Thursday, 9th February, 1988Clare College
8.45 p.m.
DR Gordon Teall of Teallach
Chairman of the Scottish Tartans Society
Evolution not Invention: A reply to Hugh Trevor-Roper
D. Mark Collins
Eirwen Read
Andrew Robinson (Magd.)
Stephen Oliver
Toby Wilkinson
Patrick Little
John Brimacombe
James Sergeant
John Horton
Thomas Knollys
Gordon Wright
Philippa Wright
Michael Davies
Ross Clark
David Babington-Smith
Gordon Teall of Teallach
Las au Teallach

DR Teall established that the Scottish do not ascribe antiquity to tartans but try to find their origins and put paid to the myth that they are a modern invention designed during the nineteenth century. The first mention of the tartan is in fact in 1538; they were originally "big wraps", but the early 18th C saw the introduction of the "little wrap" which is the precursor of the modern kilt. The kilt was banned from 1747-82 as a result of Culloden and the Jacobite Rebellion. Tartan was manufactured, however, and was usually identified by district. After about 1750, families adopted specific patterns, often from portraits, and so by 1815 there were about thirty-five tartans established. 1770-1820 was a fertile period and the clans took up patterns of predominantly greens and red; more recently tartans have been developed for countries abroad and for places closer to home such as the Isle of Man.

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