Tuesday, January 7, 2014

My Plaid Relatives

My Uriah

Uriah Sutherland; how's that for a name?
He was an ancestor of my mother who came from Scotland in the mid-1700s.
(My great-grandmother's name was Virginia Sutherland.)

Was Uriah part of the Highland Clearances, the forced eviction of the crofters, or small tenant farmers, to make way for more profitable big sheep farms? I don't know, but the timing fits.

You can read about how nasty the clearances (and other highland events) were in the book Gloomy Memories in the Highlands of Scotland (1841--PDF available) by Donald Mcleod. 
Sicily has nothing on Scotland for nastiness.

The Sutherland Tartan

I always figured Clan Sutherland was from southern Scotland, but they are northern highlanders whose name refers to being south of the Orkneys and Norway.

Anyway, pondering plaids in recent days, I decided to look up the Sutherland tartan.

There are a few of them, actually.
I like this one (right),
which "one can be certain... was possibly" worn before 1746.

And why mention 1746? Because that's the date of the Dress Act, that made it illegal to wear highland tartans because highland clans had supported Jacobitism––the movement to restore the exiled Stuarts (King James) to the throne.

(That reminds me of current debates about outlawing Islamic head coverings.)

Slashed Sleeves and Knee Socks
There are thousands of Sutherlands, and its unlikely I'm related to any laird...
But here's Kenneth Sutherland (Lord Duffus... what a name!), mentioned in the picture of the tartan above, dressed for hunting in complete highland dress.

He joined with the Jacobites, was imprisoned and lost all his land, then went into exile.

How 'bout those slashed sleeves? 

And those socks. I want those socks. (I guess they are called kilt hose, held up with garters.)


poodletail said...

Quel ensemble! I like Lord Duffus' outfit and would wear the whole kilt 'n kaboodle. I'm particularly in love with his various pouches & the satchel.

This plaid would suit you beautifully, fresca, as you look so good in red. Your red sweater at Christmas was the bomb!

Zhoen said...

Ever watched the tv series of Hamish Macbeth?