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X:1 T:Auchry C:William Christie (1778-1849) N:Christie was a dancing master, fiddler N:and composer from Cuminestown, Aberdeenshire. M:9/8 L:1/8 R:Air Q:"Graziano" B:Christie - Collection of Strathspeys, Reels, Hornpipes, B:Waltzes &c. (Edinburgh, 1820, p. 1) Z:AK/Fiddler’s Companion K:F c|Tf>ga (c<A)d {cd}c<F ~f/>g/|{fg}a>gf/d/ (cA)c {c}d2 (c/d/4e/4)|(f/a/).g/.f/.e/.d/ {d}(c>B)A Bcd|(c<f)A {A}TG>FG F2:| F|(A/4B/4c>)~F (B/4c/4d>)B (Ac)f |{d}cAF .C(.B.A) {A}G2F|(A/4B/4c>)~F (B/4c/4d>).B (Acf)|(d<g).f (ec)e [A2f2]F| (A/4B/4d).B (Ac)f|{d}cAF .C(.c/.B/)(.A/.B/) {A}G2F|(A/4B/4c>)B (A<d)c (B<b)a|.g(Bd) .c(EG) F2||

AUCHRY. Scottish, Slow Air (9/8 time). F Major. Standard tuning (fiddle). AAB. "Auchry" was composed by dancing master and fiddler-composer William Christie (1778-1849), of Cuminestown, Aberdeenshire. Auchry House is a country house and estate situated in Monquhitter Parish, just south of Cuminestown (midway between New Deer and Turriff) which was split from Turfiff in 1649 when what was then a rural church was built on land owned by the Cumine family. The village itself was originally built in 1763 to a design by Sir Archibald Grant of Monymusk, who was a friend of Joseph Cumine (1711-1785). Cumine obliged his deuars to keep a book of worthwhile improvements and rewarded hard workers with a dram of whisky at regular meetings held in the local inn. Auchry House, or Meikle Auchry, just to the north of the village (separated by the Burn of Monquhitter) was a "Laird's house" which succeeded the Castle of Auchry, and was held around the time of William Christie's birth by the Cumming family. The three-story mansion house was built in 1767, but was demolished in 1967, and a modern farmstead now occupies the site (although the 18th century dovecot still remains). The Agricultural Survey, vol. 46[1] noted:

Monquhitter -- Auchry, belonging to John Cumine Esq. An excellent house, well wooded, with a fine sheet of water, and fertile fields,
both in no small degree occasioned by he active and public spirited exertions of the late Mr. Cumine of Auchry, one of the earliest and
best improvers in the county of Aberdeen.'

Joseph's eldest son, John, inherited Auchry and was laird in Christie's time. John must have been a primary patron to Christie, who composed several tunes in his collection for the family (see, in addition to "Miss Cumine of Auchry's Strathspey"--his daughter an pupil, perhaps--, "Mrs. Cumine of Auchry's Strathspey," "John Cumine Esqr. of Auchry’s Strathspey, and "Miss Cumine of Auchry's Strathspey." Archibald Cumine (John's son?) of Auchray sold the estate, about 1835.

Additional notes

Printed sources : - Christie (Collection of Strathspeys, Reels, Hornpipes, Waltzes &c.), Edinburgh, 1820; p. 1.

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  1. George Skene Keith D.D., A General View of the Agriculture of Aberdeenshire, 1811; p. 122.