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A Brief History of 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 its original role of the regiment to watch the Highlanders. The name remained over time and was officially recognised within the British Army.
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.
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.