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Answered 2009-07-06 06:45:34

The Clan system, by which Highland society was divided into tribal groups led by autocratic chiefs, can be traced back to the 12th century, when Clans were already known to wear the chequered wool cloth later called Tartan. After the Battle of Culloden (1746) the Clan lands belonging to Chiefs who supported the Jacobites were forfeited to the Crown and sold off. The feudal power and jurisdiction over their lands was removed from the Chiefs under the Abolition of Heritable Jurisdiction act of 1747 with only those Chiefs who had supported the Government compensated. The wearing of tartan in the Highlands (but not the lowlands or the military) was banned for 35 years from 1747 to 1782.

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