Miss Callander’s Minuet
X:1 T:Miss Callander's Minuet M:3/4 L:1/8 R:Minuet C:John Watlen N:"Danced by Mrs. Parker & Mr. Holland" B:John Watlen - The Celebrated Circus Tunes (Edinburgh, 1791, p. 6) Z:AK/Fiddler's Companion K:G d2d2c2|B3c d2|EA c2 B>c|BAGF ED| d2d2 c2|B3c d2|EcBAGF|1 G2 G/D/E/F/ G/A/B/c/:|2 [C3F3][B,2D2G2]|| |:[F2A2][FA][FA][FA][FA]|B2 G3G|c2 cA FD|E2 EGFA| G2 GB dg|f/e/d/c/ B2TA2|1 G2B2G2:|2 [F3c4][G2B2]||
MISS CALLANDER'S MINUET. Scottish, Minuet (3/4 time). G Major. Standard tuning (fiddle). AA'BB'. The minuet was composed by Edinburgh musician John Watlen, who published it in his Celebrated Circus Tunes (Edinburgh, 1791). James Aird reprinted it, along with several other tunes from Watlen's collection (and with no attribution to the source) in his 1796 Selection, vol. 4. Watlen notes the tune was danced by "Mrs. Parker" and "Mr. Holland", performers at Edinburgh's Royal Circus, an extension of Phillip Astley's London-based Royal Circus. The venue provided an alternative to concerts, opera and the theater, with equestrian acts, acrobatics, song and dance, and pantomime being performed. There were several performers named Holland during the era, and it is not known which one is referenced by Watlen. John Holland and "Mrs. Parker", Sophia Parker, were two of the principal dancers in the 1791 season, and she appears to have been the stepmother of a "Miss Parker" who also danced at the Royal Circus. Watlen mentions the elder Parker in conjunction with "the celebrated Strathspey Minuet as danced by Mr. Lassells and Mrs. Parker at the Royal Circus, London and Edinburgh." In 1806 the Monthly Mirror, reporting on the Royal Circus, wrote: "Since our last and first notice, the stage exhibitions have been improved by the addition of a new dance called the 'Hibernian Reapers, or Harvest Home', in which Mrs. Parker distinguishes herself by a style of dancing full of ease, and productive of the most agreeable effect."
Watlen also printed a "Lady Eliza Callander’s Favourite" in his 1791 Circus volume, perhaps a relative or even the same person as "Miss Callander," and included another composition, "Miss Montgomery’s Reel," attributed to "Capt. Callander."