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The Scottish Nation

MATHESON, (additional.) – Of the Shinness branch of the Mathesons, so named from their having held that place as a wadset for several centuries, there are several notices in Sir Robert Gordon’s History of the Earldom of Sutherland, who mentions the family as chief of the name, A.D. 1616. Of this family was colonel George Matheson, who accompanied Sir Donald Mackay of Farr, afterwards Lord Reay, into the service of Gustavus Adolphus of Sweden, and obtained a grant of the family coat of arms from King Charles I. on the 5th October, 1639. In the last century the family was represented by Niel Matheson, born in 1700, died in 1775, having had an only son, Duncan Matheson, who died young, in 1746, from wounds received in a skirmish connected with the rebellion of 1745. He married Elizabeth Mackay of Mowdil. His widow married, 2dly, Dr. Archibald Campbell, with whom she emigrated in 1772 to America, and had a numerous progeny. Her youngest son, George Washington Campbell, was finance minister of the United States in 1813, and in 1818 was appointed ambassador extraordinary to the court of St. Petersburg. Duncan Matheson had an only son, Capt. Donald Matheson, born in 1746, died 4th Feb. 1810, when the family ceased to occupy Shinness, This gentleman married Catherine, eldest daughter of the Rev. Thomas Mackay, minister of his native parish, Lairg, by whom he had three sons and six daughters.

Duncan Matheson, the eldest son, advocate, who died in 1838, married, in 1815, Annabella, daughter of T. Farquharson, Esq. of Howden, near Mid Calder, issue, 3 sons. 1. Donald Matheson of Grandon Lodge, Dorking, Surrey, now representative of the family, married Jane, daughter of Lieutenant Petley, R.N., issue, 3 sons, Duncan, Donald, and James Horace. 2. Hugh Mackay Matheson, merchant, London, married Agnes, daughter of David M’Farlane, Esq., Edinburgh, by whom he has an only daughter, Mary. 3. Thomas Matheson, merchant, Liverpool, married Annie, daughter of a gentleman of the name of Cropper, by whom he has no issue.

The 2d son, Sir James Matheson, Bart., F.R.S., of Achany and the Lews, born in 1796 at Lairg, married, in 1843, Mary Jane, fourth daughter of M.H. Perceval, Esq., of Quebec, without issue.

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