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.