X:1 T:Lady Haddo C:M Macdonald B:The Beauties of Niel Gow (c1819) N:Composer played bass with Niel Gow Z:Nigel Gatherer M:4/4 L:1/8 K:C F|E/F/G G2 c>GA>G|c/B/A/B/ cE D/D/D DF|E/F/G G2 c>GA>G|c/B/A/B/ cE C/C/C C:|] f|egcg a/g/f/e/ gc|f<ag>e d/d/d df|egcg a/g/f/e/ gc|f<ag>e c/c/c cg| egcg a/g/f/e/ gc|f<ag>e d/d/d de|c>edB c>A GE|FAG>E C/C/C C|]
LADY HADDO. Scottish, Reel. C Major. Standard tuning (fiddle). AAB. Composed by Malcolm MacDonald. Lady Haddo was Charlotte Baird (b. before 1765, d. 1795), youngest daughter of William Baird of Newbyth, who at age 18 married in 1782 George Gordon, Lord Haddo, Grandmaster of the Freemasons between 1784 and 1786. His father, the 3rd Earl of Aberdeen, bought Gight Castle, Aberdeenshire, for the couple. Tragically, Lord Haddo died suddenly in 1791 at Gight from a fall from his horse. Charlotte never recovered from it, living "in great retirement and dejection. She pined during some four years and died in 1795." The castle was abandoned and became ruinous. They had seven children, the oldest of whom, George, was left orphaned and virtually penniless, stranded in London where his mother had taken him. He had to fight for his inheritance, but was able to enlist the help of Viscount Melville and PM William Pitt to intercede with the "Wicked Earl", Lord Aberdeen, his grandfather. Aberdeen had been displeased with Lady Haddo for her well-grounded disapproval she had expressed of his mode of life, and the old man had carried the grudge into the next generation, withholding funds and support. George managed to distinguish himself as a scholar in university and later as a statesman, eventually himself becoming the 4th Earl of Aberdeen and Prime Minister in 1852.
MacDonald dedicated his first collection to Mrs. Baird of Newbyth wife of Edinburgh merchant David Baird, descended from the Bairds of Auchmeddan in Aberdeenshire. David Baird died fairly young, leaving Mrs. Baird to bring up seven boys and seven girls, including Charlotte and her brother, General Sir David Baird, the Hero of Seringapatam.
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