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Clans of the Month

Clan Douglas

Where were the Clan Douglas from?

Clan Douglas was one of the most powerful clans in Scotland but never powerful enough to be a threat to the Scottish monarchy. Clan Douglas was originally a lowland Clan with land in Lanarkshire but the Douglas territories extended throughout Scotland and even as far as France and Sweden. 

What is the Clan Douglas motto?

The Douglas Clan Motto is  “Jamais Arrière” which means “Never Behind”.

Who was Sir James Douglas?

During the War of Independence in the late 13th century, The "Good" Sir James Douglas or "Black Douglas'' became King Robert The Bruce’s most esteemed companion. Before the King died he requested that Black Douglas carry his heart to Jerusalem as a token of his unfulfilled ambition to go on crusade. Folklore says that on his way to the Holy Land, Black Douglas joined the Spanish in their fight against the Moorish and during one battle he threw the silver casket that contained Bruce's heart and shouted “Lead on, Brave Heart. Douglas will follow thee or die!”. Black Douglas died in battle during his quest and his bones as well as the King's heart were sent back to Scotland.

What does the Douglas tartan look like?

The Douglas tartans mainly consist of blues and greens in the modern and ancient variation. There are however grey, dark and weathered alternatives to the traditional tartan colours. The Modern Douglas is available in our hire tartans and is a very popular tartan for all occasions.  

Douglas Tartan - MacGregor and MacDuffClan MacGregor

What is the MacGregor Clan motto?

Clan MacGregor’s history is fraught with feuds and battles that made the clan one of the best known in Scotland. The clan's motto is 'S Rioghal Mo Dhream which translates to “Royal is my Race” which refers to claims of descent from Giogar, who was the son of the first king of Dalriada. 

Where were the Clan MacGregor Lands?

Clan MacGregor held lands in Argyll and Perthshire and had a longstanding feud with the neighbouring Clan Campbell. In the early 1600’s the name MacGregor was outlawed by King James VI due to a series of events that tempered the king and any new child born into the Clan would either denounce their name or face death. The MacGregor name survived and the MacGregors became prominent in fighting for Bonnie Prince Charlie during the Jacobite uprising. It wasn’t until 1784 that the ban was lifted and the MacGregor’s were officially allowed to use their name and were restored to the rights of British citizens.

Who is Rob Roy MacGregor?

Possibly the most famous MacGregor is Rob Roy Macgregor (1671 – 1734) who’s notariety came from being an outlaw with an unquenchable grudge towards the British. Stories and tales were written about Rob Roy MacGregor and you’ll find statues of him around the Loch Lomond & Trossachs National Park as well as at the foot of Stirling Castle.

What does the MacGregor tartan look like?

The MacGregor tartans consist primarily of reds and greens and are available in modern, ancient, hunting and muted variations. A Rob Roy MacGregor tartan is also available in either Modern or Ancient. Red and Hunting MacGregor tartans are available in our hire range and are a popular choice for all occasions. Although clan tartans were historically worn only by clan members, today the MacGregor tartan can be worn by anyone who wishes to do so.

MacGregor Tartan - MacGregor and MacDuff

Clan MacKenzie

What is the MacKenzie Clan motto?

Clan MacKenzie was a large highland Clan traditionally associated with Kintail and lands in Ross-shire. The MacKenzie Clan Motto is Luceo Non Uro (I shine, not burn) which makes reference to their drive to everything to the best of their abilities. 


What is the history of Clan MacKenzie?

The Mackenzies gained exceptional political eminence between the 15th and 17th century but the Clan was divided during the Jacobite uprising of 1745. Three highland MacKenzie companies were raised to fight alongside the british and a large number of Jacobite MacKenzies were prevented from joining the Jacobite army at Culloden after an attack from loyalist MacKay and Sutherland Highland Companies during their march towards the battle. 

Who was Roderick MacKenzie?

Although the Clan’s history is full of interesting MacKenzies, Roderick MacKenzie is arguably the most notable. A son of a goldsmith and jeweler, Roderick MacKenzie lived a quiet life until Prince Charles returned to Scotland to raise an army against the British. Roderick MacKenzie was a staunch Jacobite and became an officer in the Prince’s Life Guards. He bore an uncanny resemblance to Prince Charlie and became the Prince’s personal body guard and decoy. Sources say that after Culloden, while the Prince was on the run, Roderick MacKenzie dressed as the Prince and made himself visible to British troops. He drew the Redcoats away from the direction of the Prince and refused to surrender. He was riddled with bullets and it’s said that his last words were “You have murdered your Prince”. Roderick MacKenzies final act of bravery was enough to fool even the Duke Cumberland who reported to London that the Prince was dead. Prince Charlie was eventually able to escape Scotland unscathed.

What does the MacKenzie tartan look like?

The MacKenzie tartan consists of predominantly blues and greens and is available in ancient and modern variations. There is also a hunting alternative that consists of earthy colours which would have been used to blend into the terrain while out hunting for game. Modern MacKenzie tartan is available in our hire range and is a great choice for any occasion. 

MacKenzie Tartan - MacGregor and MacDuffClan Ramsey

Where was the Clan Ramsay land?

Clan Ramsey is one of Scotland's older Clans with the name first being documented in 1124 when Simon de Ramsay travelled north with the Earl of Huntingdon. Simon de Ramsay was granted lands in Lothian but the Clan over time spread throughout Scotland. 

What is the Clan Ramsay motto?

The Ramsay Clan Mottos is “Ora Et Labora” which means “Pray and labour”. The Ramsay Clan has a history of being loyal fighters and helped maintain Robert Bruce's seat on the Scottish throne. Sir Alexander Ramsay of Dalhousie became a renowned knight of the fourteenth century for raising the siege of Dunbar in 1338, and for orchestrating sneak attacks against the English.

What does the Ramsay tartan look like?

The Ramsay Clan has two main variations to their tartan. There is the traditional Ramsay modern and ancient tartans which are red and black and there is the Blue Ramsay variation which consists of Blue and black. Blue Ramsay is an available tartan in our hire range which works very well with a navy blue jacket like our Arran jacket, which is also available for hire. 

Ramsay Tartan - MacGregor and MacDuffThe Black Watch

What is The Black Watch?

Although the Black Watch are not a traditional Scottish clan as such, they have been known as a Clan of service within the British Army. The regiment was originally created in the 1700’s to police the highlands of Scotland and to stop clashes between rival Clans. The name The Black Watch was derived from the dark colour of the tartan and it’s original role of the regiment to watch the Highlanders. The name remained over time and was officially recognised within the British Army.

Why was The Black Watch created?

The Black watch was originally meant to be a Scottish force that would stay in Scotland but soon after its formation, in 1743, the regiment was ordered to march to London to be inspected by the King. During their march to London, rumour got round the troops that they weren’t to be inspected by the King but instead they were being shipped to the West Indies. This resulted in over a hundred men turning away and walking by night back to Scotland. These men were captured and court-martialed with three of the men who instigated the mutiny being shot. The rest of the men were indeed shipped away, but to Flanders to fight the French and not the West Indies. To this day there is still speculation that if The Black Watch had stayed in the Highlands, they may have been able to stop the Jacobite rebellion before the battle of Culloden. 

What does The Black Watch tartan look like?

The Black Watch regiment has been involved in every major British war from the Napoleonic Wars in the 1800’s to the Iraq war in the 2000’s. Today The Black Watch is officially known as 3rd Battalion of the Royal Regiment of Scotland. Originally the regimental Black Watch tartan kilts would have been with 12 yards of material but 7 or 8 yard Black Watch kilts are much more common today. The modern Black Watch tartan consists of mainly dark blues and blacks with the ancient variant being slightly lighter. Black Watch tartan is available in our hire tartan range and is a very common choice for all occasions. 

Black Watch - MacGregor and MacDuff