Melville Tartan

The Melville Tartan is deeply rooted in the storied past of Scotland, tracing its origins to the barony of Maleville in the Pays de Caux, Normandy. The lineage begins with Guillaume de Malleville, who accompanied William, Duke of Normandy, at the Battle of Hastings in 1066. This illustrious history continued as the de Mallevilles established themselves in Scotland during the reign of David I, acquiring lands in Midlothian. It was here that the name Melville was derived from their manor named ‘Maleville’. The clan’s influence grew significantly, with notable figures such as Galfrid de Maleville, who served as ‘Vicecomes’ of Edinburgh Castle for Malcolm IV, and Sir John de Melville, who appeared on the Ragman Roll swearing fealty to Edward I in 1296. Sir John Melville of Raith, a favorite of James V and supporter of the Reformation, faced execution in 1550 due to false accusations but had his estates restored to his family. The Melville name rose to an earldom in 1690 with George, the first Earl of Melville. The family has held significant titles and residences, including the earldom of Leven and the Castle of Balgonie, excelling both in military and legal fields. The current family seat is at Glenferness in Nairn, with Melville Castle, now under the Dundas family, completely rebuilt. The Melville clan, though armigerous without a current chief, proudly carries the crest of a ratch-hound’s head and the motto "Denique Coelum" (Heaven at Last).
The Melville Tartan is distinguished by its striking pattern and colors. Featuring a dominant green background, the tartan is accentuated with black, blue, and white stripes. The correct sett for Melville includes a singular black line on the blue, ensuring authenticity. Historical samples, including those in the Moy Hall collection and Wilson's notebooks, confirm the precise arrangement of these colors. A noteworthy variation shows blue as purple in certain references, reflecting the tartan’s rich history and meticulous documentation.
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