The History of Gordon Tartan

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It is known that there were a lot of Gordons in the North East region of the Scotland from 12th century. The name “Gordon” originated from lands of Gordon in Berwickshire. Gordon (Gor Din in the ancient British language) means Hill Fort. The native Gordons are known to be from Normandy and they started moving towards North after the Norman Invasion in 1066.

The Normans arrived at Scotland during the ruling of Malcolm Canmore. They were mostly living around the Scottish border but later their name spread around the country. In around 1320, Adam de Gordon decided to go to Avignon on behalf of Robert the Bruce to give the manifesto of Arbroath to the Pope. Robert the Bruce gave Adam de Gordon huge amount of territory that actually belonged to MacDuffs and Strathbogie, for his works. Later the Gordons changed the name of that territory to “Huntly”.

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The Gordons were known as the most dominant clans in the 16th century and in the north. They were also the main supporter of Catholicism in Scotland. In around 1594, there was one clan chief (6th Earl of Huntly) that was charged of planning to restore Roman Catholicism in Scotland along with the help of the King of Spain. After some time, he was released and had to marry the daughter of the Duke of Lennox.

In 1715 and 1745, the Gordons fought the both sides with Jacobite rebellions. The 2nd Duke of Gordon came after the Jacobites and fought them at the battle of Sheriffmuir. In 1745, the 3rd Duke didn’t do anything while his brother started to create a regiment so that he can go to battle for Prince Charlie. It was a very hard time for the Gordons.

During the revolution of 1745, the clans that fought and survived had to suffer the Highland Clearances. They started to move to Canada, USA, New Zealand, and Australia. The Gordon clan is also known as the most scattered clan of all the Scottish clans out there. Probably because they had to go through the worst time in the history of Highlands.

However, some other branches were active and one of those was Huntly. They were the most powerful at that time and had the influence over the politics in Scotland. In 1852, the 4th Earl of Aberdeen George became the Prime Minister and started to play a vital role in the war of crimea. The 7th Earl of Aberdeen became the Lord Lieutenant of Ireland and as well as the Governor General of Canada.

The Gordon’s are commonly known as a clan, but they can also be described as the House of Gordon because of their Norman inheritance. The chief right now is The Most Hon. The 13th Marquess of Huntly is at the Aboyne Castle that is situated in Aberdeenshire which is under the possession of the family since 15th century.


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