Matthew Adam

20th Feb 1780 - 10th Dec 1853

Claimant or beneficiary


Rector of Inverness Royal Academy (1811-1839)

  1. Drawn into a sustained dispute with the Commissioners over an award made to him and then rescinded for the compensation on a pimento estate, Rural Retreat, in St Ann of which he was proprietor by right of his late wife Ellen Moffat Atkinson (who died in 1835). Adam declined to give up the compensation award. This resulted in a suit in Edinburgh, Pinnock v Adam, in 1842.

  2. 'Born in Dailly, Ayrshire, 20th February 1780. M.A. Glasgow 1808. Taught in school of his own in Glasgow, 1808-1811. Appointed from August 1811. In dispute with directors in 1812 concerning the emoluments due to his situation, his possible dismissal and compensation for loss of situation: Court of Session decided in favour of life tenure in 1815 (see Inverness Journal, 14 July 1815). Taught mathematics and geography: see class registers. In 1823 spent three periods at sea making experiments on board HMS Cherokee, on the frigate Seringapatam and the sloop of war Clio, by directions of the Admiralty, perhaps with permission of the Chairman of the Directors (see Inverness Courier): hence he did not conduct his Geography class in the autumn. Took weather readings, and some of his figures were used by Lauder (1830) in the book Great Floods of 1829. Pensioned on £60 per annum in 1839, following alleged misconduct; taught in Glasgow 1840-1850; died at Ayr, 10 December 1853. For comments see Inverness before Railways (Anderson), p. 52, and My Early Days (Kennedy), p. 75.'

  3. Two of five known children survived childhood. Jane Wakefield Adam appears to have undertaken missionary work, possibly in India, and her brother William was headmaster of a series of schools. Matthew Adam was still drawing an income of £40 p.a., from the rental of his late wife's West India plantation at his death.

  4. Living at 39 St Andrews Square, Glasgow in the 1841 census, age 60, Teacher, born out of county, with his daughter Jane, age 11, son William, age 8, and 2 servants. Living at Park House, Maybole Road, Ayr, in the 1851 census, age 71, Retired Rector or Teacher, born in Dailly, Ayrshire, with his daughter Jane Wakefield, age 22, born Inverness.

  5. Marriage, "Matthew Adam, esq. A.M. Recotr of the Royal Academy of Inverness, to Miss Ellen Moffat Atkinson, only daughter of the late William Atkinson Esq. of Rural Retreat, in the parish of St. Ann's, Jamaica."


  1. T71/1606 21/08/1835 St Ann claim no. 46, letter of Matthew Adam to the Commissioners; 19/09/1842 Henry Todd of Edinburgh to the Commissioners; 26/01/1844 Mathew Adam to the Commissioners.

  2. 'Rectors of Inverness Royal Academy from the opening in 1792'. 5. 1811-1839 Matthew Adam [accessed 28/03/2011].

  3. [accessed 09/01/2012].

  4. 1841 census online; 1851 census online.

  5. Aberdeen Chronicle, 22/07/1826.

Further Information

Ellen Moffat Atkinson
Sarah (1827-1831), Jane Wakefield (1829-), James (1831-1838), William (1833-), Ellen Moffat (b. and d. 1835)
Glasgow [1808 (MA) ]
Schoolteacher and rector

Associated Claims (1)

£304 6s 8d

Associated Estates (2)

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
22/07/1826 [SD] - 1835 [EY] → Joint owner
1835 [SY] - → Owner

Relationships (2)

Husband → Wife
Son-in-law → Father-in-law

Addresses (2)

39 St Andrews Square, Glasgow, Lanarkshire, Central Scotland, Scotland
Royal Academy, Inverness, Inverness-shire, Highlands & Islands, Scotland