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Chisholm Tartan History

The Chisholm Scottish clan hails back to the Normans, with fraught history surrounding Scotland’s major battles and rulers.

Chisholm tartan history
The Chisholm Scottish clan hails back to the Normans, with fraught history surrounding Scotland’s major battles and rulers.
The name Chisholm is thought to have Norman descent, taken from the words ‘chese’ which means to choose, and ‘holm’ which means meadow. The family tartan lays reference to the latter, by making use of chunks of green within the pattern.

Early Chisholms were thought to have come across the North Sea and claimed lands in Roxburghshire which is now known to be on the borders. There’s also another derivation of the name in the form of Alexander de Cheschelme, as a supporter of Edward I of England back in 1249. However years later, there were less than 50 of the Chisholms who fought with Bonnie Prince Charlie at Culloden still surviving.

The most famous Chisholm is thought to be Erik Chisholm, who was a composer and professor of

music in the early 20th Century. He founded the Active Society for the Propagation of Contemporary Music, in 1929 in Glasgow. This gave composers the opportunity to get their work performed and heard by the public. With his roots firmly in Scottish traditional music, with is biggest works considered the Indian and Pibroch Piano Concertos, and the Forsaken Mermaid which was a specially composed ballet for the Celtic Ballet Company.

The Chisholm family tartan is another predominantly red cloth, which is patterned with heavy green stripes. This comprises of sets of two green vertical chunks close together, criss crossed with sets of two horizontal green chunks close together. This forms the square-like pattern on the tartan, which is broken up by thin white lines – again with two verticals close together crossing with two horizontals close together. This tartan shows one instance where the cloth resembled the natural elements in the history of the Scottish clan surname.

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