Henry Matthews, Viscount Llandaff, was a barrister and politician.
Born in Sri Lanka (then Ceylon), Matthews had cosmopolitan education and upbringing. He studied in the universities of Paris and London and was called to the bar in 1850. He became a QC in 1868, going on to develop a large and successful legal practice. In 1868 his political career commenced when he was elected conservative MP for Dungarvan. However he lost it to the Irish Home Rule Party in 1874 and did not regain a parliamentary seat until 1886 when he was elected a member for East Birmingham. The same year he became the first Roman Catholic to serve as a cabinet minister when he ws appointed Home Secretary. On the re-election of the conservatives in 1895, he became a peer. A devout churchman, he was a founding supporter of Westminster Cathedral.
Foster, Joseph, Men at the bar, London, 1885; Dictionary of National Biography, on-line edition (accessed June 2004).