Motto – The Lord Made
According to legend, William the Lion, King of Scotland was alarmed by a wild boar and Baird who was a follower in the King’s party, needed only one arrow to slay the animal. Bairds service to his King was rewarded with lands and assigned a Coat of Arms which displayed a wild boar. In the 13th century lands were held by the clan in Biggar, Lanarkshire however Robert the Bruce bestowed lands in the 14th century at Meikle and Little Kyp, also in Lanarkshire.
As the family expanded, the Baird clan came to occupy lands in Auchmedden in Aberdeenshire. In the churchyard at Banfff, the Baird Coat of Arms can still be seen in an ancient monument to the Bairds of Auchmeddan. These estates have now passed into the hands of the Earls of Aberdeen.
Royal & Plaid colour – Navy, green and purple Tartan. Recorded in 1906.
Black Stewart Tartan
Motto – Courage Grows Strong at a Wound
The Black Stewart tartan is a predominantly black and red tartan with blue, green, yellow and white. This West Highland family descends from Sir James Stewart of Pierson who was descended from the 4th High Steward of Scotland. For a time they were Lords of Lorne and weer of importance in their Western territory. They were Royalists and fought valiantly for the Royal Stewarts. Duncan Stewart, 2nd of Appin, was Chamberlain of the Isles to King James IV. They fought under Montrose at the Battle of Inverlochy, and in the Jacobite army at Sheriffmuir in 1715. During the 1745 Rising the clan served in Prince Charlie’s army. The 9th chief sold the estate in 1765.
Royal & Plaid colour – Black and Red with Blue, Green, Yellow and White Tartan. Created in 1830’s.
Black Watch Tartan
Motto – No One Provokes Me With Impunity
Officially termed the Government Tartan, for over 270 years this famous plaid has been worn by Scottish Soldiers, most recently by the Royal Regiment of Scotland founded in 2006. Its origins date back to 1725 when on the advice of Captain Wade, Commander in Chief of North Britain, King George I ordered a raising of a ‘Watch’ comprising six Independent Companies and a uniform “to provide Plaid Cloathing and Bonnets in the Highland Dress”. Through the centuries, the tartan known as Black Watch has been worn widely by Highland Military units, from Rob Roy’s sons in the Independent Companies and by The Thin Red Line at Balaklava. This elegant plaid has long been a symbol of loyalty, courage and sacrifice.
Royal & Plaid colour – Blue/ Black and Green Military Tartan. Created in 1725
Motto – Never Behind
Although William of Douglas name appears in charters around 1175, ‘The Good’ Sir James Douglas as he was known was regarded the greatest Captain under Robert the Bruce in the War of Independence and is regarded as the third of Scotland’s First Patriots only after Bruce and William Wallace. The House of Douglas expanded its power and properties hugely. The Good Sir James died in 1330, while attempting to reach The Holy Lands. Various generations were slain by the English at battle, the 4th Earl being killed fighting the English with France’s Charles VIIand his young grandsons were tried and murdered at Edinburgh Castle. James, the 7th Earl was a voilent man and created many enemies with the 8th Earl being stabbed to Death King James II. Within 3 years, the Douglas Estate was all but gone following accusations of treason by the King.
Royal & Plaid colour – Green/Navy Shades with White Tartan. Created in 1819.
Granite Grey Tartan
For those wishing to embrace the growing popularity of plaid as a form of elegant and sophisticated fashion wear, Royal & Plaid are delighted to offer the Granite Grey tartan. With hard granite rock being the predominant composition of the hills and mountains of Royal Deeside, or seen when journeying from Perth up to Inverness, these colours are synomonous with the Scottish landscapes. Granite Grey plaid is perfect for those who may not have a strong or identifiable clan tartan connection.
Royal & Plaid colour – Grey, Dark and Light Grey Tartan with thin White stripe. Created in 2005.
Motto – By sea and by land
In the 12th century, some fifty years after the islands off the west Coast of Scotland and the Kintyre Penisula were claimed by Magnus Barefoot, King of Norway, King Somerled, the Lord of the Isles, took the islands back. When he was killed in 1164, his son Dougall succeeded and the Clan Macdougall was formed. From Dougall’s son Ranald came a grandson Donald of Islay, the progenitor of the mighty Clan Macdonald. They became one of the most powerful of the Highland Clans and held extensive lands. However when anarchy and violence swept into the Highlands around 1495, the MacDonalds lands were diminished by raiding from the Campbells and Gordons clans.
Royal & Plaid colour – Green, Black with Red Stripe Tartan. Recorded in 1819.
Motto – Courage Grows Strong at a Wound
At the height of their influence, the clan was once the most powerful of clans in Northern Scotland. Thought to descend from the ancient Royal House of Lorn, the Mackenzies held lands in Ross-shire, stretching from the outer Hebrides in the west, to the Black Isle in the east. After the Battle of Largs in 1263 which ended the Norwegian/Norse threat to Scotland, the clan were appointed part of the Royal Bodygaurd, an honour they retained until the Battle of Flodden in 1513. The western stronghold of the clan Mackenzie was at Eilean Donan Castle at the mouth of Loch Duich in Kintail.
They were extremely loyal to the Stewart monarchy and were rewarded for it by being appointed Earls of Seaforth, the 4th Earl following James VII to Ireland and France where he died in exile. The plaid is the regimental tartan of the Seaforth highlanders which was raised in 1778 and worn by members of the Royal Military College of Canada Pipes and Drums Band.
Royal & Plaid colour – Green, Navy with Red and White Stripe Tartan. Recorded in 1816.
Menzies Dress Tartan
Motto – With God I Shall
Originally the Mesnieres in Normandy, France, the family name was transformed to Manners, the Dukes of Rutland surname. A branch of this family moved to the Scottish Lothians and gradually into the Highlands of Scotland, where they became first known as Meyneris and eventually as Menzies. Robert de Meyneris rose to the heights of Chamberlain in Scotland in 1249. The Menzies family established the earldom of Atholl and gained further success through their support of Robert the Bruce. Colonel James Menzies was responsible for bringing the Larch tree to Scotland which now flourishes in the Highlands. Menzies Castle, the family seat, was used in World War II as a Polish Army Medical Stores Department and before falling into ruin has been rescued by the Clan Menzies society for restoration.
Royal & Plaid colour – Black/White with Red Thread Tartan. Created in 1934.
Royal Stewart Tartan
Motto – Courage Grows Strong at a Wound
The best known of all Scottish plaid, Royal Stewart is the tartan of the Royal House of Stewart (or Stuart) and the personal tartan of Her Majesty the Queen. The Royal House of Stewart is the story of Scotland from the 12th century, when ancestors from Brittany had held the office of High Steward of Scotland. Founded by Robert II of Scotland, the Stewarts first became Monarchs of the Kingdom of Scotland during the late 14th century with nine monarchs ruling from 1371 to 1603 and six of them ruling England and Ireland as well during that time.
The majority of Stewart Monarchs came to violet ends; James I was murdered at Perth in 1437, James II was killed by a bursting canon at the Siege of Roxburghe castle in 1460 and James III died as he fled from the battlefield of Sauchieburn in 1488. Under their reign however Scotland developed from a relatively poor and feudal country into a prosperous and modern state and ruled during a time of European history of transition from the Middle Ages to the Renaissance.
The plaid is now regarded as a Universal tartan and can be worn by anyone who has no clan tartan. It is reputed to have been worn by one of Bonnie Prince Charlies followers in the 1745 rebellion.
Royal & Plaid colour –Red with Blue, Yellow, Green & White Tartan. Created in 1800