Brigadier General Sir Donald Matheson, K.C.B.
I admit that writing about these two brothers is a deviation from my basic intention, namely to trace the ancestry of their nephew, the Rev. Dr. George Matheson. But I felt I should not overlook them altogether. Hence they are in this appendix. And most of my readers have genes derived from the union of Donald Matheson and Helen Macdonald in 1769! A find subject for speculation.
I possess a copy of Donald Macleod's "Historic Families and Notable People of the Lennox". 1891. It has two pages about John Junior and 4 about the younger brother, Donald. Too many for me now to copy out! Briefly: "His early commercial training was acquired with Messrs. Reid and Dennistoun, a foreign commission house in Glasgow. Later, he established and conducted, simultaneously, the businesses of Donald Matheson and Co. Dyers and Matheson and Alston, East India Merchants, Glasgow. In 1878, on the death of his older brother, John Junior, acquired a partnership in the firm of William Stirling and sons, Dumbartonshire. "Not so well known to the majority of my readers as a captain of industry as he is as a most successful Volunteer Engineer Officer".
Then follow three pages about his Volunteer career. A C.B. in 1881. A K.C.B. in 1887. He was Justice of the Peace, and a Deputy Lieutenant for the County of Lanark. Colonel Commanding the Lanarkshire Royal Volunteers. Hon. Commandant Submarine Miners Royal Engineers, Brigadier Clyde Brigade Infantry Volunteers. This town house is 6, Park Terrace. His country residence is at Bourtreehill, Ayrshire. He has never married. His widowed sister and he live together (i.e. Mrs. George Coats)! Thus Macleod!
From Who's Who I learned he was a member of the Conservative and Western Clubs in Glasgow, and was educated at Glasgow Academy (still a good school).
From a letter to me from one of his great-nephews I read "Donald had a fine head of red hair, and side whiskers. He did not believe in marriage, and lived with his charming mistress, whose name was Margaret Brown". When the members of my family heard this there was hilarious laughter, for the name of my charmer, still, is Margaret Brown Mackay!
In "Scottish Landowners" 1872, there is no mention of Sir Donald. But there is an entry: "John Matheson, of 142 West George Street, Glasgow - 14 acres". Would that be Sir Donald's elder brother?
An older sister of Sir Donald, namely Margaret, born 2nd June 1819, married a childless widower, George Coats, who died before her without children. He left a big estate to Margaret.
Later - My notes show that I looked in the Glasgow Herald for a biographical sketch of George The Merchant, but found none.