The Clergy Tartan is a unique tartan that is not associated with any specific Scottish clan. Instead, it is a tartan that was designed to be worn by members of the clergy, including priests, ministers, and other religious officials. The tartan features a mix of colors including black, white, and shades of blue, which is said to represent the connection between heaven and earth. During earlier times, it was not uncommon for Highland clergy to wear the traditional Highland attire and even carry weapons. In fact, a Skye clergyman in the 18th century famously attended church fully clad in Highland dress, complete with a two-handed sword, and was accompanied by a servant carrying bows and arrows. Attempts were made to discourage Highland clergymen from wearing tartan and instead conforming to standard ministerial attire, but these were largely unsuccessful. The Clergy Tartan is often referred to as "The Priest's Sett," but in the Highlands, it is also known as "Breacan nan Cleireach" - the tartan of the clergy.
The Clergy Tartan was first designed in the late 1800s by the Rev. David Railton, a Church of England clergyman. According to legend, Railton was inspired to create the tartan after seeing a soldier's uniform in a field during World War I. He saw a small piece of cloth with a tartan pattern that reminded him of the Scottish clans, and he thought it would be fitting for the clergy to have their own tartan. The tartan gained popularity in the 20th century, with many members of the clergy choosing to wear it for special occasions such as weddings and other formal events. Today, the Clergy Tartan remains a symbol of the connection between faith and Scottish heritage. While the Clergy Tartan is not associated with any specific clan, it is still an important part of Scottish heritage and tradition. It serves as a reminder of the important role that religion has played in Scottish history, and of the unique cultural traditions that have developed in Scotland over the centuries.