Kenneth Mathews

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The Very Rev (Arthur) Kenneth Mathews, OBE, DSC was Dean of St Albans from 1955 [1] until 1963.[2]
He was born into an ecclesiastical family [3] on 11 May 1906 and educated at Monkton Combe School [4] and Balliol College, Oxford, where he met his future brother-in-law Henry Brooke, Baron Brooke of Cumnor through the Balliol Boys' Club, of which they were successively president. He was ordained in 1933. His first post was as a Curate at Penistone after which he was Padre to the Tanker Fleet of the Anglo-Saxon Petroleum Company and then Vicar of Forest Row. When World War II came he enlisted as a Chaplain in the RNVR during which he served on HMS Norfolk and was decorated twice for gallantry - in successful engagements against the German battleships Bismarck (in 1941) and Scharnhorst (in 1943). When peace returned he was Vicar of Rogate (1946–54) and Rural Dean of Midhurst (1950–54) before his elevation to the Deanery. After this he was Rector of St Peter’s, Peebles[5] (1963–68) and Vicar of Thursley (1968-1976) before retiring in 1976.[6] "A sailor's padre to the end",[7] he died on 18 December 1992.

He was married twice: in 1936 to Agnes Elisabeth (Betty) Butler (who died in 1981) and in 1987 to Diana Goschen (who survived him).[8] He had no children.


  1. ^ Ecclesiastical News New Dean Of St. Albans The Times Wednesday, Sep 21, 1955; pg. 10; Issue 53331; col D
  2. ^ Ecclesiastical News Dean Of St. Albans To Resign The Times Wednesday, May 22, 1963; pg. 14; Issue 55707; col F
  3. ^ His father, Alfred Augustus Mathews, (1864-1946), was a Canon of the Church in Wales and a former Welsh Rugby Football international.
  4. ^ Who’s Who 1992 (London, A & C Black, 1991 ISBN 0-7136-3514-2
  5. ^ ”Scottish Episcopal Clergy, 1689-2000” Bertie, D.M: Edinburgh T & T Clark ISBN 0-567-08746-8
  6. ^ Crockford's Clerical Directory 1975-76 London: Oxford University Press, 1976 ISBN 0-19-200008-X. The Balliol College Register 1940-1990 contains full biographical details on p 11
  7. ^ Independent Obituary 22 December 1992. The tribute in this obituary was written by Vice-Admiral Sir Lancelot Bell Davies, who was serving as a midshipman in training on HMS Norfolk during the engagement against the Scharnhorst in 1943.
  8. ^ Admiral Bell Davies was his best man at his second wedding. In the obituary notice he wrote: “As best man at that wedding I had a problem explaining to Ken on which side of the bride he should stand. He was confused by the fact that, as a parson, he normally saw the happy couple the other way around. Eventually, I got it across to him - 'Starboard side, Ken'.”
Church of England titles
Preceded by
Cuthbert Carroll Thicknesse
Dean of St Albans
1955 –1963
Succeeded by
Noel Martin Kennaby