Milne's Scottish Collection

Milne's Scottish Collection I have been collecting Scottish books and artefacts for over 40 years. My aim is not to sell but to encourage interest in our rich unparalleled history.

Book Launch - Libertines and Harlots

Book Launch - Libertines and Harlots

Timeline Photos

Timeline Photos

Time for Tartan
Wallace 'Red' Modern - by @the_houseofedgar
On this day in 1305, William Wallace was executed in London. Despite what Mel Gibson may have lead us to believe, there was absolutely no way Wallace would ever have seen this tartan since it dates from the 19th century. But here we are, the Wallace tartan of the lowland clan who's motto is "Pro Libertate" could loosely translate this as "freedom" if you really wanted to.
#gordonnicolsonkiltmakers #gnkfamily #tartan #clanwallace #williamwallace #scottishhistory #history #heritage #culture #madeinscotland #scotland #woventextiles #textiles #scottishtextiles #kiltmaker #kilt #highlandwear

Photos from Eighteenth Century Tartans's post

Photos from Eighteenth Century Tartans's post


The death mask of Mary Queen of Scots, a beauty or what? Who on this day in 1548 arrived at Roscoff in France aged five years.

Roscoff is the same port that Prince Charles Edward Stuart, direct descendent of Mary, disembarked in late September 1746 after his noble venture in Scotland.

“At dawn we sighted land, but it was not until eight o’clock that we were able to recognise it as Corrigeou. In view of the impossibility of makin Brest, we were obliged to shape a course for Morlich, and after rounding the island of Batz, the wind being S.S.W., we tacked several times and about noon anchored under a citadel called Ste. Barbe, in eighteen fathoms, rocky sea bed. As soon as we moored, several boats came from the shore, including that of the police commissary of Roscoff. We lowered our boats. The Prince embarked with his suite in that of L’Heureux, we saluted him with cheers and 21 guns from each ship, and he was put ashore at Roscoff.”

“Journal of Le Conti.”

Source: John S Gibson - Ships of the ‘45.



On the 27th July 1689, the first battle involving a Jacobite army in Scotland was fought in the Pass of Killiecrankie between John Graham of Claverhouse, Viscount Dundee (pictured), in charge of the Jacobite army and Hugh MacKay of Scourie, in charge of the Williamite army.

The development towards this battle is rooted in the very beginnings of Jacobitism, with the events which saw James VII and II deposed late in 1688 and replaced on the throne by William of Orange and his wife as Queen; James’ daughter Mary.

The war in Ireland between William of Orange and supporters of the Jacobite movement - the move to return the throne to James - began in earnest in March 1689 when James landed there on the 12th.

Claverhouse’s rising of Jacobites in Scotland, beginning with the first rising of a Jacobite standard in April 1689 in Dundee, after the Convention of Estates offered the Scottish throne to William and Mary; was a simultaneous effort with those of James in Ireland to stretch the resources of the Williamites.

Initially the Jacobite force was largely a lowland army with some Highlanders, but Irish and Highland reinforcements, mainly Camerons, arrived at Blair Atholl on the 26th July to join them. They brought with them the Irish tactics that had been employed so strongly in the battles of the mid 1600s, specifically for the Royalists during the Covenanter period.

Hugh MacKay of Scourie, Commander in Chief of the Williamite forces in Scotland, was certainly moved by his strong Protestantism to be a supporter of William, but was also moved by his apparent hatred of some clans and sections of Highland society to develop his career towards the point of highest command. One example was a note in his memoirs that he planned to rid the world of Mackenzies.

After an early skirmish during the morning with Mackay’s forces as they entered the steep-sided pass of Killiecrankie and down towards the river Garry, the Jacobite Sir Alexander MacLean and 400 of his men returned to the high ground and lined up with the Jacobite force of c.2,500.

The much larger force of the Williamite army then awaited an attack having, as they thought, lined up in a strong position. MacKay had placed key regiments like that of Balfour (Scots Brigade) and Lauder - experienced and well-trained men - on the left, with the best field of fire toward the Jacobite positions.

Dundee delayed his attack and made the Williamite army wait. The battle did not begin until early evening, possibly around 20:00. At this time the sun would be setting in the pass of Killiecrankie. As a tactic, this must have unsettled MacKay and he appears to suggest this himself in a letter written by him to the Duke of Hamilton on the 29th July. In it he claims he stood within musket fire of the enemy for two hours in battle order, but he goes on to claim that he judged it unnecessary to attack due to his superior numbers and forces.

Despite this, when the battle did begin, MacKay’s weaknesses were exposed in every possible sense. His army was largely newly raised regiments with very little training and even less experience. This must have played a part in what happened. But more so than this, the technological circumstances regarding weaponry at the time favoured the brutal Highland and Irish fighting tactics.

Having fired a single volley from pistols and muskets before dropping the fi****ms; screaming Gaels ran downhill towards some battle-hardened regiments and a lot of non-battle-hardened soldiers. They had dirks, broadswords, targets. This, if we are ever to pick a moment in the Jacobite period, or the entirety of Scottish history, when the largely romanticised “Highland charge” actually happened for real with the repercussions we all imagine when discussing it - THIS WAS IT.

The soldiers facing this Highland charge, filled with steel and war cries, had a vital tactical manoeuvre to make if they were going to stand and fight. They would need to cease firing their muskets into the mass of warriors charging towards them to spill blood; and they had to carefully place their plug bayonets - named because they would completely plug the barrel of their muskets - into the barrel.

They then had a slim chance of being able to fight, but only if they stood together and knew how to use the plug bayonet and were also able to overlook the fact that a stiff blow across the blade of the plug bayonet with a sword, was capable of bending or completely breaking the bayonet. This was due to a weak point in the design.

It is no surprise that plug bayonets soon went “out of fashion”. But the majority of Williamite soldiers did not even get to the point of using them. The ranks broke and the men fled. In his letter to the Duke of Hamilton, MacKay appears to blame his men for their defeat, rather than his own decisions to take the low ground and to not fire upon the enemy until they charged. He wrote “There was no regement or troop with me... except Hastings and my Lord Levens, whom I most praise at such a degree, as I cannot but blame others, of whom I expected more”.

The soldiers, having failed to stand, ran every man for himself. One Williamite soldier, Donald MacBean, was recorded as having leapt a seemingly impossible distance over the River Garry at a spot now named “Soldier’s Leap”. His version of the event was published in 1728 when he spoke of losing a shoe in the leap and many of his comrades losing their lives in the water below.

The regiments mentioned by MacKay did manage to regroup before retiring from the field of battle, but Williamite losses were huge. The battle, once it had eventually begun, was over remarkably quickly. It is thought that c.800 Jacobites were killed in the fighting, but c.2,000 Williamites were killed.

The first battle of the Jacobite period in Scotland was an undeniable victory for the Jacobite army. They chased their foes away and stopped to make the most of the enemy’s baggage. But the true outcome of the battle was not as triumphant as they would have wished. Amongst the c.800 Jacobite dead was the most important Jacobite on the field that day - John Graham of Claverhouse, Viscount Dundee. Having already seen his men succeed in their charge and the enemy begin to run, Claverhouse was shot, apparently in the chest, in the closing stages of the battle. The breastplate he is thought to have been wearing during the battle is held in Blair Castle to this day.

The loss of the leader of the Jacobite army was not the end of the 1689 rising, but without that leadership the rising struggled to maintain any cohesive and strategically strong activities. It is beyond doubt that the loss of Claverhouse was a major cause of the eventual end of the rising after fighting at Dunkeld in August. Despite there being an effort to resume which was defeated at Cromdale in May 1690, the rising begun by Claverhouse in Dundee in April 1689 had run out of steam.

POST-SCRIPT: I want to keep the information I research and share free to readers, which means avoiding subscriptions and ensuring information can reach further with your likes and shares. If you enjoy these posts and would like to support my business; please consider contributing at or check out my online shop at


On this day the 9th July 1745

The Doutelle carry HRH Charles Edward Stuart and the French es**rt ship The ‘Elizabeth’ were intercepted by the 64 gun British man of war HMS ‘Lion’. A close action began between the ‘Lion’ and the ‘Elizabeth’. The ‘Doutelle also fired on the ‘Lion’ several times.

Both the Elizabeth and Lion were severely damaged as a result of the encounter.

Approximate Casualties:

The ‘Lion’ 52 killed and about 110 wounded including the ships captain.

The ‘Elizabeth’ 57 killed with 175 wounded, with her commander, Captain Dau, among the dead.

The Elizabeth limped back to France leaving The Doutelle and HRH the continue of the Scotland alone …


Posted bySassenach Stitcher Flora Macdonald discovery 🙂

So in the collection of the museum is one of Flora’s arisaids. It was donated to the museum in 1953 by Sir Compton MacKenzie, who was the author of Monarch of the Glen (along with 112 other publications).

Unfortunately we don’t have very much information on the object file at all, but the tartan is registered on the Tartan Register which means we will be able to get some woven in time for the centenary celebrations next year 🙂

Here is the Tartan Register entry (which is a bit inaccurate) It’s very interesting though that Wilson’s clearly saw this arisaid and created a sample for it.

I am adding this to my Flora MacDonald research and will be researching it thoroughly and presenting it as an academic paper for a peer-reviewed journal. I’ll let you know more as the research progresses and when it will be published.

And rather excitingly there is more Flora clothing research to come, but I’m keeping quiet about that for now 🙂 #tartan #tartanhistory #scotland #scottishhighlands #scottishhistory #scottishhistorymuseum #floramacdonald #jacobites

Timeline Photos

Timeline Photos

Our doors are open.
Right now, we are operating by appointment only - take note.
Get in touch with our knowledgeable and friendly team to plan your visit to us:
Sales Enquiries:
[email protected]
0131 558 2887
Hire Enquiries:
[email protected]
0131 557 4349
We look forward to seeing you!
#gnkfamily #handmade #madeinscotland #kilt #kiltmaker #handmadekilt #kilthire #highlandwear #groom #groomsmen #tartan #tailor #tailormade #madetomeasure #scotland #edinburgh


Flora Macdonald's farewell to Bonnie Prince Charlie - by Irish artist George William Joy. 💚 Flora MacDonald is immortalized in Jacobite ballads and legends for her part in helping Charles Edward, Bonnie Prince Charlie, the Stuart claimant to the throne, escape from Scotland after the Battle of Culloden in April 1746. For her part in the escape, she was imprisoned in the Tower of London but pardoned in 1747. Three years later she married Allan Macdonald of Kingsburgh, and in 1774 they emigrated to North Carolina, but returned to Scotland in 1779. Flora MacDonald died on the 5th of March 1790 and is buried at Kilmuir on the Isle of Skye, her body wrapped in a sheet in which Bonnie Prince Charlie had slept.

Timeline Photos

Timeline Photos

A glimpse inside our St Mary's Street Hire department and the venue to special events and talks hosted throughout the year.
Head over to the events section of our website to learn more about what we offer groups visiting Scotland - from corporate hire outfits for a special evening meal to talks on the history of kilts and can even have a wee dram...
We can't wait to hear from you.
#gnkfamily #history #heritage #tourist #edinburgh #visitscotland #scotland #madeinscotland #kilt #tartan #talk #events #corporateevents #kilthire #kiltmaker #highlandwear

Photos from gaelhistory's post

Photos from gaelhistory's post


Next up this year - JACOBITES & REDCOATS

Travel back in time this July at Duncarron Medieval Village, North Lanarkshire. Immerse yourself in artefacts, crafts, live displays and thrilling sagas as we bring centuries past to life!

Jacobites are holding the Fort in the Carron Valley, however their comfort is soon to be disrupted as Redcoat forces advance with the sole aim of wiping out the Jacobite numbers!
Join us at Duncarron, choose your side, learn the ways of warfare from the Jacobite Uprisings and how the Redcoat forces planned and plotted their attacks with musket over broadsword.

Saturday 17th July 12pm til 5pm and Sunday 18th July 12pm - 5pm (Last Admissions 45 minutes before gates close).

Please be aware that COVID-19 Guidelines are in place to ensure the safety of our staff, volunteers and you, the visiting public throughout the event. Duncarron will be operating as a 1M zone unless within any of our enclosed structures where a 2M rule will be in effect.

Timeline Photos

Timeline Photos

Last call for Full Kiltmaking course applications!
This course will commence on August 31st 2021 and run for 6 months. We are now accepting any last minute applications. Applications for the full kiltmaking course 2021/22 will close on Thursday 24th June.
Become a kiltmaker, and be part of giving Scotland's iconic handmade garment a promising future.


The Nursing Tartan launches 1 week today! 💙
One of our beautiful products that will be available to buy at will be lambswool scarves.
All profits will be donated to charities helping nurses reach their full potential in the profession 💙
Stay tuned for more!
#nurse #nursing #thenursingtartan #nursingtartan #nursingtoday #nhs #nhsheroes #tartan #charity #madeinscotland #fundraising

A couple of brass mounted sgians. First one with Wenge wood, second with stag antler. Both with stainless steel blades.

A couple of brass mounted sgians. First one with Wenge wood, second with stag antler. Both with stainless steel blades.

Photos from LoullyMakes  Handmade in Scotland's post

Photos from LoullyMakes Handmade in Scotland's post


It’s world heritage day!
We stand for preserving one of the best parts of Scottish heritage in the form of highland dress. We teach the next generation of handmade Kiltmakers to ensure a heritage craft is never lost. We strongly believe to respect and learn the past is the key to the future.
So today, here’s something a wee bit different...
In light of the 275th anniversary of the Battle of Culloden, Sterling silver and brass pistol kilt pins!

23 November 2009  · Mr Milne, Mr MacNeill and Mr White became TV stars last night on the BBC's "A History of Scotland" s...

23 November 2009 ·
Mr Milne, Mr MacNeill and Mr White became TV stars last night on the BBC's "A History of Scotland" series. Well, they were extras!

Seem like a lifetime ago.

The Last Battle film
The Last Battle film

The Last Battle film

Fake news isn't new - it has become embedded in our history and no history has suffered from more misrepresentation that Jacobite History. Today, this widel...

Photos from Jacobite Tours and School Teaching's post

Photos from Jacobite Tours and School Teaching's post

A 18th century dirk based on Big Duncan Cameron of Dochnassie's on the left. He fought at the Battle of Prestonpans on 2...

A 18th century dirk based on Big Duncan Cameron of Dochnassie's on the left. He fought at the Battle of Prestonpans on 21st September 1745. Four thousand year old bog oak as black as coal and just as hard with brass mounts. EN45 spring steel blade nearly finished.


Highland Mist.
By far one of our very favourite tartans, and exclusive to GNK. Available as bespoke kilts, hire outfits and accessories.
Captured - Highland Mist shawl with Norman Milne sterling silver stag pin
#handmade #tartan #accessories #madeinscotland #fashion


Tonight at 9pm on channel 5 - City Breaks With Gregg Wallace:
we can be seen talking Masterchef’s Gregg Wallace through the history and meaning of highlandwear, chatting about clan Wallace and getting him suited and booted in a kilt for the first time. Our friends at Kilberry Bagpipes Ltd also taught Gregg a wee tune on the bagpipes.

If anything, we promise it’ll be an entertaining watch!

We would like to thank Gregg and Channel 5 for visiting us and would like to reiterate that this was filmed in between lockdowns, when Edinburgh (and the wider country) enjoyed freedoms such as travel, hospitality, beauty treatments and retail with precautions in mind. Everyone involved was regularly tested throughout and every precaution was taken at length to ensure all those involved remained safe and well (they did!). We now all get to benefit from the programmes safely made in this short but thoughtfully approached moment in time for TV.

Enjoy & we hope this inspires you to give us and Edinburgh a visit when it is safe and permitted to do so!


EH54 8LL


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I can definitely say there is nobody who can make Dirks and Sgian dubhs and Sporans like Norman Milne I have a Dirk and Sporan made by Norman years ago and it is still as good as the day he made it so anyone looking for a dirk or Sgian dubhs Norman Milne is a shear craftsman at his art
Please support the campaign against the destruction of Killiecrankie Battle site!
Good interesting stuff. Hope this page does well x
Thanks for the invite Norman ..