Descended from Einion ap Collwyn, he was the son of Richard ap Gwilim ap Evan ap Cradock Vreichfras, and Jennet Horton of Cantelupeston (Candleston) castle near Newton, Glamorganshire. In his official capacity he is said to have wielded tremendous power in South Wales. On his tombstone he is described as deputy to Charles, earl of Worcester, in the county of ‘Glamorgan and Morgannwg’, as chancellor of the same, and steward of ‘Gower and Kilvei.’ He is believed to have been steward of Gower in 1491 and 1497. A Matthew Cradok was appointed constable for life of the castle of Kayre Filli and Kenfike in South Wales, 6 March 1485-6 (Cal. Pat. Rolls, 1 H. VII), and in July 1491 a Matthew Cradok or Cradoke, with others, is granted a commission to seek assistance for the king for his French wars in the lordships of Cardif, Glomorgan, Morgannok, Gower, Ilande, Vske, and Carlyon (Cal. Pat. Rolls, 6 H. VII). Again, Matthew Craddoke of London, alias of Swaynesey, co. Glamorgan, is granted a pardon for not appearing before the king's justices 6 February 1504-5 (Cal. Pat. Rolls, 20 H. VII). The contemporary Welsh bard Iorwerth Fynglwyd composed two poems referring to Sir Mathew, one when he was imprisoned by him, at Swansea, and another seeking to be reconciled to him (Lewis and Jones, Mynegai). He was twice married - first to Alice, daughter of Philip Mansel of Oxwich castle, and second to Katherine Gordon, widow of Perkin Warbeck. By his first wife he had a daughter, Margaret, who married Richard Herbert of Ewyas, Herefordshire, and became the mother of William Herbert, who was created earl of Pembroke in 1551 [see the article Herbert, earls of Pembroke ]. He died between 14 June and 16 August 1531, and was buried at Swansea.
Published date: 1959
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