Obituaries Australia

  • Tip: searches only the name field
  • Tip: use double quotes to search for a phrase
  • Tip: lists of awards, schools, organisations etc

Browse Lists:

Cultural Advice

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people should be aware that this website contains names, images, and voices of deceased persons.

In addition, some articles contain terms or views that were acceptable within mainstream Australian culture in the period in which they were written, but may no longer be considered appropriate.

These articles do not necessarily reflect the views of The Australian National University.

Robert Hamilton Mathews (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.

Original publication

Additional Resources

Citation details

'Mathews, Robert Hamilton (1841–1918)', Obituaries Australia, National Centre of Biography, Australian National University,, accessed 24 May 2024.

© Copyright Obituaries Australia, 2010-2024

Robert Mathews, c1910

Robert Mathews, c1910

State Library of Queensland, 113002

Life Summary [details]


21 April, 1841
Narellan, New South Wales, Australia


22 May, 1918 (aged 77)
Parramatta, Sydney, New South Wales, Australia

Cultural Heritage

Includes subject's nationality; their parents' nationality; the countries in which they spent a significant part of their childhood, and their self-identity.

Religious Influence

Includes the religion in which subjects were raised, have chosen themselves, attendance at religious schools and/or religious funeral rites; Atheism and Agnosticism have been included.

Key Organisations