Lord Eglinton (3)

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LORD EGLINTON'S REEL [3]. English, Reel. F Major. Standard tuning (fiddle). AABBCC. The melody appears unique to London publishers Charles and Samuel Thompson's 1757 country dance collection. It was entered into the 1788 music manuscript copybook shared by John and William Pitt Turner, of Norwich, Conn.

Alexander Montgomerie, 10th Earl of Eglinton

At the time of the Thompsons' publication (1757) Lord Eglinton was Alexander Montgomerie (1727-1769), 10th Earl of Eglinton. He was a sometime member of the House of Lords, Governor of Dumbarton castle, one of the Lords of the Bedchamber to George III, and a Grand Master Mason of the Grand Lodge of Scotland (1750-1751). A few years after the tune was printed, Eglinton helped introduce a young James Boswell (Dr. Johnson's anamnesis) to London society, and despite some differences, they became warm and good friends. Boswell mentions Eglinton several times in his writings, and says (in 1763) that Eglinton kept a mistress, a Ms. or Mrs. Brown, "who had lived with him for seven or eight years." Alexander died at the hands of an excise man [1], Mungo Campbell, in a dispute over the latter's right to bear arms on Eglinton lands in Scotland.

Mungo Campbell shooting Lord Eglinton near Saltcotes, near Ayrshire



Source for notated version:

Printed sources: Thompson (Compleat Collection of 200 Favourite Country Dances, vol. 1), 1757; No. 17.

Recorded sources:




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