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Sir Alexander Matheson of Lochalsh

1805 - 1886

Trader. Nephew of James Matheson (1796 - 1878), who traded opium with China and was responsible for establishing the Jardine-Matheson conglomerate in Hong Kong, Sir Alexander made his fortune in China working for his uncle. Retiring from Hong Kong at only 36, he used his wealth to purchase highland estates and improve them. He was praised for finding new forms of agriculture for his tenants, rather than evicting them as was common practice at the time. Matheson served as a Member of Parliament for Ross and Cromarty many years and was instrumental in ensuring the Highland Railway was extended though to Kyle of Lochalsh. He bought the Balmacara Estate in Lochalsh and built Duncraig Castle in Plockton as his home. He was created a baronet in 1882.

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