06/10/2017 Share this story Share on Facebook icon Share on Twitter icon Share on Pinterest icon Share on Google Plus icon Share on Linked In icon Share via Email icon

Surviving fragment of Bonnie Prince Charlie tartan to stay in Scotland

93bbe1e5-ea9d-4b55-b816-b8f70c67204e

A section of the plaid worn by Prince Charles Edward Stuart (Bonnie Prince Charlie) is to stay in Scotland after it was recently purchased at an Edinburgh auction, the Scottish Tartans Authority has announced.

The specimen is a newly discovered piece of the plaid gifted to the famous Jacobite heroine ‘Colonel’ Anne MacKintosh by Prince Charles Edward Stuart when he stayed at Moy Hall, near Inverness, in February 1746 – two months before the Battle of Culloden

Join the History Scotland community  
Follow us on facebook
Follow us on twitter
Sign up for our free e-newsletter

Discover History Scotland magazine

The piece was purchased by a private collector at a recent Lyon & Turnbull Auction in Edinburgh and has been generously offered to the Scottish Tartans Authority on a long-term loan basis.

Background to the Bonnie Prince Charlie plaid

There are a number of smaller pieces of the cloth in various museums and private collections, all said to be from the same plaid. Peter MacDonald, The Scottish Tartans Authority’s Head of Research & Collections, has spent over 20 years researching the plaid and has shown that some of the alleged pieces are, in fact, later copies.

He is keen to point out the significance of this fragment and said: “Other than the piece still at Moy Hall, this new find is the largest known surviving specimen of the original plaid.  My research has identified a unique threading arrangement in the original Moy Hall tartan cloth, a feature that can be clearly seen in the Lyon & Turnbull piece, thus verifying its provenance as a section of the original”.

The missing link

The plaid was divided amongst supporters of Prince Charles Edward Stuart as a keepsake and of seventeen specimens so far identified, including two located in North America, only six are known to be part of the original.

It is hoped that further study of this piece will flush out other fragments of the plaid including the ‘missing link’, a sample that includes the second selvedge (opposite edge of the woven fabric) which has been a subject of academic debate and disagreement for half a century.

Scottish Tartans Authority Chairman John McLeish said: “It is incredibly exciting to work with such an iconic specimen that has a direct connection with one of history's most romantic figures. We are delighted to have been involved in retaining this important artefact here in Scotland and this adds a real boost to our plans to establish a National Tartan Centre in Stirling by 2020."

For more on the Scottish Tartans Authority, visit their website.

Back to News

06/10/2017 Share this story Share on Facebook icon Share on Twitter icon Share on Pinterest icon Share on Google Plus icon Share on Linked In icon Share via Email icon

Recent Updates

The village of Restalrig has been named Edinburgh's 50th conservation area

The village of Restalrig, which has medieval origins and contains several listed buildings, has been named as ...


Why was this historic chair submerged in sea water?

Investigations are currently underway on an item in the care of High Life Highland’s Highland Folk Museum. A ...


Hogmanay 2018 - welcome in the New Year in Edinburgh

The city of Edinburgh will be welcoming in 2018 in spectacular style, with a programme of Hogmanay 2018 ...


Jacobite history brought to life in Lego at Stirling Castle

Stirling Castle has today launched the Brick to the Past exhibition 'The Jacobite Risings: The Fight for ...


Other News

Eilean Donan Castle receives top tourism award as it welcomes 0.5 million visitors this year

Eilean Donan Castle, which has welcomed over half a million visitors this year, is celebrating after being ...


University of Edinburgh's Old Medical School Courtyard to be re-named in honour of Dr Elsie Inglis

A medical pioneer who saved countless soldiers’ lives has been honoured by her former university 100 years ...


A warm welcome in Scotland

Scotland has been named the world’s most welcoming country and favourite destination of 2017 by Rough Guides ...


Winner of inaugural Scottish History Network School Essay Prize announced

The winner of a national competition for the best history essay by a High School pupil has been announced by ...