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Strathspey Tartan

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Little is known concerning the origins of the Strathspey tartan.  It was a waistcoat with a tartan back said to have been part of an original uniform of the Strathspey Fencibles 1793-99.  It appears to be a variant of the 42nd Government or Black Watch tartan.  Until the beginning of the 19th century, it was usual for the Colonel of a Fencible unit to clothe his men under general War Office directives but with a certain amount of personal preference.  

The Strathspey, or Grant Fencibles, as they were known, were raised by General James Grant of Ballindalloch, whose clan already used the Black Watch tartan as a hunting sett.  Thus it was logical for him to use that pattern as a basis for his regiment’s tartan.

Strathspey (Scottish Gaelic, ‘Srath Spè’) is the area around the strath of the River Spey.  The term Strathspey usually refers to the upper part of the Strath from the source of the Spey down to the capital, Grantown-on-Spey.

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