Matthew Gough of Hanmer was one of the outstanding professional soldiers in the fifteenth-century wars in France. To the French he was known as ‘Mathago’ and this name became a synonym for courage, although in Perche, which had suffered at his hands, it was a term of abuse and many effigies of him were burnt there to celebrate his departure in 1449.
Matthew Gough was a boy in Hanmer during the rebellion of Owain Glyndwr, Prince of Wales, that involved so many Hanmer people. It is recorded that Matthew Gough’s mother was Hawys Hanmer, daughter of Sir David Hanmer, and that his father was Owain Gough, bailiff of the Manor of Hanmer. He was thus a nephew of Owain Glyndwr.
The great Welsh bard Guto’r Glyn of Glyn Ceiriog, who served as an archer with Matthew Gough at Verneuil, wrote about him.
Gŵr o Faelor, gwâr felys,
Gŵr a wnaeth gwewyr yn us;
Gŵr mawr o Drefawr hyd Rôn,
Gwyrennig, ac ŵyr Einion;
Gŵr o Rys ac eryr yw,
Gŵr nod y Goron ydyw.
‘A man from Maelor, delightfully civilized, a man who shattered spears;
Gough died on 5th July 1450 defending the old London bridge against the rebellion of Jack Cade and is buried in the church of Church of White Friars in London. He appears in Shakespeare’s Henry VII part 2 scene vii.
‘Alarums Matthew Goffe is slain, and all the rest.’
Entered 2nd February 2018, updated 17th October 2018 by Bill