A Guide to the Clark and Clergy Tartan

The original Clarke Tartan as designed by Wilsons of Bannockburn c. 1800. Photo provided by Peter MacDonald, Tartan Historian. 

Many questions have been asked about the difference between the tartan commonly called Clark(Clarke) and Clergy. There is no difference between the Clark and Clergy Tartan. They are the same tartan sometimes with colour variations but the thread counts are the same. That means that sometimes the colour palette changes, but the way the threads are woven remains the same. 

Part of the confusion around this tartan is that the root word of Clark and Clergy is actually the same in latin clericus... Clericus can be translated as cleric, clergy, and priest. It's easy to see how cleric becomes clerk or Clarke.

The connection between Clark (Clarke) and clergy is deep and goes back to the earliest of days. In one of the oldest tartan books, this tartan appears three times as Clark(e), Clergy, and Priest. 


This image is a very old Red Clarke. Photo use with permission. Photo Credit: Peter MacDonald Tartan Historian. 


This tartan is currently available in a variety of colour options. Those options are shown below. 

I hope this article helps with some understanding around the Clark (Clarke) and Clergy Tartan.