MATHEW, John (by 1469-1540/50), of Shaftesbury, Dorset.
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Family and Education
b. by 1469, ?s. of William Mathew of Shaftesbury.1
Warden of the common rents, Shaftesbury 1499, mayor 1515-16.2
John Mathew was a mercer of Shaftesbury, probably a son of William Mathew who was mayor of the town in 1492-3. He first appears in the borough records in 1490, when a fulling mill at Cann, just outside Shaftesbury, was granted to him and others. In the following decades he took a leading part in the town’s business, and his election to the Parliament of 1529 was evidently the natural extension of his municipal career. He probably sat again in 1536, in accordance with the King’s request for the return of the previous Members, and may have done so in 1539 and 1542 when the names of the Shaftesbury Members are lost. Of his part in the proceedings of the Commons nothing is known. In 1540, as the last survivor of the grantees of 1490, Mathew formally assigned the fulling mill to John Gapputh, but apparently the transfer was never completed for in July 1550 the same property was re-granted to others by William Mathew of Semley, Wiltshire, to whom it had descended as kinsman and heir of John Mathew of Shaftesbury, ‘lately dead’.3