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COLONEL MONTGOMERY. Scottish, Strathspey. D Major. Standard tuning (fiddle). AAB (Gow): AABB' (Athole). Composed perhaps for Hugh Montgomerie (1739-1819) of Coilsfield, the 12th Earl of Eglinton. Montgomerie (or Montgomery) was a successful soldier who served in America, and later a Member of Parliament for Ayrshire and an Inspector of Roads. He became the 12th Earl of Eglinton in 1796 at age 57, succeeding his cousin, and continued improvements to the family estates. He already had built Coilsfield House, but commissioned architect John Paterson to build Eglinton Castle. However, the two had a falling out and Paterson was forced to sue the earl for recovery of fees-the castle is today a stately ruin. Unfortunately, Eglinton's improvements were costly and perhaps overly ambitious (including the Glasgow, Paisley and Johnstone Canal) and added significantly to the family debt. Montgomerie was 'sodger Hugh' of Robert Burns' "The Poets Earnest Cry and Prayer." He sent ten guineas to Burns on his arrival in Edinburgh as a subscription for two copies of the Edinburgh Edition of Burns' Poems. Replying on 11th January 1787, Burns said: "Your Munificence, my Lord, certainly deserved my very grateful acknowledgements, but your Patronage is a bounty peculiarly suited to my feelings."
Source for notated version:
Printed sources: Carlin (The Gow Collection), 1986; No. 26. Gow (The First Collection of Niel Gow's Reels), 1784 (revised 1801); p. 14. Stewart-Robertson (The Athole Collection), 1884; p. 91.