British Press (The)
X:1 % T:British Press, The M:2/4 L:1/8 Q:"Slow" B:Alexander Walker – Collection of Strathspeys, Marches, Reels & c. (Aberdeen, 1866, p. 167) F:http://digital.nls.uk/special-collections-of-printed-music/archive/105875851?mode=zoom Z:AK/Fiddler’s Companion K:Gmin D|G2 D>G|(B/A/).G/^.F/ G2|B>cd>B|cf B/A/G/F/| G2 D>G|B/A/G/^F/ G>A|B/b/a/g/ f/d/c/A/|BGG:| d|g/d/g/a/ ba/g/|f/d/B/d/ fd/B/|c/B/c/d/ e/d/c/B/|AF Fd/f/| g/d/g/a/ ba/g/|f/d/B/d/ fd/B/|G/g/f/d/ c/B/c/d/|BGG d/f/| g/d/g/b/ f/d/f/b/|f/d/B/d/ fd/B/|c/B/c/d/ e/d/c/B/|A/F/c/f/ d/F/c/A/| D/G/^F/A/ G/B/A/c/|B/d/c/e/ d/f/e/g/|b/a/b/^f/ g/d/c/A/|BGG||
BRITISH PRESS, THE. Scottish, Slow Air (2/4 time). G Minor. Standard tuning (fiddle). AAB. Composed by Alexander Walker, born in Rhynie, Strathbogie, Aberdeenshire in 1819. He died around the end of the century in Northampton, Massachusetts, where he had emigrated at the age of 50 and where he established a prosperous farm--and continued to compose, although his American output appears to be lost. Prior to emigrating he was the gardener for Sir Charles Forbes of Castle Newe, Aberdeenshire, who also became his patron. According to Paul Stewart Cranford (1991) the tune still has currency among Cape Breton fiddlers (as a march or slow air), and deservedly so, for it is a fine air.
The title is probably too late in the decade to refer to the '4th Estate' or to the unpopular practice of Naval impressment into service, discontinued after the defeat of Napoleon in 1814. 1860 until around 1910 is The 'golden age' of newspaper publication is considered to have been from 1860 to 1910, with the lowering and then abolishment of stamp and paper taxes, and with technical advances in printing and communication combined with a professionalisation of journalism and the prominence of new owners. Alexander Walker was an agent for the Banffshire Journal from 1848-1850 when he worked as a gardener at Mayen House, and over the years contributed various articles and letters on gardening, meteorology, surveying, music and antiquities.