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Mathews, Robert Hamilton (1841–1918)

The death took place of Mr. Robert Hamilton Mathews, at his residence, Carcuron, Parramatta, on Wednesday last. After a short service at his late home, conducted by the Rev. John Paterson, the funeral took place at the Presbyterian Cemetery, Parramatta. It was attended by a large number of relations and friends. The late Mr Mathews was a well known authority on the Australian aborigines and contributed many articles to the leading scientific societies in Europe and America, as well as in Australia. He read many papers on ethnology before the Royal Society of New South Wales at which he was one of the oldest members. His investigations were, with few exceptions, carried out by personal interviews with the natives themselves, and he spared no labour to make his information absolutely reliable before embodying it in his writings. Mr Mathews held many medals and diplomas from the principal anthropoligical and ethnological societies of the world, including the silver medal (Prix Godard) of the Anthropological Society of France, and the bronze medal of the Royal Society of New South Wales for papers on aboriginal rock paintings and carvings. He was for many years engaged in survey work in the northern and north-western districts of New South Wales, and amongst other places laid out the town of Mungindi. He also carried out many important survey works for the Queensland Government.

He had travelled very extensively in Europe, America, and Africa. He was a magistrate for the States of Queensland, South Australia, and New South Wales for close on 20 years, and the author of the handbook Magisterial Inquiries, which ran into several editions.

His wife, a daughter of the late Mr Edward Bert, of Wallah survives him, also four sons and one daughter, viz, Messrs Gregory H. Mathews, London, author of The Birds of Australia, H. B. Mathews, of Forbes, W. W. Mathews, of Eastwood, R. Falkner Mathews, of Haberfield, and Miss Mathews, matron, Red Cross Home, Moss Vale.

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'Mathews, Robert Hamilton (1841–1918)', Obituaries Australia, National Centre of Biography, Australian National University, http://oa.anu.edu.au/obituary/mathews-robert-hamilton-4169/text23990, accessed 22 January 2018.

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