Earl of Loudoun (The)

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EARL OF LOUDOUN, THE. AKA - "Earl of Loudon." Scottish, Strathspey. F Major (most versions): G Major (Aird). Standard tuning (fiddle). AB (Surenne): AAB (Gow, Stewart-Robertson): AABCCD (Campbell). Composed by John Bowie (1759-1815). There were two Earls of Loudoun (sometimes 'Loudon') in Bowie's time. The 4th Earl was John Campbell (1705-1782), who a military man who was given the authority to raise the second regiment in the British army from the Scottish Highlands. He subsequently secured in 1745 the services of 1,250 men from Inverness and Perth who became known as The Earl of Loudon's Regiment of Foot (the 64th), or Loudon's Highlanders, a unit in existence from 1745-1748. Campbell became the regiment's Colonel, and when he died in 1782 had attained the rank of general in the army. Elements of the Regiment fought for the English at Culloden in 1745, and then with the Duke of Cumberland in Flanders. Upon the peace of 1748 they returned to Scotland, and the regiment dispersed at Perth in June, 1748. Campbell was appointed captain-general and governor-in-chief of the province of Virginia in 1756, and soon after become the Commander in Chief of His Majesty's forces in America. While in the latter capacity the French and Indian War broke out. A small fort named Fort Loudon was constructed in 1757 by a group of South Carolinians on the Little Tennessee River, 30 miles north of present-day Knoxville, Tennessee. It had been named in Campbell's honor but did not fare well, as it was captured in 1760 by the Cherokee Indians, who killed the garrison and nearby settlers. Loudon is sometimes credited with attempting to reform the way the British waged war in the new world, however, and he supported the development of irregular companies such as Rogers Rangers. These irregulars were to fight a different kind of war than the linear, European-style warfare the British had been trained in, and would copy the success of the French in adopting Native American tactics. All-in-all, however, Loudon was not a success for "his career in America was distinguished mainly by inefficiency, and his military operations confined principally to the celebrated 'Cabbage planting expedition' at Halifax, 1757, so that, though promoted to the rank of lieutenant general in January, 1758, not only his military skill but his courage and integrity were questioned" (Murdoch, A History of Nova Scotia, or Acadie, Halifax, 1866). Loudon's name survives to the present in various place-names in America--Loudon County, Tennessee, takes its name from the aforementioned fort and the earl, while Loudon Ferry Road in New York was originally a military road from Albany to Lake George constructed by provincial troops from the region. Later in life Loudon was appointed governor of Edinburgh castle. He died, unmarried, at Loudon Castle, Ayrshire, in April, 1782 at the age of 77.

The 5th Earl of Loudoun was John Mure Campbell (1726-1786), also a military man who reached the rank of Major-General. He assumed the name of Mure on succeeding to the estate of his grandmother, the Countess of Glasgow, heiress of the family of Mure of Rowallan. Campbell married Flora Macleod, the daughter of John Macleod of Raasay, and when Campbell expired after holding the title only four years, he was succeeded by the couple's only child, Flora Mure-Campbell, who became the 6th Countess of Loudoun.

Source for notated version:

Printed sources: Aird (Selection of Scotch, English, Irish and Foreign Airs, vol. 3), 1788; No. 518, p. 198. Joshua Campbell (A Collection of New Reels & Highland Strathspeys), Glasgow, 1789; p. 28. Carlin (The Gow Collection), 1986; No. 53. Gow (First Collection of Strathspey Reels), 1784 (revised 1801); p. 3. Stewart-Robertson (The Athole Collection), 1884; p. 228. Surenne (Dance Music of Scotland), 1852; pp. 140-141.

Recorded sources:




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