigiai gwasanaeth milwrol un proffesiwn posib iddo heblaw gyrfa yn y Gyfraith neu’r Eglwys.[1]

Bu John Griffith yn Siryf Sir Gaernarfon[2] ac yn ôl arferiad y cyfnod, byddai modd iddo gymeradwyo ei fab fel ‘Is-swyddog’ (midshipman) i wasanaethu ar un o longau rhyfel y llynges. Hawdd credu bod diddordeb y llanc yn y llynges wedi ei danio wrth weld llongau rhyfel yn gwarchod glannau Bae Caernarfon a’r Fenai. Ysgogodd y cyffro daeth yn sgil marwolaeth Nelson, ym Mrwydr Trafalgar 1805, i nifer o fonheddwyr ifanc ymuno â’r lluoedd arfog yn ystod y cyfnod.

Gwelodd y Rhyfeloedd Napoleon frwydro nid unig yn erbyn grym Ffrainc yn Ewrop ond hefyd yng Ngogledd America - ac yno gwelodd William Griffith gyfnod mwyaf arwyddocaol ei wasanaeth milwrol a phrofiadau newidiodd trywydd gweddill ei fywyd. Ym 1812 dechreuodd rhyfel arall, y tro hwn yn erbyn yr UDA, oedd yn gwrthwynebu'r gwaharddiad Prydeinig ar fasnachu gyda Ffrainc. Arweiniodd hyn at wrthdaro a barhaodd am ymron i dair blynedd, a’r ffin rhwng yr UDA a’r ‘Canadas’ (Uchaf ac Isaf) oedd un blaen y gad yn "Rhyfel 1812". Bu’r ymladd yn y rhyfel hwn yn bennaf ar y Llynnoedd Mawr a’u cyffiniau ac yno bwriodd William Griffith ei wasanaeth milwrol.

Ardal ogleddol Rhyfel 1812

Gan fod angen llongau'r Llynges Frenhinol i amddiffyn Yr Ynysoedd Prydeinig rhag y bygythiad gan luoedd Ffrainc, roedd angen i’r fintai Brydeinig mynd ati i adeiladu llongau eu hunain ar lannau'r Llynnoedd i frwydro yn erbyn yr Americanwyr. Yn wir disgrifiwyd y gwrthdaro yn yr ardal fel '‘Brwydr y Seiri’' [3], gan iddo ddatblygu yn ras arfau adeiladu llongau i sicrhau buddugoliaeth. Arweinwyd William a’i gyd-forwyr gan Sir James Yeo wrth frwydro yn bennaf ar Lyn Ontario.

Fel Is-swyddog roedd dyletswyddau William Griffith yn cynnwys arwain ymgyrchoedd i’r tiroedd ger y Llynnoedd i gasglu cyflenwadau o fwyd a choed[4]. Yn y ffordd hon mae’n debyg y daeth i adnabod yr Americaniaid brodorol a dysgu eu hiaith – mae’n bosib mae iaith yr ‘Odawa’ oedd hynny, sef y tylwyth brodorol oedd yn byw i’r gogledd o Lyn Ontario ac yn masnachu gyda’r Prydeinwyr a thylwythau eraill yn yr ardal. (Mae enw’r afon Ottawa a’r brifddinas ar ei glannau yn seiliedig ar y gair ‘Odawa’ sydd yn golygu ‘y masnachwyr’).

Llong ryfel yr UDA General Pike a HMS Wolfe, llong Sir James Yeo, yn ymladd - Llyn Ontario, 28 Medi 1813

Daeth heddwch i’r ardal yn Chwefror 1815 ond bu William yn gwasanaethu am ddwy flynedd arall gyda’i gofnod o wasanaeth yn dangos iddo dreulio amser ar Lyn Mawr arall, y Huron y tro hwn[5]. Gwasanaethodd am gyfnod ar y schooner arfog, HMS Surprise - eto fel ‘Is-swyddog’- o dan yr Is-gapten David Wingfield yn gwarchod y ffin a mapio’r ardal[6] Parhaodd ei gyfathrach gyda’r brodorion, a chymaint oedd ei barch atynt fel mae un adroddiad yn nodi yr estynnwyd cynnig iddo ymuno â thylwyth brodorol ond iddo wrthod y cynnig.[7] Roedd William felly yn benderfynol o ddychwelyd i Ganada ar ddiwedd ei wasanaeth llyngesol yn 1817 a daeth cyfle annisgwyl iddo wneud hynny.

Gyda’r heddwch a ddilynodd ryfelodd Napoleon rhoddwyd nifer o swyddogion y lluoedd Prydeinig ar ‘hanner cyflog’ a dyma fu profiad William Griffith. Yn wir gynifer oedd y cyn-ymladdwyr oedd yn derbyn taliadau comisiwn neu bensiwn, ymgeisiodd y Lywodraeth ar y pryd leihau'r byrdwn ar bwrs y wlad. Cynigwyd tir yn y trefedigaethau Prydeinig i’r rhai oedd yn dymuno ymfudo ar yr amod eu bod yn peidio â hawlio eu taliadau. Derbyniodd William gynnig o’r fath a derbyn llain o dir 400 erw yn Carleton County, ger yr afon Rideau yng Nghanada Uchaf[8]

Yn 1818 felly dychwelodd William Griffith dros Fôr y Werydd ond y tro hwn gyda’i frawd iau, deunaw oed, Hugh. Y flwyddyn flaenorol datganwyd eu tad John Griffith yn fethdalwr [9] – bu’r flynyddoedd wedi’r holl ryfeloedd yn rhai anodd i amaethyddiaeth a’r diwydiant gwlân sef prif ffynonellau incwm Ystâd Tryfan. Nid yw’n syndod felly gweld dau o feibion yr Ystâd yn troi eu golwg at ‘Fyd Newydd’ Gogledd America. Hwyliodd y ddau o Lerpwl ar fwrdd y llong '‘Monarch’' a glanio, wedi mordaith chwedeg a chwech o ddiwrnodau, ym mhorthladd Quebec ym mis Awst 1818.[10].

Nododd cyd-deithiwr iddynt ar y fordaith hir dros y cefnfor bod William yn ‘ddyn ifanc tal golygus’ a bod y ddau Gymro yn gwmni difyr a hoffus gan nodi eu ‘cysylltiadau teuluol parchus iawn’[11]. Ymsefydlodd y ddau ar ystâd o'r enw Bellevue Gloucester, a leolir rhwng yr afon Rideau a’r afon Ottawa ger Bytown (sef tref sylfaen y brif ddinas bresennol, Ottawa) yng Nghanada Uchaf (talaith Ontario heddiw).

Roedd bywyd yr ymsefydlwyr cyntaf hyn yn arbennig o anodd a nifer heb baratoi am heriau'r tywydd. Bu Gaeaf 1818 yn un arbennig o galed gyda hanes o rhai mewn pebyll ac yn dioddef canlyniadau'r oerfel[12] Mewn ychydig flynyddoedd roedd y brodyr Griffith wedi llwyddo trin cryn dipyn o'u tir ac roeddent mewn lleoliad digon cyfforddus gan ychwanegu tua 200 erw at eu tir yn 1821[13]. Er eu llwyddiant gorfododd iechyd gwael Hugh Griffith iddo ddychwelyd at ei wlad enedigol ym 1823.

Wedi adfer ei iechyd dychwelodd Hugh i ‘Ganada Uchaf’ ym 1825 ond gwelodd fod ei frawd wedi esgeuluso’r ystâd, ac wedi dilyn ei ‘warediad crwydrol’ trwy ddewis mynd ‘ymhlith y brodorion’. Mae dogfennau cyfreithiol yn nodi i William drosglwyddo tir i Hugh yn 1825 ac mae cadarnhad sicr felly o’i ddymuniad i fod yn rhydd o gyfrifoldeb i ddilyn ei awydd i fyw bywyd amgen.[14] Mae’r dogfennau wedi eu harwyddo yn nhref ‘Three Rivers’ (Trois-Riviers) ar lannau'r afon St Lawrence, a rhyw hanner ffordd rhwng Ottawa a Quebec.

Yn 1825 hefyd mae cofnod Cyfrifiad Canada Isaf o dref Trois-Riviers, o bosib, yn nodi bod William yn bennaeth yr aelwyd ac yn rhannu llety â merch sydd hefyd wedi ei nodi yn briod – ond mae’n anodd cadarnhau'r berthynas hynny o’r manylion sydd ar gael gan mai enw'r pen teulu a nodir yn unig ac nid oes cofnod neu adroddiad ar gael bod William wedi priodi[15]

Gwariodd William tua phum mlynedd ymhlith y brodorion yn ystod cyfnod anodd iawn yn eu hanes gyda’u harweinwyr yn gwerthu tir yn rhad i awdurdodau'r Llywodraeth, oedd wedyn yn ei gynnig i ymsefydlwyr. Wedi Rhyfel 1812 datblygodd rôl yr Ymerodraeth Brydeinig mewn perthynas â’i ymwneud â phobl frodorol. Roedd asiantau llywodraethol yn annog brodorion i gefnu ar eu ffyrdd traddodiadol o fyw gan fabwysiadu ffyrdd mwy amaethyddol a ‘sefydlog’ o fyw. Bwriad y polisïau hyn oedd cymhathu'r brodorion fwyfwy â chymdeithas amaethyddol a Christnogol. Mae David Wingfield yn nodi yn ei ddyddiadur yr effaith negyddol mae’r newid yn eu ffordd o fyw yn cael ar y rhan fwyaf o’r brodorion[16]

Nid yw’r rheswm i William Griffith droi ei gefn ar ei fywyd brodorol yn hysbys ond erbyn 1829 roedd â’i fryd ar sefydlu fferi dros yr Afon St.Lawrence a hynny ger L’Islet, pentref i’r gogledd-ddwyrain o Quebec. Dechreuodd hefyd adeiladu peiriant o'i ddyfais ei hun ar gyfer adfer angorau ac eiddo coll o waelodion yr afon.

Mewn llythyr a ysgrifennodd Hugh at ei gyfaill William Reynolds, ym mis Mawrth 1831[17] mae‘n nodi ei benderfyniad i ymweld â’i famwlad unwaith eto ond hefyd yn datgelu ei reswm - unigedd. Mae’n datgan yn deimladwy iawn “Mae'n ymddangos i mi mor unig i fod ar fy mhen fy hun mewn gwlad ddieithr, am flynyddoedd lawer fel yr wyf i, mae eisiau ffrind y gallaf ymddiried ynddynt yn cynyddu yn ddyddiol ar fy meddwl”.

Yn y llythyr hwn hefyd mae’n amlygu ei fwriad i ddychwelyd i Ganada wedi ei ymweliad â’i gartref ond y tro nesaf gyda’i chwaer - os yw’n gallu sicrhau caniatâd eu rhieni. Nid yw’n nodi pa un o’i chwiorydd sydd wedi nodi ei pharodrwydd i fentro o Gymru ond mae’n nodi nad yw wedi derbyn llythyrau o gartref ers amser hir. Nid yw’n sôn o gwbl am ei frawd William, sydd yn awgrymu nad oedd wedi cadw mewn cysylltiad â’i frawd llawer ers 1825 - cyfraniad sicr arall at ei unigedd.

Arhosodd Hugh Griffith ar ei ystâd tan fis Mai 1831 pan oedd ar ei ffordd i Quebec er mwyn hwylio oddi yno i Gymru. Mae ei lythyr olaf o Quebec, ar Fehefin 28ain 1831, yn hysbysu ei ffrindiau ei fod wedi dod o hyd i’w frawd yno, a oedd newydd wella o salwch, ac wedi bod yn cael anawsterau gyda’i fenter oherwydd tywydd anffafriol. Penderfynodd Hugh ohirio ei ymweliad i Gymru ac aros i geisio cynorthwyo ei frawd i sefydlu ei fusnes ac ar ddiwedd y cyfnod hwnnw, dewisodd eto i ohirio ei daith gan aros am fis arall gyda William.

Cyn i'r mis hwnnw fynd heibio, llofruddiwyd y ddau frawd ar L‘Isle aux Grues ('Goose Island a nodwyd yn rhai adroddiadau o‘r digwyddiad erchyll hwn, sef Ynys y Gwyddau, ond Ynys y Crëyr Llwyd yw’r cyfieithiad cywir o‘r Ffrangeg). Penderfynodd William gyflogi dau labrwr ac mae’n ymddangos o fewn cyfnod byr roedd y ddau wedi lladd y ddau frawd i geisio dwyn cist oedd yn disgwyl Hugh yn ei lety yn barod i ddychwelyd i Gymru. Roedd yn gist yn cynnwys swm sylweddol o aur, gwerth £70 yn 1831 - byddai 70 sofren aur gwerth dros £25,000 heddiw[18]

Afon St Lawrence ger L'Islet a'r Isle aux Grues

. Oherwydd yr anafiadau ciaidd i‘r brodyr bu llofruddiaethau ‘Ynys y Crëyr Llwyd‘ yn destun sawl adroddiad papur newydd yng Ngogledd America a Phrydain[19] Ni chafodd y llofruddion gafael ar gyfoeth Hugh a gweinyddwyd stad y ddau frawd gan yr awdurdodau.[20]. Er dyfal y chwilio am eu llofruddion nid oes cofnod iddynt gael eu dwyn o flaen eu gwell. Lladdwyd William yn 35 oed, a Hugh yn 31 oed – a hithau ar ganol Haf, claddwyd y ddau yn y goedwig ger glannau’r St Lawrence.

Danfonwyd neges yn hysbysu’r teulu o’r digwyddiad erchyll gan Zacheus Williams, Aubergiste (Lletywr) yn ninas Quebec, brodor o Sir Ddinbych, oedd yn adnabod William Griffith ers nifer o flynyddoedd.[21]. Derbyniwyd y newyddion drwg ar ran y teulu gan gefnder y brodyr, sef John Price, Plas Cadnant ger Porthaethwy, Sir Fôn oedd yn nai i Catherine Griffith, gwraig sgweier Tryfan Mawr.

Diwedd trist iawn i obeithion dau Gymro yn y ‘Byd Newydd’ ac ergyd creulon arall i’r teulu Griffith - bu farw dau aelod arall o’r teulu'r flwyddyn flaenorol, Elin merch John a Catherine yn 30 oed ac Ann, gwraig Owen Griffith, a hithau dim ond 31 oed[22]. Claddwyd John Griffith, sgweier Tryfan Mawr ar 30ain Rhagfyr 1831, ym mynwent Eglwys Twrog, Llandwrog, llai na chwe mis wedi marwolaeth ei feibion ieuengaf.

Er ei cholledion bu farw Catherine yn 93 oed ym 1851. Wedi iddo golli ei wraig ifanc, ni ail-briododd Owen gan farw yn ddietifedd‚ sgweier olaf Tryfan, ym 1865. Parhaodd ei chwaer ddi-briod, Ann, i fyw yn y Tryfan Mawr ond wedi iddi farw ym 1891, a hithau'n 97 oed, gwerthwyd y Plas a’r tir oedd yn weddill yn fuan wedyn[23].

Ôl -nodyn : Ar Lyn Huron mae ynys o‘r enw ‘Griffith Island’ – fel aelod o griw un o‘r llongau cyntaf i fapio nodweddion y llyn, tybed mai ar ôl y Cymro o Sir Gaernarfon enwyd yr ynys hon?

Ffynhonellau a nodiadau

  • A. Ffynonellau Gwybodaeth Cyfoes
  • B. Tystiolaeth Archifol
  • C. Gyrfa Llynges Williams Griffith
  • CH. Enw 'Ynys Griffith'.


A. Ffynonellau Gwybodaeth Cyfoes

The North Wales Chronicle and Advertiser for the Principality 6 Medi 1831, t 3 [1]

MURDER OF MESSRS. WM. AND HUGH GRIFFITH, SONS OF JNO. GRIFFITH, ESQ. OF TRYFAN, IN THIS COUNTY.
For the information of the numerous relatives and friends of these unfortunate gentlemen, we insert the following extract of a letter from Mr. Zaccheus Williams, innkeeper, Lower Town, Quebec, to John Price, Esq. Plas Cadnant, in this county:- 
                                                                                                                        Quebec, 25th July, ‘’1831. 
 The Quebec Mercury of the 23rd inst. which accompanies this, will inform you of the untimely end of your two cousins, Wm. and Hugh Griffith. My having had the pleasure of being acquainted with Mr. William Griffith for these ten years past, and being, I believe, the only person in Quebec, from his part of the country, with whom he had any acquaintance, has induced me to write to his connexions by first conveyance. The murderers are not yet taken, but there is no doubt but they will soon he caught, as there is an active pursuit after them. The property belonging to the Messrs. Griffith will remain in possession of the proper officers until that a regular claim can be made for it by some authorised person in Quebec. A brother to the Rev. Mr. Price is at present in Quebec, and will sail in a few days for Aberdovey, and any further intelligence that can be known, I shall send to you by him, however, the public papers gives all that we know as yet, nothing further can be said until those unfortunate men are taken, which I trust will not be long.   
     
   Since writing the above, it appears that the boat belonging to the Messrs. Griffith, has been left the Island of Orleans, near Quebec, and a description of the men has been ascertained, so that there cannot be much doubt of their being soon apprehended," THE LATE MURDER AT GOOSE ISLAND. - The following letter gives a more correct detail of the circumstances of this murder :-
  Two men, who appear to have been employed in dragging for lost anchors, have been at Goose Island for some time back, with two hired men. The employers had deposited a trunk at the house of F. Xavier Lachame dit Jolicoeur, with orders to deliver it only to themselves. The four persons when not out on the water, lodged together in a cabin in the woods. On Monday last, some of the people on the island heard a cry and a musket fired but paid no attention to it. Finding none of the party coming to the house, some of them had the curiosity to go to the cabin on Friday; they found one of the employers dead among the rocks, with his scull fractured, apparently with an ax; and the body of the other some way off in the wood, with a musket shot through the head. The boat was gone, and the two hired men had disappeared. All four language spoke the English language. A woman at the house of Jolicoeur recollects that the two hired men came to the house on Monday, and asked for the trunk, but it being refused, they went away. The trunk has since been opened, in the presence of the Captain of Militia, and a packet of money amounting to about £70, in gold, was found in it. The name of Mr. H. Griffith, of Carnarvon, was on the envelope; also, the date "lst June," The bodies have been buried, after being visited by a Militia Officer, who will probably report to Quebec. 
 Since receiving this letter we have seen Mr. Panet, the coroner, who returned this morning, having got the bodies lifted, and taken an inquest upon them. It appears that the persons murdered are well identified to be Hugh Griffith, half-pay Lieutenant of his Majesty's Navy, and his brother William Griffith. They were known to a number of persons in town; their books on naval gunnery and tactics and literature, all bear their names, and they lately purchased of Mr. Planet, ferry- man, at the Island of Orleans, the boat in which they followed their occupation, and which is also well known. The men whom they hired, and who murdered them with a view to get £70, in their chest, were two emigrants, supposed to be Irishmen, engaged just as they landed from the vessel on one of the wharves, and unknown to their employers. The day the murder took place, the wind was westerly, and they no doubt proceeded down the river, but the strong gale from the east which blew the following day, would probably induce them to come up towards town.— They were Ignorant of the management of a boat and of the river, and it is hoped that they will have landed somewhere, where being strangers, they may be looked upon with suspicion, and noticed. One of the Messrs. Griffiths is said to have had land in the upper part of the province. Thee murderers are supposed to have put on the clothes of their victims. From an examination of the bones fractured, it appears doubtful whether either of them died from gun shot wounds. The heads of both were much shattered, apparently by blows of an ax.
    
  We learn that Messrs. Griffiths have very respectable relations near Holyhead in Wales from which part of Great Britain they both are. The younger brother intended to go home in a short time, and had come down lately from Bytown, on the Ottawa. — From the Quebec Mercury of the 23rd of July.
   The boat in which the murderers of the Messrs. Griffith had been for nearly a week, was left by them at St. Laurent, (Orleans,) on Monday the 18th inst. The two men, after remaining several hours in the boat and on the beech walked away. They have been traced by Police officers sent for the express purpose, to Point Levy, where it appears they arrived on Friday night, and further trace of them was then lost. A full description of their dress has been, obtained, and parties have been sent after them by different routes. — From the Quebec Mercury, of the 26th of July. 
   From information derived from the best authority, we are enabled to lay before our readers the following particulars regarding these unfortunate brothers.— Mr. William Griffith, while a midshipman in the Royal Navy, had been employed for some time with a party under his command, on the Lakes and in the woods of Canada, procuring stores for the shipping. This employment led him, into frequent intercourse with the Indians, whose language he speedily acquired, and by whom he was so highly esteemed that several proposals were made to him to join one of their tribes, all offer which he declined. After the peace he returned to his country, but, while at home his constant desire was to go back amongst his old friends the Canadian Indians. 
   In 1818 he did return to Canada, accompanied by his brother Mr. Hugh Griffith, and they both settled upon all estate of 600 acres, named Bellevue Gloucester, on the Rideau river. In a few years they had got considerable portion of their land into cultivation and were most comfortably situated, when bad health compelled Mr. Hugh Griffith to revisit his native country in 1823. On his return to Canada in 1825, he found that his brother had neglected the estate, and followed the-bent of his wandering disposition by going amongst the Indians, with whom he remained until about two years ago, when he commenced constructing a machine of his own invention for recovering lost property from the bottoms of rives &c. Mr. Hugh Griffith remained upon his estate until May last when on his way to Quebec on his way to this country to visit his parents and friends. His last letter dated Quebec, June 28th, 1831, inform his friends that in Quebec he had found his brother, who was just recovered from sickness, and had been unfortunate in his speculation owing to tempestuous weather, but that as soon as the weather permitted he would renew his efforts for the recovery of some property sunk in liver St. Laurence. A warm desire to be of service to his brother, and the hope of witness in his better success in his dangerous speculation, induced Mr. Hugh Griffith to determine on remaining with him a month, and at the expiration of that period he was led by the same considerations to stay another month with William, but ere that month had elapsed, both the brothers were murdered by the ruffians whom William had hired as labourers, in the manner above narrated. 

The North Wales Chronicle and Advertiser for the Principality 1 Tachwedd 1831, t.3 [2]

THE LATE MURDERERS IN CANADA. 
(From the Montreal Gazette of Oct. 1, 1831.) 
  "We copy the following paragraph from Thursday's Mercury. We regret that the Crane Island murderers should have escaped justice:—" It will be recollected that we some time ago noticed the departure from this city of officers, vested with proper authority, to ascertain the identity of a person confined in prison, in the state of Maine, on suspicion of being one of the murderers of the unhappy brothers, Griffith, at Crane Island they have now returned, the man who had been arrested, proved not to be one of these miscreants, and we fear that all clue which may lead to their present detection is lost. 
 " Capt. Price, of the Factor, who is lately returned from Quebec, states, that previous to his departure from Quebec, forty-two persons had been taken up on suspicion of being the villainous murderers of the Messrs. William and Hugh Griffith, sons of John Griffith, Esq. of Tryfan, in this county. We regret to learn from the above paragraph, they were, at its date, not apprehended, although we learn that every possible exertion has been made on the part of the police and authorities at Quebec, to trace the villains.

Washington National Intelligence , 6 Medi 1831 [NewspaperARCHIVE.com]

Dreadful Murder of Two Brothers in Lower Canada
  Gentlemen: I have copied from “The Old Countryman” of the 1st inst. (an interesting and well conducted paper, published in New York) the following paragraph relative to a most barbarous murder, which has been recently committed in Lower Canada. I well remember the unfortunate victims of this murder, having emigrated for Liverpool to Quebec in 1818 along with the Messrs Griffith. We sailed from Liverpool on the 7th of June, and arrived in Quebec on the third Sunday in August. During a long and tedious passage, in the ship Monarch, Captain Thornhill (and) I formed a pleasing intercourse with the Messrs Griffiths, and spent the Sunday on our arrival in Quebec with Mr Hugh Griffiths , in visiting the Plains of Abraham, and examining the spot where we were told the gallant General Wolfe breathed his last, in the moment of victory.
  If my recollection serves me right, William, not Hugh, was the half pay Lieutenant in the British Navy; he was a tall and handsome young man, and had served on the Lakes under Sir James Yeo. The Griffiths informed me when I parted with them, and on the passage , that they intended to settle in the interior; and the Lieutenant frequently intimated a wish to establish himself in some part of Canada , where he had been during the late War, and which he thought the a most desirable place for establishing a ferry. Probably Goose Island, where it seems the Griffiths were murdered, was the very spot referred to. 
  I regret exceedingly the death of these amiable young Welshman; they were most respectable connected, ad their conduct, while on board the Monarch, was such as entitled them to general respect.
  It is fervently hoped. that every proper exertion will be made to discover and bring to justice the foul murderers of these young gentleman; and, if the murderers are concealed in the Eastern States as intimated in the following paragraph. It is hoped and believed, the Editors and Police in New England will unite with every good citizen, to hunt them out, and deliver them up to the British authorities.                                       
                                                                         A fellow passenger.
                                                                                       Washington City, Sept.5, 1831

The Old Countryman ( Efrog Newydd, 1 Awst 1831)

MURDER – The two assassinated 16th July on the beach of Gosse island, parish of L’Islet, Lower Canada, it is now ascertained, were not Americans, as first supposed but Welshmen viz Hugh Griffith a half pay Lieutenant in his Majesty’s Navy and his brother William Griffith. Their relations are very respectable and reside near Holyhead. They were employed in dragging for anchors, and had two laborers to assist them. These villains ascertaining that the Griffiths had £70 in gold in their trunk, determined to despatch them to obtain their money. When found, one brother was lying among the rocks with his skull fractured, apparently with an axe, and the body of the other some way off in the wood, with a musket shot in the head. The boat was gone and the two hired men had disappeared nor have they yet been taken, It is thought that they are now in the Eastern States.


Le Canadien , 20 Août 1831, Samedi 20 ( The Canadian 20 Awst 1831)

Le soussigné ayant ete dûment nommé curateur à la succession vacante de feu William Griffith ei devant de Québec, prie toutes les persones endettes envers la dite succession, de le payer sans delai, et celles a qui il peut leurs reclamations en bonne forme. 
Narcisse F Belleau* Curateur. Haute de Ville, Rue St Anne, Quebec. 30 Juillet, 1831  
CYFIEITHIAD:
Mae'r hwn sydd â'i lofnod isod, gan ei fod wedi ei benodi'n weinyddwr ar olyniaeth wag y diweddar William Griffith, gynt o Quebec, yn gofyn i bob person sydd â dyledion i'r olyniaeth honno i'w talu heb oedi, a bod y rheiny sydd â hawliau i'w sicrhau eu bod yn drefnus. 
 Narcisse F Belleau, Gweinyddwr ystadau. Haute de Ville, Rue St Anne, Quebec. 30 Gorffennaf 1831


B. Tystiolaeth Archifol

Llongau'n cyrraedd Quebec 1818

Copïwyd enwau'r llongau a gyrhaeddodd o'r Quebec Mercury, ac (lle nodir hynny) o'r  Montreal Gazette
 Llongau a gyrhaeddodd - Quebec -  1818  [3]
Dyddiad: Awst 16
Enw'r llong: Monarch 
Capten: Thornhill
Hyd y fordaith: 66 diwrnod
Hwyliwyd o: Lerpwl
Teithwyr: 50 o drefedigaethwyr                  
Sylwadau/cludwyd nwyddau i P. Patterson, halen a nwyddau


Cyfrifiad Canada Isaf 1825 (20 Mehefin a 20 Medi 1825)

Enw(au) cyntaf: W   Enw olaf: Griffith
Blwyddyn: 1825
Tref: Trois Rivieres  Sir: St. Maurice   Talaith: Quebec
Tudalen 1567     Rhif y preswylwyr: 2
Un dyn (yn briod) (o dan 25 )  Priod / Un ddynes (dros 25)  Priod
Rhif cyhoeddiad cydunol: MG 31 C1


Rhestrau Teithwyr Cwmni Llongau Ager St. Lawrence, 1819-1838

Enw: William Griffith
Dyddiad cychwyn:	15 Medi1820
Man cychwyn:	Sorel, Canada Isaf, Canada
Man cyrraedd:	Montreal, Canada Isaf, Canada
Llong: New Swiftsure  8fed daith i fyny'r afon (Dosbarth rhataf  2/6)
Enw: (?)Griffiths a'i wraig
Dyddiad cychwyn: 15 Tachwedd 1823
Man cychwyn: Quebec, Canada Isaf, Canada
Man cyrraedd:	Three Rivers, Canada Isaf, Canada
Llong: New Swiftsure 29ain taith i fyny'r afon ( Dosbarth rhataf 10/-)
Enw: William Griffith
Dyddiad cychwyn: 16 Tachwedd 1825
Man cychwyn:	Three Rivers, Canada Isaf, Canada
Man cyrraedd:	Quebec, Canada Isaf, Canada
Llong: Quebec


Cofnodion Notarïol Quebec, Canada, 1637-1935

Dyddiad y cofnod: 26 Tachwedd 1825
Man creu'r cofnod: Trois-Rivières, Québec (Quebec), Canada
Notari: Badeaux, Michel-Joseph
Rhif Gweithred Notarïol: 267 
Disgrifiad o'r cofnod: Pŵer Atwrnai
Partïon: William Griffith     Hugh Griffith
(Trosglwyddiad hawliau tir o William i Hugh)
Dyddiad y cofnod: 26 Tachwedd 1825
Man creu'r cofnod:  Trois-Rivières, Québec (Quebec), Canada
Notari: Badeaux, Michel-Joseph
Rhif Gweithred Notarïol: 268
Disgrifiad o'r cofnod:	Pŵer Atwrnai 
Partïon: William Griffith    Hugh Griffitth
(Grant o hawl i Hugh i dderbyn arian dyledwr William yn ei absenoldeb)  
Dyddiad y cofnod: 26 Tachwedd 1825
Man creu'r cofnod:  Trois-Rivières, Québec (Quebec), Canada
Notari: Badeaux, Michel-Joseph
Rhif Gweithred Notarïol: 269
Disgrifiad o'r cofnod: Erthyglau a chytundeb    
Partïon: William Griffith    Hugh Griffith
(Trosglwyddiad y tir yn Huntley, Ontario o William i Hugh)


Cofnod Archifol Amgueddfa ac Archifau Sir Wellington Rhif derbynodi A2004.175

Teitl: Reynolds family (Pilkington Township) documents, 1830-1913.  
Disgrifiad: Atgynhyrchiadau digidol o ddogfennau a gedwid gan deulu Reynolds, trefgordd Pilkington, Sir Wellington. Cyfres I: Llythyrau, 1830 - 1877. ffeil 2: at William  Reynolds oddi wrth aelodau o'r teulu a Hugh Griffith,1831. 
- At William Reynolds, Guelph, oddi wrth Hugh Griffith, Bellevue, Gloucester, 05 Mawrth 1831. 4 tud.* (trawysgrifiad isod).
- At William Reynolds, oddi wrth [ei fam, (Susanna Reynolds)], heb lofnod, Bangor, Cymru, 24 Mawrth 1831. 4 tud.
Roedd William Reynolds yn fab i’r Parchedig Owen Reynolds, oedd yn ficer Conwy. Bu farw ei dad ym 1829 sydd yn esbonio pam mai ei fam yn unig sydd yn sgwennu ato.
( Cyfrifiad Sir Gaernarfon 1841 : S Reynolds,  - Stryd Fawr, Bangor  70 oed  Modd annibynnol / Heb gael ei geni o fewn y sir)
* Trawsysgriad o lythyr Hugh Griffith,  Bellevue, Gloucester 5 Mawrth 1831 at Williams Reynolds ysw., Guelph, Rhanbarth Gove ,Canada Uchaf.
My dear Mr Reynolds,
I should long since have written in reply to your kind letter (oddi wrth) Dundas (dyddiedig) Sept. but that I was anxiously waiting for those communications from home which were to determine my mind; whether to take a tripp (sic) there or not: but as I find they so greatly neglect me, I shall go home and see to my own affairs as soon as the spring opens should nothing unexpected occur to detain me having now waited so many posts in vain. 
I am determined to take this step and therefore take this early opportunity of informing you of my intentions should you have any message for me to deliver or any commands whatever be assured that I shall feel special pleasure in executing them for you and that they will be deemed a favour.
My sister has offered to accompany me back provided I can procure the leave of my parents, it seems to me to the most lonesome to be this alone in a strange land, many years as I have, the want of a confidential friend daily gains upon my mind. I therefore greatly regret that you and I were doomed to part. But fell extremely rejoiced to learn that you have found a place so much to your satisfaction your description of it is excellent but I should like to know you like it now that you have had once more experience of the climate.
I really do not think it wise in us young men to be striving against the eternal order of nature by leading a single life and at the same time maintaining an establishment.  You like myself can scarcely expect much satisfaction or comfort without a consort or companion of our joys and of our sorrows, it is an inbred propensity a desire implanted in our nature and a natural want.
Mr Wright met me in the Government Office soon after your departure and wanted to know what had become of you, he seemed to censure me for advising you not to stay with him and said that the Welsh were like the Scotch, all Clannish, and would stick together. Mr Donald Kenady (sic) often enquires after you and he is busy lumbering he has started business(?) upon a very large scale this Winter.
The inhabitants of Gloucester and the immediate vicinity have built a fine Bridge across the Rideau River. About a quarter of a mile below this Place. The Canal is very nearly completed in this neighbourhood bur we greatly dread the consequence of a change of Ministers, it is reported that the Colonel will have to return home in spring to give an account of the expenditures.
Private individuals are now making great improvements in this quarter, some of the old Canal Contractors are expending great sums in building fine flour mills, saw mills and in every manner taking advantage of there (sic) situations: some steam boats are building for the Canal; others above the Chaudeir (sic) Falls. Mr White of Long Island has purchased the Shaw’s and is about to build Mills there, he has likewise a Steam Boat in progress. So, you see that Our Capitalists are enterprising men …     And that this hitherto vast desert is beginning to blossom as a rose tree(?) in the language of Seraphim.
I sincerely thank you for your kind invitation be assured  that it would give me much pleasure to visit you on your new Estate and that should an opportunity ever occur I will most gladly avail myself of it in order to pay personally what I now am only enabled to do by letter that is the sincere respects of yours truly
                                      
Hugh Griffith


C. Gwasanaeth Llynges William Griffith (Tryfan Mawr)

Canada, Rholiau Mwstro a Rhestrau Cyflog Llynges Prydain Fawr, 1757-1836 (Llyn Huron) 
Yr Archifau Cenedlaethol, Llundaion, Lloegr; Ships' Musters, Series II; Class: ADM 37; Reel: B-5980; Piece Title: Muster Book, Naval Establishment, Lake Huron, 15 October 1815 to 30 June 1817, approx.; Piece: 5632
15 Hydref 1815 Rhif 31 William Griffith (Postiad cynt - ‘Late of (HMS) Niagara Ticket  ’) 

{Hyn yn cadarnhau gwasanaeth William Griffith ar Lyn Ontario}

21 Hydref - 31 Rhagfyr 1815: Sgwner EM Surprise    
     David Wingfield - Liwtenant a chomander
     Nifer y morwyr (Criw): 19 + 5 llongfilwr
     William Griffiths: Ganwyd Caernarfon: Oedran wrth ymuno â'r llong: 20   
                                     Rheng: Canol-longwr {sef is-swyddog}  
Ionawr/Chwefror 1816 
     William Griffiths: Ganwyd Caernarfon: Oedran wrth ymuno â'r llong: 20   
                                     Rheng: Canol-longwr
      Felly hefyd Mawrth / Ebrill 1816:    Mai / Mehefin1816:  Gorffennaf/ Awst 1816	
Hydref - Tachwedd 1816 
      Sefydliad Llyngesol Llyn Huron (Surprise a Confiance)
                                                …Nifer y morwyr 55 + 19 Llongfilwr.
(Nid oedd y llongau'n gallu morio pan oedd y rhew yn galed ar y Llynnoedd – felly cawsant ei nodi fel rhan o’r ‘sefydliad’ ar y tir sydd yn cynnwys criwiau dau long sef HMS Surprise a HMS Confiance).
Ionawr/ Chwefror 1817 Sgwner EM Surprise
             John Williams: Liwtenant a chomander 
             William Griffith:   Ganwyd Caernarfon Oedran 20 
Mai – Gorffennaf 1817  
           William Griffiths: Ganwyd Caernarfon Oedran 20 


C. Ôl-nodyn: ‘Ynys Griffith’

Wrth fapio a chreu siartiau morwrol roedd yn arferiad gan swyddogion y llynges i enwi mannau / nodweddion daearyddol gydag enwau’r teulu brenhinol, swyddogion y llynges a milwyr enwog ond hefyd defnyddwyd enwau cyd-swyddogion – cadarnhawyd hynny mewn rhestr a ddarparwyd i Gymdeithas Hanes Ontario [24]. Yn Llyn Huron mae bae a enwyd yn ‘Wingfield Basin’ ac yn amlwg fe enwyd hyn ar ôl Liwtenant David Wingfield a ddechreuodd y gwaith o siartio'r llyn ym 1815 - hefyd yn yr un ardal ger ‘Georgian Bay’ y mae ynys o’r enw ‘Griffith Island”.

Er i’r restr a gyhoeddwyd ddod i’r casgliad fod y lleoliad “‘Ynys Griffith” wedio ei enwi er mwyn anrhydeddu Sir Edward Griffith-Colpoys – uwch-swyddog enwog yn y llynges yn ei ddydd - mae eisoes ‘Colpoys Bay’ gerllaw ac nid oedd yn arferiad defnyddio enwau unigolion mwy nac unwaith yn yr un ardal. Tybed felly a enwyd yr ynys ar ôl yr Is-Swyddog William Griffith oedd ar un o’r llongau cyntaf i fapio’r ardal, a bod yr ynys fechan hon yn gofeb felly i un o feibion Tryfan Mawr, Sir Gaernarfon oedd mor bell o’i gartref?

Cyfeiriadau

  1. Samantha Cavell, A Social History of Midshipmen and Quarterdeck Boys in the Royal Navy, 1761-1831, traethawd Ph.D (Prifysgol Caerwysg, Chwefror 2010)
  2. The London Gazette, 11.02.1786
  3. Michael Hurley, Naval Battles on Lake Ontario : the battle of the carpenters … 2012)
  4. Nid oes cofnod wedi goroesi sydd yn nodi i William Griffith gael ei ddyrchafu yn Is-gapten er bod llyfrau yn ei feddiant yn awgrymu iddo astudio i geisio pasio arholiad Is- gapten.
  5. Muster Rolls, HMS Surprise a’r ‘Naval Establishment’ Lake Huron 1815- 1817.
  6. Ysgrifennodd Is-Gapten David Wingfield ddyddiadur yn ystod ei gyfnod yn yr ardal, sef Four Years on the Great Lakes 1813-1816 – er nad yw yn enwi ei Is-Swyddogion mae’n cyfeirio at eu ‘Mids’ (Midshipmen) ac oedd William Griffith yn un o’r criw.
  7. North Wales Chronicle and Advertiser for the Principality, 6.2.1831, t.3
  8. Quebec, Canada, Notarial Records, 1637-1935, Notarial Act Number:267
  9. Stamford Mercury, Notice of Bankruptcy, 4.4.1817
  10. Montreal Gazette and Quebec Mercury, Ship Arrivals in Quebec 1818
  11. Washington National Intelligence, 6.9.1831.
  12. The Ottawa Citizen, 28.4.1953: 110th Anniversary Edition
  13. Land Petitions Upper Canada 1763- 1865: Gloucester 1821, Plot 221
  14. Quebec, Canada, Notarial Records, 1637-1935: Notarial Act Number:269
  15. Cyfrifiad Lower Canada 1825, Trois Rivieres, Quebec, t.1567
  16. Four Years on the Great Lakes 1813-1816
  17. Amgueddfa ac Archifau Wellington County, A2004.175 Llythyr: At William Reynolds, Guelph,oddi wrth Hugh Griffith, Bellevue, Gloucester, 5.3.1831
  18. Yr Archifau Cenedlaethol: Currency converter: 1270–2017
  19. Quebec Mercury, 25.7.1831; The Old Countryman,(Efrog Newydd), 1.8.1831; The North Wales Chronicle and Advertiser for the Principality ,6.9.1831, t.3; Montreal Gazette, 1.10.1831.
  20. Le Canadien, 20.8.1831
  21. The North Wales Chronicle and Advertiser for the Principality, 6.9.1831, t.3
  22. North Wales Chronicle, 14.1.1830, t.3
  23. North Wales Observer and Express, 16.9.1892
  24. James White, Place names in Georgian Bay, (Ontario Historical Society, 1913)