Duke of Hamilton's Reel (The)

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DUKE OF HAMILTON('S REEL). AKA and see "Black and Grey (1) (The)," "Hambleton's Rant," "Lady Hamilton's Rant." Scottish, Reel. G Mixolydian. Standard tuning (fiddle). AABB. Glen (1891) finds the earliest appearance of the tune in print in Robert Bremner's 1757 collection. It was later printed in Longman and Broderip's Compleat Collection of 200 Favorite Country Dances (London, 1781, p. 71). During the 1680's the then-current Duke and Duchess of Hamilton are recorded as having employed a resident harper, obviously Irish, with the name Jago McFlaherty. Along with entertaining, Jago's duties also apparently included instructing the daughters of the house in music and in maintaining the other instruments at Brodick Castle, on Arran, or at the families other estates near Glasgow. In 1682 he was dispatched on a trip to Edinburgh to buy replacement strings for the Hamilton's virginals (Sanger & Kinnaird, Tree of Strings, 1992). Bremner's title, however, probably refers to James (1724-1758), the Sixth Duke of Hamilton. His only noteworthiness appears to be as first husband of the celebrated period beauty Elizabeth Gunning {see note for "Miss Gunning's Fancy (Reel)"}, although he also is credited with establishing the Clydesdale breed of horses when he breed an imported Flemish stallion with a work-horse mare.

The tune is a later development of Playford's "Black and Grey (1) (The)."

Source for notated version:

Printed sources: Bremner (Scots Reels), c. 1757; p. 86.

Recorded sources:




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