Clan CrestThe Clan McLea/Livingstone Forum

Code of
Title: Lord MacDonald's Response
Posted by: Donald (Livingstone) CLink
Date: 30 November 2006

On the 8th of April 1815 the Highland Society of London decided to contact clan chiefs and request tartan samples. In their words the chiefs would be "respectively solicited to furnish to society with as much of tartan of his lordships clan as will show the pattern and to authenticate the same by attaching thereunto a card bearing the impression of his lordship's arms". Each sample was to be indentified by the chiefs seal and signature. 

As Blair Urquart however points out his 1994 book "Tartans" more than a few chiefs upon receiving correspondence from the Society in 1815, were interested in the project but not honestly certain of their Clan tartan. Here is an extract of Lord MacDonald's reponse to the Society from the Urquart book. 

Lord MacDonald's Reply To the Highland Society

                              October 1st 1815

Dear Sir, 

A resolution of the Highland Society of London has just been transmitted to me, and appears to be the anxious wish of the Society to collect patterns duly authenticated of all different tartans. THey have requested that I should forward mine when I should find it convenient......

Being really ignorant of what is exactly the Macdonald Tartan, I request you will the goodness to exert every means in your power to obtain a perfectly genuine pattern, such as will warrant me in authenticating it my arms. Perhaps Sir John Murray may be able to put you in the way of gaining some information. I request that you will pay immediately into the hands of Mr Lewis Gordon the secretary of the Highland Society of Edinburgh the sum of twenty guineas as my contribution for defraying the expenses of the compilation and publication of a Scoto-Gaelic dictionary. 

I remain Dr Sir

most faithfully


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