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Campbell of Cawdor is an armigerous clan, the family name was originally Calder, but after Lord John Campbell moved to England he changed the spelling of the name as this is how the English pronounced Calder. When the Campbell of Cawdor tartan was first designed it did not have a name, it was eventually named in 1850 over 100 years later.

The Campbell of Cawdor sett is authorised by the present Clan Chief, Mac Cailien Mor. Campbell of Cawdor is one of Wilson's variations based on the military sett. It was originally a numbered pattern, acquiring the name 'Argyle' in 1798 and 'Argylle' in 1819. It is not until W and A Smith work of 1850 ("The Authenticated tartan of the Clans and Families of Scotland) that the full title is given, 'Campbell of Cawdor' (Scottish Tartans Society). Also in the 1880 Clans Originaux.

Again this tartan is based around Black Watch, with the addition of red and light blue stripes.

In Campbell Tartan, written by Alastair Campbell of Airds the younger in 1985, he lists the four approved Campbell tartans: the Campbell (also known as "Ancient Campbell" and "Campbell Ancient" in the marketplace), which is the same as the Black Watch; the Campbell of Cawdor; the Campbell of Beadalbane; and the Campbell of Loudoun. Of the Campbell of Argyll tartan, he writes, “This is not a pattern which has the Chief’s approval as an official Campbell tartan and purchasers should avoid it if they wish to be correct.” To be accurate, the past 7 Clan Campbell Chiefs have disavowed, some very strongly, the Campbell of Argyll tartan.

 

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