Lord Torphichen's Favorite
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LORD TORPHICHEN'S FAVORITE. Scottish, Slow Quickstep (March). E Major. Standard tuning (fiddle). AAB. Composed by Miss Stirling. The ninth Lord Torpichen was James Sandilands (1759–1815), who as a young officer served under Gentleman Johnny Burgoyne in the Americas. He surrendered with the army at Saratoga in 1777, but was exchanged some few years later and served again in the conflict. By 1793 James had risen to the rank of Lieutenant-Colonel in the Coldstream Foot Guards and served the Duke of York in Flanders later in that year and 1794. He retired from the army in 1795. James was a Scottish representative peer in 1790 and again in 1796, and died in 1815, without issue.
Miss Magdalene Stirling (1765–1846), of Ardoch in Strathallen, Perthshire, was a composer of some merit in a time when women seldom were publicly involved in music performance or composition (see her "Perthshire Hunt (The)"). She was the one of the five daughters of Sir William Stirling, 4th Baronet of Ardoch, and his wife Cristian Ersking; three of whose names begin with 'M': Mary, Margaret and Magdalene. Magadlene's tunes were often published by others, with and without attribution (often to "Miss Stirling of Ardoch"), although she finally published them herself in a small collection in 1812. The tune was published as a march by the Gows, but as a strathspey by its composer.
Source for notated version:
Carlin (The Gow Collection), 1986; No. 574.
Gow (Fourth Collection of Niel Gow's Reels), 2nd ed., originally 1800; p. 3.
Stirling (Twelve Tunes), 1812; p. 3 (as "Lord Torphichen's Strathspey").