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Thread: Government Sett

  1. #1
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    Government Sett

    Hmmm... I'm running into a problem sorting out what the Government Sett issued to the Highland regiments was like during the Rev War period. http://company.military-historians.o...ighlanders.htm says it was of lighter colors, light greens and bluish grays- than modern Blackwatch. Dave White says that the Tartan Museum in N.C. claims it was exactly like modern Blackwatch. Anyone have any ideas as to how I should proceed to sort this out?

  2. #2
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    Re: Government Sett

    Originally posted by James Taylor
    Anyone have any ideas as to how I should proceed to sort this out?
    Are there any period paintings from life, or maybe officers' portraits available? That's the sort of thing I'd be looking for.
    David T Anderson
    Calgary, Alberta

    One man's enlightenment is another man's bafflement...

  3. #3
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    Hi James-

    I really don't know. The Tartan Museum said that the "modern colors are the closest". They said something to
    the effect that when people read and use lighter colors that "the use of lighter colors only compounds the problem".

    They got their info from the Wilson Key pattern book 1819, the sett is the same as modern 13 1/4".

    They also said the heavier weight the better-at least 16 oz.

    dave
    dave
    "Honi soit, qui mal y pense"
    (Shamed be anyone who thinks evil of it)
    24th Regiment of Foot

    "La mama dei grulli è sempre pregna"
    ( the mother of morons is always pregnant).

    Clan Lamont!

    Just keep on truckin' baby

  4. #4
    [QUOTE]Originally posted by David White
    [B]Hi James-

    I really don't know. The Tartan Museum said that the "modern colors are the closest". They said something to
    the effect that when people read and use lighter colors that "the use of lighter colors only compounds the problem".

    They got their info from the Wilson Key pattern book 1819, the sett is the same as modern 13 1/4".

    They also said the heavier weight the better-at least 16 oz.

    The colors are very close its that the Sett is Smaller..Our Unit Had a source that wove the period correct Goverment Sett and she was out of N.C.
    "We are like the Amish..just better armed"

  5. #5
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    Setts and stuff

    Hi Collin-

    What is the size of the sett and source or the weaver in NC?

    dave
    dave
    "Honi soit, qui mal y pense"
    (Shamed be anyone who thinks evil of it)
    24th Regiment of Foot

    "La mama dei grulli è sempre pregna"
    ( the mother of morons is always pregnant).

    Clan Lamont!

    Just keep on truckin' baby

  6. #6

    Re: Setts and stuff

    [QUOTE]Originally posted by David White
    [B]Hi Collin-




    dave


    i will try and dig it up and tell you i dont have the specs right off the bat
    "We are like the Amish..just better armed"

  7. #7
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    Thanks Collin-

    It's great to be able to learn and share information!

    dave
    dave
    "Honi soit, qui mal y pense"
    (Shamed be anyone who thinks evil of it)
    24th Regiment of Foot

    "La mama dei grulli è sempre pregna"
    ( the mother of morons is always pregnant).

    Clan Lamont!

    Just keep on truckin' baby

  8. #8
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    From what I gather from the Scottish Military Historical Society's article on the government sett, the Tartan Museum in N.C. is confused in their belief that the modern Blackwatch tartan is closest to that used during the American Rev War by the Highland regiments. It appears that the Tartan Museum is basing their thinking on the key pattern in Messrs. Wilson of Bannockburn's order book re an order placed sometime between 1800 and 1809 for a "drummers' plaid"- and, are assuming that this key pattern is the same as that used during the Rev War. There is no evidence I can find so far of any key pattern for government sett dated during the Rev war period, and most evidence indicates that, for the most part, the Highland Regiments used the plain government sett of black, blue, and green- with one or two exceptions. It would appear that at some point (I've as yet been unable to determine when) some drummers' tartans had a stripe of the regimental facing color added. It also appears that at some time whole regiments adopted an additional stripe of color or buff or white. The key pattern the Tartan Museum cites is for a "drummers' plaid" containing one of these white stripes- and they then conlude that this would make this sett much as the modern Blackwatch tartan. So all we really know from Messr. Wilson's book is what key pattern was used for this "drummers' plaid" sometime between 1800 and 1809. It also still leaves us in the dark as to what shade/tint of green and blue were used in the Rev War period government sett. I will try to back track the source of the reports of lighter colors and smaller squares, and see what turns up.
    Last edited by James Taylor; 02-13-2003 at 01:18 PM.

  9. #9
    [QUOTE]Originally posted by David White
    [B]Thanks Collin-

    It's great to be able to learn and share information



    Still looking lol.....All of my sources are pointing to...uhmmmmm
    Well i cant find anything lol But still on the track ...
    "We are like the Amish..just better armed"

  10. #10
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    Collin, I think I may be starting to close in!

    I've come across a tartan ( tartan 207- source: Logan 1831) that was, reportedly, the tartan appointed for the Highland Companies in 1725 and later for the Black Watch in 1739 - and, "various thread counts appear in Wisons pattern books of roughly the same proportions."

    Wilson & Son of Bannockburn reportedly had a "monopoly to supply tartans for the regiments during the period when tartan was proscribed for highlanders (male) not possessing land..."(?).

    If I can track down orders for tartans for the Rev War highland regiments placed with Wilson during the Rev War and match them up with patterns that can be determined to have been used by Wilson then- we'll have it (except for the tint/shade of colors issue). Re colors, we'll have to see if we can determine that from period paintings and any scraps of tartan in collections we can find.

  11. #11
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    Originally posted by James Taylor
    Collin, I think I may be starting to close in!

    I've come across a tartan ( tartan 207- source: Logan 1831) that was, reportedly, the tartan appointed for the Highland Companies in 1725 and later for the Black Watch in 1739 - and, "various thread counts appear in Wisons pattern books of roughly the same proportions."

    Wilson & Son of Bannockburn reportedly had a "monopoly to supply tartans for the regiments during the period when tartan was proscribed for highlanders (male) not possessing land..."(?).

    If I can track down orders for tartans for the Rev War highland regiments placed with Wilson during the Rev War and match them up with patterns that can be determined to have been used by Wilson then- we'll have it (except for the tint/shade of colors issue). Re colors, we'll have to see if we can determine that from period paintings and any scraps of tartan in collections we can find.
    This is becoming exciting! Not that I'd want to be caught dead wearing the government sett myself, mind you -- but exciting nonetheless!
    'S coma leam, 's coma leam cogadh no sith,
    Marbhar 'sa cogadh, no crochar 'san t-sith mi.


    It's all the same to me war or peace,
    I'm killed in the war or hung during peace.

  12. #12
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    Way to go James!

    It is always exciting to see all the hard work and research start to come together. I think you're right about
    the Tartan Museum being confused-I did ask them about that period. Somehow (I'm no expert by any means), the
    modern colors and such just didn't seem right somehow.

    dave
    dave
    "Honi soit, qui mal y pense"
    (Shamed be anyone who thinks evil of it)
    24th Regiment of Foot

    "La mama dei grulli è sempre pregna"
    ( the mother of morons is always pregnant).

    Clan Lamont!

    Just keep on truckin' baby

  13. #13
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    James, I came across a reference to a Peter MacDonald who produced a "Benyhone" tartan using Wilson's "original dye recipes from 1783".

    It seems he has a website: Peter MacDonald
    Tartan Design & Consultancy
    .
    Sikandur~~Aim Small, Miss Small

  14. #14
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    Wow, Scott! Now we're cookin! I'm going to order Peter McDonald's book, The 1819 Key Pattern Book- One Hundred Original Tartans. Also, I'll see if I can pick his brains re the original colors and weights. If all goes well, we should have some solid info. , and I may even order some tartan from Mr. McDonald.

    I'd like to echo David White's sentiments on how wonderful this forum is! Teamwork makes this process so much easier and quicker. And, I think we're progressing in our approach to the research aspect. The more we can track info back to the original sources the better.

    Oh, and, I've just placed an order for a book by James D. Scarlett, Tartan: The Highland Textile, that is supposed to be a pretty authoritative publication. It probably won't arrive until latter part of March, though.
    Last edited by James Taylor; 02-15-2003 at 07:21 AM.

  15. #15
    Originally posted by James Taylor
    Wow, Scott! Now we're cookin! I'm going to order Peter McDonald's book, The 1819 Key Pattern Book- One Hundred Original Tartans. Also, I'll see if I can pick his brains re the original colors and weights. If all goes well, we should have some solid info. , and I may even order some tartan from Mr. McDonald.

    Alright Guys

    check this out...although it goes somewhat against the grain of what has been stated before...i like to have all my eggs in the basket before i chosse which ones make the best omalate

    Check out:

    http://www.scottish-tartans-society.co.uk

    You can search for any tartan you can think of and get a number of
    variations, all dated and with the source. The sett (or thread count) for
    reproducing the tartans is included.

    Do a search for Black Watch and you will get a number of selections. The
    one with TS Number: TS1563 is described as Regimental, course kilt with
    red. Kilt of private. c. 1745-1788. The source given is Wilson's of
    Bannockburn, a tartan firm which, I believe, might have been making it at
    the time.

    It is quite different from the modern Black Watch
    "We are like the Amish..just better armed"

  16. #16
    [QUOTE]Originally posted by collin king
    [B]


    Alright Guys

    check this out...although it goes somewhat against the grain of what has been stated before...i like to have all my eggs in the basket before i chosse which ones make the best omalate

    Check out:

    http://www.scottish-tartans-society.co.uk

    You can search for any tartan you can think of and get a number of
    variations, all dated and with the source. The sett (or thread count) for
    reproducing the tartans is incl
    Do a search for Black Watch and you will get a number of selections. The
    one with TS Number: TS1563 is described as Regimental, course kilt with
    red. Kilt of private. c. 1745-1788. The source given is Wilson's of
    Bannockburn, a tartan firm which, I believe, might have been making it at
    the time.

    It is quite different from the modern Black Watch




    Alright and somethign else i forgot to add.....

    the Tartan that is on the web site at the time of the War that we are speaking of was used for grenadier companies
    "We are like the Amish..just better armed"

  17. #17
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    Here you go!

    Photo from Scottish Tartans Society
    Black Watch Regimental
    Course Kilt w/Red
    Kilt of Pvt. ca 1745-188
    ts#t51563
    Source: Wilson's of Bannockburn
    index RKB:RKG
    Thread count R8, K8, B48, K48, G48, K4, R6
    Attached Images Attached Images  
    dave
    "Honi soit, qui mal y pense"
    (Shamed be anyone who thinks evil of it)
    24th Regiment of Foot

    "La mama dei grulli è sempre pregna"
    ( the mother of morons is always pregnant).

    Clan Lamont!

    Just keep on truckin' baby

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