The Question of Clan Tartans
The earliest documented evidence of a Nicolson or MacNicol tartan is the drawing by McIan of a woman wearing a tartan shawl (1845-7). The illustrated tartan is not consistent and various interpretations are possible. The thread count used here is taken from a sample in the Scottish Tartans Society collection which is similar but not identical to the count recorded by D.C. Stewart (1950). The four by four red squares can be seen in tartans associated with the MacLeods. See MacNicol.
The source of tartan 498 was: STS Collection
From a kilt in the possession of the Aberdeen kiltmakers, Alex Scott and Company.
The source of tartan 322 was: A. & J. Scott, Aberdeen
The source of tartan 1988 was: Oban Times 1929
Given in 'The Highlander'
The source of tartan 1148 was: Attributed to J.G. MacKay
D.C. Stewart wrote concerning the MacNicol tartan, "Cloth has been woven purporting to show the correct sett, but the sett seems intended for that appearing in McIan's drawing, where no such claim is made for it. The drawing admits of many interpretations; the sett given here is one such reconstruction...". In 1980 the Nicholsons and the MacNicols became separate clans. When Lord Carnock was recognized as Chief of the Nicholsons, Lord Lyon accepted a petition from Ian Nicholson of Scorrybreac, Chief of the MacNicols.
The source of tartan 1004 was: 'The Setts..' No: 170 (1950) after McIan (1845)
This plate is taken from the manuscript of William and Andrew Smith's 'Authenticated Tartans of the Clans and Families of Scotland'. The Smith's sources included the findings of George Hunter, an Army clothier, who toured the Highlands in search of old tartans prior to 1822.
The source of tartan 871 was: Smith, Mauchline, 1850.
One of the variations deduced from the McIan drawing of 1845-7. This sett was woven by the Inverness Tweed Mill company in 1869. In 1980 the Nicholsons and the MacNicols became separate clans. When Lord Carnock was recognised as chief of the Nicolsons, Lord Lyon accepted the petition of Ian Nicholson of Scorrybreac, to change his name and re-matriculate his arms as Iain Macneacail of Macneacail and Scorrybreac. Thus the Skye MacNicols are now members of the Clan MacNeacail. See Nicholson.
The source of tartan 1508 was: Inverness Tweedmill Co.
The source of tartan 1156 was: MacGregor-Hastie Collection
The source of tartan 627 was: Dgn. Murdo MacLeod
The source of tartan 581 was: Wilson's of Bannockburn 1800
The source of tartan 570 was: Dgn. J. Scarlett
Designed after the tartan worn by Norman MacLeod, 22nd Chief of the clan, painted by Allan Ramsay in 1747, with the costume painted by Van Haecken (see details in entry for MacLeod 'Portrait'.) A yellow stripe was added by Ruairidh MacLeod to enhance the family resemblance to other MacLeod tartans, and to differentiate this from Murray of Tullibardine, the name now attached to the sett in the portrait. Approved by the Clan MacLeod Parliament in 1982.
The source of tartan 496 was: Dgn. Ruairidh MacLeod MSTS
The source of tartan 280 was: Provost MacBean Collection
The source of tartan 263 was: W & A K Johnston
This was designed to commemorate the centenary of the Clan MacLeod.
The source of tartan 2375 was: Rosemary Flemming and Derek McLeod
The source of tartan 1828 was: W & A K Johnston
Approved by Clan Chief. Based on MacLeod of Harris and Baillie MacLeod.
The source of tartan 1623 was: F.B. Cannonitto & Dalgleish
The source of tartan 1591 was: W & A K Johnston
This design appears in many early collections including Logans 'The Scottish Gael'(1831) and Smibert (1850). The sett has its source in the MacKenzie tartan used in 1777 by John MacKenzie called Lord MacLeod when he raised a regiment called 'Lord MacLeod's Highlanders'. The family claimed to be heirs of the last chief of Lewis, Roderick, who had died in 1595. (Tartans of Clan MacLeod. Rhuairidh MacLeod (1990).) This tartan was approved by the Chief Norman Magnus, 26th Chief, in 1910, and has been since the usual mode.
The source of tartan 1583 was: Logan
The source of tartan 1582 was: W & A K Johnston
The source of tartan 1278 was: Messrs Scott Adie of London
See illustration in Bain where red is 4 threads. Sir Thomas Dick Lauder in a letter to Sir Walter Scott in 1829 wrote, MacLeod has got a sketch of this splendid tartan, "three black stryps upon ain yellow fylde".
The source of tartan 1272 was: Vestiarium Scoticum 1842
In a portrait of the 24th chief, John Norman, painted posthumously (perhaps by Julius Jacobson, born 1811) in 1835, John Norman is shown in the costume worn for the visit of George IV to Edinburgh in 1822. The snuff-box may be evidence that the Vestiarium 'loud' design, which is very similar to that of the snuff box, had particular significance for John Norman or his wife, Ann Stephenson. (Ruairidh MacLeod, Tartans of Clan MacLeod, 1990.)
The source of tartan 1268 was: Dunvegan Castle
Very similar to the sett recorded by Rhuriah MacLeod from a sample in a collection made for the Great Exhibition in London in 1851, now held by the Smith Institute in Stirling. The samples, made by Wilson's of Bannockburn, were donated to the institute anonymously in 1930.
The source of tartan 1258 was: MacKinlay. Bannockburn Collection
From a portrait by Allan Ramsay 1748 of the 22nd Chief Norman MacLeod. (This sett is not in the portrait - this entry needs revision - or omission.)
The source of tartan 1183 was: Dunvegan Castle, Isle of Skye
MacLeod, who was MP for Inverness and voted against the Disarming Act of 1746, chose to be painted by Ramsay in tartan although the act made its wearing illegal. Ramsay painted the composition, face and hands, and the costume was added by Van Haecken from an 11 yard bolt of fabric ordered by MacLeod from Skye in 1747. The same fabric was also used by Van Haecken for portraits by Ramsay of John Campbell 4th Earl of Loudoun and of Sir Francis Charteris with his sister.
The source of tartan 1173 was: Dunvegan Castle
The thread count given is from the Provost MacBean Collection sample, which is very similar to to the sample in the collection of the Highland Society of London: K2 R18 K12 R2 K16. The design seems likely to be derived from the Vestiarium Scoticum, and would therefore be later than 1829.
The source of tartan 1172 was: Highland Society of London