When did the Clan system begin and end?
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.