MATHEW, Thomas (by 1525-60), of Hereford and London.

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



Nov. 1554

Family and Education

b. by 1525. m. Elizabeth, da. of George Owen of Godstow, Oxon.1

Offices Held

Auditor, ct. augmentations, Glos., Hants and Wilts. 29 Sept. 1553, bp. of Bath and Wells c.1553, Exchequer by Feb. 1557-d.; south receiver, duchy of Lancaster 14 Dec. 1557-d., steward, Ascot and Deddington, Oxon. 20 Mar. 1559-d.2


Nothing has come to light about Thomas Mathew’s parentage or education: in middle life he was styled interchangeably ‘gentleman’ or ‘esquire’, which suggests that he came of a landed family and had received some legal training. He began his administrative career in the office of the auditor William Trussall, but by July 1546 he had left Trussall’s service and was employed directly by the crown. In 1546 he was engaged by the Privy Council to audit the accounts of one of Queen Catherine Parr’s receivers, a task which he shared with Anthony Bourchier and William Kennet. Although in the years that followed Mathew was closely connected with Kennet, he did not share in Kennet’s disgrace but on the contrary succeeded him in his office in the augmentations: when in 1554 that court was abolished he received compensation in the form of an annuity of 200 marks.3

Mathew did not immediately find a post elsewhere and it may have been in the hope of attracting notice that he sought election to Parliament in the autumn of 1554, an aspiration in which he was probably helped by the Mildmay brothers, Thomas and (Sir) Walter, both influential in the duchy of Cornwall: his dependence on some such patronage may be inferred from the insertion of his name over an erasure on the indenture for Penryn, where he may also have been supported by John Aylworth, a former Member for that borough and official of the augmentations. Mathew was found absent without leave when the House was called in January 1555 and was accordingly informed against in the King’s bench, but the fact that process against him was speedily dropped suggests that his dereliction was not held against him. It certainly did not compromise his prospects: in 1555 his advice was sought by the duchy of Lancaster (of which his father-in-law was receiver-general) and in the following year he was first promised and then given an appointment in the Exchequer.4

Mathew died on 21 Nov. 1560. The two doctors and the apothecary who attended him on his deathbed testified that he had been ‘in perfect mind and memory’ and that he had left his wife his ‘goods and chattels ... to bestow as she thinketh best’.5

Ref Volumes: 1509-1558

Author: A. D.K. Hawkyard


  • 1. Date of birth estimated from first reference. Vis. Oxon. (Harl. Soc. v), 237; PCC 1 Loftes.
  • 2. CPR, 1553-4, p. 199; 1555-7, p. 457; 1557-8, p. 14; 1558-60, p. 118; APC, iv. 266; Somerville, Duchy, i. 624, 631; P. M. Hembry, Bps. Bath and Wells 1540-1640, p. 115.
  • 3. LP Hen. VIII, xxi; APC, vi. 330; W. C. Richardson, Ct. Augmentations, 258, 279; CPR, 1550-3, p. 237; Lansd. 156(28), ff. 108-10.
  • 4. Richardson, 259; C219/23/21; KB27/1176, r. 16; CPR, 1554-5, p. 167; 1557-8, pp. 234, 457; 1558-60, p. 373; Somerville, i. 624.
  • 5. PCC 1 Loftes.