Lady Mary Primrose

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X:1 T:Lady Mary Primrose M:C L:1/16 R:Strathspey S:Skinner - Harp and Claymore Collection (1904) Z:AK/Fiddler's Companion K:Bb .D.E | F3B D3B F3B Dd3 | B3G (GF).E.D C4 C2 DE | F3B D3B F3B Dg3 | fB3 f3e (d4 d2).f2 | ge3 E3g f2d2 D2f2 | e3d{d}c3B (G4 G2)B2 | F3G (GF)(.E.D) .F3G ~(B3g) | f2B2 {B}d3c B4B2 || (3fga | b3fd2f2 B2f2d2f2 | e3d{d}c3B G4G2 (3fga | b3fd2f2 B2f2d2f2 | .g.f.g.a .b2.d2 (f4 f).g.a.b | .g.e.B.G E3g fdBF D2f2 | e3d {d}c3B G4 G2B2 | F3G (GF) .E.D F3G ~(B3g) | (fB3) {B}d3c B4B2 ||



LADY MARY PRIMROSE'S FAVORITE. AKA and see "Miss Joan Kier," "Sir Hendry's Strathspey." Scottish, Slow Strathspey. B Flat Major. Standard tuning (fiddle). AB. Henderson (1935) finds the earliest appearance of the tune as "Miss Joan Kier" in Clarkson's Musical Entertainer (c. 1796), however, close variants appear in T. Calvert's Collection (c. 1799) as "<incipit title="load:hendry" width=850 link="https://tunearch.org/wiki/Sir Hendry's Strathspey">Sir Hendry's Strathspey</incipit>," while Nathaniel Gow (1763-1831) published it under the above title in 1800. Hunter also says William Marshall's (1748-1833) "<incipit title="load:invershire" width=850 link="https://tunearch.org/wiki/Invershire (1)">Invershire (1)</incipit>" has "a strong affinity" with the tune. J. Scott Skinner (1904, Harp and Claymore) attributed the tune to Marshall, saying: "This beautiful strain was composed by Wm. Marshall, and appeared in his collection as 'Invereshie'. Nathaniel Gow adopted the strathspey, reversing the strains and altering the title. Peter Milne, whose services to Scottish Music deserve warm recognition, did much to give the melody vogue." See Skinner's handwritten 1915 manuscript [1] where he calls it an "admired old melody".

Lady Mary Primrose was the 2nd daughter of Neil, 3rd Earl of Rosebery and Mary Vincent, born at Barnbougle Castle, Linlithgow, on the last night of 1777. Her brother was also an Earl of Rosebery. She married a lawyer named Henry John Shepherd (1783-1855) of Lincoln's Inn in 1808, introduced to her, no doubt, by her brothers who were Shepherd's Cambridge school-chums. Henry continued his studies at Lincoln's Inn with her youngest brother Francis. She had an interest in philosophy and published (as Lady Mary Shepherd) either two or three metaphysical works (depending on the source), Essays on the Perception of an External Universe, and other subjects connected with the Doctrine of Causation (1827) and An Essay on the Relation of Cause and Effect (1824), in addition to a few articles. These works were published a good deal after her marriage, and it is only her daughter's memoir that reveals that Lady Mary wrote many of these works between the ages of seventeen and twenty-seven, 'whilst still at Barnbougle', and published them later through the encouragement of her husband. She was involved in a public intellectual controversy with a retired naval officer turned philosopher, John Fearn, when she wrote several short criticisms of Fearn's book First Lines of the Human Mind. There was some back-and-forth in various literary publications. She was also a subscriber to the Geological Society of London, and was acquainted with Charles Babbage and his literary circle. Lady Mary died at the age of 69 in 1847.

Lady Francis Jerningham wrote of Lady Charlotte (to Lady Bedingfeld, May 29, 1800) in a letter:

Lady Charlotte Primrose's [Mary's sister] match was not sanctioned by her parents. He is a near relation of Lady Rosebery's, and may become Earl of Effingham, but has at present only his pay, as Colonel in the Guards. Her Bands were mutter'd over in the Parish Church, and she walked out at the Half-Door, and met Col. Howard at the end of the street, from whence they proceeded to the altar of Hymen. Lady Mary [Primrose] will perhaps do the same, but she is a sensible girl, and has very good taste. I had a visit a few mornings since from Lady Rosebery and her three daughters; we were all seated when a pretty young man entered. Lady Mary Coloured as red as fire and I have since felt a partiality for her.

See also a strathspey composed for her sister, Charlotte ("Lady Charlotte Primrose"), by John Gow.

Additional notes

Source for notated version: -

Printed sources : - Carlin (The Gow Collection), 1986; No. 103. Gow (Fourth Collection of Niel Gow's Reels), 2nd ed., originally 1800; p. 13. Henderson (Flowers of Scottish Melody), 1935. Hunter (Fiddle Music of Scotland), 1988; No. 58. Skinner (Harp and Claymore Collection), 1904; pp. 18-19 (appears as "Lady Mary Primrose").

Recorded sources: -



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