Marchioness of Cornwallis' Strathspey (The)

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X:1 T:Marchioness of Cornwallis' Strathspey, The M:C L:1/8 R:Strathspey S:Marshall - 1822 Collection Z:AK/Fiddler's Companion K:Eb B,/A,/ | G,<B, B,>C E2 G,E | B,EGE GF FB,/A,/ | G,<B, BC/D/ [G,2E2] [G,E]e | c>BAB GEE :|| c/d/ | e/d/c/B/ EB dB eB | fB a>g gffg|a>gfe edcB | e>cBB, CEEc/d/ | eEcE BEGE | a>fg>e dff>B, | CEDF EBGe | cBAB GEE ||



MARCHIONESS OF CORNWALLIS' STRATHSPEY, THE. Scottish, Slow Strathspey. E Flat Major. Standard tuning (fiddle). AAB. Composed by William Marshall (1748-1833) in honor of Louisa (1776-1850), the fourth daughter of the Alexander (1743-1827), the 4th Duke of Gordon, who became Marchioness of Cornwallis through her marriage in 1797 to Viscount (later Marquis) Brome.

Louisa Brome, née Gordon, Marchioness of Cornwallis.

The Viscount's mother (Louisa's mother-in-law) was a great favorite of Marshall's as she had a good sense of humor, records Moyra Cowie (The Life and Times of William Marshall, 1999). It was first published on a single-sheet by Edinburgh music-publisher John Hamilton. The strathspey (an "excellent melody", says Glen) is the piece that Duke Alexander, Marshall's patron, considered one of the composer's best and the one that he preferred to end his dining-room concerts with. Even after Marshall left his employ, he directed Marshall's replacement at steward, Daniel Macdonald (a composer and performer in his own right--it seems to have been a requirement of the Duke's!), to play the tune at the end of his concerts. William Chambers' Chambers Edinburgh Journal, vol. 9 (No. 209, Jan. 1, 1848, p. 15) gives:

The duke, of all Marshall's tunes, had one particular favourite--"The Marchioness of Cornwallis;" and he showed his partiality for it on such occasions by calling specially for it as the wind-up of the entertainment.



The Gentleman's Magazine printed this obituary:

Endowed with a strong, intelligent, and inquiring mind, and great energy of character, in the pursuit of science, the study of natural history, or the more trifling occupations of the needle and works of fancy, this lady equally succeeded, and has left numberless proofs of her ingenuity and untiring industry. Taking the lead in society, from her rank and station, she was universally looked up to, whilst she was affable and courteous to all; the friend of innocent cheerfulness, and the ready promoter of whatever was for the general good. They who had the happiness of knowing her when at Culford (near Bury St. Edmunds) need not be reminded of her domestic virtues, and her incessant activity and anxiety for the welfare of all around her; visiting the poor, superintending personally her village school, in which she took and intense interest, watching incessantly to administer to the relief and comfort of her neighbours, and thinking only by what means she best might do them good. After leaving Culford, the scene of her usefulness was changed, but its efficiency was not lessened; and she was never forgetful of her former freinds, always evincing a lively interest in their welfare, and, with the different members of her family, contributing largely to the bazaars in aid of the hospital.

William Marshall


Additional notes



Printed sources : - James Davie (Mrs. Gordon of Cairness), c. 1822; p. 2 (an eight-tune folio). Gow (Complete Repository, Part 4), 1817; p. 4. Hunter (Fiddle Music of Scotland), 1988; No. 183. Marshall, Fiddlecase Edition, 1978; 1822 Collection, p. 22.






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