Todd Matthews, Sir David Mathew. A family line that extends over six centuries. Yes, the man known more as David ap Mathew is said to have become the founder of the modern-day Matthews line, and all variations of such a line. Such a real-life cavalier inspired perhaps the most mysterious and exciting character in both Lord of Columbia and Neo Skyehawk.
In fact, David ap Mathew was my primary influence for the character David ap Santos, who is mentioned in every single Lord of Columbia and Neo Skyehawk story, despite the fact he had never appeared as a character in either series.
While David ap Santos is merely mentioned, he plays perhaps one of the most important roles in both series, which will become apparent soon, as the mentioned character comes into his own. The reader will get to know David ap Santos, but to get an idea on David, let’s have a look at the man who inspired the character.
David ap Mathew’s Biography
Born in 1400 as Daffydd ap Mathew, was a Welsh Knight. His titles included Lord of Llandaff, and Seneschal of Llandaff Cathedral. He was also one of the ten great barons of Glamorgan as well as a Marcher Lord.
In the New World, he was the three-times removed great uncle of Lieutenant Colonel Samuel Mathews, one of the first Commonwealth Governors of Virginia.
The son of Mathew ap Leuan, Sir David was given a grant of 2,232 acres of land from King Henry VI near St. Fagans and at Pentyrch, both locations residing just outside Cardiff, Wales.
A physically imposing man, he was said to have stood at six feet, eight inches, a very unusual height for the age. He displayed extraordinary prowess and daring on the battlefield, including saving the life of King Edward IV at the Battle of Towton on Palm Sunday, 1461.
In 1480, he restored the shrine of Saint Teilo and was presented with St. Teilo’s skull to become a family heirloom, which was preserved until 1658.
It is believed that David ap Mathew was murdered in an altercation in 1484. He was 84 at the time of his death, an age as unusual as his height in the fifteenth century.
David’s story can be read in further detail in Dr. Garner Scott Odell’s book ‘Sir David, the Life and Loves of a Welsh Knight, which was published back in 2003.
David ap Mathew’s Influence Behind David ap Santos
Yes, the two are the same men, just in two different worlds. Of course, David ap Santos plays a role in both Lord of Columbia and Neo Skyehawk, with the roles increasing with each work.
As mentioned earlier, David ap Santos is simply mentioned in the first few books of each series. In Lord of Columbia, he is remembered for holding the same types of roles as his real-life counterpart. In Neo Skyehawk, David is the infant son of Santo ap Leuan and his wife, Llewellyn, the former being a distinguished Knight himself and staunch defender of Ddraigoch national sovereignty.
What I Will Tell You About David ap Santos
So, I’ve handed out several clues both in this article as well as in the books as to who David ap Santos is and will become. This is far less climactic in the Neo Skyehawk Series, which will give the reader a far greater understanding and background unlike those who skip directly to reading Northern Knights.
We know that David ap Santos’ descendants settled in the New World, much like David ap Mathew’s descendants.
We also know Santos Complex was named after David by his descendant, George Santos, one of the first people to have landed in the New World. Santos christened the nickname of the Complex as the Knights, a nod to his ancestor’s occupation after briefly considering the names Lords, Cavaliers, and Red Dragons.
Why is David ap Santos’ Story So Unique?
I decided to tell a story within the Neo Skyehawk Series where David ap Santos is the lead character simply because he had been mentioned so many times without a speaking role that I felt it appropriate to tell his story rather than simply bits and pieces, which will be available in the coming months along with the fourth episode in the Neo Skyehawk Series, Fighting the High Seas.
David ap Santos is mentioned in Northern Knights, Swords of Destiny, Missing in Columbia, Fighting Tyranny, Fighting Treason, Fighting the Great Plan Part I, and Fighting the High Seas.
For those who’ve read both series, it’s about time Sir David ap Santos has his story released to the world, where the reader will find, upon reading both his story and each book in Lord of Columbia and Neo Skyehawk.
Real Life Inspiration
My Neo Skyehawk Series page tells readers that I love drawing influence from real-life inspiration. Some have misinterpreted this as placing fictional characters and places into real-life world history, which would technically qualify as historical fiction.
Instead, I use real-life places, people, and events as inspiration for my own series. For instance, I’ve always stated the Nation of Ddraigoch is a fictionalized version of Wales in the fictional world of Gaia. The same goes for David ap Santos plus an array of characters in both Lord of Columbia and Neo Skyehawk.
They all have direct real-life correlations, but the stories, world, and characters are entirely fictional, simply based on real people, places, and events.
I will attest to you all that this story is arguably the toughest one I’ve worked on, just getting the plot elements correct in an effort to make the work believable to my readers. It’s certainly taken a few drafts to see where I really wanted to go with David ap Santos’ story.
Not only do I need to make the events leading up to his own biography believable, but it was also necessary to ensure the plot fit smoothly with the Lord of Columbia Series. David’s story is the bridge between the two series, and its uniqueness links Lord of Columbia with Neo Skyehawk.