The 19th Century

The Visit of George IV

In 1822, George IV became the first British monarch to visit Scotland since Charles II in 1660. Sir Walter Scott, a major preserver of Scottish identity, had suggested "Let every man wear his tartan", which caused a very practical and hasty search to identify and manufacture patterns for every name. Some Chiefs created quite a show and the whole event became a recognition of uniquely Scottish cultural forms.

James Logan

The Highland Society subsidised an important piece of independent research, which led after five years research to the publication of James Logan's book The Scottish Gael or Celtic Manners, as Preserved among the Highlanders (1831).

Whilst Logan had been on the tartan trail in the Highlands, he requested tartans with clan and family names from Wilson's and used many of the Highland Society specimens. The work has become the best finished recording of Highland clan tartans.

Robert Ranald MacIan

MacIan was an artist who tried to capture the feeling of Highland Dress as worn, portraying tartan patterns on the garments. He collaborated with his friend and colleague, James Logan, who wrote a significant text to accompany each illustration published in 1845 and 1847. Some new tartans appeared in the work and have become established designs. The book, called The Clans of the Scottish Highlands is interesting as the first clan encyclopaedia, attempting to collect historic, heraldic and tartan information.

Continued: More on the 19th Century