Painting by Kenneth Macleahy RSA c1870 of Alexander Menzies
b)1806 and James Menzies b)1845
The Menzies Tartans
The 3 main Menzies Tartans are Hunting Tartan, Full Dress Tartan and Mourning Tartan. When you wear Menzies Clan colors you are wearing your family’s history. The Tartan and subsequent highland dress should always be worn with dignity and with an understanding and observation of the tradition they represent. It is a uniform and an icon.
Menzies Heath/Mountain Ash (Rowan)
Clan badges are another means of showing one’s allegiance to a Scottish clan. These badges, sometimes called plant badges, consist of a sprig of a particular plant. They are usually worn in a bonnet behind the Scottish crest badge; they can also be attached at the shoulder of a lady’s tartan sash, or be tied to a pole and used as a standard. According to popular lore, clan badges were used by Scottish clans as a form of identification in battle. . However, Thomas Innes of Learney claimed the heraldic flags of clan chiefs would have been the earliest means of identifying Scottish clans in battle or at large gatherings.
David Steuart Menzies of Menzies
Under Scots law, the chief is recognised as the head of the clan and once recognised, serves as the lawful representative of the clan community worldwide. Historically the principal function of the chief was to lead his clan in battle on land and sea. The chief was at one time in the Scottish Highlands, an influential political character who wielded a large and often arbitrary authority however none of this authority now remains. Although the existence of chiefship and chieftainship has been recognized by Scottish law, the disarming of the Highland clans after the 1745 Jacobite rising effectively eliminated clanship from ordinary civil or statutory law.
The word clan is derived from the Gaelic word clanna, meaning children. Clans developed a territory based on the native men who came to accept the authority of the dominant group in the vicinity. A clan also included a large group of loosely related Septs, dependent families, all of whom looked to the Clan Chief as their head and their protector. A clan is a community that is distinguished by heraldry and recognised by the Sovereign. Clans are considered to be a “noble incorporation” because the arms borne by a clan chief are granted or otherwise recognised by the Lord Lyon as an officer of the Crown, thus conferring royal recognition to the entire clan.
Home of the Clan:
Castle Menzies was involved in the turbulant history of the Scottish Highlands being the seat of the Chiefs of Clan Menzies for over 400 years and importantly situated in the Tay Valley, Comrie Castle was the family seat until the first residence of the Menzies Chiefs at Weem, the “Place of Weem” was built in 1488 by Sir Robert Menzies, the eighth Menzies Chief . The new house was to serve the family but for a short time, for in 1502, the burning of the Castle due to a land dispute with neighbours and the early records of the origins of the Menzies were lost. Restitution was ordered by the Monarch, James IV who erected the Menzies lands into the Barony of Menzies in 1510, the Chief being styled Menzies of Menzies (or Menzies of the Ilk). The Castle was named Castle Menzies and it is a magnificent sixteenth century castle still standing north of the River Tay at Weem, one and half miles from Aberfeldy.
Chief’s Gaelic Patronymic (Patron name):
Am Mèinnearach (The Menzies)
A Savage’s head erased proper
A sign of allegiance to a certain clan chief is the wearing of a crest badge. The crest badge suitable for a clansman or clanswoman consists of the chief’s heraldic crest encircled with a strap and buckle and which contains the chief’s heraldic motto or slogan.
Menzies Clan War Cry:
“Geal ‘us dearg a suas!” The red and white for ever!
Used by clans to rattle their fighting foes and to help distinguish different sides during a battle, each Scottish clan had its own war cry that would have a psychological effect on the enemy, as well as helping to find comrades on the battle field.
Menzies Clan Memorial:
The Old Kirk of Weem
The Kirk was used before and after the Reformation as a parish church until 1836 when it was presented to the then Chief as a family mausoleum. It remained the heritable property of the Menzies Chiefs until 1996, when the current Chief gave it to The Menzies Charitable Trust to care for. The most remarkable feature in the Kirk is the monument, dated 1616, and erected by Sir Alexander Menzies of Menzies as a tribute to his ancestors. It is a most unusual genealogical record in stone. It has been described as an important example of Scottish Renaissance work attributable in design and execution to native skill.
Menzies Pipe Music:
*The Menzies March
*The Menzies Salute