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MATHEW family, of Llandaff, Radyr and Castell y Mynach - all in Glamorgan

This family had held posts as stewards and seneschals during the 14th cent, for absent English lords. It was of the same stock as Lewis of Van, and derived according to 15th century pedigrees from Gwaethvoed of Ceredigion. Sir DAVID MATHEW (fl. 1428-84), the son of a supporter of Owain Glyn Dŵr, was a dependent of the Nevilles and a leading Yorkist. From Sir David and his wife Wenllian Herbert descended the lines of Llandaff and Radyr frequently connected by inter-marriage. The influence of the stock developed after Bosworth under the protection of Sir Rhys ap Thomas, who married Janet Mathew. It declined after the death, in 1557, of Sir GEORGE MATHEW of Radyr, M.P., and sheriff.

Other considerable figures in the political life of Glamorgan were the brothers Sir DAVID MATHEW of St. Fagans (died 1504), and Sir WILLIAM MATHEW of Radyr (died 1528) and his cousin Sir CHRISTOPHER MATHEW (died 1527), Llandaff, whose grand-daughter married the poet Meurig Dafydd. Recumbent effigies of the two last-named and their wives as also of their grandfather, the first, Sir David Mathew, survive in Llandaff Cathedral. The later Llandaff line, which adopted the spelling Mathews in the mid-seventeenth century, produced one notable figure, THOMAS MATHEWS (1676 - 1751), of Llandaff Court, vice-admiral of the Red, commander-in-chief at the battle of Toulon in 1744, and Member of Parliament for Glamorgan, 1745-7. This branch became extinct on the death of his grandson in 1798.

In contrast to the Llandaff branch, which was quietly Royalist and later Whig, the Radyr branch was always politically and sometimes actively Roman Catholic. THEOBALD MATHEW (died 1699), son of George Mathew of Radyr (died 1636) by his wife Elizabeth, viscountess Thurles, was granted the manor of Thurles by his half-brother, the first duke of Ormonde. His descendants held the manor of Llandaff and both Welsh and Irish properties. In 1783 FRANCIS MATHEW, fourth in descent from Theobald of Radyr, became lord Llandaff in the peerage of Ireland. He died at Swansea in 1806 having been created earl of Llandaff in 1797. His son, FRANCIS MATHEW, second and last earl of Llandaff (died 1833), sold the Welsh estates to Sir Samuel Romilly in 1818. Fr. THEOBALD MATHEW, the Temperance reformer (died 1856), son of James Mathew (agent to his cousin lord Llandaff), was fifth in descent from Theobald Mathew of Radyr. He was uncle to Sir JAMES MATHEW, lord Justice of Appeal (died 1908). HENRY MATTHEWS (1826 - 1913), Q.C., Conservative home secretary, 1886-92, came of a Tory county family connected with the Radyr line and settled at Belmont, near Hereford. He was created viscount Llandaff in 1895.

The family of Castell y Mynach in Pentyrch was founded by Sir David Mathew's brother, ROBERT MATHEW. They were conservative squires who obtained, by marriage, the estates of David Jenkins of Hensol. The line ended with CECIL MATHEW who married (in 1708), Charles, first lord Talbot of Hensol, the lord chancellor. From this branch came TOBIE MATHEW (1546 - 1628), bishop of Durham in 1595 and archbishop of York in 1606, and his son Sir TOBIE MATHEW (1577 - 1655), courtier and translator of S. Augustine's Confessions.



Published date: 1959

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