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Brodie Tartan History

The Brodie family tartan comes with a somewhat disrupted history due to a malicious attack on the clan over 400 years ago.

The Brodie family tartan belongs to the ancient clan of the same name, and can be traced back to the lands of Brodie, which are located near Forres in Morayshire. The clan tartan history is quite a dark one, with its origins now shrouded in mystery.

The earliest dated material surrounding the Brodie family tartan goes no further than 1645, where a malicious fire was started in Brodie Castle by Lord Lewis Gordon. As such, all archive materials such as family history, tartan origins and charters were all burnt and lost. It’s thought however that the family has Pictish origins, from the royal family who carried the Pictish name Brude. There’s also suggestion that the origin of the name derives from the Gaelic term ‘brothaig’ which means ditch.

The surmised history for the Brodie lands comes from Robert the Bruce who declared Michael Brodie the successor of these lands from his paternal ancestors, including sir Malcolm of Brodie.

There are also links to Shakespeare, with ‘the blasted heath’ where MacBeth meets the three witches is alleged to be near Brodie Castle.

The Scottish clan has a rich history in religion, with Presbyterian roots; Monarchy, through links to Charles II; and parliament, with a Brodie representing Elgin in parliament in the 17thCentury. Alexander Brodie was also thought to be involved in meetings with Cromwell in around 1651, to consider a union between Scotland and England.

Clan Brodie’s tartan is a bold red, lined with black and yellow. Bold black lines form criss-crosses on the red backdrop to create square patterns, whilst thinner yellow lines appear in horizontal and vertical lines to break up the bold checks. As one of the tartans with a varied history, it is one of the most simply designed.

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