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District of Angus

The surname ANGUS derives from the Gaelic Aonghus or Aonghas which translates into modern colloquialism as "the one and only." The name is very old and in its original form is traceable as far back as the year 761. Gaelic pronunciation sounds more like Eneas or even Ennis and accounts for the connection with Clan Innes. The origins of the name came from Ireland and it became established in Kintyre (only 12 miles by sea) and Arran and also in the Western Isles of Islay (pronounced eye-la), Jura, Skye and South Uist. Angus was a popular personal name, especially with the MacDonalds of Islay and one Angus MacDonald, according to George F. Black (generally accepted as the authority on Scottish surnames) "was one of the perambulators of the lands of Angus." Links between the surname of Angus, originating in the west, and the District of Angus, on the east coast, are rather tenuous and there is a strong suggestion that the place name has a different origin. Being on the east coast it had frequent invasions from the Picts, Romans, Angles and Vikings and the name is thought to derive from the old Icelandic Engi (a meadow) and Hus (a dwelling). It was one of the seven original Celtic Earldoms and after passing out of Anglo-Norman hands it was granted by Robert II, in 1398, to George Douglas whose mother had been the latest heiress. They became known as the Red Douglasses, to distinguish them from the Black Douglasses of the Borders, but the earldom eventually passed to the Dukes of Hamilton. The District of Angus stretches from Dundee on the Firth of Tay up the coast for some 40 miles to Montrose and then inland to the southern foothills of the Grampians and Lochnagar. It is bounded to the north by Aberdeenshire and to the west by Perthshire. Dundee is now the largest city (4th in Scotland) but others are Forfar (the area was originally Forfarshire), Arbroath where the Declaration of Independence was signed in 1320, Brechin - still a city where John Taylor the famous Thames waterman and poet wrote in 1618 that when lodging there one night a wench both deaf and dumb climed into his bed but having that day walked from Deeside over Cairn o' Mount he was unable to take advantage of the situation!, Carnoustie with its Championship Golf Course said to be the most difficult on The Open circuit, and Montrose - a unique town in many ways and worthy of note by Dr. Johnson and Boswell. The name translates from the Gaelic as "a moor on a peninsula" and the town has the sea to the east, a large tidal basin to the west, the South Esk River to the south and sand dunes to the north. Graham of Montrose was one of the larger than life characters in Scottish history in that he refused to support the Scottish Parliament's union with the English Roundheads and with three other noblemen drew up The National Covenant in 1638 to consolidate opposition to Charles I's "innovations in worship and corruptions of the government of the Kirk". In 1650 he was betrayed, captured, sentenced to death without trial, hanged and disembowelled. In 1888 his remains were given a proper tomb and a monument in St.Giles in Edinburgh.

TARTAN: The pattern was first recorded in "The Tartans and Clans and Septs of Scotland" published in 1906 so it was obviously in use prior to that. The designer is unknown, so it is uncertain whether it was meant as a Clan Tartan or a District Tartan.There is no clan, clan chief or clan society so the tartan can be used by anyone connected by name or by district.

Check out our Tartan Menu here



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