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Tartan Ferret

The Tartans of Kidnapped




The much-loved novel, Kidnapped, by Robert Louis Stevenson, is based on actual historical events, and several of the main characters portrayed were real people. The action took place during that period of the eighteenth century when the wearing of tartan by men in the Highlands was against the law. Stevenson's genius was the manner in which he fused fact and imagination to create a classic tale. For the purposes of this exercise we shall follow the writer's narrative but address the factual persons in their real world of 1752. (R.L.S. for some reason set the action in 1751).

The characters on whom we will focus our attention are -

Alan Breck Stewart.
(Stewart of Appin 839)

James of the Glen.
(Stewart of Appin 839)

Colin Roy Campbell of Glenure.
(Loudoun's Highlanders 5492)

John MacKenzie - Argyle or Campbell colours
(Loudoun's Highlanders 5492)

Cluny MacPherson
(MacPherson of Cluny 906)

Robin Oig MacGregor
(Red and Black MacGregor 1504)

(I.T.I. numbers have been given for accuracy of identification.)

Firstly, it would be wise to set out a very brief synopsis of the history behind the story -

Largely because Stevenson based his novels Kidnapped and Catriona on it, the incident known as the Appin Murder is one of the most famous in Scottish history. In the aftermath of the '45 Rebellion, lands which had belonged to Jacobite clans were taken over by the government and parcelled-out to supporters of the victorious House of Hanover.

One of these was Colin Roy Campbell of Glenure. Colin Roy (who came to be known as the "Red Fox") had served in the Earl of Loudoun's regiment during the Rebellion. He was subsequently made factor over certain lands of Appin, which had belonged for centuries to the Stewarts.

Glenure's mother had been a Cameron of Locheil. These Camerons having been staunch Jacobites, Colin Roy was suspected by some of having divided loyalties. It appears that he was on reasonably good terms with some of the Appin Stewarts, but he had to be careful not to seem to favour them. Accordingly, when ordered to evict certain Stewart families he had little choice but to enforce the instruction. Tolerated, respected, or even liked by some of the Appin Jacobites, there were others who detested him and all he stood for. Glenure knew that he was a marked man and that his life was in danger.

The evictions in question were due to take place in May of 1752. They involved tenants of James Stewart (known as James of the Glen). When James had heard of the proposed evictions he was furious with Glenure, and tried to prevent them by legal means. Around this time Alan Breck Stewart appeared in Appin. Alan was a foster-son of James. He had enlisted with the British army prior to the Rebellion, then at the Battle of Prestonpans changed sides to the Jacobites. He fought with the Appin regiment at the Battle of Culloden. After the defeat of Jacobite hopes Alan fled to France where he joined the French regiment of Ogilvy. From time to time he would be sent back to Appin to collect money for Stewart of Ardsheil, who had commanded the Appin men in the uprising.

Alan Breck wandered around his home country, drinking and socialising with friends and family, and allegedly making unwise threats as to how he would deal with the Red Fox if the chance came his way. On the 14th of May, as Colin Roy, with three companions, filed through the wood of Lettermore on their way to the place of the evictions, he was ambushed and fatally shot in the back by an unknown marksman.

A man with a dun-coloured coat and breeches was seen fleeing uphill from the scene of the crime. He was never captured or identified. The name of Glenure's murderer remains a mystery to this day (although every so often it is allegedly revealed or deduced).

The killing was interpreted as a political assassination and it created shockwaves accordingly. This was but six years after the rebellion which had terrified the Hanoverian government, and in the aftermath of which the British authorities had resorted to perpetrating atrocities upon the people of the Highlands. Unnerved again, the establishment were determined to make a clear example to nip any further insurrection effectively in the bud. Prime suspect, not unreasonably, was Alan Breck Stewart, but he made good his escape to France and some other scapegoat had to be found.

The famous historical incident became infamous. James of the Glen was arrested and imprisoned at Fort William. He was denied important legal rights. His trial was conducted in such a way as to ensure that there would be no doubt as to its outcome. Witnesses were bullied and bribed. The jury was packed with Hanoverian Campbells. Presiding was the Lord Justice General, Archibald Campbell, Duke of Argyll. As was inevitable, James of the Glen was found guilty (not of having committed the murder, but of being a member of the conspiracy to commit it). He was hanged at Ballachulish on 8th November 1752. In the two and a half centuries which have passed since that day the great majority of those who have investigated the circumstances have come to the conclusion that an innocent man was cynically hanged for political reasons.

Stevenson introduces the fictional character of young David Balfour, who witnesses the murder then flees the scene along with Alan Breck (who is suspected of the killing even, initially, by Balfour). The rest of the tale is largely that of the pair's adventures on the run in the Highlands.

Alan Breck Stewart

Alan Breck belonged to the Stewarts of Appin... (according to R.L.S. his father served in the Black Watch.) We have said that he served in the British Army and at the Battle of Prestonpans he changed sides and joined the Jacobites. He is understood to have fought in the Stewart of Appin regiment in the Battle of Culloden. To gain an insight as to which tartan Alan may have worn on that field, and indeed in his own country prior to Proscription, we must look at what we might call the Jacobite Motif.

It has long been noted that there is a group of apparently related setts which for the greater part "can be traced from Moy to and along the Great Glen and south through the hill passes into Badenoch and Perthshire..." (James D. Scarlett). These patterns are based on the key-sett of MacKintosh (521), their common features being a red ground with two broad green bands surrounded by two narrower dark blue or purple bands. Clan Tartans which share such features are -

Stewart of Appin
Cameron of Locheil (Munro)
MacPherson of Cluny
Murray of Tullibardine
MacDonald of Keppoch
Royal Stewart

There are others, but the above-noted are perhaps the most well-known. It may be observed that some of the tartans mentioned belong to clans whose territories lie significantly beyond those indicated by J.D. Scarlett. It is clear, therefore, that there is some factor involved beyond that of geography and, to cut a long story short, the unifying principle is that all these clans were actively Jacobite, and all the patterns very probably originated in the Jacobite era.

Returning to Alan Breck and the Appin Stewarts. There are three tartans which relate to this clan and its territory. These are - Stewart of Appin (839), Stewart of Ardshiel (73), and MacColl (878). At a glance the similarities between these setts are obvious. They all have the classic features of the Jacobite Motif. The MacColls were neighbours and allies of the Stewarts of Appin. Ardshiel was the commander of the Appin regiment in the '45. So the social, geographical and political relationships, combined with the likeness in appearance, argue that these setts are genuine traditional Appin patterns which have their origins in Jacobite times.

It is known that certain of the Jacobite clan chiefs arranged for their regiments to be supplied with uniform tartans for the '45 campaign. Locheil... Ogilvy... Duke of Perth. Jamie Scarlett set out a good case for the tartan now being sold as "Munro" actually having been the sett worn by Locheil's regiment during the '45. It is characteristically of the Jacobite Motif. We do not know what the Ogilvy sett looked like, but it is recorded that the plaids for the Duke of Perth's recruits were being woven in Crieff, and although it is by no means conclusive, it is surely significant that the sett we know as "Crieff" (1636) also is of the Jacobite Motif family.

All of this points very strongly to "Stewart of Appin" being a genuine Jacobite sett which was probably worn in the clan's territory during the first half of the eighteenth century and by the clan regiment at Culloden. It is by no means unreasonable to suggest that this pattern was worn by Alan Breck Stewart. This is a view which was certainly held by J. D. Scarlett -

"My information is that MacColls fought with the Appin Stewarts and that Ardshiel is a sept of Appin, which would account for the general similarity of the patterns and, very likely, for the smaller groups having the simpler patterns... Without being foolishly definite, I would say that it would be probable that Allan Breck wore the Appin Stewart sett and would certainly regard it as authentic."

It is probably also reasonable to suggest that all of the above would indicate that James of the Glen would have worn precisely the same sett. (Stevenson calls him James of the Glens).

Incidentally, one of the official descriptions of Alan Breck, dating from the time of the murder, describes him as wearing "tartan hose". Sadly we will probably never know the nature of that particular sett, though one is tempted to think that where hose with breeches was concerned a simple two colour check might be most likely - red and white, perhaps. But that is merely to guess.

Chapter 12 (Kidnapped): "They stripped (Ardshiel) of his power; they stripped him of his lands; they plucked the weapons from the hands of his clansmen, that had borne arms for thirty centuries; ay, and the very clothes off their backs - so that it's now a sin to wear a tartan plaid, and a man may be cast into a gaol if he has but a kilt about his legs."

It is undoubtedly relevant at this point to touch on the curious incident involving Oronoce, the black servant of Stewart of Appin. There is a report, dated 23rd July, 1750, penned by Captain Henry Patton of Guise's Regiment which was stationed at the head of Loch Rannoch, stating -

"This moment the party at Kinloch Leven have brought me a black belong to Mr. Stewart of Appin, dressed in tartan livery, turned up with yellow; and tomorrow I send him to the nearest Justice of the Peace."

"Tartan livery" suggests uniform. One is tempted to think that this just may have been the sett which had been worn by the Appin Stewart regiment at Culloden a mere four years earlier. There are other possibilities, of course. Here, though, is an instance of Proscription being enforced in just the way that Stevenson's Alan Breck is lamenting.


The Red Fox Tartan

This is perhaps the most straightforward and the most certain of the Kidnapped tartans. We know that Colin Roy Campbell of Glenure served with Loudoun's Regiment during the '45 Rebellion and in the Low Countries in 1747. Around 1970, researcher Ruairidh Halford MacLeod discovered, in the Huntington Library (U.S.A.), a sample of plaiding which had been "sent to Lord Loudoun for his Highlanders" in 1747, in the Low Countries. This was the standard blue, black, green tartan with a red stripe (with black guards) on the blue and a yellow stripe on the green. Loudoun's tartan was, indeed, the regimental sett which must have been worn by Glenure. In that sense we may think of it as the Red Fox Tartan (it does not seem to have been claimed as a Clan Tartan). This is not to suggest that he was wearing this pattern on the day of his murder, or anything of that sort, only that it was a tartan which we can state with confidence to have been worn by him.

John MacKenzie

On the day that Colin Campbell of Glenure set out on the road to carry out the bitterly resented evictions, he was accompanied by his nephew, Mungo, a lawyer, and his servant, 19 year-old John MacKenzie, who seemed to be acting as a bodyguard. In fact, it was MacKenzie who rode to the inn at Kentallen for help after the Red Fox was shot.

We have said that we will stick with Stevenson's narrative.

Chapter 17 (Kidnapped): "The third was a servant, and wore some part of his clothes in tartan, which showed that his master was of a Highland family, and either an outlaw or else in singular good odour with the Government, since the wearing of tartan was against the Act. If I had been better versed in these things, I would have known the tartan to be of the Argyle (or Campbell) colours."

We must bear in mind that Robert Louis Stevenson was writing Kidnapped in 1886. No matter how well informed he was about the events surrounding the Appin Murder and the trial of James of the Glen, Stevenson was of a generation which held to a general assumption that Clan Tartans had been a fact of Highland life since long before the '45 Rebellion. The modern view is predominantly otherwise. So, after some two hundred years of "debate" on this fascinating but sometimes vexatious subject, what can we reasonably say about "the Argyle (or Campbell) colours" in the context of 1752? (We will address the MacKenzie Clan Tartan in due course).

Well... in all honesty we are guessing. There will be, however, some education in our guesswork. Conventional wisdom is that Clan Tartans (as the term is now understood) did not emerge until around the 1790s. It was then that William Wilson & Sons, the big Bannockburn weavers, really began to sell named Clan Tartans. As we have seen, though, in our discussion regarding the Appin setts, things cannot have been as simple as that. The concept of Clan Tartans was not invented overnight out of nothing. There had long been specific patterns, woven in particular districts and therefore associated with the dominant local clan. Our question must be - was there any such set relating to Campbell of Glenure circa 1752? Actually, there may be two questions. The second, and perhaps more pertinent, would be - was there a military tartan which might have been worn by a servant of Colin Campbell?

By far the most obvious first option (perhaps on both counts) would have to be the tartan now known as the "Campbell" Clan Tartan (1), or (in darker shades) the "Black Watch" (207). The scope of this article is too limited to permit yet another airing of the old question - was the "Black Watch" really a Campbell Clan Tartan which was adopted by the military, or was it the other way round? There are respectable arguments on both sides of that debate. By 1752 "Black Watch", more properly known as the Government Tartan, was almost certainly established as a sett worn by Hanoverian military and there are recorded instances of it being worn by civilians. Yet it was not the only tartan worn by Highland units of the British Army, and it was certainly too early for all Campbells to be thinking of it as their Clan Tartan.

Another sett well worth considering is the one we now call "Campbell of Cawdor"(2). It is worthy of our attention because as early as 1798 it was known as by Wilson's as "Argyle" (which, of course, was David Balfour's term, in Kidnapped, for the tartan worn by John MacKenzie). It is at once obvious how closely this sett conforms to the type regarded by Jamie Scarlett as the earliest pattern for the Independent Companies (forerunners of the Black Watch Regiment) - the basic green, blue and black, with a red stripe on the blue and a distinguishing colour on the green. Indeed, the sett worn by Loudoun's Regiment is of that type and therefore very similar to "Campbell of Cawdor". The latter sett was, in fact, worn by the Argyll Fencibles (raised 1759) and later it was to be, for a time, the uniform tartan of the Argyll & Sutherland Highlanders.

On balance, the strongest possibility would seem to be that, if John MacKenzie was indeed wearing tartan, as a servant it would probably have been the tartan of his master. Given the political realities of the day, added to Colin Campbell's personal need to demonstrate his loyalty to the Hanoverian government, a military tartan is rather more likely than a local or Clan Tartan. Therefore, the sett of Glenure's own regiment . . which is? . . . (which had been disbanded a mere four years earlier) - Loudoun's, must be the favourite.

Cluny MacPherson

We must begin by noting that Stevenson, rather disappointingly, does not specifically state that Cluny was wearing tartan -

Chapter 23 (Kidnapped): "When we came to the door he was seated by his rock chimney, watching a gillie about some cookery. He was mighty plainly habited, with a knitted nightcap drawn over his ears, and smoked a foul cutty pipe. For all that he had the manners of a king, and it was quite a sight to see him rise out of his place to welcome us."

Be that as it may, it is quite inconceivable that a man of Cluny's Jacobite standing, and in his particular circumstances, would not have defied the Hanoverian Act of Proscription as a matter of principle (anyway, R.L.S. did refer to "the plaids upon the wall").

The tartan which is now regarded as the MacPherson Clan Tartan (1410) was registered with the Highland Society of London in 1817 by the then chief, Duncan (our Cluny's son). Why he submitted this particular sett is not clear. This is one of the many irritating ragged edges of the history of tartan. Perhaps he simply liked the look of it. Wilson's, however, marketed it as "No.43", "Kidd" and "Caledonia". We are surely justified in disregarding this as a serious contender for the tartan worn by the Cluny of Kidnapped some 65 years earlier.

When Disney made their film version of Kidnapped in 1960, somebody must have done a little research into the tartan which was chosen for Cluny and his clansmen. They are clearly seen to be wearing "Hunting MacPherson"(547). This was an educated choice because the interesting grey, black, red and blue sett has a curious story behind it. It is believed that Lord Lovat presented a plaid of this tartan to his daughter when she married Cluny - the Ewan MacPherson of the '45 and Kidnapped. Now, it is very unlikely that, arising from this gesture, that particular sett would have been generally adopted as, effectively, the Clan Tartan of the MacPhersons. However, it was an authentic pattern genuinely associated with Cluny at the time of the '45. So Disney surely deserve due credit.

By far the most likely tartan to have been worn in "Cluny's Cage" is "MacPherson of Cluny's Tartan" (906), as it is named in the records of Wilson & Sons. In The Tartan Weaver's Guide, J.D. Scarlett, comparing this sett with the one registered by Duncan, refers to it as "earlier and more authentic". It can be seen at a glance to have all the characteristics of the Jacobite Motif - a red ground, with two broad green bands surrounded by two narrower dark blue (or purple) bands.


Robin Oig MacGregor

Chapter 25 (Kidnapped): "There was but one thing happened worth narrating; and that is the visit I had of Robin Oig, one of the sons of the notorious Rob Roy. He was sought upon all sides on a charge of carrying a young woman from Balfron and marrying her (as was alleged) by force; yet he stepped about Balquidder like a gentleman in his own walled policy. It was he who had shot James MacLaren at the plough stilts, a quarrel never satisfied; yet he walked into the house of his blood enemies as a rider might into a public inn."

A fascinating, if not particularly attractive, character. Again it might be objected that the author does not, in so many words, clothe the MacGregor in tartan, but again we may look to the detail for support of the assumption. Stevenson mentions (or has Alan Breck mention) Robin Oig's sporran, so it is reasonable to conclude that the writer visualized his character wearing Highland garb.

Stevenson has the substance of Robin Oig MacGregor's circumstances accurately stated. It was, though, John MacLaren, rather than James, who had been shot by the MacGregor.

Now, once more, to our guesses... and it must be confessed that this will be our most speculative attempt to associate a particular sett with a character. What tartan might Robin Oig MacGregor have sported whilst swaggering on the Braes o' Balquhidder?

In his case we have a wider range to consider. Let us first look at the tartan which would perhaps seem to most people the obvious choice - the MacGregor Clan Tartan (3376). We are fortunate, in that the present Chief, Sir Malcolm MacGregor, has in recent years given the matter of MacGregor tartans serious consideration, and his findings and opinions deserve our regard. He tells us that the exact origins of this sett are unknown. It appears in the Cockburn Collection (1810-20) and Wilson's listed it in their 1819 Key Pattern Book as ""MacGregor Murray". This tartan was worn by Sir Evan MacGregor during the visit of King George IV to Scotland in 1822.

Let us now consider the tartan long known as "Rob Roy" (1504). Sir Malcolm states his belief that by the end of the 18th century this red and black check had come to be regarded as a MacGregor tartan, although members of the clan had been wearing it for some 200 years prior to this recognition. The Chief also makes the point that in his opinion the name "Rob Roy" for this sett is a misappropriation which probably came about because of the enormous popularity of Sir Walter Scott's novel of that name.

Of the Red and Black MacGregor tartan D.W. Stewart (in Old and Rare Tartans) says -

"The pattern is accepted by solid authorities as the MacGregor pattern. There are some samples of it in the collection of tartans made by the Highland Society of Scotland 1816/17 labelled and sealed, "The MacGregor tartan for undress ordinary clothing. The seal and arms of 'Sir John MacGregor Murray of MacGregor, Baronet."

Sir John MacGregor Murray was born in 1745. His father, Evan MacGregor, was a Jacobite major, aide de camp to Prince Charles Edward in the '45. Sir John's uncle, Robert MacGregor of Glencarnaig, commanded the MacGregor regiment at Prestonpans. Sir John himself registered the MacGregor tartan with the Highland Society of London.
Regarding the setts which were registered in this way, J. D. Scarlett remarked -

"The people who contributed to the Highland Society collection at the beginning do not seem to have had much trouble rustling up a genuine tartan; it seems to have been 1822 and later when difficulties arose..."

Those who insist that Clan Tartans were not "invented" until Sir John was almost fifty years old may wonder how a man with his personal experience, family history and access to tradition could be deceived by (or be a party to) what they regard as a cynical commercial ploy which would bring him neither profit nor honour.

Let us return to 1752 and the Braes o' Balquhidder, where Robert Louis Stevenson sets the encounter between Alan Breck Stewart and Robin Oig MacGregor. Robin Oig was a MacGregor of Glengyle. He served with the Glengyle Regiment in the '45. Was there, perhaps, some pattern which had been traditionally woven and worn in Glengyle and which had come to be known by that name?

Wilson's listed a "MacGregor of Glengyle's tartan", but (frustratingly) their thread-count is not available to us. However, there is a fascinating story about a tartan which is said to have been passed down to us by an old lady of Nairn who claimed that it was the tartan of the Glengyle MacGregors. Some MacGregors of Glengyle had, in fact, been taken to Aberdeenshire by the Earl of Moray in the early 17th century. Sir Malcolm tells us that his grandfather obtained a specimen of this sett from Skeoch Cumming. It is known as "MacGregor of Glengyle/Deeside" (450) and, of particular importance to our present investigation, the sample has been dated to circa 1750!

The sample is essentially a red and blue check with overstripes. It is by no means impossible that the blue was originally black, in which case the relationship between the Glengyle sett and the Red and Black MacGregor tartan becomes at once obvious and significant. The Glengyle is almost identical to the "Erskine" tartan which, curiously, was worn by the pipers of the Royal Scots Fusiliers in red and black.

There is also a "MacGregor of Balquidder" tartan (988). It must at once be said that this is not a sett recognized by the present chief as an authentic MacGregor tartan. It is a simple variation on the standard MacGregor Clan Tartan (3376), with the white overcheck (and black guards) moved from the central green band to the middle of the red ground. This set seems to have been first recorded by James Logan, who toured Scotland in the early 1800s collecting tartans for eventual inclusion in his work The Scottish Gael. The pattern was included in the highly suspect Vestiarium Scoticum (but that does not necessarily rule out its authenticity). Unfortunately Logan did not publish his sources, so a question mark must hang over this particular tartan.

This leaves us with a final question - might Robin Oig MacGregor have worn a tartan with a military association, either Jacobite or Hanoverian? To many it will seem strange to think of a son of Rob Roy serving in the British Army. In fact we know that three of them did so.

James served with Campbell of Carrick's Independent Company, and Coll with Campbell of Lochnell's Independent Company. It will be remembered that these Independent Companies, which were raised by General Wade in 1725, were regimented as the Black Watch in 1739. There has been great debate as to which tartan or tartans may have been worn by them. By 1733 they were all wearing the same sett, and it is generally believed that if it was not "Black Watch" it was something very like it.

It has long been claimed that Robin Oig joined the Black Watch and fought in the Battle of Fontenoy in 1745 (though it has also be argued that he was actually a soldier of the Royal North British Fusiliers). So he may have worn "Black Watch", but would he have been wearing it in Balquhidder in 1752? One would have thought it unlikely.

He turned up with the Jacobite army, in the Duke of Perth's regiment, in November of 1745. By good fortune we have the text of a letter written by an officer of that regiment from Drummond Castle on the 3rd of that very month. Addressed to Captain James Stewart at the Duke of Perth's Lodgings in the Canongate, it reads in part -

"Amongst other things I have been endeavouring to get tartan and plaids provided for the men, and some time ago sent a note of tartan that I was having weave in Crief for that purpose, to His Grace..."

The content of this letter indicates that recruits to Perth's regiment were being supplied with what we must assume to have been a uniform tartan (it would have made little practical or military sense to order a variety of setts). From this we may deduce that Robin Oig would have been clothed in the uniform tartan of the Duke of Perth's regiment (it has been noted that the "Crieff"(1636) sett itself is of the Jacobite Motif group, and the sett in question is likely to have conformed to that style). We have no description of Perth's regimental tartan, however, one is compelled to give serious consideration to "Drummond of Perth" (1711). This tartan also has the distinguishing features of the Jacobite Motif, and D.W. Stewart remarked that it had always been traditionally associated with James Drummond, Duke of Perth. It has been regarded by many authorities as being dated from 1745 and was originally recorded by Wilson's as "Perthshire Rock and Wheel" which is often an indication of an early provenance.

For those who may be wondering how Robin Oig can be in the Duke of Perth's regiment at one moment, then pop up in the Glengyle regiment in the next, modern historian David Stevenson has commented that "The two regiments were so closely linked it is sometimes hard to distinguish them". Perhaps it is going too far to suggest that the MacGregor Clan Tartan could be taken as a much-simplified rendering of the Drummond of Perth.

With a view to Robin Oig's plaid, as worn in Balquhidder in 1752, having carefully considered all these options and the weight of evidence relating to each, the present writer is inclined to the conclusion that, although "MacGregor of Glengyle/Deeside" may be true to the claims made for it, there are too many ifs and buts remaining to challenge credibility. "Drummond of Perth" has a stronger case, given the Jacobite military connection and the fact that Robin Oig and other members of his family adopted the name Drummond at different times in their lives. However, all things considered, the final choice has to be the Red and Black MacGregor tartan. It is difficult to believe that Sir John MacGregor Murray, born as he was at the time of the '45 Rebellion and brought up in a family whose males had played such prominent roles in that conflict, would have registered anything other than a tartan with authentic MacGregor associations. He was a noted Gaelic scholar and a collector of Highland music and songs. In short, he took Highland culture far too seriously to have selected a Clan Tartan on frivolous or dubious grounds. Even in terms of location the Red and Black tartan has the strongest case. Sir John was actually a MacGregor of Glencarnaig... which is on the Braes o' Balquhidder.

These, then, are the four Tartans of Kidnapped -

Stewart of Appin, Loudoun's (Red Fox), MacPherson of Cluny and the Red and Black MacGregor.

There is one other sett which simply must be mentioned in any investigation into tartans associated with Kidnapped. Just as this article was being completed the author received word from Brian Wilton, Director of the S.T.A., that he had examined a set of Highland clothes which had belonged to Robert Louis Stevenson, and latterly been in the keeping of the old Scottish Tartans Society. The tartan was "MacKenzie" (267).

The Seaforth Highlanders were raised in 1778. The sett later to be regarded as the MacKenzie Clan Tartan was designed for the regiment around that time. It is a variation of the Government Tartan and therefore not dissimilar to the previously-mentioned "Loudoun's" (Red Fox, as we have termed it) and "Campbell of Cawdor". Why Robert Louis Stevenson should have chosen this particular tartan may well be the subject of another investigation.



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