Miss Cunningham of Lainshaw's Favourite

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MISS CUNNINGHAM OF LAINSHAW'S FAVOURITE. Scottish, Reel (cut time). B Flat Major. Standard tuning (fiddle). AABB. The lairds of Lainshaw, whose seat was Lainshaw House, Stewarton, East Ayrshire. The 10th laird lost a fortune as result of the American War of Independence, but William Cunninghame [1] (1731–1799) of Bridgehouse and (afterwards Lainshaw), fared rather better in trade with America in the mid-18th century and became known as the 'Tobacco Lord'. It was his foresight to stockpile tobacco in advance of the American War of Independence, during which he sold his tobacco at higher prices. In the midst of the war, in 1779, William purchased the Lainshaw estate from the 10th laird, and proceeded to improve it. He married three times and had fourteen children (one of whom is the subject of the reel). Family strife caused him to disinherit his eldest sons and his third son and namesake, William Cunninghame, inherited the estate in 1799.

William the younger remodelled the house extensively and did not take up residence until 1804. Unfortunately, this William was a religious eccentric, and published his notions in a series of books (one against swearing). He died unmarried, having heard his childhood sweetheart utter unacceptably bad language. Lainshaw House still stands.

Source for notated version:

Printed sources: James Campbell (Collection of Marches, Quick Steps, Strathspeys, Reels, etc.), Glasgow, 1798; p. 5.

Recorded sources:




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