1 EAGLETON NOTES: On Being Called Edwards and Wearing Tartan

.

.

Sunday, 10 June 2018

On Being Called Edwards and Wearing Tartan

Heron recently made the following statement in his comment on one of his posts: " what clan tartan is it that is aligned with the surname of Edwards because I have always thought that name was Welsh".

As a youngster I always thought that too and aligned myself with all things Welsh from an early age.

We then had a discussion on his blog on the subject of the tartan which I wore for my kilt. 

This raised various matters which I though might be of interest to those who read my blog.

Firstly the name 'Edwards'. This surname, with variant forms Edwardes and Edwardson, is a patronymic form of the early medieval English male given name Edward, itself coming from the Olde English pre 7th Century "Eadward", composed of the elements "ead", prosperity or fortune, plus "w(e)ard", guard; hence, "prosperity guard".  However apparently it is supposed to have arisen separately in Wales.
  
Edwards is the 14th most common surname in Wales and 21st most common in England. 

Examples of Edwards Tartan
So why the tartan question? Well the Welsh as well as the Scots wear kilts and have tartans. The Edwards tartan is a dour and uninteresting cloth (in my opinion) and the idea of having a kilt in the Edwards tartan did not appeal to me at all. However for my son's wedding I could not go kiltless so had to take a decision.

Having lived the majority of my life in the Western Isles of Scotland the obvious choice was the Western Isles Modern tartan and that was what I wore. For the record my son wore the Macrae Dress tartan in the old Scottish tradition of marrying into the bride's family (Macrae).

41 comments:

  1. You look great in that kilt, Graham! I love the colour, too.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Frances. I like the colour too and I feet very comfortable and thoroughly enjoy wearing it for weddings.

      Delete
  2. I can only repeat what Frances says, Graham. They should pay you for modelling their kikts so well, whoever the makers are.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Meike, it was made on the Island by the wife of the person who designed the tartan.

      Delete
  3. Well I like it too! You made the correct choice (among the colors/patterns you had from which to choose) in my opinion. And, I also think you look really great in the kilt.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you Jill. The kilt hides my knobbly knees.

      Delete
  4. That picture... it's like a page from a catalogue - "Kilts R Us" and you are the lead male model. It's surprising you weren't also wearing a bonny tam o' shanter. Seriously though, you did look very smart that day Graham.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. YP it'd be more likely kilts for the older man. You made me wonder what the appropriate headwear would have been for such a day (I don't recall any headwear despite the fact that so much time was spent outdoors). I think it would probably be a Balmoral (but definitely not a Tam).

      Delete
  5. My my how very handsome you look too. You lost me somewhere during the description of how/why you didn’t choose the Edwards tartan but your ultimate choice is very smart.

    Could you hire yourself out dressed thus to local wedding parties? Just so that you have an excuse to wear it on a regular basis?

    Wee Brodie will need to be choosing his tartan very soon.

    Hope you’re keeping well.
    Regards Beverley

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Beverley. On the whole I'm not sociable enough for weddings so if I wanted an excuse to wear it I'd just walk around the centre of Glasgow or Edinburgh. Wee Brodie won't have to make a choice: it will be a Macrae tartan I'm sure. Although who knows what he will decide when he chooses for his first adult kilt.

      Delete
  6. You look just like you, quite a classy guy.
    I saw the tartan for my family name. I decided the American clan needs a tartan of our own. Designing one is not an easy task.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. That's very kind of you to say so Maywyn. Designing tartans must be quite difficult given the number already registered.

      Delete
  7. You're a very dapper looking fellow in your kilt.

    ReplyDelete
  8. Kilts have always fascinated me. I have no Scottish ancestry, but could see myself roaming the hills wearing an every-day battered kilt. I wonder why England has no national dress?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Perhaps, Cro, it's because England doesn't have a single identity. It is, after all, a complete mish-mash of peoples and has been since the Vikings, Goths, Visi-Goths, Huns and many more colonised this island.

      Delete
    2. Woops; I forgot Adidas joggers, hoodie, and a balaclava. The new national dress!

      Delete
  9. There is something that makes the kilt and it's wearer look so much smarter than morning dress. Western Isle Modern is a great mix. I wonder if there is an Expat Dordogne ?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Morning dress is unusual at a Scottish wedding. I have to admit that all the morning suits at my wedding looked pretty smart but there is definitely something much more interesting in the different tartans of the kilts. As for Expat Dordogne - design one! Anyone can wear a kilt!

      Delete
  10. It's a very good photo of you and I really like the colours of that tartan. Good choice! :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Monica. I'm not usually one to like photos of myself (like most people I think) but this one by CJ is pretty good.

      Delete
  11. It's a really nice tartan and it looks fabulous. I don't think I have seen a kilt worn with black socks before. It allows the tartan to shine.
    A friend of mine had her husband wear the hunting tartan for their wedding because she hated the formal one. It seems there is plenty of leeway for choosing one you would actually like to wear

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Kylie, black hose (kilt socks are usually referred to hose) and a black shirt are often worn. Hose are often cream, green or blue )usually with a white shirt). Although I do have cream hose I have never worn them because I think the black go better with the tartan. The hose flash is often the same as the kilt. As for leeway, one can actually always find an excuse/reason for the tartan one wants.

      Delete
  12. You are in great company. Sir Chris Hoy wore a Hebridean tartan kilt at his wedding . a sort of greyish colour.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Andrea, there are, as you know, many Hebridean tartans but I just fell in love with the Western Isles Modern - probably because I love the colour blue.

      Delete
  13. My family clan is MacRae, and Bear's is MacLennan... so we chose the Isle of Skye tartan for our wedding. It has beautiful thistle colored threads!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yes and good you both looked too, Mrs S.

      Delete
  14. Looking good there Graham! I have 3 tartans - Scottish ones of Dunlop and Mackintosh and an Irish one of McKenna.

    ReplyDelete
  15. I am quite envious of your bespoke ensemble and only wish that I had the knees to carry off a similar outfit.
    My delayed response to your blog post was delayed by a complete breakdown by our service provider.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks for the comment, Heron. Whilst many people claim that they could well do without the internet and modern communication I'm afraid that I'm not one of those people so I would be very inconvenienced if I had a complete service provider breakdown.

      Delete
  16. I agree you look absolutely marvellous in it. I have always thought that men wear the tartan much better than women, although perhaps this sounds very sexist of me. I never knew WHICH tartan was such a complicated question, though. I had the idea that you had one tartan and had to put up with it! I am glad that's not the case and think that the lady who designed it has done a terrific job.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you, Jenny. I've never thought about male or female 'suitability' for tartan. Actually the kiltmaker was the wife and the tartan designer was the husband. These days I don't think any but the most fanatical worry too much about which tartan. The surname is the usual choice but even the Macleod tartan has over 60 variations.

      Delete
  17. I have Robert Bain's book..."The Clans and Tartans of Scotland"....it was handed down to me from my grandmother and mother. It's always been a part of my life.

    I'm sure you would be interested in this book, Graham...if you've not already seen it. I'm sure the local library would have a copy.

    The book was first published in 1938...and this edition I have was reprinted in 1947.

    I've always cherished this little book, and as a child spent many hours reading through it and admiring the different tartans pictured therein.

    My maternal side, as I've previously written about in my blog, were descendants of Scottish Highlanders (with one or Irish infiltrators over the course of the years)...and on my paternal side, my grandparents, and those before them, came from the town of Armagh, County Armagh, Northern Ireland. My father's parents came to Australia in the early 1900s, shortly after they married. It was here, in central Queensland, their children were born...one of whom fathered my late brother, Graham and me.

    Hay, Hose, Stuart, MacDonald...on my maternal side. Nicholson, on my paternal side of the fence. :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I have a feeling, Lee, that I have a couple of books on tartans on the bookshelves in the loft but, to be honest, if I want to look up a tartan now I simply go on line. I would think that a great many tartans have appeared since 1947 including the one that I wear. However I can well understand your fascination with the book as a youngster and even now because of its memories.

      Delete
  18. By the way...that is a great photo of you, Graham. :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I have to say, Lee, that I thought my brother did rather well when he took that shot.

      Delete
  19. The examples of the kilts for the Edwards look perfectly fine to me, but then, I have never had to think of wearing one! I think I told you that Richard has traced his family to a Elizabeth Edwards from Shropshire! I will have to show him this post.
    You look quite fetching wearing that kilt, Graham!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Kay, the designers and those who commissioned the various Edwards tartans obviously liked them too. They are just not to my taste. And thank you for the compliment.

      Delete