Matthias Mawson

Last updated

Matthias Mawson

Bishop of Ely
Bp Matthias Mawson.jpg
Portrait by John Theodore Heins
Diocese Diocese of Ely
In office1754–1771
Predecessor Thomas Gooch
Successor Edmund Keene
Other post(s) Bishop of Llandaff (1738–1740)
Bishop of Chichester (1740–1754)
Consecration18 February 1739
by  John Potter
Personal details
BornAugust 1683
Died23 November 1770(1770-11-23) (aged 87)
Buried Ely Cathedral
Nationality British
Denomination Anglican
Education St Paul's School, London
Alma mater Corpus Christi College, Cambridge
Memorial to Bishop Matthias Mawson in Ely Cathedral Memorial to Bishop Matthias Mawson in Ely Cathedral.jpg
Memorial to Bishop Matthias Mawson in Ely Cathedral

Matthias Mawson (1683–1770) was an English churchman and academic, who served as Master of Corpus Christi College, Cambridge and then as Bishop of Llandaff, Bishop of Chichester, and Bishop of Ely.



He was born in August 1683, his father being a prosperous brewer at Chiswick, Middlesex. He was educated at St Paul's School, and was admitted in 1701 to Corpus Christi College, Cambridge. [1] He graduated B.A. 1704, M.A. 1708, B.D. 1716, D.D. 1725. He was a fellow of his college in 1707, and a moderator in the university in 1708. On 6 October 1724 he was chosen Master of his college, and held the office till 20 February 1744. Soon after his appointment he was presented by Bishop Thomas Green to the rectory of Conington in Cambridgeshire, and afterwards to that of Hadstock in Essex; the latter he held for many years. In 1730 and 1731 he was a reforming vice-chancellor of the university, in particular prohibiting the practice of exhuming bodies from the neighbouring churchyard, for dissection by medical students.

After refusing the bishopric of Gloucester in 1734, Mawson was consecrated bishop of Llandaff, 18 February 1739. This diocese he administered for two years, and in 1740 was translated to Chichester. On the death of Sir Thomas Gooch in 1754, he was translated again, to Ely, where he remained for the rest of his life.

According to Arthur Collins' Peerage of England (1756) he married Penelope Compton, a daughter of Hatton Compton (d.1741) of Grendon Hall in Northamptonshire, Lieutenant of the Tower of London and a grandson of Spencer Compton, 2nd Earl of Northampton. [2] However the Dictionary of National Biography (1885-1900) states that he was unmarried. He died at his house in Kensington Square, 23 November 1770, aged eighty-seven years and three months, having been active and healthy until before his death. He was buried in his cathedral of Ely, and a monument was erected to his memory by his chaplain and executor, Dr. Warren.


Mawson's official income and his inheritance of the fortune made by his brother in the family business gave him great wealth. To King's College, Cambridge, he made a large loan for their new buildings. At Ely he gave £1,000 to the cathedral. He also endowed Corpus Christi in 1754 with property sufficient to found twelve scholarships.


Mawson's published works consist of single sermons, preached at anniversary gatherings, and the like, and a speech made before the gentlemen of Sussex, at Lewes, 11 October 1745, on the occasion of the 1745 Rebellion.


  1. "Mawson, Matthias (MW701M)". A Cambridge Alumni Database. University of Cambridge.
  2. Peerage of England: Containing a Genealogical and Historical Account of All ... By Arthur Collins, Vol II, 1756, p.219

Related Research Articles


Academic offices
Preceded by Master of Corpus Christi College, Cambridge
Succeeded by
Church of England titles
Preceded by Bishop of Llandaff
Succeeded by
Preceded by Bishop of Chichester
Succeeded by
Preceded by Bishop of Ely
Succeeded by