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  1. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by bdkilted View Post
    Just to muddy the waters further....
    I read a report several years ago that the original name for the Black Watch was the Keith-Campbell highlanders (of whom the Campbells made up the greater members). The Black Watch tartan is the same as the Keith modern tartan, but with colors switched, (and Campbell is very similar also in ancient).
    I wish I could remember what book it was that I read this, but ...
    As has been mentioned, the 87th (Keith's Highlanders) were a different regiment to the 43rd (later 42nd) or Black Watch.

    Whilst the 87th, like the majority of early Highland regiments, wore the Government tartan, it is not the same as the Keith tartan. Nor is the latter a colour reversal of the former, the colours are the same but the pattern quite different.
    Click image for larger version. 

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    The Keith tartan was an early 19th century fancy pattern by Wilsons of Bannockburn who called it No.75 or Austin. It didn't become Keith until c1840.

    Finally, the Campbell tartan is not similar, it is the same design. Shades do not affect the pattern and older versions of the Black Watch tartan were much lighter than the darker version latterly worn by the regiment.

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  3. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by figheadair View Post
    Sorry Blaidd but I have to take issue with some of your reply.



    This is one of the stories about its origins. Unfortunately, hard facts don't exist to support this. May have been worn, yes; but was worn, there is no evidence.



    It is not certain that the Strathspey weavers wove the material for all the HICs. It's entirely possible that they only wove for the northern companies and that the companies raised by the Campbells had their material woven elsewhere.



    Believed by whom? There is no evidence to support the Grants having worn this prior to its adoption by the regiment. The name Grant, Hunting comes from a collection formed in 1810.



    The Campbells have claimed it as such for many years but again, there is no proof.



    At risk of being pedantic, it was the six Scottish regular army infantry regiments, plus the two Territorial ones.
    Thank you for the input. As I caveated, I am no expert (was only ever attached to elements of the Bn, never badged), and also there is much, shall we say, 'confusion' rather than 'argument' over the origins (something openly quoted to me by said elements ).....this thread supports that particular notion. Hence, my inclusion of the official BW website for clarity. I gladly acquiesce to your greater informed knowledge. Every day is a school day.
    Dduw Bendithia pob Celtiaid

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  5. #13
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    There is a very interesting book about of origin of Black Watch tartan: "The origin and development of military tartans : A re-appraisal" by James D. Scarlett, MBE (1920–2008).
    As far as I know this is a latest research for this topic.
    I found this book quite interesting and deep.

    Now I will quote from https://albanach.org/the-military-or...s-f3a255f41828 :

    "This thin volume (only 48 pages) is ground breaking in many ways. It represents a complete reexamination of what we know (and what we do not know) concerning the origins of the Scottish military tartans, most especially the Black Watch and those tartans derived from it.
    In his prologue, Jamie begins by recounting what so many of us have heard regarding the origins of the Black Watch tartan. “The received history of military tartans, which varies somewhat with the teller, is that the Highland Independent Companies at first wore their Clan tartans and that when they were embodied into the new Highland regiment they were given a new tartan, the Black Watch, which is supposed to be an old Campbell pattern, chosen because the majority of the commanders of the Independent Companies were Campbells.”
    However, as the author points out, we now know that there is no evidence at all that clans wore uniform, identifying tartan patterns prior to 1745. Therefore the “received history” as recounted above needs some rethinking. The interested reader is directed towards the book, but a summation here will suffice. Scarlett cites an order of General Wade dated 15 May 1725 as evidence that the Independent Companies at that time were wearing their own tartans, most likely of the dark blue/black/green variety differenced with some colored overcheck. These were not clan tartans.
    By 1733 the Companies wore a single tartan, common to all. Scarlett writes, “There is no information on the pattern, save that is was not Black Watch.” He dates the origin of the unique (at the time) Black Watch tartan to about 1749 with the re-numbering of the Regiment.
    Scarlett’s research indicates quite strongly that the distinctive pattern of the Black Watch tartan was a new one created at the time to be distinct from other Highland tartans. This would mean that other tartans that are variations of the Black Watch would have necessarily come after it, not before. This includes not only obvious Black Watch variants, such as the Gordon or MacKenzie tartans; but also other less-obvious variants, including MacLachlan, MacNab, and Hunting MacRae."
    Last edited by blackwatch70; 22nd January 20 at 08:27 AM.

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  7. #14
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    Fascinating. Thanks!

    Quote Originally Posted by blackwatch70 View Post
    There is a very interesting book about of origin of Black Watch tartan: "The origin and development military tartans : A re-appraisal" by James D. Scarlett, MBE (1920–2008).
    As far as I know this is a latest research for this topic.
    I found this book quite interesting and deep.

    Now I will quote from https://albanach.org/the-military-or...s-f3a255f41828 :

    "This thin volume (only 48 pages) is ground breaking in many ways. It represents a complete reexamination of what we know (and what we do not know) concerning the origins of the Scottish military tartans, most especially the Black Watch and those tartans derived from it.
    In his prologue, Jamie begins by recounting what so many of us have heard regarding the origins of the Black Watch tartan. “The received history of military tartans, which varies somewhat with the teller, is that the Highland Independent Companies at first wore their Clan tartans and that when they were embodied into the new Highland regiment they were given a new tartan, the Black Watch, which is supposed to be an old Campbell pattern, chosen because the majority of the commanders of the Independent Companies were Campbells.”
    However, as the author points out, we now know that there is no evidence at all that clans wore uniform, identifying tartan patterns prior to 1745. Therefore the “received history” as recounted above needs some rethinking. The interested reader is directed towards the book, but a summation here will suffice. Scarlett cites an order of General Wade dated 15 May 1725 as evidence that the Independent Companies at that time were wearing their own tartans, most likely of the dark blue/black/green variety differenced with some colored overcheck. These were not clan tartans.
    By 1733 the Companies wore a single tartan, common to all. Scarlett writes, “There is no information on the pattern, save that is was not Black Watch.” He dates the origin of the unique (at the time) Black Watch tartan to about 1749 with the re-numbering of the Regiment.
    Scarlett’s research indicates quite strongly that the distinctive pattern of the Black Watch tartan was a new one created at the time to be distinct from other Highland tartans. This would mean that other tartans that are variations of the Black Watch would have necessarily come after it, not before. This includes not only obvious Black Watch variants, such as the Gordon or MacKenzie tartans; but also other less-obvious variants, including MacLachlan, MacNab, and Hunting MacRae."

  8. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by blackwatch70 View Post
    There is a very interesting book about of origin of Black Watch tartan: "The origin and development of military tartans : A re-appraisal" by James D. Scarlett, MBE (1920–2008).
    As far as I know this is a latest research for this topic.
    I found this book quite interesting and deep.

    Now I will quote from https://albanach.org/the-military-or...s-f3a255f41828 :

    "This thin volume (only 48 pages) is ground breaking in many ways. It represents a complete reexamination of what we know (and what we do not know) concerning the origins of the Scottish military tartans, most especially the Black Watch and those tartans derived from it.
    In his prologue, Jamie begins by recounting what so many of us have heard regarding the origins of the Black Watch tartan. “The received history of military tartans, which varies somewhat with the teller, is that the Highland Independent Companies at first wore their Clan tartans and that when they were embodied into the new Highland regiment they were given a new tartan, the Black Watch, which is supposed to be an old Campbell pattern, chosen because the majority of the commanders of the Independent Companies were Campbells.”
    However, as the author points out, we now know that there is no evidence at all that clans wore uniform, identifying tartan patterns prior to 1745. Therefore the “received history” as recounted above needs some rethinking. The interested reader is directed towards the book, but a summation here will suffice. Scarlett cites an order of General Wade dated 15 May 1725 as evidence that the Independent Companies at that time were wearing their own tartans, most likely of the dark blue/black/green variety differenced with some colored overcheck. These were not clan tartans.
    By 1733 the Companies wore a single tartan, common to all. Scarlett writes, “There is no information on the pattern, save that is was not Black Watch.” He dates the origin of the unique (at the time) Black Watch tartan to about 1749 with the re-numbering of the Regiment.
    Scarlett’s research indicates quite strongly that the distinctive pattern of the Black Watch tartan was a new one created at the time to be distinct from other Highland tartans. This would mean that other tartans that are variations of the Black Watch would have necessarily come after it, not before. This includes not only obvious Black Watch variants, such as the Gordon or MacKenzie tartans; but also other less-obvious variants, including MacLachlan, MacNab, and Hunting MacRae."
    There is quite a bit of more recent research into the Black Watch, but little has been published directly. In the intervening 35+ years Scarlett's work, some of his conclusions have been overtaken by later findings. Similarly, some of comments in the Albanach piece are at odds with some recent research.

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  10. #16
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    What jumps out to my eye in all this discussion is speaking of various Clan tartans as if a modern Clan tartan system was in place in the first quarter of the 18th century.
    Proud Mountaineer from the Highlands of West Virginia; son of the Revolution and Civil War; first Europeans on the Guyandotte

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  12. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by OC Richard View Post
    What jumps out to my eye in all this discussion is speaking of various Clan tartans as if a modern Clan tartan system was in place in the first quarter of the 18th century.
    And the thinking that the Clan system was something that was 'set in stone' or that you could make a list of them. The Clans were always in flux. Changing in name, area, and influence.
    Even if someone were to compile a list of the different Clans, that list would be totally outdated in just a few years.

    And don't even get our esteemed scholars started on the idea of Septs.
    Last edited by Steve Ashton; 26th January 20 at 09:12 PM.
    Steve Ashton
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  14. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by Steve Ashton View Post
    And the thinking that the Clan system was something that was 'set in stone' or that you could make a list of them. The Clans were always in flux. Changing in name, area, and influence.
    Even if someone were to compile a list of the different Clans, that list would be totally outdated in just a few years.

    And don't even get our esteemed scholars started on the idea of Septs.
    Oh, please, get started on "septs"!

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