Scots Fir Tree
When the wearing of tartan was outlawed after the 1745 Jacobite rebellion, clansmen wore their clan's plant badge as an act of defiance and identification.
From an 18th century engraving
Castle Grant is a mile north of Grantown-on-Spey. Previously named Castle Freuchie, it became the seat of the Clan Grant in 1693. During the late 20th century the castle became derelict and went through a series of owners. A major refurbishment project was completed in 2008 and the castle is now a private home.
Castle Urquhart from Loch Ness
One of the largest and most scenic castles in Scotland, Castle Urquhart on the shores of Loch Ness (home of the Monster) was gifted to John Grant of Freuchie by King James IV in 1509. The Grants held the castle for 400 years, despite it being blown up in 1691 to deny the Jacobites access. The main remaining structure is the Grant Tower.
The 1860 sett was declared the official Grant tartan by the clan chief, Lord Strathspey. The 1860 sett is used to define both the Ancient and the Modern Grant tartans. The colours in the Ancient Grant are lighter. The Grant Hunting tartan was adopted from the Black Watch tartan. The Grants were one of the six independent companies that formed the Black Watch. Three came from Clan Campbell, one from Clan Fraser and one from Clan Munro. The companies were amalgamated into a single regiment in 1739 and this regiment became known as the Black Watch.
The pattern of a tartan is called a sett, which is a thread count that sets out the stripes in order and gives the number of threads in each stripe.
Illustration by R.R. Maclan
In what became known as the Jacobite Rebellions, the exiled Stewart monarchy tried to regain their throne by reaching back to Scotland and enlisting the support of the Highland clans. In a campaign that lasted less than eight months, the deposed monarch’s son, Charles Edward Stewart, Bonnie Prince Charlie, raised an army of over 2,000 Highlanders, who soon captured Edinburgh and men the main government force at Prestonpans.
Clan Grant supported the government forces, but the Grants of Glenmoriston supported the Jacobite cause and fought with Charles’s forces at Prestonpans, where the battle lasted less than 10 minutes, with hundreds of government troops killed or wounded and 1500 were taken prisoner.
A contemporary engraving of the Government forces Commander in Scotland Sir John Cope fleeing the field after the Battle of Prestonpans
The Grants of Glenmoriston also fought with the rebel forces at the Battle of Culloden, the final confrontation of the Jacobite rebellion and the last battle to be fought on British soil.
An incident in the rebellion of 1745
Here the battle lasted less than an hour and the rebels were decimated. The brutality of the Government reprisals earned the Government commander, the king’s son William Augustus, Duke of Cumberland, the nickname Butcher. The killing was indiscriminate and went on for days. Armed men were hanged where they were found and their women raped. Families were forced from their burning homes and left to starve. More than 20,000 head of Highland livestock were sold and the soldiers split the profits. Jails were emptied and refilled with Jacobite supporters.
Eighty four Grants of Glenmoriston who were captured after Culloden were transported to Barbados - in violation of their terms of surrender - and sold as slaves. Three years later only 18 were still alive. The story of Clan Grant, their origins and history, the story of Culloden and its aftermath, the Glenmoriston slaves and the Prince’s bodyguards, the Seven Men of Glenmoriston is told in the Galloglas DVD, Clan Grant, which also looks at the clan’s history after the Jacobite rebellion. Filmed on location to the highest standards the Galloglas DVD, Clan Grant features unique stories that interweave romance, adventure, bravery and betrayal, set against a stunning landscape. This DVD is not yet available; if you would like to be informed of the release date please email firstname.lastname@example.org.
In 1745, three Grant brothers who fought for the Jacobites, fled to Banffshire where they were hidden by relatives. The great-grandson of one of these men herded cattle at the age of seven, was apprenticed to a shoemaker, worked in a limeworks, then became a bookkeeper at a local whisky distillery where he worked for 20 years and eventually became manager.
In 1886 he quit his job and with his own savings opened his own distillery. The Glenfiddich Distillery began production on Christmas Day, 1887. The sole employees were William Grant and his nine children. Grant pioneered single malt whisky. Until Glenfiddich distillery opened, proprietary whisky was blended.