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William Matthews
Personal information
Nationality English
Birth date 8 March 1844
Date of death 8 January 1922 (aged 77)
Education Glenalmond College and King’s College London
Engineering Discipline Civil,
Institution memberships Institution of Civil Engineers (president),
Significant projects Port of Dover, Grand Harbour
Significant Awards Order of St Michael and St George (knight commander),
Belgian Order of Leopold (officer)

Sir William Matthews KCMG (8 March 1844 – 8 January 1922)[1] was a British civil engineer.

He was educated at Glenalmond College and King’s College London.

Matthews was born in Penzance to John and Alice Matthews, John Matthews was, at that time, the borough surveyor for Penzance. William spent a few years working for his father as an assistant surveyor before gaining work as chief assistant to John Coode. He was eventually made a partner in Coode's firm which became Coode, Son and Matthews.[1]

His most notable works with the firm were harbours and docks, many of which were undertaken for the Admiralty, and include works on Dover Harbour, Singapore Docks and the Grand Harbour in Valletta, Malta. He also undertook inspections of Cape Colony, Ceylon, Cyprus, Hong Kong and Malta harbours for the British Admiralty.[1] On July 9 1906 he was appointed to a Royal Commission to investigate tidal and coastal flooding in the United Kingdom.[2]

He became an associate member of the Institution of Civil Engineers in 1870, a full member in 1876 and served as president between November 1907 and November 1908.[3] He was appointed a Companion of the Order of St Michael and St George in 1901 and a Knight Commander of the same order in 1906. He was also made an officer of the Belgian Order of Léopold in 1894 in recognition of his work on Zeebrugge Harbour.[1]

His brother, Thomas Matthews, was from 1892 the Engineer-in-Chief of Trinity House, the British lighthouse authority.


  1. ^ a b c d Times Obituary, 10 January 1922
  2. ^ London Gazette: no. 27930, p. 4714, 10 July 1906. Retrieved on 2008-05-15.
  3. ^ Watson, Garth (1988), The Civils, London: Thomas Telford Ltd, p. 252, ISBN 0-727-70392-7  
Professional and academic associations
Preceded by
Alexander Kennedy
President of the Institution of Civil Engineers
November 1907 – November 1908
Succeeded by
James Charles Inglis


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