Monday 15 July, 2024

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Dress Act 1746

Article XVII (Dress Act) of the Act of Proscription

The Dress Act 1746, also known as the Disclothing Act, was a part of the Act of Proscription which came into effect on 1 August 1746, following the Jacobite Rising of 1745.

It made it illegal for men and boys to wear the Highland Dress, including the kilt, north of the Highland line, which ran from Perth in the east to Dumbarton in the west. The Act of Proscription, in addition, reiterated and reinforced the Disarming Act of 1715.

The Dress Act 1746 did not ban tartan with the exception of tartan which was used for coats and jackets.

Article XVII (Dress Act) of the Act of Proscription:

And be it further enacted by the Authority aforesaid, That from and after the First Day of August, One thousand seven hundred and forty seven, no Man or Boy, within that part of Great Britain called Scotland, other than such as shall be employed as Officers and Soldiers in His Majesty’s Forces, shall, on any Pretence whatsoever, wear or put on the Clothes commonly called Highland Clothes (that is to say) the Plaid, Philebeg, or little Kilt, Trowse, Shoulder Belts, or any Part whatsoever of what peculiarly belongs to the Highland Garb; and that no Tartan, or party-coloured Plaid or Stuff shall be used for Great Coats, or for Upper Coats; and if any such Person shall presume after the said First Day of August, to wear or put on the aforesaid Garments, or any Part of them, every such Person so offending, being convicted thereof by the Oath of One or more credible Witness or Witnesses before any Court of Justiciary, or any One or more Justices of the Peace for the Shire or Stewartry, or Judge Ordinary of the Place where such Offence shall be committed, shall suffer Imprisonment, without Bail, during the Space of Six Months, and no longer; and being convicted for a second Offence before a Court of Justiciary, or at the Circuits, shall be liable to be transported to any of His Majesty’s Plantations beyond the Seas, there to remain for the Space of Seven Years.

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