Lady Augustus Murray of Auchtertyre

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LADY AUGUSTUS MURRAY OF AUCHTERTYRE. Scottish, Strathspey. A Mixolydian. Standard tuning. AAB. The strathspey was included by fiddler-composer Malcolm MacDonald of Dunkeld in his 2nd Collection, dedicated to the Earl of Breadalbane. Lady Augusta Murray was the wife of William Murray of Auchtertyre. John Wilson and Robert Chambers, in their book The Land of Burns (1840, p. 92) give:

[Burns] visited Auchtertyre in Perthshire in 1787, apparently in the month of june, though this is a point on which we are somewhat uncertain. The proprietor, Sir William Murray, and his wife, lady Augusta Murray, did all that lay within their enlightened and liberal natures to render the poet's stay in the house, which was of a few days' continuance, agreeable to him. In a letter to his friend Nicol, written from the house, he says, "I feel myself very comfortably situated in this good family; just enough of notice to make me easy, but not to embarrass me."

Burns stayed at Auchtertyre several times, and became taken with the couple's neice, the beautiful Euphemia Murray of Lintrose. Wilson and Chambers add this odd footnote about Lady Augusta:

This lady must have borne some interest in the eyes of our Jacobite bard, as one of the daughters of the Earl of Cromarty, who was out in the Forty-Five, and had nearly forfeited his life on the occasion. When the unfortunate earl was comdemned to suffer with Kilmarnock and Balmerine, his wife made strenuous personal exertions in his behalf, throwing herself at the king's feet, and beseeching also the interventions of the female members of the Royal Family. Lady Augusta, born a few months after the pardon was obtained, was found to bear a strange memorial of the anxieties of her mother, in the form of an axe imprinted by nature upon her back.

Source for notated version:

Printed sources: MacDonald (A Second Collection of Strathspey Reels), 1789; p. 7.

Recorded sources:




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