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Clan and Tartan

Tartan Tuesday: Dalgliesh

Tartan Tuesday: Dalgliesh
By Kirsty McIntyre

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As the World Cup is now officially underway, we thought we'd explore the tartan of both one of Scotland's most celebrated football heroes, and the mill where our tartan designer creations are brought to life!

The name "Dalgliesh" is derived from the Gaelic words "dail" (field) and "glaise" (a brook or stream). It was first officially recorded in 1383, but the name is said to originate from the people of the ancient territory of Dal Riata in the West coast of Scotland. They used the term to refer to the people who came from the area around Tinna Water, near Selkirk in the Scottish borders.

The Dalglieshes were famed, according to Scottish author and historian George Fraser Black, for appearing frequently in public records as "disturbers of the peace". This included George Dalgliesh, who was a servant of the Earl of Bothwell in the 16th century. Bothwell was accused of colluding with Mary, Queen of Scots in the alleged murder of her husband, Lord Darnley. While he was acquitted of the charge, Dalgliesh was executed in 1567 for his role.

There are many variants of the name Dalgliesh in use today, due to the repeated translations between Gaelic and English and the attempts to spell by sounds. The names Dalglish, Dalgliss, and Dalglese are among some of the names that share a common origin with Dalgliesh.

Despite its origins in the Scottish borders, the name Dalgliesh appeared more frequently in England, South Africa, Australia and Canada than in Scotland in 2014.

Notable Dalglieshes

Perhaps the most famous bearer of the name is Scottish football player and manager Kenny Dalglish. After starting his career at Celtic football club in Glasgow, he moved to Liverpool in 1977 and became known as "King Kenny" after becoming one of the most successful and well loved players to ever appear for the team. He was awarded a knighthood in the Queen's birthday honours list in 2018.

The name Dalgliesh is also prominent in the tartan industry, as DC Dalgliesh can attest to after seventy years weaving fabrics! Our mill in Selkirk is where all of the designs created in our tartan designer are brought to life, on traditional "flying shuttle" looms.

Near the town of Selkirk, the areas of Over Dalgliesh and Nether Dalgliesh can be found - a link to the origins of the name.