Back to Lady Dumfries
LADY DUMFRIES (REEL). Scottish, Reel (cut or 2/4 time). F Major. Standard tuning (fiddle). AB (Surenne): AAB (Gow, Riddell, Stewart-Robertson). The tune incorporates the first strain of ""Lass of Patie's Mill (The)," as do several other tunes including "Captain's Maggot (The)," "Gie the Lasses Mair O't," "Lass that Winna Sit Down," "Weel May the Boatie Row," "Boatie Rows (The)," and "Highlander's Farewell (3)." John Glen (1891) finds the earliest appearence of the tune in print in Ayrshire fiddler-composer "John Riddell's 1782 second collection (p. 43).
Lady Dumfries, at the time of publication of Riddell's second volume (1782) was Margaret Craufurd, eldest daughter of Ronald Crauford of Restalrig, who married Patrick McDouall-Crichton, 6th Earl of Dumfries in September, 1771. Lord and Lady Dumfries were neighbors with James Boswell of Auchinleck, Dr. Johnson's amanuensis and columnist for the London Magazine from 1777-1783, for which he wrote seventy essays under the pseudonym Hypochondriack. Boswell and Dumfries had a simmering disagreement about an access road to the Dumfries estate, which ran through the lands of Auchinlech, and which the Boswell family had declined to sell to Dumfries, who was eager to gain control of it. The situation caused the relationship between the families to be strained for years, but both strived to be civil to each other. Margaret had only one child, Elizabeth Penelope Stuart. She died in May of 1799. See also note for "Dumfries House" for more.
Source for notated version:
Printed sources: Carlin (The Gow Collection), 1986; No. 503. Gow (Complete Repository, Part 2), 1802; p. 30. John Riddell ( Collection of Scots Reels, Minuets &c. for the Violin), 1782; p. 43.
Saunders (New and Complete Instructor for the Violin), Boston, 1847, No. 37, p. 59. Stewart-Robertson (The Athole Collection), 1884; p. 220. Surenne (Dance Music of Scotland), 1852; p. 45.