Sir Dafydd Mathew

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Sir Dafydd Mathew (ap Mathew), Lord of Landaff, Baron of Glamorgan

Birthplace: Llandaff, Glamorganshire, Wales (United Kingdom)
Death: 1464 (67-77)
Neath, Glamorganshire, Wales (United Kingdom)
Place of Burial: Llandaff, Glamorganshire, Wales
Immediate Family:

Son of Mathew ab Ieuan and Jonet Fleming
Husband of Gwenllian verch Dafydd
Father of Margred Mathew; David Mathew; Jane or Jonnet Mathew; Rimron Mathew; Thomas Mathew, Esq., of Radyr, Glamorgan and 3 others
Brother of Robert Mathew, Lord of Castell-y-Mynach; Haskyn Mathew; Lewys Mathew; Morfydd verch Mathew and George Mathew
Half brother of Tibod Giles and Joan Giles

Occupation: Lord of Llandaff and Seneschal of Llandaff Cathedral, Knight
Managed by: Erica Howton
Last Updated:

About Sir Dafydd Mathew

See Peter Bartrum, (February 16, 2021; Anne Brannen, curator)

An early example of the abandonment of "ap" and adoption of a stable surname.

Date of birth has also been (erroneously?) reported to be:

also known as Sir Dafydd Mathew and Sir David Mathew

Lord of Llandaff

Seneschal of Llandaff Cathedral

one of the Ten Great Barons of Glamorgan

a Marcher Lord

knighted and made Grand Standard Bearer of England by Edward IV of England at the Battle of Towton (March 29, 1461)

He was killed by members of the Turbervile/Turberville family of Coity Castle during a riot.

Date and place of death have also been (erroneously?) reported to be:

He is buried at Llandaff Cathedral.

Date and place of burial have also been (erroneously?) reported to be:

  • 1484 at an unidentified place
  • 1494 at Llandaff


Sir David Mathew (1400–1484) (born Dafydd ap Mathew, lit. "David, son of Mathew") was a Welsh knight. He was Lord of Llandaff, Seneschal of Llandaff Cathedral, one of the ten Great Barons of Glamorgan, and a Marcher Lord. He was one of the most distinguished men of his age[3][4] and a zealous supporter of the Yorkist cause. After he saved the life of King Edward IV at the Battle of Towton in 1461, he was appointed Grand Standard Bearer of England.


David Mathew was the son of Mathew ap Ieuan (or Evan).[b]

Sir David was also Lord of Llandaff and Seneschal of Llandaff Cathedral. He had a grant of 2,232 acres of land from Henry VI, the reversion of Caneton, and from William, Earl of Pembroke lands at St Fagans and at Pentyrch.[5]

Sir David was a zealous supporter of the Yorkist cause, whose extraordinary prowess and daring in the field, even at a very advanced age, were used on behalf of the White Rose of York.[6] He was a very tall man, said to stand 6 feet 8 inches (2.03 m) tall.[c] At the Battle of Towton, on Palm Sunday, March 29, 1461, although by then about sixty years old, he saved the life of Edward IV and was rewarded by his grateful monarch with the honor of Grand Standard Bearer of England.[3]

Sir David was one of the ten Great Barons of Glamorgan, and a Marcher Lord. He received from Edward IV the grant of the use of the word "Towton" as an augmentation over his crest. In 1480 he restored the shrine of Saint Teilo which had been pillaged and desecrated by a gang of pirates from Biston, and was presented by Bishop Marshall with St. Teilo's skull, set in a costly reliquary, to be an heirloom in his family, who carefully preserved it for about 200 years, until the death of William Mathew in 1658 at Llandeilo.[7]

Browne Willis reported in his An survey of the Cathedral-Church of Landaff that Sir David was murdered in an altercation at Neath, West Glamorgan by some members of the Turberville family of Coity Castle.[3][d]


Two different arms are recorded as having been used by the Mathew family, both consisting of a lion rampant, but with differing tinctures. The branch seated at Llandaff, thus the senior line, is generally ascribed Or, a lion rampant sable,[8] whilst the branch seated at Radyr, descended from Sir David Mathew's younger brother, is generally ascribed Sable, a lion rampant argent.[9] Yet confusingly the 1980 heraldic restoration of the Mathew tombs at Llandaff carried out by Hugh P. Mathew, who was recognised by the College of Arms as having proved his direct descent from Sir David Mathew,[10] has resulted in the Radyr coat being painted on the tomb of Sir Christopher, who was head of the Llandaff branch. Rev. Murray Mathew (1895) assigns to Sir David the Radyr coat.[11] Moreover the Earls Landaff used the coat of the Llandaff branch even though they were descended from the Radyr branch.[citation needed] Unfortunately the tomb of Sir David bears no heraldry by which the confusion might be resolved. The arms of Radyr Sable, a lion rampant argent were supposedly adopted in honour of the White Rose, according to Rev Murray Mathew.[12]


The crest is also not without confusion, being given variously as a "heathcock" (another name for partridge, of the pheasant family), a "moorcock",[8] a "fieldcock", (a vague term possibly denoting grouse), a blackcock, (of the grouse family) and is shown on the Earl Landaff memorial in a form akin to a farmyard cock or rooster.[citation needed] The effigy of Sir David does however show most of the bird forming the crest of his helm upon which he rests his head, but it is missing the head. The feet are short and sturdy, suggesting a grouse-type bird and are not the long legs of a rooster[e] A gilded bird, probably a dove, is used as a foot-rest in the effigy of St Teilo in Llandaff Cathedral.


The motto of Mathew is in Welsh: Y Fyn Duw A Fydd ("What God willeth will be").


Sir David married Wenllian 1396-1470 of Glamorgan, daughter of Sir George Herbert. He left by Wenllian three sons.

He had the following three sons:[13] David (born 1425 1st. son) He married Ann Myddletonn (b. 1430), with whom he one son, Jenkyn Mathew. David was the founder of the "Mathews" American line, which would eventually arrive in the new world with Thomas Mathews (b. 1660) Thomas arrived in Halifax, Virginia, circa 1700. Thomas was the grandfather of the patriot Moses Mathews.

Reyborn (or "Reinborn, Rimbron," etc.)(d.1470), 2nd. son. He was the founder of the Llandaf line of Mathew, having married Isabella (or Elizabeth) Denys, daughter of Maurice Denys(d.1466), esquire, of Alveston, Glos., Sheriff of GlouceCatherine, by his 2nd wife Alice Poyntz, da. of Sir Nicholas Poyntz of Iron Acton, Gloucestershire. Reyborn's will (dated 20 October 1470, proved 15 March 1471)[14] directed that he should be buried in the Chapel of the Virgin Mary within The Gaunt's Chapel, Bristol, where the Poyntz family later in about 1520 built a family chapel. His will directed that gold & silver items be placed upon the shrine of "his kinsmen" Saint Teilo, Saint Oudoceus and Saint Dubricius at Llandaff Cathedral. Reyborn's eldest son and heir was Sir Christopher Mathew(d.1528), whose effigy is one of three surviving Mathew effigies in Llandaf Cathedral. Sir Christopher's son was Miles Mathew, Sheriff of Glamorgan in 1547. A later descendant was Admiral Thomas Mathews(d.1751) who built Llandaff Court and was court-martialled in mysterious circumstances. Thomas (1438-1470), 3rd son. He is mentioned in Reyborn's will, and had been the custodian of the relics of St Teilo. He married Catherine Fetch Morgan (1436-1468), daughter of Welsh nobleman Morgan Ap Llewellyn, and founded the Radyr line of Mathew. He was also buried at The Gaunt's Chapel, Bristol. On Thomas' death in 1470, his lands passed to his son William Mathew (1460-1528), who was knighted by King Henry VII at the Battle of Bosworth in 1485.[15] Sir William accompanied King Henry VIII to the Field of the Cloth of Gold in 1520. His successor was his eldest son Sir George Mathew (1486-1557) who became the MP for Glamorgan constituency and in 1545 Sheriff of Glamorgan.[15][16] From the Radyr line was founded the family of the Earls Landaff in the peerage of Ireland.[

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Sir Dafydd Mathew's Timeline

Llandaff, Glamorganshire, Wales
Age 19
Llandaf, Glamorgan, Wales, United Kingdom
Llandaf, Glamorgan, Wales, United Kingdom
Langstone, Monmouthshire, Wales
Trevor Oenb, Glamorgan, Wales
Llandaff, Glamorganshire, Wales
Cardiff, Glamorgan, Wales
Cibwr, Glamorgan, Wales
Llandaff, Glamorgan, Wales, United Kingdom