Master F. Sitwell
X:1 T:Master F. Sitwell's Reel M:C L:1/8 R:Reel B:J. Anderson - Anderson's Budget of Strathspeys, Reels & Country Dances B: for the German Flute or Violin (Edinburgh, 1820, p. 11) Z:AK/Fiddler's Companion K:C (E/F/)|GcEc A2 (FA)|Gg f/e/d/c/ Bdd(e/f/)|ecGE A2 (FA)|Gc Bd ecc:|| (e/f/)|geaf g2 (ea)|geaf cddf|(ge).a.f (ge).c'.e|(f/e/).d/.c/ (Bg) ecc (e/f/)| geaf g2 (ea)|gcac Bdd(e/f/)|gecG (A/B/c) (FA)|GcBd (ec)c|]
MASTER F. (Francis) SITWELL. AKA and see "Francis Sitwell." Scottish; Slow Strathspey, Reel. B Flat Major (most versions): C Major (Anderson, Surenne). Standard tuning (fiddle). AB (Hardie, Surenne): AAB (Anderson, Carlin/Gow, Glen, Honeyman): AABB' (Gatherer, Kerr, Stewart-Robertson): AAB & variations CCD (Cranford/Fitzgerald). Composed by Nathaniel Gow (1768–1831). It is not known for whom the tune is written. There was a Francis Sitwell (1768–1813) who, in Dunbarton in 1795, married Anne Campbell (c. 1766–1821), daughter of Sir Illay Campbell of Succoth, 1st Bart, and Susan Mary Murray. Sitwell (whose original name was Hurt) was master of Barmoor Castle, Northumberland, and sometime MP for Berwick (1803–1806). However, the title "Master" usually is applied to a boy or young man.
Nathaniel was the third son of famed Scots fiddler-composer Niel Gow (1727–1807), and was himself a fiddler, composer, bandleader and music publisher. A master set of variations to this tune were recorded by Aberdeenshire fiddler J. F. Dickie ("Master of the Slow Strathspey", according to J. Murdoch Henderson) in the early 1950's. The tune is most often set as a strathspey, although reel versions are in print. There is also a strathspey titled "Miss Sitwell" by Nathaniel, perhaps for a sister or relation of Francis. "The Master F Sitwell's Strathspey. Composed by Nathaniel Gow and Lord Eglintoun's Reel danced as a medley to which is added 3 favourite Country Dances" was issued by Gow & Shepherd in 1800.