Lady Harriet Hope (1)

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X:1 T:Lady Hariot Hope's Reel [1] M:C| L:1/8 R:Reel B:Robert Bremner - Collection of Scots Reels (1757 , p. 10) Z:AK/Fiddler's Companion K:F FAcf c2 T(BA)|f2 (a/g/f) gGGA|FAcf c2 T(BA)|BGcA F/F/F F2:|| fcfg (f/g/a) T(gf)|ecgc acgc|fcfg (f/g/a) T(gf)|cfeg f/f/f f2| fcfg (f/g/a) T(gf)|g>fga bag(a|fd)cB A2 T(f>d)|cABG F/F/F F2||



LADY HARRIET HOPE. AKA – "Lady Herriot Hope's Reel." AKA and see "Lady Forbes," "Lady Hope's Reel," "Miss MacDonald's (2)," "Monday Morning (2)," "Victory (2)." Scottish, English, American; Reel. England, Northumberland. F Major (most versions): G Major (Anderson): D Major (Aird, Hall & Stafford, O'Farrell). Standard tuning (fiddle). AB (Lowe, Skye, Surenne): AAB (most versions): AABB (Howe). Lady Harriet/Harriot Hope has been identified (by Jerry O'Sullivan & Brian McCandless) as Lady Henrietta Johnstone (1682–1750), married to the Charles Hope (1681–1742), 1st Earl of Hopetoun in 1699. Henrietta was the daughter of William Johnstone, the first Marquess of Annandale, and bore the Earl thirteen children. One of their grandchildren was a highly decorated naval officer who fought in the Battle of Trafalgar. Charles Hope was a Member of Parliament for Linlithgow in 1702, a Privy Councillor in 1702, and an Earl by 1703; he was a supporter of the Treaty of Union, wedding England and Scotland in 1707. Further titles followed. He was responsible for the erection of Hopetoun House, designed by Sir William Bruce, a prominent period architect. Henrietta herself inherited the estates and titles of the Johnstone family upon the death of her brother, James Johnstone (who thereby disinherited their half-brothers), but she held them only briefly before they went to another member of the family, George. Unfortunately, George (who never married), Marquess of Annandale, was declared legally insane in 1748, and Henrietta's son, John Hope (1704-1781), 2nd Earl of Hopetoun, was appointed "trustee in lunacy" for his half-uncle.

However, the dates of publication of the reel do not match well with Henrietta Johnstone Hope, who died several years before the tune first appears in print. Alternatively suggestions are that Harriet Hope may be Henrietta Hope (c. 1750-1786), a daughter of John Hope's from his first marriage. She was evidently a religious person, or found religion, as related in Sarah Tytler's The Countess of Huntingdon and her Circle:

About this time [Countess Huntingdon] made the acquaintance of Lady Henrietta Hope, eldest daughter of the Earl of Hopetoun, who was destined to become the dearest of all Lady Glenorchy's women friends. It is recorded of Lady Henrietta that it was when crossing the English Channel in one of the passenger boats of the period, and a great storm arose so that the passengers and crew were in prolonged danger, that she was led to think seriously and to resolve by grace to turn to her God and thenceforth to strive to serve Him and to renounce what she saw to be sinful in the Ufe around her. She is said to have been, in addition to her godliness, a woman of natural ability and capacity, a cheerful companion and a wise counsellor.

A Lady Harriet Hope, which may or may not be John Hope's Henrietta, is recorded as having been a vocal student of several Edinburgh music masters, being tutored in succession by Pasqualli, then, when he died, of Robert Bremner and finally Cornforth Gilson in 1759. The latter gave Harriet at least six lessons, for which he was paid one shilling per lesson [1].

John Glen (1891) finds the earliest appearance of the tune in print in Robert Bremner's 1757 collection (p. 10), although it also appears in the (James) Gillespie Manuscript of Perth (1768, vol. 4). Subsequently, the very popular melody appears in many Scottish collections under titles such as "Lady Harriet Hope," "Miss Hope," or similar variants. For example, it appears in Robert Petrie's Third Collection of Strathspey Reels (1800), Neil Stewart's Collection of Newest and Best Reels or Country Dances (Edinburgh, 1775), and the Irish collections O'Neill lists below. The reel appears in the music manuscript collection of John Fife, begun in 1780 in Perthshire, and evidently continued when at sea (through 1804). Northumbrian musician William Vickers penned it in his large manuscript collection of 1770. When a fashion for Scottish dancing hit London at the turn of the 18th century, "Lady Harriet Hope" was one of the tunes danced to, as we see in this excerpt from a London paper called The Star (06/01/1799), which reported on a recent ball at Oatlands Palace, Surrey, England:

At the fete given by Her Royal Highness, the Duchess of York, at Oatlands on the 30th of May (1799), the dances were as follows: 1. Ramah Droog. 2. Miss Murray of Auchtertyre. 3. The Tartan Plaidie. 4. Lady Harriet Hope's Reel. And lastly, the enchanting tune of Miss Gordon [Garden] of Troupe's Strathspey was called for by Princess Augusta, and danced twice over by all the fet. Between the second and third dance, Their Majesties desiring to see the Highland Reel in all its purity, it was danced by the Marquis of Huntley and the Lady Georgiana Gordon, Colonel Erskine and Lady Charlotte Durham, with all the elastic motion, hereditary character, and boundless variety of the Scottish dance.

Purser (1992) states this tune was one of a number that crossed the Atlantic to appear in several American fife manuals. John Ives's Twenty-four Figures of the Most Fashionable Country Dances (New Haven, 1799), a book of dance instructions, lists "Lady Harriet Hope's Reel" as one of his dances, and the tune appears in the music copybook of Miss Caroline Rachel Frobisher (1793), of Canada (in the possession of Hôpital General Fleury, Montreal, Quebec, Canada). Lancaster, Pa., flute player John Hoff (1776–1818) copied it into his music manuscript collection of 1797–1799, where it appears as "Lady Harhope's Reel." Ryan's Mammoth Collection (1883) gives it as "Lady Forbes." See also note for "Lady Hope's Reel," the title by which the tune appears in several War of Independence era musicians' manuscript collections in the United States.

In Ireland versions of the tune are known as the "Victory Reel" (recorded by Jackie Daly, among others), although Brendan Breathnach printed it under the title "Inion Mhic Dhonaill" (Miss McDonald's Reel). O'Neill (1922) remarks: "I saw this tune in manuscript written in West Cork early in the 19th Century. The fact remains that it had been preserved in printer's ink in Bremner's Collection of Scots Reels, or Country Dances, Edinburgh 1757. Its old-time popularity is attested by its inclusion in several other worthy Collections long out of print, such as The Caledonian Muse 1785; and Neil Gow's and Sons' Complete Repository etc., 1805."


Additional notes
Source for notated version : - Robert Petrie's 3rd Collection [S. Johnson].

Printed sources : - Aird (Selection of Scotch, English, Irish and Foreign Airs, vol. 2), 1785; No. 104, p. 38. Anderson (Anderson's Budget of Strathspeys, Reels & Country Dances), Edinburgh, 1820; p. 9. Bremner (Scots Reels), 1757; p. 10 (appears as "Lady Hariot Hope's Reel"). Gow (Complete Repository, Part 1), 1799; p. 31. Hall & Stafford (Charlton Memorial Tune Book), 1974; p. 36. Howe (1000 Jigs and Reels), c. 1867; p. 134. S. Johnson (Kitchen Musician No. 20: A Twenty Year Anniversary Collection), 2003; p. 34. Kerr (Merry Melodies, vol. 1), c. 1880, Set 22, No. 4, p. 14. Joseph Lowe (Lowe's Collection of Reels Strathspeys and Jigs, book 2), 1844–1845; p. 22. MacDonald (The Skye Collection), 1887; p. 144. McGoun (Repository of Scots and Irish Airs), 1803. O'Farrell (Pocket Companion, vol. 2), c. 1806; p. 136. O'Neill (Waifs and Strays of Gaelic Melody), 1922; No. 241. Petrie (Third Collection of Strathspey Reels), 1802; p. 10. Seattle/Vickers (Great Northern Tune Book, part 3), 1987; No. 430. Stewart-Robertson (The Athole Collection), 1884; p. 216. Surenne (Dance Music of Scotland), 1852; p. 32. Wilson (A Companion to the Ballroom), 1816; p. 62.

Recorded sources : - Culburnie COL 102, Alasdair Fraser & Jody Stecher - "The Driven Bow" (1988). Jerry O'Sullivan - "O'Sullivan Meets O'Farrell" (2005).




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  1. Thomas Hayward Edwards, Thesis: "‘So Much Neglected?’ An investigation and re-evaluation ofVocal Music in Edinburgh 1750 – 1800", Univ, of Edinburgh, 2015, p. 190.