Walter Matthews (priest)

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Walter Matthews

Dean of St Paul's
Walter Matthews.jpg
Matthews in 1935
Church Church of England
Diocese London
In office1934–1967
Predecessor William Inge
Successor Martin Sullivan
Other post(s) Dean of Exeter (1931–1934)
Personal details
Birth nameWalter Robert Matthews
Born(1881-09-22)22 September 1881
London, England
Died4 December 1973(1973-12-04) (aged 92)
Denomination Anglicanism
Margaret Bryan
(m. 1911;died 1961)

Walter Robert Matthews CH KCVO [2] (22 September 1881 4 December 1973) was an Anglican priest, theologian, and philosopher. [3]


Early life and education

Born on 22 September 1881 in Camberwell, London, to parents Philip Walter Matthews, a banker, and Sophia Alice Self, he was educated at Wilson's School [4] and trained for the priesthood at King's College London.

Ordained ministry

He was ordained deacon in 1907 and priest in 1908 [5] and was a curate at St Mary Abbots' Kensington and St Peter's Regent Square. After that he was a lecturer in and then a professor of theology at King's College London. [6] [7] From 1918 he was also Dean of the college. [6] [8] In 1931 he became an Honorary Chaplain to the King [9] and Dean of Exeter. [6] [10] Then in 1934 he became Dean of St Paul's, [6] [11] a post he held for 33 years. At the time of his appointment, he was president-elect of the Modern Churchmen's Union. [12] He was described by his predecessor, William Inge, as something of an "Orthodox Modernist". [12]

On 2 June 1940 the term "miracle of Dunkirk" was used for the first time by Matthews in a speech. He was praising the rescue of thousands of British soldiers and their allies from being encircled by the German Army in France.

He died on 4 December 1973. [13] [14]

Published works

Matthews was an author. Among his works:

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  1. Sell 2010, pp. 71–72.
  2. Rayment, Leigh (2015). "Companions of Honour". Leigh Rayment's Peerage Page. Archived from the original on 13 March 2016. Retrieved 11 November 2017.CS1 maint: unfit URL (link)
  3. Beeson 2004; Owen 2004; Sell 2010, p. 74.
  4. Sell 2010, p. 69; Owen 2004.
  5. Crockford's Clerical Directory 1971-72. London, OUP, 1973, p. 636
  6. 1 2 3 4 Byrne 2010, p. 160.
  7. "College archives". Archived from the original on 7 October 2011. Retrieved 5 July 2009.
  8. History of King's College Chapel [ dead link ]
  9. "Chaplain to the King". The Times (45965). 28 October 1931. p. 12, col. E.
  10. "New Dean of Exeter". The Times (45953). 14 October 1931. p. 12, col. F.
  11. "Dean to St. Paul's". Time. Vol. 34 no. 23. 1934. Archived from the original on 25 November 2010. Retrieved 11 November 2017.
  12. 1 2 Burns 2004, p. 96.
  13. "Dr W. R. Matthews Former Dean of St Paul's". The Times (58956). 5 December 1973. p. 21, col. F.
  14. England & Wales, National Probate Calendar 1974, p. 5926

Works cited

Church of England titles
Preceded by
Henry Gamble
Dean of Exeter
Succeeded by
Spencer Carpenter
Preceded by
William Inge
Dean of St Paul's
Succeeded by
Martin Sullivan
Academic offices
Preceded by
Alfred Caldecott
Dean of King's College London
Succeeded by
Richard Hanson
Non-profit organization positions
Preceded by
William Inge
President of the Modern Churchmen's Union
1934 – c.1937
Succeeded by
Cyril Norwood