As we have already noticed, a John Matheson of Fernaig amassed a fortune in trading cattle and used his capital to acquire estates in the east, notably Bennetsfield on the Black Isle. This family was closely associated with the MacKenzies and became involved in the Jacobite uprising of 1715.
John died in 1715 during the uprising however his son Alexander was spared reversals for this association. Alexander relinquished his ties to Lochalsh and concentrated on the more lucrative prospects in the east and cultivated ties with the MacKenzies.
His son John was the incumbent at the time of the "45" uprising. Normally he would have been required to attend to his superior, the Earl of Seaforth, who was subduing the Royalist sympathizers in Sutherland. However John managed to be absent from that term of service and chose to sail across the firth to witness the Battle of Culloden. When the Jacobite fortunes turned on that fateful day, John managed to hide himself in a pigsty until dark. Under the cover of darkness he attempted to sail home but was apprehended by a government brig. Aboard the brig he was recognized by a Rev. Fraser who fortunately attested to Matheson's loyalty to the Crown. He was excused and invited to join a party attended by Government officers.
The Chiefship continued in this family for several more generations and
terminated on the death of Colonel Bertrum Heylin Matheson of Bennetsfield
in 1975. The title was transferred to the Attadale line in the person of
Sir Torquhil A. Matheson.
Taken from: The Matheson Clan in Eastern Canada: Selected Notes on the Clan's History and Migration to the Maritime Provinces.
by Glen M. Matheson.
Copyright (C) 1995: Glen M. Matheson
Included here with the kind permission of Glen M. Matheson
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