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The Family Business

As far back as four generations of my family have owned and/or operated a Pharmacy. My father, his father and his grandfather all were in the business, a couple of his uncles were also pharmacists. My Sister is also thinking about taking Pharmacy, I guess you could say its sort of a family tradition in the Matheson clan.

But as Dana pointed out to me over the holidays after he finished reading a book about the history of the Scots and the effect that they have had on the world, it seems that the Mathesons may have been involved in another kind of drug business, the Opium business to be exact.

So I decided to do a little research on the subject, I dug out my parents 'History of the Mathesons' book and did some searching around the net and bingo, its true! Back in the 1800's the Jardine Matheson Shipping Company operated out of India and they made a small fortune running Opium.

Alexander Matheson, who worked for the company, moved home to Scotland and built the semi-famous Duncraig Castle, near Plockton, with the money he made from the Opium trade. He also bought over 200,000 acres of land in the area, hoping one day to be able to walk from sea to sea across Scotland on Matheson land.

But soon after Alexander purchased the vast lands and built the castle, he went bankrupt and the family lost all what the Opium trade had brought them. I guess it is true, crime doesn't pay. In more recent times, the film Hamish MacBeth was shot inside Duncraig Castle, which still stands today. Here are a couple pictures of the area, they're beautiful!

So I stand corrected, all this time I've told people that the Mathesons have been in the drug business for four generations. How wrong I was? It turns out that the Mathesons have been in the drug business since the 1800's and counting. Now that's a family tradition!

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