Born: November 4, 1826, Colmworth (near Bedford), England.
Died: January 5, 1910, Tetney, Lincolnshire, England.
Buried: Tetney, Lincolnshire, England.
Son of the rector of Colmworth, Matthews attended the Bedford Grammar School and Gonville and Caius College, Cambridge (MusB 1853).
Ordained the same year, he became private tutor to the family of Rev. Lord Wriothesley Russell, a canon of St. George’s Chapel, Windsor Castle, where he studied under organist George Elvey, subsequently a lifelong friend.
Matthews served as curate (1853–59) and curate-in-charge (1859–69) of St. Mary’s Church, Nottingham. During this time he founded Nottingham’s Working Men’s Institute.
In 1869, he became rector at North Coates, Lincolnshire. He retired in 1907 to live with his eldest son at Tetney vicarage.
Matthews edited the North Coates Supplemental Tune Book and The Village Organist. He composed Morning and Evening Services, chants and responses, and earned a reputation for simple but effective hymn tunes, writing over 100. William Howard requested six tunes from him for a children’s hymnal, and Matthews completed them within a day. Matthews also composed a Christmas carol and a few songs.
His sons Norton and Arthur Percy were also known as hymn tune composers.