Dictionary of Welsh Biography

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MATTHEWS , NORMAN GREGORY ( 1904 - 1964 ), chancellor ;

b. 12 Feb. 1904 at Swansea , only s. of William John and Agnes Amelia Matthews . He was educated at the Grammar School , Swansea , Jesus College Oxford where he held a Meyricke Exhibition , and gained B.A. (2nd-class hons. Theology, 1926 , M.A. 1930 ), St. Stephen's House Theological College , Oxford , 1926 . He was ord. deacon , 1927 , served as curate of St. Dyfrig , Cardiff , 1927-35 , and was ord. priest , 1928 . In 1935 he was appointed the first Warden of St. Teilo's Hall of Residence , University College of South Wales , Cardiff . In 1940 he obtained the living of St. Saviour's , Roath , Cardiff . He was Llandaff Diocesan Missioner , 1936-40 , and Examining Chaplain from 1938 . He was Chaplain to H.M. Prison , Cardiff , 1940-45 . In 1946 , he was appointed canon of Llandaff cathedral and became Chancellor in 1952 . He m. in 1953 Mary Laurella , eldest dau. of Walter Rees and Kathleen Olga Thomas , Whitchurch , Cardiff . They were fellow-students at Oxford . He obtained the living of St. Fagan in 1953 , d. there 6 Aug. 1964 and was buried in Llandaff Cathedral graveyard .

He was a member of the Liturgical Commission of the Church in Wales from its inception, and a member of the Central Committee for the Training of Ordinands ; he wrote a number of pamphlets on the call to the ministry. From 1942 he had been lecturing on English literature for the L.E.A. and the British Council . He was a frequent broadcaster and in 1957 he became a member of the Brains Trust on B.B.C. television. He wrote many articles in the press and in various journals on literary subjects and was a competent musician .

His influence was strong in the Church in Wales , where he was a talented preacher . A wit and a raconteur , he was considered one of the most brilliant clergymen in the Church in Wales of his day.


  • Who was who? , 1961-70 ;
  • Official Handbook of the Church in Wales (Cardiff) , 1959 ;
  • Y Llan , 21 Aug. 1964 ;
  • The Church Times , 14 Aug. 1964 ;
  • Western Mail , 7 Aug. 1964 .


Mary Gwendoline Ellis, M.A., Aberystwyth

Published date: 2001