History of Scotland

When did the Clan system begin and end?

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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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