This week we feature a tartan with an interesting history.
According to Scottish legend, William the Lion, King of Scotland, was saved by Baird, a follower in the King’s party, when he was alarmed by a wild boar, using only one arrow to save the King.
As a reward for his bravery and service, Baird was awarded lands and was assigned a Coat of Arms by the King himself. The Coat of Arms displays a wild boar.
This is widely regarded as myth, mainly for the reason that William the Lion, or Uilleam Garbh (William the Wild One in Gaelic), was known for being in the lead into a battle against the English, so it seemed farfetched that he would need protection from a wild boar while hunting.
In the 13th Century, the Baird clan held lands in Lanarkshire, and in the 14th century Robert the Bruce bestowed lands at Meikle and Little Kyp to Richard Baird.
Their reach through Scotland grew as the family itself expanded, with the Baird clan occupying lands in Auchmeddan in Aberdeenshire.
They were one of the most influential families in Scotland during the 18th & 19th century. The Bairds of Saughtonhall and Newbyth came to power in the British Military, which led to them leading the entire British Armed Forces, while maintaining key leadership positions during the Napoleonic war. As well as this they were also heavily involved in Scottish politics.
The Scottish Bairds joined the United States Army during the US Civil War, and fought in the only kilted Scottish-American regiment of that time.
This regiment was created in the state of New York in 1860. The unit was made up of both Scots that had immigrated to the US and also descendants of Scottish immigrants, among other nationalities as well. They called themselves 79th Cameron Highlanders. They were a kilted regiment but also wore tartan trews.
The Baird Tartan is available on the Royal & Plaid website at £60.
Royal & Plaid colour – Navy, green and purple Tartan. Recorded in 1906
Royal & Plaid Cap.
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