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I wish I had acquired wisdom at less of a price.
Hosea regretting his choices in life

Hosea Matthews is a major character featured in Red Dead Redemption 2.



A master con artist, gentleman and thief, Hosea has been Dutch's closest friend and right‐hand man for over 20 years. Intelligent and quick‐witted, he can talk his way into, or out of, just about anything.
Rockstar Games' description of Matthews.

Biography in RDR 2 (click to enlarge)

Born in roughly 1844,[1] Hosea states that he was "raised in the mountains" during his early years. He also mentions that his father lived a life of "sin and debauchery that would make an emperor blush" until he died at age 75, and that he did love him - despite only seeing him 3 times in his life. In his early years, Matthews was briefly a stage actor who had dreams of being a comedian, although he later became an outlaw.

Hosea was once caught stealing a chicken by "some hill country sheriff" who then decided to hang Hosea as a punishment. Fortunately for Matthews, a riot erupted at the hanging when a group of people believed his punishment was unfair. An unknown man came to Hosea's assistance by shooting the rope, thereby freeing him. In the end, the sheriff was hanged and Hosea got away with what he described as "nothing more than a sore neck".[2]

In the mid-1870s, Hosea met another outlaw named Dutch van der Linde at a campfire; he tried to con and rob Dutch, only to realize that Dutch had stolen from him in the meantime. Both saw the skill that the other had and laughed, before deciding to team up together.

The pair found themselves in Kettering, Ohio. They began conning several people, by posing as international merchants and conning twelve locals into investing $300 into a made-up Portuguese shipping company. They were eventually discovered and arrested by Sheriff Carmichael. However, on 9th March 1877, the two managed to escape their cell, robbing and tying up the sheriff in the process.[3] At some point afterwards, the two came across a teenager named Arthur Morgan, who they took under their wing. Hosea describes Arthur as originally being a "delinquent",[4] but he benefitted hugely from the mentoring of his two adoptive fathers, Hosea and Dutch. This group of three would eventually expand over the years and become the Van der Linde gang.

At some stage, Hosea met and fell in love with a woman named Bessie, whom he later married. He later left the gang for a time to be with her, but he slowly drifted back into it over time. Despite this, Bessie understood who Hosea was and the two stayed together, although she died at some point before 1899. Hosea says that he was "drunk for a year" after Bessie's death.

In 1887, the gang committed its first bank robbery, which Hosea was part of. He, Dutch and Arthur raided the bank of Lee and Hoyt and made off with $5000 of gold. After the robbery, they lingered around the town, giving the money away to orphanages and the poor.[5] During its early years, the gang made a genuine attempt to help the poor. However, Hosea eventually became disillusioned with the gang over time, when it stopped helping others and instead focused on its own survival, in addition to becoming increasingly violent. Despite his reservations, Hosea remained a loyal member of the gang.

As of 1899, Hosea is both the most senior member of the gang and Dutch's lieutenant. Intelligent and level-headed, Hosea regularly advises Dutch and is valued for his wisdom. As much as he shares similar ideals, he tends to favour peaceful methods of making money and is more pragmatic in his understanding of what lies in store for the gang.

Events of Red Dead Redemption 2

Colter Chapter

Hosea is first seen riding with Dutch on the wagon in the opening cinematic. He tells Dutch that they need to find shelter quickly, and then points out Arthur up ahead. When they arrive at Colter, Hosea is seen investigating a cabin. After discovering that it is deserted, he tells the others to bring the mortally wounded Davey Callander inside. The following morning, Abigail begs Arthur to find John Marston, who hasn't returned after two days. After a slight argument, Hosea steps in and tells Arthur that they are all worried about him, before sending Arthur and Javier to go and look for him.

Along with Charles Smith, Hosea stays behind at camp while the majority of the other gang members are attacking a nearby O'Driscoll hideout. He later voices his opposition of robbing the Cornwall train that Dutch has set his sights on, and is absent from the robbery. He is then seen a few days later loading up the wagons, preparing to leave. Upon arriving in New Hanover, Hosea and Arthur hang back to fix the broken wagon with the help of Charles. Hosea then points out the Native Americans positioned atop the ridge and tells Arthur and Charles about their history, which leads to a discussion about Charles and later, Arthur's upbringings. He later hands Arthur a Ginseng Elixir before reaching the new camp.

Horseshoe Overlook Chapter

After setting up camp, Hosea can be seen wandering around camp, doing various activities. Later, he gives Arthur a Raven Black Shire horse and the two go out hunting in Ambarino for a "1000 pound bear". After nearly being attacked, him and Arthur either return to camp together, or they will part ways. He also gives Arthur a map of the Legendary animals.

Soon afterwards, Hosea heads to Emerald Ranch in the hope of finding a lead. Arthur finds him talking to Seamus, who asks Hosea to prove himself by stealing a stagecoach from Bob Crawford, his “cousin by marriage”. Despite hesitation from Arthur, Hosea accepts, and the two ride to Carmody Dell. Upon arrival, the two observe that Crawford is in, and the player can decide to steal the stagecoach now, or wait until night. If they decide to do it at day, Hosea will distract Bob Crawford and his son, while Arthur loots the house and steals the coach or, if they do it at night, Hosea will steal the stagecoach and Arthur will loot the house. After commandeering the stagecoach, the two take it back to Emerald Ranch, and get paid $300 by Seamus.

After the shootout in Valentine, Hosea strongly opposes Dutch's idea of moving east, arguing that the West is where they should be going. Despite Hosea's opposition, Dutch still goes ahead with the plan to move east, much to Hosea's dismay.

Clemens Point Chapter

After arriving at the new camp, Hosea, Arthur and Dutch go out riding, looking for a spot to go fishing. On the ride, they come across Sheriff Leigh Gray and his deputy, Archibald MacGregor, who are seen transporting Trelawny and a group of young outlaws. Soon, the outlaws escape, and Arthur recaptures them, leading to Trelawny's release at Dutch's request. If the player wishes, then Dutch, Hosea and Arthur can go fishing. On the fishing trip, the three reminisce about old times and eventually row back to camp after catching enough fish.

Later, Hosea and Arthur attempt to sell the moonshine that the gang stole from the Braithwaites back to Catherine Braithwaite. Despite being initially hostile, Mrs. Braithwaite agrees to purchase the liquor, under the condition that Hosea and Arthur give the moonshine away at a local Gray owned saloon. Hosea and Arthur enter the saloon under the disguise of advertising and successfully give the liquor away, before they are interrupted by a group of Lemoyne Raiders. As a result, the two are forced to shoot their way out of the saloon and escape the town.

Hosea continues bartering with Catherine Braithwaite for jobs to do for her, in exchange for money. She eventually asks for the Gray family's tobacco fields at Caliga Hall to be torched; Arthur and Sean are sent to do this while Hosea continues to negotiate with Mrs. Braithwaite. The Braithwaites eventually see through the gang's duplicity after finding out that it was they who stole the family's prized horses, and so they kidnap Jack Marston from the gang in revenge. Hosea accompanies the majority of the gang in the impending assault against the Braithwaite Manor, in the hope of finding Jack.

Saint Denis Chapter

Soon after settling in at Shady Belle, Hosea attends the party at the Mayor's residence. After the party, Bill remarks that the endeavour was a waste of time and that he didn’t get any leads, but Hosea says that he found some lucrative ones: the city bank and a gambling tournament on a riverboat. Later on, Dutch proposes capturing Angelo Bronte after he betrayed them by setting them up with a fake lead. Hosea objects on the basis of it being unnecessary and likely to attract attention to the gang, but Arthur casts the deciding vote against him.

Later, Hosea begins working on a plan to rob the bank in Saint Denis, and eventually finds a suitable distraction for the gang to use. On the day of the bank robbery, Hosea manages to convinces Dutch to use it and gets sent ahead with Abigail, with the task of setting it off. The distraction succeeds, sending off a loud explosion and a plume of smoke. However, while the remaining members of the gang are robbing the bank, Hosea is captured by Agent Milton, despite Abigail managing to escape. Milton holds Hosea hostage outside the bank, proclaiming to Dutch that he has given them enough chances. Milton then shoots Hosea in the chest, killing him, and says to Dutch that Hosea's death is their deal.


Both the bodies of Hosea Matthews and Lenny Summers (who also died in the robbery) were eventually recovered by Charles and the remaining gang during the absence of Dutch, Arthur, Micah, Bill and Javier in Guarma. They were buried together in Bluewater Marsh.

Without Hosea's counsel, Dutch's decision-making became increasingly erratic, continuously taking unnecessary risks while his plans grew more and more unrealistic. Even Dutch himself was aware of this to some extent, expressing that he missed Hosea's "wisdom". To make matters worse, with Arthur having become increasingly doubtful toward Dutch, the latter ended up allowing Micah take Hosea's former spot as his right-hand man, who would end up acting as more of a yes-man to all of his wild ideas rather than an effective counselor.



I4vnlT45 400x400.jpg

Hosea is an intelligent outlaw in touch with his wits, having worked as a con-artist and a thief for over two decades. He appears to be a slick talker, using his brains to get into and out of any situation in hand. Unlike Arthur or Dutch, Hosea prefers not to use violence as a means of obtaining money. Instead, Hosea often resorts on elaborate schemes to swindle people out of their money, playing a character to distract and disarm those he is trying to rob. However, Hosea is willing to resort to violence when he feels that it is warranted, such as when he killed a man who tried to rob him,[6] when he pulls a gun on Bill and threatens him,[7] and when he participated in the assault on Braithwaite Manor.[8]

Having known each other since at least 1877, Hosea became Dutch's right-hand man and closest friend over the duration of two decades of association. By 1899 he appears to be Dutch's most trusted lieutenant, with only Arthur Morgan rivaling if not surpassing him. Over the course of the game, his relationship with Dutch is somewhat tested, as Dutch's increasing brashness and violence begin to clash with Hosea's preference for non-violence.

Hosea seems to have much remorse for his past actions in life and how they hurt people, in a conversation with Dutch he says that the gang has turned into just "a bunch of killers" and in another conversation with Lenny, he explains that the gang deserves to be punished and that they are doomed, but unlike other people "they will go down fighting".

Like Dutch, the gang seems to view Hosea as a sort of fatherly figure. Hosea is one of the few members of the Van der Linde gang that seems to be respected by all of its members, except by Micah Bell, and he openly dislikes him. He's viewed as a more level-headed leader than Dutch, with Arthur even remarking in his journal that although Arthur loves Dutch like a father, he "loves Hosea even more".


By 1899, Hosea is a lean, elderly man with neat, silver hair cut short and a clean shaven face. In hotter temperatures, Hosea wears either an orange or a striped blue vest over a shirt which is faded blue or plain white, as well as black trousers tucked into embossed, brown leather boots and with a faded red neckerchief and a black hat. In more temperate climates, he can be seen wearing an unbuttoned dark green coat, yellow vest, white shirt and black trousers tucked into embossed, brown leather boots with faded orange spurs. While he is in Colter, Hosea wears the same dark green coat buttoned up and a red and black striped scarf loosely hanging around his neck with a navy blue hat.

For the mayor's party and the bank robbery in Saint Denis, Hosea wears a white shirt, a dark blue waistcoat and a black jacket with a black bow tie. In terms of weaponry, he owns two custom Cattleman Revolvers with bone grips and steel frames, both of which are in a reverse position in their holsters with the grips pointing forwards, designed for a cavalry draw.

In his younger days, as seen in a photo featuring him, Dutch and Arthur, Hosea appears to have had light blond or white hair, and wore a white shirt with a darker colored jacket over it.

Mission appearances

Red Dead Redemption 2


Anyway, I got caught by some hill country sheriff, stealing a chicken I think it was... And he decided I was going to be hanged for it.
Hosea to the gang at the campfire.
We're born with some dreams. We acquire others as we get older and we live out something else. When I was...a kid back east they said there were dragons in the west. Dragons! Well, I guess we found them. Found them or made them or...became them. Oh, these futile lives of petty sin we have lived! What choice did we have, really?
Hosea Matthews
I've excused you quite enough! Go sleep it off, you drunk, is that clear!?
Hosea threatening a drunk Bill Williamson with his gun in an attempt to get the latter sober
If we don't stop soon we'll all be dying.
Hosea on the gang's journey to Colter; a line Arthur remembers from Hosea during "A Fork in the Road", if his Honor is high
I just don't want any more folks to die, Dutch.
Hosea trying to convince Dutch not to rob Leviticus Cornwall's private train in "Who the Hell is Leviticus Cornwall?"; a line Arthur remembers from Hosea during his last ride, if his Honor is high
Turned into a bunch of killers, I mean it.
Hosea to Dutch during preparations for departure from Horseshoe Overlook; a line Arthur remembers from Hosea during "A Fork in the Road", if his Honor is low
My Pa used to say if you stare into the fire long enough, you can see the whole world pass by.
Hosea in one random campfire interaction; a line Arthur remembers from Hosea during his last ride, if his Honor is low


  • Hosea is buried next to Lenny in Bluewater Marsh. However, they can only be visited after "Fleeting Joy".
    • Both Hosea and Lenny state in a random dialogue that they wanted to be buried with friends,[9] foreshadowing that they would be buried together.
  • The relationship between Hosea and Lenny is comparable with that of Arthur and John. Both relationships feature an older gang member (Hosea and Arthur) initially being unsure about their more junior comrade but later growing to like them, while the younger one (Lenny and John) wishes to prove themselves despite the older one suggesting that they leave.
  • Matthews can often be heard coughing and wheezing, leading to speculation from some other gang members that he has some kind of lung disease, which is further confirmed by Hosea himself if the player chooses to converse with him while he is making medicine in Chapter 3. The nature of this illness is unknown, but by his symptoms and lifestyle emphysema would be the likeliest culprit. At Guarma's camp, the player can talk to Micah, who then comments on the recent deaths of the two gang members: "Hosea was dying anyway, but Lenny... You know what they say about pride before a fall."
  • Hosea is a fan of crime novels, particularly the Aldous Filson mystery series. Arthur can find one of these books, The Case of the Deceitful German, around his tent or sleeping area.
    • If Arthur picks the book up to read it, it is possible to trigger a request mission in which Arthur can find his old friend another book by the same author. As a gesture of gratitude, Hosea will leave some predator bait by Arthur's tent.
    • This is the only request mission which is not given directly by the person asking for the item.
  • Hosea bears a vague resemblance to Clint Eastwood. Whether this is intentional or a coincidence is unknown.
  • The name Hosea is Jewish, as it belonged to an eighth-century BC prophet in Israel who appears in the Hebrew Bible. He authored the book of prophecies that bears his name, which means "salvation", "he saves", or "he helps".
  • Both of the revolvers used by Hosea look almost identical to John's Cattleman Revolver - they have the same colour scheme and worn appearance but the grips have a Buck Cattleman logo while John's Cattleman doesn't.
  • Hosea's secondary weapon is a custom Semi-auto Shotgun in blued steel with a browned frame and the stock varnish.
  • Hosea's history with surviving the death penalty for a petty theft is possibly based on the book series about Richard Sharpe by Bernard Cornwell, where Obadiah Hakeswill told a similar story.
  • While chatting around the campfire, Hosea states in a random dialogue that he originally wanted to be a priest, although he "didn't know you had to be a Catholic to be a priest",[10] implying that he is or was either irreligious or from a different branch of Christianity, or even raised in the Jewish religion as suggested by his first name.
  • When playing dominoes with Arthur, Hosea will give hints on shops' illegal side businesses and ask Arthur to check them out. Hosea's robbery tip depends on which chapter the player is on. For example, he will reveal the Valentine doctor's illicit protection business when the player is in Chapter 2.





  1. Described as being in around 55 years old in the newspaper after his death
  2. During the party to celebrate jack's return,
  3. Newspaper clipping found in Hosea's room at Shady Belle.
  4. In the mission "Eastward Bound"
  5. Newspaper clipping found in Arthur's tent.
  6. Exit Pursued by a Bruised Ego
  8. Blood Feuds, Ancient and Modern