Miss Colt of Seacliff’s Strathspey

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MISS COLT OF SEACLIFF'S STRATHSPEY. Scottish, Strathspey. E Minor. Standard tuning (fiddle). AAB. Composed by William Shepherd (c. 1750-1812). Seacliff House, East Lothian, Scotland, at the mouth of the Forth of Firth, was built in 1750 by Robert Colt. of Auldhame (b. 1756). He married in 1778 Grace (1760-1798), daughter of the Right Hon. Robert Dundas of Arniston, lord president of the court of session, and by her he had nine children. The only female child to survive to adulthood was Grace, born at Inveresk House (the Colts maintained numerous residences) who died in 1802 at age 19 at Great Malvern. A tablet was erected in her memory in Priory Church, Malvern, of blue and white marble inscribed:

His cheeful watch some guardian angel keep
Around this tomb where youth and virtue lie,
Mourn then no more, her spirit only sleeps,
Such work, such genuine worth, can never die.

Her parents predeceased her. Robert Colt, an M.P. died in 1797 at age 42, "his death said to have been hastened by a chill caught in attending a State Ball after a long run with the hounds. The Ball was one given by his brother-in-law, Admiral Lord Duncan, to King George III, on board the "Camperdown," to celebrate his return from the great victory he had over the Dutch at Camperdown. His widow, Grace Dundas, survived him by only a few months, dying at Wimbledon, it is said, of a broken heart on 27th September, 1798." [George Frederick Russell Colt, History & genealogy of the Colts of that ilk and Gartsherrie, 1887].

Source for notated version:

Printed sources: Shepherd (A Collection of Strathspey Reels), 1793; p. 9.

Recorded sources:




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