Gilbert Mathison

26th Mar 1767 - 1828


Born 26/03/1767 and baptised 14/05/1767 in Kingston, Jamaica, son of Gilbert Mathison and his wife Ann. Inherited Wemyss Castle sugar estate in St James, Jamaica, from his father in 1774, along with a debt of £1600. Lived in England 1795-1808. Author of Notices respecting Jamaica, 1808, 1809 & 1810 (London, 1811). Catherine Farquhar [daughter of Sir Walter Farquhar] and Gilbert Matthison [sic] married at St Georges Hanover Square 08/05/1802. Four children are shown as baptised to Gilbert and Catharine Mathison at St Georges Hanover Square between 1805 and 1812: Ann; Charles Mitchell; Elizabeth Harvie and Archibald Stirling. Gilbert Farquhar Mathison, '1st son of Gilbert of Middlesex' was born c. 1803. Gilbert Mathison was an executor and trustee in the will of his son-in-law Jasper Hall (d. 1798).

Gilbert Mathison was a partner in Mathison, Jenkins & Co., merchants of Lime Street Square, which stopped payment in 1823. Wemyss estate was transferred to Simon Halliday, whose son Walter Stevenson Halliday claimed compensation for the enslaved people on the estate in 1834. Simon Halliday was married to Elizabeth Harvey or Harvie, the half-sister of Gilbert's wife Catherine. The partnership of Mathison, Jenkins & Co. was disolved 21/10/1824. Mathison fled his creditors and died in Ostend in 1828.

Dr Gilbert Mathison, presumably the father, was a magistrate in Trelawny in 1772 and an assistant judge in St Jago de la Vega in 1774. He died in 1774. A Dr. Gilbert Mathison was named as an executor and guardian in a codicil to the will of William Perrin of Vere, Jamaica (written in 1758) and also requested to be the attorney for William Perrin's son in Jamaica. A further undated note states he had not been included in the original will as Perrin thought "Dr Mathison had since left and declined acting for me."

Sources, Jamaica Church of England Parish Register Transcripts, 1664-1880 [database online]; John Burke, Peerage and Baronetage (1832) Vol. I 'Farquhar, Sir Thomas Harvie', p. 462;, London England Marriages and Banns 1754-1921 [database online];, London England Births Marriages and Burials 1538-1812 [database online];, Oxford University Alumni 1715-1886 [database online]; David Clover, '“This horably wicked action”: Abortion and Resistance On a Jamaican Slave Plantation', The Society for Caribbean Studies Annual Conference Papers Vol. 8 2007 at [accessed 26/05/2015]; the will of Jasper Hall, PROB 11/1312/77.

London Gazette Issue 18078 p. 1847 (1824). Email from Mation Diamond sourced to letters from Walter Stevenson Davidson to his brother-in-law William Leslie in the Leslie of Warthill Papers in Aberdeen University.

Vere Langford Oliver, Caribbeana being miscellaneous papers relating to the history, genealogy, topography, and antiquities of the British West Indies (6 vols., London, Mitchell, Hughes and Clarke, 1910-1919) Vol. ; 'Feurtado Personages', [accessed 26/05/2015]; the will of William Perrin, PROB 11/849/234.

We are grateful to Marion Diamond for her assistance with compiling this entry.

Further Information

Catherine Farquhar
Gilbert Farquhar, Ann, Charles Mitchell, Elizabeth Harvie, Archibald Stirling
Merchant and planter

Associated Estates (4)

The dates listed below have different categories as denoted by the letters in the brackets following each date. Here is a key to explain those letter codes:

  • SD - Association Start Date
  • SY - Association Start Year
  • EA - Earliest Known Association
  • ED - Association End Date
  • EY - Association End Year
  • LA - Latest Known Association
1802 [SY] - 1823 [EY] → Owner
1826 [EA] - → Owner

Mathison is shown as having purchased enslaved people on Hopewell in 1826, but thereafter the people appear to have reverted to the heirs of John Murray. The reported purchase appears anomalous: Mathison, a London merchant, was in financial difficulty in 1826.

1815 [EA] - 1823 [LA] → Owner
1826 [EA] - → Previous owner

Legacies Summary

Historical (3)

Notices respecting Jamaica, 1808, 1809 &... 1811 
A Short review of the reports of the African Institution, and of the controversy with Dr. Thorpe, with some reasons against the registry of slaves in the British... 1816 
'A critical view of a pamphlet intitled The West India Question Practically Considered... 1827 
notes →
Derbyshire Record Office, D239 M/E...

Relationships (5)

Husband → Wife
Father → Son
Business partners
Notes →
Mathison, Jenkins & Co. of Lime Street stopped payment in...
Son → Father

Addresses (1)

London, London, England