Scottish Wedding Theme
Newsroom : Wedding Theme Newsroom Home : January 2008

January 2, 2008 13:22 - January Highland Games

Happy New Year to each and everyone! May your year be filled with blessings and joy.

If you're a bride, planning a wedding, may your ceremony be chock full of Scottishness, your Ceilidh memorable, and your makeup bell ring just enough to keep spice in your marriage!

Unless you live in Florida or the Southern Hemisphere, Highland Games become scarce until springtime comes.

  • January 1, Nambour, Queensland, Australia ~ Fred Logan New Year's Day Scottish Gathering, including a best-dressed award
  • January 1, Maryborough, Victoria, Australia ~ Maryborough Highland Gathering
  • January 1, Waipu, New Zealand ~ Waipu Highland Games
  • January 11 to 14, Kansas City, Missouri ~ Winter Storm Weekend
  • January 12 to 13, Ft Lauderdale, Florida ~ Southeast Florida Scottish Games
  • January 19, Winter Springs, Florida, Central Florida Scottish Highland Games
  • January 20, Orlando, Florida ~ Central Florida Scottish Games
  • January 20 Summit, New Jersey ~ Burns Night Dinner
  • January 25 to 26, Eureka Springs, Arkansas ~ Celtic Connections Erueka
  • January 26, Sydney, Australia ~ Australia Day Celtic Festival
  • January 27, Turakina, New Zealand ~ Turakina Highland Games
  • January 27, Ft. Myers, Florida ~ Caloosahatchee Celtic Festival

If you can find one to attend you can get a good dose of "Scottishness" and have a blast. If you want to hire a local bagpiper, see some samples of different tartans up close, view different interpretations of the various styles of kilts, learn more about your clan's history, hear some different ideas for music, eat a day-full of Scottish food, and see lots of Scottish traditions first hand ~ then a nice Highland Game is the way to go.

Also note the Robert Burns dinner listed in Summit, New Jersey. Keep you eyes and ears open for Burns Dinner celebrations in your area. Irish or Scottish pubs are your first bet, plus announcements in your local papers. Friday's blog will link to a list of Burns Suppers.

For more detailed information about the events listed, go to U.S. Scots and the Scottish Heritage Society.

Tomorrow, a special request from a nice lady of Scottish heritage…

January 3, 2008 03:40 - Can You Help This Lady?

One of our readers is in search of this tartan for a very special event in her life. Can you help?

We can locate blue with black and white, but not with the yellow and black narrow stripes. Here's what's been suggested so far…

MacRae Dress Modern - has a narrow red stripe, but no narrow black and yellow stripes, and no large blue squares

Baird Dress has blue squares and narrow black stripes, but also has green and narrow purple stripes

MacPherson Dress has the blue and yellow, but no black and a reddish-brown is also present

If you've any suggestions, they'd be appreciated. The tartan is needed for this summer, 2008. Just use the "Contact Us" box on the left of the page to email us.

Coming tomorrow, Robert Burns Supper locations from Bonn to Buenos Aires, Yokohama and Tokyo to Tasmania, Slovenia to Hong Kong…

January 4, 2008 09:54 - Robert Burns Dinner

Robert Burns dinner celebrations commemorate his birthday on January 28th.
[Editor’s Note: The correct date of Burns’ birth is January 25th.]

Across America and the world, many Scots meet to celebrate the poet laureate of Scotland, some as late as mid-February.

You'll find music, singing, dancing, Scottish food, piping in the Haggis, poetry readings, kilts and ladies wear ~ everything from authentic to bumbee.

The meal will consist of Scottish food, with Haggis as the highlight. If you don't know what Haggis is, you're in for quite a surprise.

Burns poetry will be read, and those which have been put to music, will probably be played as background music.

A source for his complete works is the Robert Burns Organization.

In almost every city you will be able to find a dinner celebration. Larger cities and metropolitan areas have several. Almost any organization that's having a dinner will welcome you to their ranks. Even restaurants that have a large Scottish clientele schedule dinners.

Coming for 2008, a listing of Bobbie Burns Dinners as they are announced. Listings are from Alaska to Atlanta, Connecticut to California, Bonn to Bangkok, and all points between. Just take a look at Scottish Wedding Dreams then go have fun!

January 7, 2008 04:57 - Helen Gloag

This week we'll be looking at some famous Scottish ladies, their clan tartans, their marriages, and their histories.

Helen Gloag, born in the 1700's, was the daughter of a blacksmith. She grew up in the Strathearn area of Perthshire, experiencing both the open spaces of the Highlands with its glens, lochs, and mountains and the rich farmland of the Lowlands. Strathearn straddles both.

At the age of 18, Helen purchased passage to America. Pirates attacked the ship and the women were taken as slaves and sold at a slave market in Algiers.

Because of her great beauty, Helen was purchased for the emperor of Morocco. Morocco sits below the Straits of Gibraltar on the Mediterranean coast of Africa. Its most famous city is Casablanca.

The emperor was so charmed by her that she became his principal wife, then the empress.

Though it didn't exist with a name and number at the time Helen Gloag lived, her family may have worn this tartan.

Strathearn District tartan WR1890r

The Strathearn District tartan was later worn by the father of Queen Victoria, Edward, Duke of Kent and Duke of Strathearn. He attempted to have the Royal Scots Regiment adopt this tartan. Though unsuccessful, the Comrie Pipe Band, from Strathearn, does wear the tartan.

Can you imagine Helen wearing this tartan in 18th century Morocco, with the bright sunshine, balmy breezes, and desert heat? Though the opposite of her childhood home, this tartan may have been right at home.

I have to wonder if she ever saw Scotland or her family again.

January 8, 2008 07:12 - The Bride of Lammermoor

Sir Walter Scott wrote the first historic novels. One, The Bride of Lammermoor, is a romantic tragedy and famous all over the world.

His story is based on a real tragedy. His great-aunt often told the story to his mother. She, in turn, shared the sad, tragic tale with her children. Scott changed the heroine's name to Lucy Ashton and the time frame to 1707 on the English/Scottish Borders.

The real bride was Janet Dalrymple, daughter of James Dalrymple, First Viscount Stair. They lived in the Ayrshire District at Baldoon Castle near Wigtown. The tragic events took place in 1669.

Sympathetic to the Covenanters, Janet fell in love with and secretly betrothed herself to Lord Rutherford, a Royalist.

Her parents presented their choice of suitor and Janet was forced to tell of her secret engagement. Her mother forced her to break her vow to Lord Rutherford. On her wedding night in a fit of insanity, Janet seriously wounded her groom. She died a fortnight later, never recovering her senses.

Legends tell she died on her wedding night and that servants found her groom huddled in a corner, babbling uncontrollably. Other written accounts are in Robert Law's Memorialls and Sir William Hamilton of Whitelaw's Satyre on the Familie of Stairs. These accounts fall more into the genre of urban legend.

This is the Dalrymple tartan, taken from a portrait at Castleton. Janet, and other family members may have worn this tartan. Possibly at her wedding.

Dalrymple of Castleton Portrait Tartan WR1780r

People on the Stairs' estate might also have worn what has become the Ayrshire District tartans. Singly, or together, they would make a lovely wedding color theme.

Ayrshire District tartan WR436r

Ayrshire District tartan WR2562r

Ayrshire Tourist Board Corporate tartan WR2202r

To read The Bride of Lammermoor, here's the Project Gutenberg EBook

Editor's note: The Bride of Lammermoor, as written by Scott, was the basis for Donizetti's opera Lucia de Lammermoor.

January 9, 2008 05:24 - Elizabeth Arden

Born Florence Nightingale Graham, Elizabeth Arden grew up in Ontario from Scottish stock. This Graham tartan, possibly worn by Florence and her family, is one of eight Graham tartans.

Graham Dress Clan tartan WR1787r

Working in the Squibb Pharmaceuticals lab in New York City, she learned about skin care. Later a partnership was formed with Elizabeth Hubbard. Next Florence opened a business on her own, naming it Elizabeth Arden. Elizabeth for her former partner and Arden from Tennyson's poem Enoch Arden, a tragic story of love lost.

Arden next studied in Paris, returning with a collection of rouges and tinted powders and introducing modern eye makeup to America. She began "makeovers" in her salons and began using scientific formulations for her cosmetics. Her name became known worldwide, even selling in Nepal. Arden also introduced the "Total Look" of coordinating lip, cheek, and fingernail colors.

During World War II she introduced a red lipstick to match the red on women's uniforms. As women entered the workforce, she also taught them how to apply makeup and dress appropriately for working outside the home.

Maine Chance was the name of her exclusive health spa in Maine and her thoroughbred racehorse farm in Kentucky. (What Scot can resist horse racing?) Miss Arden contributed greatly to the breeding of thoroughbred horses, including a Kentucky Derby winner.

Some of the company fragrances available today are Fifth Avenue, Green Tea, With Love…Hilary Duff, Brittany Spears fragrances, Elizabeth Taylor's fragrance line, and Mariah Carey's "M".

January 10, 2008 04:05 - Princess Victoria Kaiulani

Though never a bride and dead at the age of 23, Princes Kaiulani is a very distinguished member of Scottish history.

She was the niece of King David Kalakaua and heir apparent to the throne of Hawaii. Her life was spent grooming to be queen. An unsuccessful attempt was made to arrange a marriage with Prince Yorihito of Japan.

She was named Victoria for Queen Victoria, while Kaiulani translates as the highest point of heaven. Her father chose Victoria to honor Queen Victoria who helped restore the sovereign power and independence of Hawaii during the reign of Kamehameha III from 1824 to 1854.

Kaiulani's father was Archibald Cleghorn, a financier and Royal Governor of Oahu.

Cleghorn Modern Clan tartan 4144

Kaiulani spent her teens and early twenties in the British Isles and may have worn the clan tartan while there or in Hawaii. She loved beautiful dresses and when she lost her royal annuity, she often designed and sewed her own clothing.

Kaiulani loved to surf and was also considered a very talented painter. Here's one of her paintings from 1890.

Poppies by Princess Kaiulani courtesy Wikipedia

Another nickname for her was the Peacock Princess as she loved them and kept them on her estate. Legend says they screamed when she died. The Princess went horseback riding and caught a fever in the rain. Many native Hawaiians felt she died of a broken heart from many losses in her young life.

January 11, 2008 06:18 - Betsy Ross

Widowed, outcast from her Quaker family and friends, struggling with a new upholstery business…not a life to envy. But Betsy Ross rose above her circumstances to become one of the most famous women in American history.

Born as Elizabeth Griscom and raised a Quaker, she learned sewing in her Quaker school. After eloping with a non-Quaker, she was shunned by family and friends. After her marriage, she attended Christ Church, where George Washington sat in the next pew. He hired her to sew cuffs and ruffles for his shirts, also visiting her home as a friend.

Whether the legend is true or not, Betsy is an inspiration to anyone in dire straits. The story tells that a committee of three, George Washington, Robert Morris, and George Ross (her uncle by marriage) commissioned her to create our first flag. Betsy was already sewing ship's colors, which are signal flags.

Image courtesy Wikipedia

Widowed shortly after the War of Independence began, Betsy married twice more. She continued her upholstery shop until retiring at the age of 75.

Today a Philadelphia bridge is named in her honor and her upholstery shop is a museum.

Though of English stock, her first husband, John Ross, was a Scotsman. There are 13 Ross tartans, predominantly in red, but the hunting tartans are green. Ross 90 was featured in the Christmas tartans. Another Ross tartan, #710, would combine nicely with #90.

Ross Clan tartan #WR90

Ross Clan tartan WR710

Four of the red tartans could be used as co-ordinating bridesmaid dresses. Of these #883 is most readily available, while #864 is the oldest and was possibly worn by John & Betsy Ross.

Ross Clan tartan #WR462

Ross Clan tartan #WR864

Ross Clan tartan #WR883

Ross Clan tartan #WR1403

January 14, 2008 04:32 - The Lady Anne Farquharson-Mackintosh

Many a Scot has been known for their being outspoken and gutsy. The Lady Anne Farquaharson MacKintosh, a 22 year old noble, is a fine example…

The daughter of a staunch Jacobite and the wife of Angus, Chief of Clan MacKintosh, a Royalist who led one of Lord Loudon's companies.

Image courtesy Wikipedia
Isn't her dress lovely, not to mention her personal beauty

In her husband's absence, Anne dressed herself as a man, rode her husband's land and raised over 200 men for the Jacobite cause. It was illegal for a woman to lead in battle, so 'Colonel Anne' turned her troops over to MacGillivray of Dunmaglass. They joined Prince Charlie's army at Bannockburn just before the Battle of Falkirk.

Meanwhile her husband and other Hanoverian troops were fooled at The Rout of Moy. After Falkirk, Prince Charlie was staying at Lady Anne's home, Moy Hall. Anne was warned that 1500 of the Black Watch, including Angus, were only 8 to 12 miles away and planning to snatch Prince Charlie to claim the 30,000 pound bounty. Anne sent five of her staff out to fire guns, crash about and shout clan battle cries, pretending to be the whole Jacobite army.

The ploy worked, the Black Watch fled and the next month 300 of them, including Angus, were captured. Prince Charlie paroled Angus into his wife's custody, stating, "he could not be in better security, or more honourably treated." Anne's greeting to Angus was, "Your servant, Captain." To which Angus replied, "Your servant, colonel."

When greeting her husband's return, she most likely donned her arisaid , possible in this historic tartan.

MacKintosh Arisaid Artifact tartan WR537
If you've learned much about me, all they had to add
was the purple and I'm hooked

Called Colonel Anne for many years, the Prince called her La Belle Rebelle, the beautiful rebel.

After the Battle of Culloden, Lady Anne was arrested. Later, at a social event in London with Angus, Anne met the Duke of Cumberland. The duke asked her to dance to a pro-government tune. She, in turn, asked him to dance to a Jacobite tune. Way to go, Anne!

January 15, 2008 05:16 - Lady MacBeth

A Scottish lady much maligned by William Shakespeare, Gruoch Boite MacBeth was a granddaughter of King Kenneth III of Scotland. He lived from before 967 to 1005. Kenneth died in battle at the hand of Malcolm II.

Gruoch had a son, Lulach, by a previous marriage. He was raised by MacBeth and became King after MacBeth's death in 1057. About the only thing known of his reign is that he was the first king of Scotland whose coronation details were recorded for history.

Shakespeare's play uses the historic characters, but portrays them inaccurately. In the play MacBeth uses Gruoch's ancestry to claim the kingship.

Historically, MacBeth's mother is credited with being the daughter of King Malcolm II of Scotland. MacBeth appears to be as much entitled to the throne as Gruoch. MacBeth did slay King Duncan. In turn the future king, Malcolm III, son of Duncan, killed MacBeth and became king after Lulach.

The Royal Houses of Scotland traces their names, houses, and dates they reigned.

Other portrayals of Lady MacBeth include

  • Three operas by Dmitri Shostakovich, Giuseppe Verdi, and Ernest Bloch
  • Fifteen films
  • Numerous literary works around the world from Russia to Argentina

Here are two MacBeth tartans that would work well together for a Scottish wedding theme.

MacBeth Clan tartan WR679, most readily available

MacBeth Clan tartan WR557

A third MacBeth tartan comes from the Lochcarron Heirloom Collection. Originally a silk tartan, Lochcarron has recreated the pattern in woolen.

MacBeth Heirloom tartan

Coming tomorrow, Caroline Oliphant and her daring deeds…

January 16, 2008 06:24 - Caroline Oliphant, the Lady Nairne

Caroline lived from 1766 to 1845. As the granddaughter of Oliphant of Gask in Perthshire, she would have worn the Oliphant tartan.

Oliphant tartan WR242

Her father was a staunch Jacobite and she was named in memory of Bonnie Prince Charlie. As a beauty she was called 'Pretty Miss Car' and the 'Flower of Strathearn'.

At the age of thirty, Caroline married William, 5th Lord of Nairne, whose lands had been forfeited by the 3rd Lord of Nairne, a devoted Jacobite.

Nairn Family tartan WR1331

Following the tradition of Robert Burns, Caroline set about to publish a collection of Scottish airs with appropriate words, contributing a large number of songs under the name Mrs. Bogan of Bogan. The collection was published in Edinburgh in 1821, under the name The Scottish Minstrel.

Her songs fall into three categories ~ those celebrating old Scottish characters and manners; Jacobite songs for her kinsman Robertson, Chief of Strowan; and others.

Her songs are full of pathos, vivacity, and wit, said to be surpassed only by Robert Burns himself.

In 1824, King George IV, restored the lands forfeited by the 3rd Lord of Nairn after the Jacobite Rebellion to express George's appreciation of her Jacobite songs, which he felt "breathed such devotion to the spirit of monarch and chiefship."

Tomorrow, her Jacobite tune, "Will Ye No Come Back Again?" will be featured.

January 17, 2008 05:47 - Will Ye No Come Back Again

A Jacobite tune written by Caroline Oliphant, the Lady Nairne, whose music helped restore her husband's lands which were seized after the Battle of Culloden. Yesterday's blog told of her history.

Will Ye No Come Back Again?

Bonnie Chairlie's noo awa',
Safely ower the friendly main;
Mony a heart will break in twa',
Should he ne'er come back again.

Will ye no come back again?
Will ye no come back again?
Better lo'ed ye canna be,
Will ye no come back again?

Ye trusted in your Hielan' men,
They trusted you dear Chairlie.
They kent your hidin' in the glen,
Death or exile bravin'.

We watched thee in the gloamin' hour,
We watched thee in the mornin' grey.
Tho' thirty thousand pounds they gie,
O there is nane that wad betray.

Sweet the laverock' s note and lang,
Liltin' wildly up the glen.
But aye tae me he sings ae sang,
Will ye no' come back again?

Written by Caroline Oliphant

Two words might need clarification ~ gloamin' is twilight and laverock is the skylark

Hear Margaret Donaldson, The Rose of Scotland, singing Will Ye No Come Back Again?

Other Scottish songs sung by Margaret Donaldson.

Tomorrow read about Lila Acheson Wallace of Reader's Digest magazine.

January 18, 2008 05:59 - Lila Acheson Wallace

With her husband, DeWitt Wallace, she co-founded Reader's Digest magazine. The largest circulating magazine in the world, it's published in 27 languages and read by over one hundred million readers. Today, their charitable foundation is one of the twenty largest in the U.S.

The Wallaces began by reading articles in the Minneapolis, then the New York, Public Library and condensing them for the general public.

DeWitt was the son of a Presbyterian minister, as was Lila. Her best known ancestor is Sir Archibald Acheson. Sir Archibald owned what has become a landmark house on the Royal Mile in Edinburgh.

Here's the Huntly Gordon tartans the Acheson family wears. They look scrumptious together or individually. Lila strikes me as one who would have looked stunning in any of these family tartans.

Gordon Family Red Old Huntly WR641

Gordon Family Red Old Huntly tartan WR652

Huntly District tartan WR853

Gordon Family Red WR1955

The Wallace family tartan is more conservative, yet also bright and cheery.

Wallace Clan tartan WR1208

Lila collected French Impressionist paintings. She was also an avid gardener and loved flowers. She funded fresh flowers daily for the Metropolitan Museum of Art Great Hall.

Other benefactors have been the restoration of Monet's home, Giverny, in France, the Bird House at the Bronx Zoo, Julliard School of Music, various hospitals and churches. She gave away $60 million in her lifetime.

January 21, 2008 05:43 - George MacDonald & His Daughters

Donald was the second recorded king of Scotland, as can be seen at the Royal Houses of Scotland. Anyone descending from him is a MacDonald.

James MacDonald descended through MacDonald, Lord of the Isles. James developed his clan on the Sleat Peninsula of the Isle of Skye. Thus they are called MacDonald of Sleat and are part of a very powerful, famous clan.

MacDonald of Sleat Clan tartan WR904

Their home, Castle Camus, was built by Clan MacLeod in the 1400's. It was abandoned and falling into ruins in the 1600's.

The MacDonald of Sleat clan badge is heather and their motto is 'by sea and land'.

As the clan took no part in the Jacobite uprisings, the Sleat holdings remained intact.

There are lots of famous and infamous MacDonalds. This week we'll focus on one a James MacDonald's descendants, the Reverend George Browne MacDonald. He had four daughters, known for their beauty.

Born from 1837 to 1848, in many ways they portray 'The Victorian Woman'. Their marriages brought as much fame as their beauty.

Alice, the eldest, was the mother of Rudyard Kipling. Georgiana was a woodcut artist and married an artist. Agnes' husband became the president of the Royal Academy. Louisa was the mother of British Prime Minister Stanley Baldwin. Edith, the youngest, never married,

The daughters will be covered in more detail in the days to follow…

January 22, 2008 06:27 - Alice MacDonald

Alice was born in 1837. She met John Lockwood Kipling in 1863 at Rudyard Lake in England.

John was the son of the Reverend Joseph Kipling and Francis Lockwood, a family of the Edinburgh District.

Edinburgh District tartan WR1163

He was working in Staffordshire, building the Wedgewood Institute. It stood on the grounds of Josiah Wedgewood's pottery works and was a school of art and science. John had also worked on the decorations at the Victoria and Albert Museum.

In 1865 they moved to India, where he was professor of architectural sculpture in the Jeejeebhoy School of Art. Of Alice, the future Viceroy of India said, "Dullness and Mrs. Kipling cannot exist in the same room."

Their son, Joseph Rudyard Kipling was born soon after their arrival in India. Rudyard, renowned for his short stories and poetry about India, was awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1907. He and his father illustrated many of Rudyard's works, often in woodcuts.

Rudyard's most prized work, Just So Stories, was written for his daughter, Josephine, who had died of influenza. My son and I loved to share the stories as he as growing up.

The covers of both Just So Stories, illustrated by his father, Joseph Kipling.

Image courtesy Wikipedia

Image courtesy Wikipedia

A MacDonald tartan that Alice might have worn is the MacDonald Lord of the Isles, with some subtle differences in the smaller stripes from MacDonald of Sleat.

Macdonald Lord of the Isles tartan WR873

January 23, 2008 05:37 - Georgiana MacDonald

Georgiana (1840-1920) was the most famous of the MacDonald sisters, in her own right. She was a woodcut artist for book illustrations. Though not done by her, her nephew, Rudyard Kipling, used many woodcuts in his books.

Married to the pre-Raphaelite painter Sir Edward Burne-Jones, their daughter, Margaret, married John William Mackail, a Virgil scholar, poet, and historian.

Georgiana was also the grandmother of Angela Thirkell, a novelist of Australia and England. Angela was the godchild of author J.M. Barry of Peter Pan fame. Her son, Colin MacInnes, worked in British Intelligence in World War II and became a noted novelist in the 1950's.

Georgiana's husband became an expert in stained glass windows, working with the famed William Morris. Together they created windows for Trinity Church in Boston, Massachusetts in 1882. Two examples are David's Charge to Solomon and The Worship of the Shepherds.

Image courtesy Wikipedia

Image courtesy Wikipedia

Georgiana might have worn either of these MacDonald dress tartans for her wedding.

MacDonald Clan Dress tartan WR1998

MacDonald Clan Dress tartan WR2001

January 24, 2008 05:53 - Agnes & Edith MacDonald

Agnes (1843-1906) married Sir Edward Poynter who became the director of the National Gallery, then the president of the Royal Academy. His most famous works are large historical paintings, as seen below.

Israel in Egypt image courtesy Wikipedia

His father was an architect, his grandfather a sculptor. Their son, Ambrose Poynter, was also a well-known architect. Much of Sir Edward's work was destroyed in a fire at Wortley Hall, home of Lord Wharncliffe.

There was another daughter, Edith (1848-1937), who didn't marry at all. She lived at home until her mother's death, and with Louisa after that. Little else is known about Edith…except she was the aunt of Prime Minister Stanley Baldwin, author Rudyard Kipling, great-aunt of author Angela Thurkill, and great-great aunt of author Colin MacInnes.

The oldest known MacDonald tartan which the sisters might have worn.

MacDonald Clan tartan WR419

Tomorrow, Louisa, the last of the Macdonald sisters...

January 25, 2008 06:14 - Louisa MacDonald

As beautiful as her sisters, Louisa (1845-1925) married Alfred Baldwin.

His father came from the Galloway District, whose district tartan is ~

Galloway District tartan WR1469

Alfred's mother was a Stanley, who originated in the Edinburgh District. Her district tartan ~

Edinburgh District tartan WR1163

Louisa might have worn either of these tartans on her wedding day and thereafter.

Alfred worked his way up through his uncle's ironworks, becoming a successful industrialist, owing mills that produced iron and tin. He was also director of the Great Western Railway and a member of parliament.

Their son, Sir Stanley Baldwin, inherited Alfred's seat in parliament and became Prime Minister of Great Britain in 1923 and 1924.

Alfred also paid for the construction of All Saints Church, in Wilden. Later he commissioned his brother-in-law, Sir Edward Burne-Jones, to replace the 14 stained glass windows with ones dedicated to members of the MacDonald, Baldwin, and Burne-Jones families. One depicts Stanley Baldwin setting out on his life's journey, accompanied by a guardian angel.

Louisa might also have worn MacDonald tartans, including this hunting tartan.

MacDonald Clan Hunting tartan WR927

Coming Monday, a very feminine Edwardian gown for the bridal attendants or mothers...

January 28, 2008 05:48 - Early 1900's Gown for the Mothers

Celtic Knot Dress 1910 to 1930

Recently I saw this dress and just fell in love with it. The waistband could be a stylized cummerbund or an inset. That plus the other motifs give a hint that this was an Oriental design from the late teens or early twenties. But when I look at it, I only see Celtic knots.

If one of the mothers wants to go Scottish, but needs to be reserved in her taste, this could be the way to go. If the bridal theme included the Alba Dark Heirloom Collection Tartan, the colors would really work with this dress style.

Lochcarron Heirloom Collection Tartan Alba Dark

With the main dress done in brown velvet or silk, the motifs at the waist and hemlines could be knotted Alba Dark Tartan. To be conservative, the bodice overlay and skirt back would need to be a color close to the brown in the main dress. To be a little more daring, possibly in the pink or orange from the Alba Dark Tartan.

Scotland Shop has the perfect tartan shoe to match the dress style.

Scotland Shop JG30 Kirsty Tie Shoe

For more information about the tie shoe and other tartan shoe styles, Scotland Shop has a good selection.

The more I ponder this dress, I can also see a pristine bridal gown, all in white, including the Celtic knots. Either tea length as shown or a longer hemline would work. The tartans could be on the bridesmaids, ribbons, or just a touch on the toes of the shoes.

January 29, 2008 06:30 - The Four Marys of Scotland ~ Mary Seton

The Four Marys were young ladies of similar age to Mary Queen of Scots, all closely connected with the Royal House of Stewart. Chosen by Mary of Guise, the consort of King James V of Scotland, they were companions to her daughter, Mary, the future Queen of Scotland. They were her Ladys in Waiting

The Four Marys accompanied Mary, Queen of Scots, to France where she was to wed the Dauphin. Three were chosen for their Franco-Scottish heritage ~ Mary Seton, Mary Beaton, and Mary Livingston. Mary Fleming did not have French heritage.

Mary Seton was the only one of the four who didn't marry. She remained in service to the queen and shared her captivity in England for 15 years. Later she retired to the Convent at Rheims, France, where Renee de Guise was Abbess. Renee was the aunt of Mary Queen of Scots. Mary Seton died there in 1615.

Selected because she was the daughter of George Seton, the 6th Lord Seton and Marie Pieris, a Lady in waiting to Maire de Guise, consort of King James V of Scotland.

The Setons had early links with the House of Gordon. Mary Seton may have worn the Seton, Gordon or the Royal House of Stewart tartans.

Seton Family tartan WR932

Gordon Family tartan WR223

Tomorrow, Mary Beaton...

January 30, 2008 06:36 - Mary Beaton

The second Mary was simply called Beaton because it rhymed with Seton.

Mary Beaton was described as pretty and plump, with fair hair and dark eyes. She has also been described as a shy daydreamer who often sought solitude.

In 1548 Marie de Guise, selected Mary Beaton, then age 5, to accompany her daughter Mary to France. Mary Beaton's mother was one of Marie de Guises's ladies-in-waiting.

The Beatons of Fife were a very powerful family in 16th century Scotland.

The Fife District tartan that Mary Beaton's father likely wore. Her mother, and Mary herself, may also have worn this district tartan.

Fife District tartan WR2503

Lord Thomas Randolph began courting Mary Beaton in 1564. He was 45 and Mary was 21. He was Queen Elizabeth's English Ambassador to the Scottish court. He tried to get Mary Beaton to spy on Mary Queen of Scots. She refused.

In April 1566 she married Alexander Ogilvy of Boyne. According to a Scottish nursery rhyme, 'Marry in April when you can, Joy for Maiden and for Man'. Hopefully she had a joyful marriage.

If you question this marriage rhyme going back into the mid 1500's, when Mary Queen of Scots married the Earl of Bothwell in May of 1567, the lines about a May marriage were tacked to the gates at Holyrood Castle.

To read these lines and the other months for marriage, go to Scottish Wedding Dreams Month of Marriage.

These are two Ogilvie tartans they might have worn at their wedding and afterward.

Ogilvie Clan tartan WR2132

Ogilvie Clan tartan WR677

January 31, 2008 05:58 - Mary Fleming

Mary Fleming, along with Mary Queen of Scots, was the granddaughter of King James IV. As mentioned the other day, she was the only one of the four who had no French blood.

Mary Fleming's mother, Lady Janet Stewart, was an illegitimate child of King James IV. Lady Janet was a governess to Queen Mary and accompanied her to France in 1548. Mary Fleming was about the same age as Queen Mary.

The Queen's secretary was Maitland of Lethington and became the husband of Mary Fleming. The marriage was rumored to be an unhappy one in which Mary Fleming wished to attempt his murder.

The Fleming tartan which Mary Fleming had the right to wear ~

Fleming tartan WR2531

The Maitlands were a Lowland family, also entitled the Dukes of Lauderdale, and they were the Hereditary Saltire Banner Bearers of Scotland.

The Maitland Chiefs Own tartan which Mary Fleming's husband, and possibly Mary, wore ~

Maitland Chiefs Own tartan WR714

Tomorrow, Mary Livingston…

Editor's Note: The Earl of Lauderdale, Chief of Clan Maitland, has provided additional information, correcting errors in the above. This new information can be read in the February 9, 2011 blog

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