Motto: (Matheson) Fac et spera (Do and hope)

The colours for this Mathieson tartan are intended to reflect the ancient hunting Matheson.  Mathieson is a sept of Matheson.  The Mathieson name (Mathison) simply means ‘son of Matthew.  This is a Lowland derivation.  Robert filius Mathei witnessed a charter by Walter filius Alani c.1177.  John Mathyson and Michael Mathowson were outlawed as part guilty of the murder of Walter de Ogilvy, Sheriff of Angus in 1392, and Andrew Mathyson was a forestaller in Aberdeen in 1402.  William Mathison, witness in Aberdeen 1446.

The Matheson name (Mathowson/Mathesons) of the North are known in Gaelic as M’Mhthain, collectively as Mathanach.  The name is also spelled MacMatgamna, the full form of which is MacMhathghamhuin, ‘Son of Bear’.  The earliest form of the name is 1264, in which year Kermac Macmghan in Inverness receives twenty cows of the fine of the Earl of Ross for services rendered.  In the Norse Saga he is called Kjarmak, son of Makamal – Cormac Macmathan.  

It is not known whether the Mathesons are of pure Celtic descent, but given the immense influence of the Norse over the Western Isles, it is reasonable to assume a link.  They settled around Lochalsh, Lochcarron and Kintail, where they were granted lands by the Celtic Earls of Ross.  In the 13th century after the Battle of Largs the Western Isles came under the domination of the Macdonalds as Lords of the Isles, and the Mathesons seemed to have sided with them.  As the power of the Lords of the Isles waned, so did the fortunes of the Mathesons.  The first accurate record of the tartan is not until 1850, at which date the most commonly seen of the patterns bear this name.