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Crawford Tartan History

The Crawford family have a rich history which includes barons and nobles. Their family tartan is a flamboyant homage to this.

The Scottish clan of Crawford dates back as early as the 12th Century, with many members in noble or powerful positions. Such a successful family has a much talked about past, and an unmistakeable tartan to complement it.

The first recorded Crawfords were part of a barony in Clydesdale, the area we now consider as Lanarkshire. The first name, Galfridus of Crawford was recorded here around 1179. This baron wasn’t the only successful Crawford as Sir Reginald of Crawford was given the title of Sheriff of Ayr.

It’s even thought that the Crawford family are linked to William Wallace. The story goes that the 1297 Sheriff of Ayr’s sister Margaret married Sir Malcolm Wallace and had a son who would become known as Scotland’s greatest nationalist, revered even in Hollywood.

There were three principle branches of the Crawford family – Crawfurd,  Crawfurdland and Crawford as we know the name today. The latter comes from Sir John of Crawford in the 14thCentury. His descendants went on to claim the estates of Kilburnie, and a descendant who would go on to serve Mary Queen of Scots. Legend says he rightly identified the true killers of Lord Darnley, Mary’s husband, in 1569, but was apparently ignored at the time.

The family tartan itself is a geometric and sophisticated pattern, fit for the noble positions held by early Crawfords. The main colour is a dusky red, somewhere in between wine and raspberry in shade, much different from other, bolder tartans. Across this weaves sets of 4 horizontal and 4 vertical green stripes, creating a chequered pattern on the cloth. Throughout the checks run pairs of fine white horizontal and vertical lines, giving the whole design a multi-layered square effect.

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