Make your own free website on Tripod.com
 
FAMILY TREE INDEX  |  TAYLOR INDEX
HAMILTON HISTORY   |  HAMILTON HISTORICAL PLACES
SHAWS IN AMERICA  |  THE CLAN SHAW

The Hamilton Tartans

"Every isle differs from each other in their fancy of making plads, as to the stripes and Breath and Colours. This Humour is as different thro the main land of the Highlands in-so-far that they who have seen those places, are able at the first view of a man's plad, to guess the place of his residence....". So said Martin Martin writing in 1703, making the first documented reference to tartan as a means of identification.

It is now generally accepted that clan tartans were established and named toward the end of the 18th century. Prior to that, while clan, district and tartan were often closely associated, the idea of a single uniform tartan had not yet emerged. Do not assume, however, that the tartan patterns were created at that time. William Wilson, the foremost weaving manufacturer since
c.1770, took a great interest in reproducing "perfectly genuine patterns" and engaged in extensive correspondence with his Highland agents to gather information and actual samples of the cloth woven in the clan districts. (Source:"Identifying Tartan" by Blair Urquart)

As a lowland family, the Hamiltons probably did not wear the tartan or kilt in ancient times. However, there is ample evidence that they did wear both at least as early as the 18th century. Paintings of that period show the Duke of Hamilton, in his role as Keeper of Holyroodhouse and the Premier Duke of Scotland, wearing tartan kilts on ceremonial occasions.

The Hamilton Tartan consists of three broad blue stripes crossing three broad blue stripes formed by single thin white stripes. This same pattern, or sett, is carried on a field of red (Dress) or green (Hunting).
 
 

Ancient Dress
Ancient Hunting

As the wool in older times was dyed with natural vegetable dyes, these colors were much more subdued and muted. This has led to the terms "Ancient" or "Muted" when naming tartans of this type.
 

Modern Dress
Modern Hunting

Material colored with modern dyes is much darker and much brighter and are likewise termed "Modern".
 
 

FAMILY TREE INDEX  |  TAYLOR INDEX
HAMILTON HISTORY   |  HAMILTON HISTORICAL PLACES
SHAWS IN AMERICA  |  THE CLAN SHAW