Aug 15

Sir Walter Scott's Birthday

Telfer, Jamie of the Fair Dodhead
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Jamie Telfer of the Fair Dodhead
by Sheila Mullen (1998)
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"It’s I, Jamie Telfer o the Fair Dodhead, And a harried man I think I be; There’s nought left in the Fair Dodhead; But a greeting wife and bairnies three." ~ Walter Scott, Jamie Telfer of the Fair Dodhead

Jamie Telfer of the Fair Dodhead" is one of the raid and retrieval ballads contained in The Minstrelsy of the Scottish Border, a collection of Border ballads compiled by Walter Scott, first published in three volumes in 1802 and 1803, followed by volume IV in 1807.

August 15th is the birthday of famed novelist, Sir Walter Scott.   There are several official tartans associated with this Scottish historical novelist, playwright and poet.

This tartan refers to a character from one of the raid and retrieval ballads contained in the Minstrelsy, a set of historical accounts set in ballad form. This and other ballads were collected by Sir Walter Scott and edited into the whole which he published in 1802.

From the tartan designer notes:  


"In a Border Reivers ballad, recorded by Sir Walter Scott and others, is the story about a poor farmer Jamie Telfer. A threat to his livelihood by English raiders was averted by timely intervention of neighbouring clans, but sadly not without losses to his valiant helpers. If true, this tartan serves to commemorate our heroic distant kinsman, but in any case celebrates the instances of friendship and cooperation between clans and families - all too rare a commodity in those wild days of the Border conflicts.


The structure of this tartan was evolved from the Telfer (green) and here the costs of conflict are signified with red and the thin gold line symbolises Jamie's recovery of livelihood. Other colours denote the moorland heather (purple) and wooded landscapes (green) under a blue sky, and the many burns that run (light blue) across the beautiful regions of Ettrick and Teviotdale."

For the text of the original ballad, click the painting of Jamie Telfer of the Fair Dodhead, by Sheila Mullen.

Officially registered tartan graphics on this site courtesy of The Scottish Tartans Authority.  Other tartans from talented tartan artists may also be featured.

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