The Maitland Tartan is a modification of the known and accepted Lauder tartan
The Maitland Tartan

The Maitland Tartan and the Clan Badge are the birthright of all Maitlands and their descendants. By wearing the tartan and the badge you show your allegiance to the Chief and to your kinsfolk. The Clan badge is a heraldic device which all followers of a Chief may wear, and is the only heraldic device which can be assumed without a specific grant from the heraldic court of the Lord Lyon King of Arms in Scotland or the Earl Marshal and Garter King of Arms in England.

We control sale of these items to those of Maitland name or descent, so you can be sure if you see someone wearing the Maitland tartan or badge that they are your kinsfolk.

Tartan to be worn by Maitlands

Questions about the proper tartan to be worn by Maitlands, and those of Maitland descent and connection, have been reviewed by the Lord Lyon King of Arms (Lyon), presiding over the Scottish College of Heralds. They arose when, on the occasion of the Queen’s Progress through Edinburgh after her Coronation in 1953, it fell to the then Master of Lauderdale to deputise for his brother, the Sixteenth Earl, as Hereditary Bearer for the Sovereign of the National Flag of Scotland, the Flag of St. Andrew.

The authorities argued that the Bearer should appear in the Clan Tartan, but it was not clear what that should be. The Lyon agreed to review the matter. The Lyon made clear that although the Maitlands are by origin Lowlanders, it is fully proper for them to wear tartan.

Maitland Tartan
The Maitland Tartan is a modification of the known and accepted Lauder tartan

He suggested a modification of the known and accepted Lauder tartan in respect that the Maitland Chief was Earl of Lauderdale. He proposed bordering its thin red line on either side with two yellow lines to reproduce the colours of the lion and tressure of the Maitland arms — or, a lion rampant gules couped at all the joints of the field, within a double tressure flory counterflory azure.

Under the Lyon’s advice this was ordained by the XVIth Earl as Chief and in turn officially "Recorded in the Books of this Court by Order of the Lord Lyon King of Arms, conform to his Lordship’s Warrant". The Warrant for Recording accepted the deed as ‘defining the proper Tartan of the Clan Maitland’

The Chief is determined to protect its use and has arranged that it shall only be sold to those who register with himself their claim to wear it

Who is Entitled to the Tartan?

Precise definition of entitlement in law is difficult. The Lord Lyon has ruled that a Maitland in the first instance is somebody bearing the name: "The surname and, according to Lord Dunedin, the last of a combined surname, rules to which family or clan one belongs".

Interpreted strictly this suggests that Maitland-xxxx is not a real Maitland, but that xxxx-Maitland is authentic. However, there are many instances where Maitlands have married heiresses, and as a condition of taking the inheritance were obliged to adopt the Maitland-xxxx style. They are, of course, Maitlands, and we welcome them as such. Equally, many Maitland ladies have wished to retain their family name, and therefore have adopted the style Maitland-xxxx, after marrying a husband whose family name is xxxx. Where the surname is, say xxxx-yyyy, then, yyyy is the family name, and yyyy tartan is usually appropriate, if available.

Maitland Tartan Skirt
A Maitland Tartan Skirt

Since most Scots can claim many tartans if the female lines are taken into account, the practical approach is to wear the father's tartan where a choice must be made. Ladies on marrying normally wear their husband's tartan, and for this reason it is customary for them to adopt the tartan of the family into which they marry.
However, wearing a tartan denotes allegiance to the Chief, whatever the surname of the wearer and we welcome all of Maitland descent, however it has been derived, and whatever name they bear.

Others who base their claim upon allegiance or service to the Chief or to Lauderdale itself, or residence in Lauderdale, and thus by implication citizenship of, Lauderdale may also apply.

Thus two classes of clansfolk are recognised:

  1. MEMBERS - Those with the surname MAITLAND; either as a single surname, or in the case of a combined name, the final name, e.g. Heriot Maitland
  2. FOLLOWERS - Those with some other surname, or final name in the case of a combined name, e.g. Maitland Heriot. They may base their claim on any of these five circumstances:
    1. Blood relationship (no matter how many generations) with -
      1. A MAITLAND or a LAUDERDALE; or
      2. A MAITLAND or a LAUDERDALE descendant.
    2. Alliance through marriage with
      1. A MAITLAND or a LAUDERDALE; or
      2. A MAITLAND or a LAUDERDALE descendant
    3. Association e.g. the use of MAITLAND or LAUDERDALE as:
      1. A first name; or
      2. That of a parent; or
      3. That of a grandparent
    4. Association through service such as:
      1. Public or Professional Service in Lauderdale:
      2. Service to the Clan or to the Chief.
    5. Association through residence in (and thus citizenship of) Lauderdale.

When and how to wear the tartan?

Maitland (left) and Lauder (right) Tartans
Maitland (left) and Lauder (right) Tartans

Tartan goes back to the middle ages, and the mists of time. At the time of the Act of Union with England in 1707, the ladies of Edinburgh began to wear tartan dresses to show pride in their country. The wearing of tartan was forbidden after the rebellion of 1745, except by Scottish regiments, who wore tartan kilts as their uniform .During the Royal visit to Scotland of 1820, King George IV wore a kilt, and tartan became once again normal civil dress.

Scottish custom and practice changed a great deal in the last century. At the beginning - around 1900 - only relatively wealthy people could afford kilts, and kilt wearing was confined to formal occasions and for general use to highland areas of Scotland, where it was every day wear.

However, some leading Lowland families, for example the Dukes of Hamilton, who live at Lennoxlove, formerly Lethington, a Maitland house and castle near Thirlestane, have worn the kilt for generations.

The kilt is a part of British army uniform, and was worn in action throughout the 20th century. Naval officers may also wear the kilt with their mess undress- formal evening wear.

Today, the kilt is formal dress for Scots of all ages and classes, and is worn regularly for all occasions - weddings, dances, dinners, funerals - at which formal wear is appropriate. Ladies wear tartan skirts, or evening dresses and at dances, or other formal evening occasions, often wear sashes. At her wedding, the bride will wear the sash of her husband's clan once the dancing commences.

Tartan items are regularly worn at other times- ties, scarves, golf caps, etc.

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The Badge

The badge worn by Clansfolk. This badge, consisting of the Chief's crest enclosed within a belt and buckle which is used on our stationery, and on Clan documents, shows the lion seated on a tawse, or heraldic representation of a cushion. Wearing the badge signifies adherence to the Chief.

The Chief's crest shows the lion seated on an Earl's coronet, denoting the rank of the Chief.

Clansfolk's badge

Clan BadgeThis badge is the form used on the clan badges which we sell.

All clansfolk have the right to wear this badge.