This clan is reported to have had 2,000 fighting men in 1427. The two main branches were Matheson of Shiness, in Sutherland, and Matheson of Lochalsh. Donald, of the Lochalsh branch, was Constable of Eilean Donan Castle in 1539. There were other notable branches, including Bennetsfield in the Black Isle, Ross-shire. The estate of Attadale was purchased by John Matheson of Lochalsh in 1730. Sir Alexander Matheson, of the Lochalsh branch, became 1st Baronet of Lochalsh in 1882. He made a considerable fortune in the East. He bought estates in Ross-shire and spent almost one million pounds on their purchase and improvement.