Tartan Trewsday: Black Watch

November 4, 2014 • Post by:
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It’s been a very busy time at Royal & Plaid HQ over the past few weeks. We are gearing up for Christmas and have already had our first few international orders from Hong Kong, USA and Canada.

We’d like to talk about our best selling tartan the Black Watch Tartan.

The Black Watch is an infantry battalion of the Royal Regiment of Scotland, and has been since it’s inception in March 2006.

Prior to 2006 it was a regiment of the Royal Highlanders from 1881-1931, then the Royal Highland Regiment from 1931-2006.

Originally the regiment was formed as one of six ‘watch’ companies by General George Wade. The purpose of these regiments was to patrol the highlands of Scotland following the Jacobite rebellion, disarming highlanders, bringing criminals to justice and preventing further rebellion.

Out of the six watch companies, three were from Clan Campbell, one was from Clan Fraser, one from Clan Munro, and one from Clan Grant.

They became known as ‘Am Freiceadan Dubh’ in Gaelic, translated as ‘The Dark’ or ‘Black Watch’.

There are many theories behind their reason for wearing dark tartan, opposed to the brighter tartan of the Royal Stewart or the Menzies Dress Tartan.

Some believe that it referred to the black hearts of the pro-government militia, and were ‘enemies of true highland spirit’, whereas others believed it was due to their original duties of policing the highlands from ‘blackmail’. There were many others but all are theories with no solid evidence of being true.

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The Black Watch tartan is on the left, and the Douglas Tartan on the right.

The infamous bravery of the Black Watch regiment was first displayed in 1745 in the Battle of Fontenoy, which took place in what we know today as Belgium.

Since then, the regiment has had a major role in many well known conflicts such as World War I, the Korean War and the Iraq War in 2003.

This tartan has such depth in the history in Scotland, there simply isn’t enough we can say about this particular design.

The Black Watch Tartan is available on the Royal & Plaid website at £60.

Royal & Plaid colour – Blue/ Black and Green Military Tartan. Created in 1725

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