Honorable Miss Jessie A. Ruthven

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HONORABLE MISS JESSIE A. RUTHVEN. Scottish, Strathspey. C Minor. Standard tuning (fiddle). The tune is attributed to Alexander Leburn (1767-1836) by John Glen. Leburn was a professional musician from Auchtermuchty, Fife, who published a collection of 36 tunes in 1793 (not all of them his compositions). He was also a subscriber to various publications by Charles Duff, Malcolm MacDonald, James Walker and the Gows. His obituary in the Fifeshire Journal reveals that he was a man of prodigious intellect and varied interests:

The death of Mr. Leburn, one of the magistrates of this burgh, has made a deep impression on the inhabitants of this town the the neighbourhood. After a period of useful and laborious duty, he had settled into comparative retirement, when he was suddenly cut off by apoplexy. Mr. Leburn was no ordinary man. Without the advantage of no better education that is usually obtained in a country school, he acquired considerable proficiency in mathematics, chemistry, astronomy and general science. But mathematics was his forte, and in it he became so eminent as frequently to solve problems that no other could master. His desire for knowledge was so intense, that much of his time was devoted to reading, nothing delighting him more than a new book on one of his favourite studies. Whether sitting at home, or walking along the high road, his mind was absorbed in one study or another. Mr. Leburn was therefore a self-taught philosopher of no mean order, considering the advantages he enjoyed. His manners were unostentatious, his habits so temperate as almost to amount to abstinence, his heart kind, his piety sincere without ostentation, his integrity incorruptible, and he was much respected by all ranks, he is now universally regretted.

Source for notated version:

Printed sources: Glen (The Glen Collection of Scottish Dance Music), vol. 2, 1895; p. 33.

Recorded sources:




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