Laird of Macfarlane's (The)

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LAIRD OF MACFARLANE'S, THE. Scottish, Strathspey. C Major. Standard tuning (fiddle). AAB. The ancestral lands of the Clan MacFarlane [1] were Arrochar, located at the head of Loch Long and further northwest of Loch Lomond. However, the clan was suppressed as an organization by the British government due to its fierce opposition to the crown, and its lands were sold for debt in 1767. The last descendant of the MacFarlane chiefs died in 1886. According to "An Account of the Surname of MacFarlane" in Miscellanea Scotia (Glasgow, 1820) the MacFarlane surname was "very numerous in both the north and west Highlands, particularly in the shires of Dunbartoun, Perth, Stirling and Argyll; as also in the shires of Inverness, and Murray, and the Western Isles; besides there is a great many of them in the north of Ireland" (p. 92). Dr. Samuel Johnson, in his account of his Scottish travels (A Journey to the Western Isles of Scotland), mentions that on Mull many people are named Maclean. He remarks:

Where races are thus numerous, and thus combined, none but the Chief of a clan is addressed by his name. The Laird of Dunvegan is called MacLeod, but other gentlemen of the same family are denominated by the places where they reside, as Raasa, or Talisker. The distinction of the meaner people is made by their Christian names. In consequence of this practice, the late Laird of Macfarlane, an eminent genealogist, considered himself as disrespectfully treated, if the common addition was applied to him. Mr. Macfarlane, said he, may with equal propriety be said to many; but I, and I only, am Macfarlane.

The Laird, renowned as a great antiquary, died in 1767. Miscellanea Scotia (1820) further mentions:

The laird of MacFarlane had a very good old castle in an island of Lochlomond, called Island-row-glas, which was burnt by the English during Cromwell's usurpation, and never since repaired. He also has another pretty good house and gardens in the same loch, called Island-vow. But his principal residence is at Inverioch, or New Tarbet, which is a handsome house, beautified with pleasant gardens, situated in the Parish of Arrochar, and the shire of Dunbartoun, near the head of that large loch, or arm of the sea, called Loch-long, where there is excellent fishing for herring, and all other sorts of sea-fish. (p. 93).

Source for notated version:

Printed sources: Gow (Second Collection of Niel Gow's Reels), 1788; p. 21 (3rd ed.). Gow (Beauties of Niel Gow), 1819; p. 20.

Recorded sources:




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