What is worn under those Scottish kilts?
Anne Greene here. Last month I wrote a bit of history pertaining to the World War II era. This month I’m writing about another passion, 18th Century Scotland.
The age-old question of what is worn under a Scotsman’s kilt has a simple answer...usually nothing!
Historically Scottish Highlanders wore a tunic under their kilts, and nothing else. Considering the rugged nature of their existence, underwear was not a necessary part of their attire.
Scottish regiments traditionally went without under-garments. This is likely origin of the phrase going commando!
To the proud and patriotic Highlanders, the kilt was much more than a versatile piece of clothing, it was a cherished symbol of their heritage. In 1746, after the Scots lost the Battle of Culloden – which is the exact time setting of my Scottish Historical Series, Masquerade Marriage, Marriage by Arrangement, and the yet to be released Marriage To A Rogue, begins, King George II outlawed the kilt.
King George passed this law in a British government attempt to subdue the independent Scottish Highlanders. Along with the kilt, the wide leather belt, the fur or leather sporran, the kilt knife, the kilt pin, the knee hose and the Ghillie shoes were all prohibited. Ironically this law forged the Kilt into a symbol of Scottish culture and national pride, rather than just the traditional Scottish clothing worn by Highland clans.
The Jacobite defeat at Culloden was the last battle on British soil, the exhiled Prince Charles fled the country he had hoped to rule. His supporters, the Highlanders, suffered terribly from ‘Butcher Cumberland’ who ordered death to all Highland participants. To further punish Scotland, Parliament issued Acts to destroy their clans, their identities and their economic structures.
New laws abolished heritable jurisdictions, claimed estates for the crown, banned the playing of bagpipes, the wearing of tartans and Highland dress for all except government troops, and restricted the possession of weapons. Read of these momentous events in my Scottish Historical series.
How many of you have traced your heritage back to Scotland or to another place of origin?
Leave a comment. This month Anne is offering her commenters a chance to win her choice of any one of Anne's three published books. Leave a comment about your own heritage below for a chance to win and to speak with Anne.
ANNE GREENE delights in writing about wounded heroes and gutsy heroines. Her second novel, a Scottish historical, Masquerade Marriage, won numerous writing awards. The sequel Marriage By Arrangement releases in April. A Texas Christmas Mystery also won awards. In 2014, her World War II novel, Angel With Steel Wings, about WASPs, women test pilots will release. She makes her home in McKinney, Texas.
Visit with Anne and view her other books, her blog, travel pictures, and art work at http://www.AnneGreeneAuthor.com. Anne’s never too busy to talk with her fans.
Her highest hope is that her stories transport the reader to an awesome new world and touch hearts to seek a deeper spiritual relationship with the Lord Jesus. Buy Anne’s books at http://www.Amazon.com.
Visit with Anne every 14th day of each month here at Christian Fiction Historical Society. Join her in May for SINGING IN THE RAIN, plus another great giveway.
My ancestors hail from several different countries-one of them is the fighting MacGregor clan from Scotland. Have never been to Scotland, but hoping to get the opportunity to go.
Wondering if you have been there & if your interest in Scotland is because you are of Scottish descent (I noticed the Scottish attire in your picture).
I've always heard that nothing was worn under the kilts - but can't imagine how men protected their masculinity.
Good to see you here. Yes, on my paternal side I'm of Scottish descent. Our clan lived in far northern Scotland near Cathness. We were only a sept (small branch of a larger clan) the Robinsons. Sons of Rob. Rob Roy you recall.
My ancestors are from Sweden and Germany. I have been to Germany and hope to visit Sweden one day :). My folks were both born in Russia, in the early 1900's, 1908 and 1913! I don't think I really want to visit there, except St. Petersburg sounds very interesting.
Thanks for the history on the kilt. Never really thought about what was under it, but seems it would be very cold with nothing under it....lol
Hi Betz, Yes, I think it was cold. Their knees were bare as well. But I think it made them manly to withstand the cold. Anyway, they liked it.Delete
I'd love to go to Russia and see St. Petersburg. My dh speaks fluent Russian as well as six other languages which makes travel such a pleasure with him. And yes, I've been to Scotland and want to return.
That is interesting..mine were of irish descent - complete with the red hair. =) I can't believe what the King did - outlawing kilts that is so outrageous to think of not being able to wear what you want...so thanks that was really interesting!
I have some red-headed Irish in my background as well. Yes, the King didn't want anymore uprisings from those pesky Scots, so they destroyed their way of life. I love visiting in the UK. I loved Scotland the best, but really enjoyed Ireland as well. I had to kiss the blarney stone.
Thanks for sharing the history with us! I love reading about Scotland and the Jacobites. I was very surprised recently when I was watching a History of Ireland DVD that said Ireland had quite a few Jacobites as well, even suffered a lot under the British after the defeat.ReplyDelete
Can't wait to see what fascinating history you share with us next month!
Guess I should have answered the semi-question. I do have an Irish ancestor, possibly 2. And I think that one ancestress might have been, or had, Scottish history. As for the rest, Dad's side is strictly German, Danish, and Norwegian. Mom's are English, German, Danish, French, Cherokee, Irish, and I don't know what else. I guess you could call me a mutt or a true American, either would be fitting.Delete
Thanks Jasmine, I'm so glad you plan to join me every month. On my mother's side I have German as well. I'm pretty much Scotch Irish/German. I see you have a bit of Cherokee in your background. My first book Trail of Tears written under my other name W.A.Swonger, is about the Cherokee at the darkest time of their history. But they are a great people.Delete
Sounds like I just might have to look up that title and see if I can get it through my library. I haven't read as much about the Cherokee, fiction or non-fiction, as I would like too.Delete
The title is Trail of Tears by W.A. Swonger. I wrote my first few books under that name. Hope you find it, Jasmine.Delete
Well, I have no idea where my ancestors hail from. This post was quite good, never knew that about the kilt and the laws passed against this heritage. Thanks for sharing. God bless.ReplyDelete
Hi Debbie, good to see you again. If you win my book Masquerade Marriage you will learn a great deal more of the Scots and what happened to them.Delete
I believe it would be the first book I will have read about the Scots. :)Delete
Thanks for the marvelous posting! I genuinely enjoyed reading it, you will be a great author.ReplyDelete
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Thanks for the kind words. My My fifth book will release next year. I hope you will want to read them all.Delete
Outlawed the kilt?! Well, I am very glad it isn't outlawed now, I love seeing that part of their heritage. As for Scottish ancestry, I am related to Robert Roy MacGregor (Rob Roy), and in two ways related to the last king of Scotland. There are too many to list here, but Princess Mary Stewart and Robert de Bruce are my ancestors! When our family found that all out we were blown away. I knew there had to be a reason I loved everything Scottish since I was a wee baby. :)ReplyDelete
Thank you for the post!
farmygirl at hotmail dot com
Hi Susan, You're a Stewart! Lovely. You do have reason to be proud. Except Bonnie Prince Charlie wasn't the best Stewart in the line. Read about him in my book, Masquerade Marriage. Thanks for meeting me here. It's so good to talk with you.Delete
Thank you! I most definitely will read your book. :) Sounds intriguing, especially about Prince Charlie!Delete
This comment has been removed by the author.ReplyDelete
I think I do have Scots hertitage on the Stewart side of my family, but mostly Dutch, Irish, and English ancestors. :-) I'm looking forward to reading "Marriage By Arrangement". Thanks for the opportunity to win a copy.ReplyDelete
Hi Gwendolyn, The Stewarts were a great line of Scots. I am also Dutch and Irish, but no English. I've loved visiting Scotland and seeing in person the places I mentioned in both my books. I've been to twenty five foreign countries and the UK is at the top of my list of favorite places. I would love to live there for several years.Delete
Hello Anne. This was very interesting. I always heard they wore nothing under the Kilt. Doesn't seem it would be that comfortable with all of the marching they do. Sorta what I think of all of the girls who jog with no bra. I'm not sure about my ancestry. Tho't my dad had said part Irish, and English. I know there are a lot of red heads in our family (10). and my aunts families (on dad's side. ) Don't know much about my mom. I know there were great-grandmothers way back on both sides that were Indian. My daughter in law had an Ancestry DNA test on me and it showed Scandinavian and 74% North and Central British Isles (mostly Central).. So, don't know about that. I do know I'd love to win one of your books. And, wow, to get to talk to you. Thanks for the give-away. Maxie mac262(at)me(dot)com
Hi Maxie, That's so funny to compare braless with commando. I love it! The Vikings took Scottish wives in far north Scotland. I'm not sure they married them, but they settled in the Cathness area, which is where my clan was. So you may have gotten your Viking roots in northern Scotland. Fun to talk with you.Delete
I'd love to win Commando. I reviewed Masquerade Marriage and it's a great book. Your blog is so informative, too. I'm subscribing today!ReplyDelete
Ada, I remember you well. I'm so happy you are subscribing to my blog. I'll be looking forward to talking with you again next month on the 14th.ReplyDelete
I am half-Irish, one-fourth Norwegian and one-fourth German. My paternal Irish grandmother and maternal German grandfather died before I was born. I vaguely remember my Irish grandpa Joe. He had a little sleeping trailer on my Uncle's property. My mother died when I was five and I did not see my maternal Norwegian grandmother until I was 17 and visiting from out of state. My cousins have yearly reunions on the Irish side, and alternate years on the Norwegian side. Loving, inviting people! Kathleen ~ Lane Hill HouseReplyDelete
Hi Kathleen, Nice to see you again. I'm so sorry you didn't have your mother growing up. Reunions are lovely gatherings. My family seldom had one. You are blessed. I only remember one reunion when I was small and barely knew what was happening. But I do remember my older sister and I were the only blonde children among lots of red heads. I really wish our family had been closer.Delete
Very interesting post. My brother is the one in our family to keep up with the relatives. He is in charge of our family reunion. I think in so doing he has chosen to use his time going wide and not deep. He wants to keep updated to add new additions to the family, and he works with that more than looking to see who came over from where.ReplyDelete
Please enter me in the contest. Thank you for how you are making history interesting. History was my worst subject in school. Through homeschooling our son I came to find joy in it, but have never been able to have the time to make up for what I missed as a young student.
Blessings, JaniceG jsmithg(at)hotmail(dot)com
Hi Janice, It's good to meet you here. So what is your family heritage? I think your brother is unusual. Normally it seems the women are more apt to keep the family reunions running. I totally love history. But, like you, when I was in school history was taught in a most uninteresting way. I admire you for homeschooling your son.Delete
I have heard that we are English, Scotch/Irish (near the border). That is about all I know. I believe my husband's folks were Dutch/German. It would be interesting to know more about our ancestors.Delete
If you ancesters lived near the border they were probably Lowlanders rather than Highlanders. You'll read about the Lowlanders more in my book Marriage By Arrangement.Delete
Finding out about our ancersters is what makes geneology so very interesting. Try it.
We can't imagine life without our modern day undergarments, but I'm sure they are relatively new inventions.ReplyDelete
I have English and german ancestors as far as I know.
I love geneology and discovered so many, many of us Americans came over in waves of Scot, English, Irish and Germans. And they came to the same areas for the farmland. And they intermarried. My Scottish ancesters first imagrated to Canada and then a few years later settled in Ohio. Some married Germans then, and some a generation later. In the small town where I lived most of the people were German with a sprinkling of Scots and English. I wish I could hop into a time machine and visit that period.
I never really considered what kind of garment (or not) was under the kilt. How did they manage in winter? I only know about one small strain through one part of my family. They were Scotch-Irish and Welsh.ReplyDelete
may_dayzee (at) yahoo (dot) com
Really makes you wonder doesn't it! I have Scotch-Irish and Welsh in my background as well, Kay. Maybe we are related! My Welsh ancenstry name is Thomas. My Scotch-Irish is Robinson. How about you?Delete
As a sister Joyce Hart author, I'm excited to join your blog and have an opportunity to win one of your books.
This discussion was interesting, informative, and fun. I have a mixed heritage, as well - German, Norwegian, Scottish, and English. Unfortunately, I never learned much about the Scottish branch of the family.
Ann Guyer (email@example.com)
Hi Ann, Good to see another Hart author here! It's not too late to discover your Scottish ancenstry.Delete
I'm so glad to came to visit on our historical site. I hope you return. I post every 14th day of each month.
I am not sure about all of my heritage. My sister has done some research and didn't get as far as she wanted. My grandpa's mother was a Cherokee Indian. I cannot remember the correct tribe name. We do roots in Germany, Ireland, and Scotland.ReplyDelete
Please enter me in the giveaway.
Hi Deanna, it's nice to meet with you here..You sound like you have an interesting heretage.ReplyDelete
Hi Dear Friends,ReplyDelete
Janet Smith has won a copy of one of my books. Congratulations Janet!