The history of the Cockburn family, an armigerous clan from the Lowlands of Scotland, is uncertain in regards to the origin of its name. While it may have been derived from the land of Cukooburn in Roxburghshire, it is unlikely due to the Scots word for 'cuckoo' being 'gowk'. The first recorded use of the name was by Peter de Cokburne, who witnessed a land grant between 1190 and 1220. The family's prominence grew over time, with Robert of Cockburn referred to as Dominus, or Knight, in 1269, and Sir Alexander de Cockburn marrying into the Vipont family, gaining the Barony of Langton in Berwickshire. Despite being executed for theft on the orders of James V in 1530, William Cockburn of Henderland was a notable member of the clan. The Cockburn motto, "Accendit cantu" (He Rouses Us with Song), and crest, a cock crowing, reflect the clan's proud history. Although the clan is currently without a chief, its tartan is featured in the Key Pattern Books of Wilson of Bannockburn.
The Cockburn Ancient Tartan is a vibrant and eye-catching tartan that features a striking combination of red, yellow, white, black, blue, and green. The tartan's dominant red color represents the passion and strength of the Cockburn clan, while the yellow and white highlights symbolize their loyalty and purity. Black is also present, representing the darker side of the clan's history, particularly the execution of William Cockburn of Henderland. The blue and green colors in the tartan signify the natural beauty of Scotland's landscape, a nod to the Cockburn family's strong connection to the land. The pattern of the tartan features thick, bold lines that create a striking and memorable design.
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