Dictionary of Irish Architects 1720 - 1940

Engineer, of Dublin. John William Griffith, who, according to the 1911 census was born in 1875 or 1876, was the elder son of JOHN PURSER GRIFFITH  JOHN PURSER GRIFFITH and brother of FREDERICK PURSER GRIFFITH FREDERICK PURSER GRIFFITH . He graduated BAI from Trinity College Dublin in 1898(1) and also obtained the MA degree. After leaving Trinity he worked in Liverpool before becoming assistant to his father, who was engineer in chief to the Dublin Port and Docks Board. He succeeded his father as engineer-in-chief in 1913 but resigned the post in 1916, in protest at the Board's policy of seeking to cut costs by reducing staff.(2) After his resignation he entered private practice with his father. He acted for many years as a consultant in connection with the development of several British rivers and harbours, and in Ireland he carried out surveys of Irish rivers for the Irish Water Power Resources Committee. He was an authority on various aspects of engineering history.

Griffith married in October 1903 Hilda Alexander, recorded in the 1911 census as having been born in Co. Laois. He had two sons, WILLIAM A. GRIFFITH  WILLIAM A. GRIFFITH and EVAN PURSER GRIFFITH EVAN PURSER GRIFFITH , and two daughters, Dorothy and Hilda.(3) His health deteriorated after Evan's accidental death in May 1936, and he died three months later in August 1936, two years before his father.

The Irish Architectural Archive has an anonymous set of survey drawings and proposals for the improvement of the old Butt Bridge dated 1912, Acc. 2013/063.   Two of these were signed or endorsed by Griffith in 1914 in his capacity as chief engineer to the Port and Docks Board.

ICEI: elected associate member, 2 Mar 1904;(4) elected member, 1915;(5) council member, 1920-23.(6)
Inst.CE: associate by 1913.(7)
RSAI: elected associate member, 23 Jun 1914.(8)

Addresses:(9) Greenane, 11Temple Rd, Rathmines, <=1906->=1934.



All information in this entry not otherwise accounted for is from the obituary of Griffith in IB 78, 22 Aug 1936, 745.

(1) R.C. Cox, compiler, Trinity College School of Engineering: 'Graduates' in Engineering 1843-1992 (1993), unpaginated.
(2) H.A. Gilligan, A History of the Port of Dublin (1988), 151-2.
(3) TICEI 31 (1903-4), ?.
(4) Information on the Griffith family from John O'Grady, The Life and Work of Sarah Purser (1996), 147,260,261,265,271.
(5) TICEI, lists of members.
(6) TICEI, lists of office bearers.
(7) So described in TICEI list of members for 1913.
(8) JRSAI 44 (1914), 218.
(9) From ICEI lists of members in TICEI and Thom's directories.

Author Title Date Details
Griffith, John William 'A note on some recent improvements in the graving dock and ship repairing facilities in the Port of Dublin' 1917 TICEI 43 (1916-17), 189-213.