MATHEW, George (by 1500-58), of Radyr, Glam.

Published in The History of Parliament: the House of Commons 1509-1558, ed. S.T. Bindoff, 1982
Available from Boydell and Brewer



Mar. 1553

Family and Education

b. by 1500, 1st s. of Sir William Mathew of Radyr by Sioned, da. and coh. of Henry ap Gwilym ap Thomas. m. (1) Margaret, da. of Sir William Herbert of Coldbrook, Mon., 4da.; (2) by 1531, Barbara, da. of Robert Brent of Cossington, Som., 7s. inc. William 5da.; 5s. 3da. illegit. suc. fa. 10 Mar. 1528. Kntd. 2 Oct. 1553.2

Offices Held

Overseer, royal iron mines, Llantrisant, Glam. 1531; commr. tenths of spiritualities, Llandaff diocese 1535, subsidy, Glam. 1544, musters 1545, 1549, relief 1550, the mises (tribute) temp. Mary; j.p. 1536, q. 1543-d.; escheator 1541-2; sheriff 1544-5.3


George Mathew’s great-grandfather Sir David Mathew, whose fourth son founded the Radyr branch of his family, had been standard-bearer to Edward IV, but his father fought for Henry VII at Bosworth and was knighted on the field. Of his own early fortunes the most interesting, if obscure, feature is his receipt in 1536 of a royal licence to raise contributions from his kinsmen and friends throughout Wales for three years towards his release. Why he needed such help is not known, the lawsuits in which he was engaged yielding no clue, but his exploitation of a custom which had been prohibited by the Act of 1534 (26 Hen. VIII, c.6) affronted the president of the council in the marches, Bishop Rowland Lee, who reckoned that it would yield Mathew 1,000 marks. Mathew was by then embarked on the career which would bring him in turn the escheatorship and the shrievalty of Glamorgan, and the shire seat in at least one Parliament. His local allegiance was to the dominant family of Herbert, into which both he and his eldest son married. The second marriage preceded his election in 1553, when the sheriff who returned him was his daughter-in-law’s father (Sir) George Herbert. There is thus no reason to suspect any government interference on his behalf, nor that he was not as consistently loyal to Mary as his knighting at her coronation implies. His absence from her Parliaments, like his apparent retirement from the routine of the Glamorgan bench in favour of William Herbert V, may be put down to his advancing years; a summons of 1554-5 to answer in the Exchequer for retaining 16 armed and liveried men beyond the ranks of his household is unlikely to have told against him any more than it did against a similar offender in Sir George Herbert.4

Mathew died on 14 Nov. 1558, holding lands worth more than £70 a year, and was succeeded by his eldest son William who was to replace his brother-in-law William Herbert V as knight for Glamorganshire in the Parliament of 1572.5

Ref Volumes: 1509-1558

Author: P. S. Edwards


  • 1. The christian name is missing from the indenture (C219/20/204) but the description ‘of the Rader’ identifies the Member as George Mathew.
  • 2. Date of birth estimated from mother’s death. G. T. Clark, Limbus Patrum Morganiae, 10-11.
  • 3. LP Hen. VIII, viii, x, xx, add.; E178/7338; 179/221/237; CSP Dom. 1547-80, p. 7; CPR, 1553, p. 364; C193/12/1; SP11/5/6.
  • 4. Clark, 8, 10; DWB (Mathew fam.); LP Hen. VIII, v, x, xiii; SP1/104/206; C1/905/25, 1306/68-73; E159/334, Easter 123.
  • 5. C142/123/79.