Basic Biographical Details

Name: Chessor Lille Matthew
Born: 22 February 1913
Died: 15 September 2011
Bio Notes: Chessor Lille Matthew was born at Smiddyseat, Tyrie, near Fraserburgh, on 22 February 1913, the son of William Matthew, master joiner, and his wife Helen. He was educated at schools in Tyrie and Strichen. He was articled to George Watt of Aberdeen in 1929, attending evening classes at the School of Architecture, Robert Gordon's College. From 1932 to 1935 he attended day classes at the School, receiving his diploma in July the latter year. He was then awarded the Byrne Scholarship which enabled him to remain at the School for a further year's post-graduate study. He was admitted ARIBA on 11 May 1936, his proposers being James Brown Nicol, T Scott Sutherland and R Leslie Rollo, the latter describing him as an 'outstanding student'. His nomination papers do not give a business address but at that time he was living at Whitewell, by Fraserburgh. In the same year he took up a post as lecturer at the Welsh School of Architecture, where he remained until 1941. During this period he spent three weeks studying in Italy and spent his vacations in the offices of Ashley & Newman and E Vincent Harris.

From 1942 to 1944 Matthew worked as a Planning Officer in the Air Ministry Works Directorate. In 1946 he returned to the Welsh School of Architecture as senior lecturer. He passed the Town Planning Institute's final exam in 1948 and was elected an Associate of the latter Institute in 1950. In the previous year he and other staff of the Welsh School of Architecture had secured permission to engage in limited private practice, and he subsequently carried out a number of works in Cardiff.

Matthew remained at the Welsh School of Architecture until 1957, spending his final year there researching the growth of urban development in East Glamorgan and publishing a series of articles on the development of the piazza. He then succeeded John Needham as Head of the School of Architecture at Duncan of Jordanstone College of Art, part of the Dundee Institute of Art and Technology. He was elected FRIAS and FRIBA in 1958.

Matthew was very dynamic and an exceptionally able administrator, serving as a representative of the RIAS's Dundee chapter by 1964. His articulate and incisive style won the confidence of the governors of the Dundee Institute in a way that the astute but more philosophical painter Hugh Adam Crawford, the College of Art’s Principal, had never quite been able to do; and although an architect as the principal of a Scottish college of art was unheard of at the time, they unhesitatingly appointed him principal when Crawford retired in 1963. Immediately on appointment, or perhaps even before, he set out the administrative staff required for the way ahead, something the overworked Crawford had always been denied. The College grew rapidly and following a two-year enquiry, the Institute was split into two separate colleges – Dundee College of Technology and Duncan of Jordanstone College of Art – in 1974. This resulted in the Schools of Architecture (under James Paul) and Town and Regional Planning (under Roger Roscoe) becoming departments of a new Faculty of Environmental Studies at the University of Dundee, although still housed within the buildings of the College of Art. The University appointed Professor Stanley Jones of the Department of Geography as first Dean of Faculty with the intention of developing new undergraduate courses in Environmental Sciences, but this proved hard to achieve in competition with established courses elsewhere.

The college's Matthew building was erected during his tenure of the post as principal. He retained the post until his retirement in 1978, after which Town & Regional Planning became a faculty on their own, Geography reverting to the Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences.

Outwith his work, Matthew pursued various interests which included a love of France, spending several weeks in the Alpes Maritime each year, fine wines, gardening, DIY and old cars. David Walker remembers him as ‘not tall, but he had extraordinary energy. He impressed from the moment of first meeting with an incisive mind which went straight to the core of whatever was under discussion, and as a manager was both immediately persuasive and decisive. These were very necessary qualities in the difficult financial conditions of his last five years as principal in 1973–8.’

Matthew died on 15 September 2011. He was predeceased by his wife, Margaret, whom he had married in 1939, but is survived by his son Stuart, his grandchildren and great-grandchildren.

Private and Business Addresses

The following private or business addresses are associated with this :
 AddressTypeDate fromDate toNotes
Item 1 of 5Whitewell, Fraserburgh (near), Aberdeenshire, ScotlandPrivate1936 *  
Item 2 of 5Welsh School of Architecture, Cardiff, WalesBusiness19361957 
Item 3 of 5Sch of Architecture, Duncan of Jordanstone Coll., Dundee, ScotlandBusiness1957  
Item 4 of 5Tiscarra Lodge,/105, Monifieth Road, Broughty Ferry, Dundee, ScotlandPrivate1958 *  
Item 5 of 5Craigmore, Fairfield Road, West Ferry, Dundee, ScotlandPrivate/business(?)1964 *  

* earliest date known from documented sources.

Employment and Training


The following individuals or organisations employed or trained this (click on an item to view details):
 NameDate fromDate toPositionNotes
Item 1 of 3George Watt19291932Apprentice 
Item 2 of 3Ashley & NewmanAfter 1936Before 1941AssistantOnly during holidays from his post as lecturer at the Welsh School of Architecture
Item 3 of 3Emanuel Vincent HarrisAfter 1936Before 1941AssistantOnly during holidays from his post as lecturer at the Welsh School of Architecture


RIBA Proposers

The following individuals proposed this for RIBA membership (click on an item to view details):
 NameDate proposedNotes
Item 1 of 6Lewis John6 May 1958For Fellowship
Item 2 of 6Dr D A Lloyd6 May 1958For Fellowship
Item 3 of 6James Brown Nicol11 May 1936for Associateship
Item 4 of 6Robert Leslie Rollo11 May 1936for Associateship
Item 5 of 6T Scott Sutherland11 May 1936for Associateship
Item 6 of 6(Sir) Percy Edward Thomas6 May 1958For Fellowship

RIBA Proposals

This proposed the following individuals for RIBA membership (click on an item to view details):
 NameDate proposedNotes
Item 1 of 4John Stewart Clark17 July 1968For Fellowship
Item 2 of 4(Professor) James Paul17 July 1968For Fellowship
Item 3 of 4David Bruce Walker16 July 1969For Fellowship
Item 4 of 4Merlyn Christopher Williams1 October 1969For Fellowship

Buildings and Designs

This was involved with the following buildings or structures from the date specified (click on an item to view details):
 Date startedBuilding nameTown, district or villageIslandCity or countyCountryNotes
Item 1 of 81949Presbyterian Church  CardiffWalesWar damage repairs, including church, spire and Sunday School
Item 2 of 81950House for Mr Benfield  MonmouthshireWalesAlterations
Item 3 of 81950House for Mr MacWhirter  CardiffWalesAlterations
Item 4 of 81951House for Mr RichardsonCarnbran (?)  Wales 
Item 5 of 81951Showroom for Mr MacWhirter  CardiffWales 
Item 6 of 81951The King's Head Public HouseUsk GwentWalesAlterations
Item 7 of 81954Presbyterian Church  CardiffWalesSurvey of church. Renovation of heating system, electrical system, general maintenance, decorations, new kitchen
Item 8 of 81958Bungalow for Mr Watson  CardiffWales 


Bibliographic References

The following books contain references to this :
Item 1 of 1Municipal Annual1964Scottish Municipal Annual1964-1965  

Periodical References

The following periodicals contain references to this :
 Periodical NameDateEditionPublisherNotes
Item 1 of 4Builder16 August 1957  'Appointment' p346
Item 2 of 4Builder28 August 1964  p411
Item 3 of 4Herald, The8 November 2011   
Item 4 of 4Scotsman1 October 2011  Obituary

Archive References

The following archives hold material relating to this :
 SourceArchive NameSource Catalogue No.Notes
Item 1 of 3Professor David M Walker personal archiveProfessor David M Walker, notes and collection of archive material Recollections of David M Walker
Item 2 of 3RIAS, Rutland SquareRecords of membership  
Item 3 of 3RIBA Archive, Victoria & Albert MuseumRIBA Nomination Papers A no6052 (stored under F5330, combined box 71); F no 5330 (combined box 71)