Page:Dictionary of National Biography volume 37.djvu/83
George's Hospital, London, and in 1784 he delivered the Gulstonian lectures, after which he withdrew to his native county. Matthews then acquired the estate of Clehonger, near Hereford, and built on it in 1788–90 the present mansion of Belmont, situated on the banks of the Wye, and adorned with extensive lawns and plantations. A sapling planted by him in 1788 is famous as Colonel Matthews's oak, and is marked by a cast-iron tablet. Its trunk is 22 feet in circumference, and it contains 140 feet of timber (Murray, Hereford Handbook, p. 315). For the rest of his life he took a leading part in county affairs. He acted as mayor of Hereford in 1793, and was senior alderman and magistrate for twenty years. He was also colonel of the first regiment of Hereford militia, chairman of quarter sessions, and member for the county from 31 March 1803 to 1806. After a protracted illness he died at Belmont on 15 Jan. 1826, when a monument to his memory was placed in the south aisle of Clehonger Church. Matthews married at Marcle, Herefordshire, on 9 Nov. 1778, Elizabeth, daughter and heiress of Arthur Ellis, who died 7 Nov. 1823, aged 66. They had issue eight sons and six daughters, and among their sons were Charles Skynner Matthews, the friend of Byron, and Henry Matthews [q. v.], author of ‘The Diary of an Invalid.’
Matthews was a man of versatile disposition and generous tastes, which frequently occasioned him pecuniary loss. His works are anonymous. The best-known of them, a very ineffective parody of Pope's ‘Eloisa,’ which was long attributed to Porson (Watson, Life of Porson, pp. 289–92), is ‘Eloisa en Dishabille: being a New Version of that Lady's celebrated Epistle to Abelard, done into familiar English metre by a Lounger,’ 1780. It was reprinted in 1801, and again in 1822, when the bookseller put on the title-page that it was ‘ascribed to Porson.’ Matthews wrote ‘A Sketch from the Landscape: a Didactic Poem, addressed to R. Payne Knight,’ 1794, an attack which Knight, in the Advertisement to the second edition of the ‘Landscape,’ stigmatised as ‘a sort of doggerel ode’ and ‘a contemptible publication.’ The ‘Fables from La Fontaine, in English Verse,’ published by Matthews in 1820, were marked by sprightliness, but not infrequently offended through diffuseness and partisan allusions to the politics of the day. He composed many fugitive pieces in prose and verse.[Duncumb's Herefordshire, ii. 387–8, 402, iii. 174, 215; Gent. Mag. 1826, pt. i. p. 368; Moore's Lord Byron, ed. 1846, p. 129; Foster's Alumni Oxon.; Munk's Coll. of Phys. 2nd ed. ii. 332–3; Robinson's Hereford Mansions, pp. 66, 181.]
MATTHEWS or MATHEWS, LEMUEL (fl. 1661–1705), archdeacon of Down, younger son of Marmaduke Matthews [q. v.], was born at Swansea in 1644, and matriculated from Lincoln College, Oxford, on 25 May 1661 (Foster, Alumni, 1500–1714). He proceeded M.A. before 1667 (see Elegie on Jeremy Taylor). Soon after leaving Oxford Jeremy Taylor, bishop of Down, Connor, and Dromore, made Matthews his chaplain, and presented him to the rectory of Lenavy (now Glenavy), co. Antrim (see Reeves, Ecclesiastical Antiquities of Down, Connor, and Dromore, p. 47). At the bishop's death in 1667 Matthews published ‘A Pandarique Elegie upon the Death of the R. R. Father in God Jeremy, late Lord Bishop of Doune, Connor, and Dromore.’ On 26 Oct. 1666 he was collated to the prebend of Carncastle, co. Antrim (installed 5 Jan. 1667). He obtained on 2 Nov. 1674 the archdeaconry of Down, and in 1690 was made chancellor, or vicar-general, of Down and Connor. In this position he acquired almost entire control of the diocese, the bishop, Thomas Hacket, D.D., being non-resident (Lansdowne MS. 446, fol. 126). Matthews used his influence for his own advantage. He held altogether nine livings, and was accused of simony in obtaining Archdeacon Baynard's resignation in order to collate his nephew, Philip Matthews, M.A., to the archdeaconry of Connor in 1689, and of illegally presenting John Francis to the prebend of Down in 1690 or 1691. Matthews was attainted with other protestant clergymen by James II's Irish parliament of 1689.
In February 1694 a special visitation was held (22 Feb.–17 April 1694) at Lisburn by a royal commission to inquire into the misdemeanours of Matthews and others. The commission was executed by Anthony Dopping [q. v.], bishop of Meath, and William King [q. v.], bishop of Derry, and they found Matthews guilty of maintenance, in a suit between John m'Neale, dean of Down, and a Mr. Major, of non-residence and neglect of various duties. Suits were also commenced against him by Talbot Keen for non-payment of proxy money, non-exhibition of his collative title, and non-residence on the rectories attached to his archdeaconry. He was suspended from all offices during the pleasure of the crown. He immediately agitated for his restoration, and addressed a series of appeals—fourteen in all—to Lord-chancellors Cox, Freeman, and Phipps in succession, and to King William, and Queen