ALEXANDER M’GLASHAN

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Alexander M’Glashan, who from his stately and dressy appearance acquired the name of “King M’Glashan,” was long connected with the musical professions in Edinburgh. He is found residing at the back of Bailie Fyfe’s Close in 1759. He was in the habit of giving concerts annually, and his advertisements relating to such events are to be found with great regularity from 1766 to 1779. Mr. M’Glashan announces in the former year as follows:--“Mr. M’Glashan’s Concert in St. Cecelia’s Hall on Wednesday 26th March. Tickets at Bremner’s, and Stewart’s and at Mr. M’Glashan’s house in Morocca Close, Lawnmarket.” In the following year he is at the same address, but in 1768 he changes to “Trunk Close first entry, right hand down the Close,” and next year he moves to Barringer’s Close, which he leaves in 1771 for “Skinner’s Close first turnpike third door right hand down the Close.” There he resided till his death. His last concert was a joint concern along with Reinagle, the performance being in St. Cecelia’s Hall. On 15th march 1780 he published his first collection. It is announced as follows:--“Just Published Price 5s Strathspey Reels—A Collection of Strathspey Reels with a Bass for the Violincello or Harpsichord by Alexander M’Glashan Musician in Edinburgh. The Publisher humbly hopes that this Collection, so much wanted will be acceptable to the Public, as he flatters himself that upon comparing it with others of the kind it will be found preferable to any yet printed. Edinburgh Printed for the Publisher and Sold by Mr. Stewart at his Music Shop Parliament Square &c.” In September of the following year he published his collection of Scots Measures, Hornpipes, Jigs, Allemandes, Cotillons, and the Fashionable Country Dances. No other announcement occurs till May 1786, when the following advertisement appears:--“Just Published a Second Collection of Strathspeys, Athole Reels &c. with a Bass for the Violoncello or Harpsichord by Alex. M’Glashan.” Stewart was publisher of all his collections, and this last work seems the only one that had been subscribed for, as M’Glashan says,--“Subscribers will please send for their copies to any of the Music Shops or to the Publisher’s house in Skinner’s Close Edinburgh.” In a memoir of Nath. Gow by “J.M.G.” (Joseph M’Gregor), written over 50 years ago, it is stated that Gow received lessons from M’Glashan on the violin, and that he played the violincello in the band of the assemblies of which the latter was leader. He also states, that on the death of M’Glashan, the leadership was conferred on Nath. Gow’s brother, William, who held it till his death. William Gow died April 1791, but M’Glashan’s death occurs six years later—in May 1797. Both are buried in Greyfriar’s Churchyard. M’Gregor’s memoir of Gow, whether written from information supplied by the Gow family or otherwise, contains other errors, which will be subsequently noticed in this work. M’Glashan is reputed to have been an excellent musician and composer, but throughout his works it is to be observed that he makes no claim to the latter appellation.