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  1. #1
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    why black watch?

    Hi Serial Kilters! i notice that a lot of clans use black watch as the basis for there tartan.(like grant, gordon, campbell, mackenzie, etc) is there a reason to why so many clans use black watch? was it because so many clans served with them? Curious to find out. thanks
    the provincial representative of ontario for the canadien branch of clan logan

    Hoc Majorum Virtus ( This is the valour of my ancestors)

  2. #2
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    Quote Originally Posted by Patty1059 View Post
    Hi Serial Kilters! i notice that a lot of clans use black watch as the basis for there tartan.(like grant, gordon, campbell, mackenzie, etc) is there a reason to why so many clans use black watch? was it because so many clans served with them? Curious to find out. thanks
    Grant, Campbell and Sutherland are the same as the Black Watch (Government) tartan. Other regiments adopted the Government tartan with the colour of one or more stripes changed. Often, the clans whose chief originally raised a particular regiment adopted that tartan, hence 77th = Murray of Atholl, 92nd = Gordon, 93rd = Sutherland.

  3. The Following 6 Users say 'Aye' to figheadair For This Useful Post:


  4. #3
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    thanks! varry interesting!
    the provincial representative of ontario for the canadien branch of clan logan

    Hoc Majorum Virtus ( This is the valour of my ancestors)

  5. #4
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    In the 18th century quite a few Highland regiments were raised and generally they all wore the "government" tartan which we call Black Watch.

    The military red coats had contrasting lapels and cuffs called "facings" which were a variety of colours (yellow, white, green, blue, buff) and when the Gordon Highlanders were raised and were going to use yellow facings they decided to add a yellow stripe to the government tartan. What's cool in that particular case is that the correspondence has survived: the weaver made samples showing various ways the yellow stripe could be placed.

    Peter would know- have these samples survived? It would be interesting to see what the ones they didn't go with looked like.

    Then there are tartans that at first glance are totally different from Black Watch, but when compared are seen to be Black Watch with a series of colour substitutions (or nearly so) like Fraser:

    http://www.xmarksthescot.com/forum/f...-tartan-94401/
    Last edited by OC Richard; 26th May 20 at 09:11 AM.
    Proud Mountaineer from the Highlands of West Virginia; son of the Revolution and Civil War; first Europeans on the Guyandotte

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  7. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by OC Richard View Post
    and when the Gordon Highlanders were raised and were going to use yellow facings they decided to add a yellow stripe to the government tartan. What's cool in that particular case is that the correspondence has survived: the weaver made samples showing various ways the yellow stripe could be placed.

    Peter would know- have these samples survived? It would be interesting to see what the ones they didn't go with looked like.
    I'd seen the transcribed correspondence (not sure where the original is) but don't know if any specimens survived. I've read that the request was for the Governemnt tartan varied with one, two and three, yellow stripes. The first is what was adopted and is today the clan tartan, the third is what is known as Gordon of Esslemont. I don't think that the two line version survived contact and was never adopte

    Then there are tartans that at first glance are totally different from Black Watch, but when compared are seen to be Black Watch with a series of colour substitutions (or nearly so) like Fraser:

    http://www.xmarksthescot.com/forum/f...-tartan-94401/
    The Fraser is not an exact translation in that it only has pairs of three stripes on the open ground, not the usual four. True colour changes included MacNab and MacLachlan.

  8. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by figheadair View Post
    Grant, Campbell and Sutherland are the same as the Black Watch (Government) tartan. Other regiments adopted the Government tartan with the colour of one or more stripes changed. Often, the clans whose chief originally raised a particular regiment adopted that tartan, hence 77th = Murray of Atholl, 92nd = Gordon, 93rd = Sutherland.
    78th = MacKenzie (Black Watch with white and red stripes), 74th Highlanders and Liverpool Scottish = Lamont (Black Watch with white stripe), 91st = Campbell of Cawdor (Black Watch with red and light-blue stripes).

  9. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by blackwatch70 View Post
    78th = MacKenzie (Black Watch with white and red stripes), 74th Highlanders and Liverpool Scottish = Lamont (Black Watch with white stripe), 91st = Campbell of Cawdor (Black Watch with red and light-blue stripes).
    Yes, yes and no. The Campbell of Cawdor is not a 42nd based sett, it has no alternating 2/4 fine lines. It started life as Wilsons' Pattern No.230 or Argyll.

  10. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by figheadair View Post
    The Campbell of Cawdor is not a 42nd based sett, it has no alternating 2/4 fine lines. It started life as Wilsons' Pattern No.230 or Argyll.
    Yes , You are correct!

    and one more my mistake - Liverpool Scottish = Forbes tartan (BW with white stripe between 2 fine black lines on green).
    Last edited by blackwatch70; 24th July 20 at 03:54 AM.

  11. #9
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    When the 91st regained some measure of Highland Dress, in 1864, I have read that the tartan was "an east country setting of the Campbell tartan with a red line added".

    What does that mean?

    Also that in 1881 when the 91st became the 1st Battalion Argyll & Sutherland Highlanders, and were put in kilts, the Battalion had a large quantity of the red-stripe tartan to hand so that the 1st Battalion's kilts had the red line until around 1883.

    Be that as it may, a number of paintings clearly show the red line in the tartan of the 91st.

    Didn't some of the 42nd's kilts have the red line, back in the 18th century?
    Proud Mountaineer from the Highlands of West Virginia; son of the Revolution and Civil War; first Europeans on the Guyandotte

  12. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by OC Richard View Post
    When the 91st regained some measure of Highland Dress, in 1864, I have read that the tartan was "an east country setting of the Campbell tartan with a red line added".

    What does that mean?
    I am unfamiliar with this reference but the term is meaningless; there is no such thing as an east country setting of the Campbell tartan by which of course the writer must have meant the 42nd/Government tartan. Add a red line only and it becomes Murray, two red lines, Murray of Atholl.

    Also that in 1881 when the 91st became the 1st Battalion Argyll & Sutherland Highlanders, and were put in kilts, the Battalion had a large quantity of the red-stripe tartan to hand so that the 1st Battalion's kilts had the red line until around 1883.
    I'd like to see evidence for this.

    Be that as it may, a number of paintings clearly show the red line in the tartan of the 91st.
    Which?

    Didn't some of the 42nd's kilts have the red line, back in the 18th century?
    Yes, in the late 18th century. Wilsons called this setting Coarse Kilt with Red. It is a simpler setting that the 42nd, more like the Campbell of Cawdor, originally called Argyll.

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