Miss Dundas of Kerse’s Strathspey
X:1 T:Miss Dundas of Kerse M:C L:1/8 R:Strathspey Q:"Moderato" C:John Watlen B:John Watlen - The Celebrated Circus Tunes (Edinburgh, 1791, p. 17) Z:AK/Fiddler's Companion K:A ~c>d|e<cB<A A>Bc>E|G<FE<C B,>CB,>E|C<EF<E C<EF<E| (F/E/F/G/) (A/G/A/B/) (c/B/c/d/) (c/B/c/d/)|e<cB<A A>Bc>E|F<AE<A C2B,2| (D/C/D/E/) (F/E/F/G/) (A/G/A/B/) (c/B/c/e/)|(d/c/B/A/) (c/B/A/G/) A2A:||:E<AA>B A2 (3cBA| E<BB>c B2 (3dcB|c<ef<e c<ef<e|agfe dcBA|E<BB>c B2 ~c>d| e>cB<A A>BcE|F<AE<A FAdf|(f/e/d/c/) (e/d/c/B/) B2A:|]
MISS DUNDAS OF KERSE'S STRATHSPEY. Scottish, Strathspey (whole time). D Major. Standard tuning (fiddle). AABB. "Miss Dundas of Kerse" was composed and first printed by John Watlen in his Celebrated Circus Tunes (Edinburgh, 1791). It was reprinted five years later by Glasgow publisher James Aird without credit to the source.
The tune perhaps honors Charlotte Dundas (1774-1855), the daughter of politician, merchant and naval officer Sir Lawrence Dundas (1712-1781), 1st Baron Dundas, who had amassed a considerable fortune and was descended from the Fingask branch of the Dundas family. He inherited the estates of Kerse, near Falkirk, through which his father had built the Forth and Clyde Canal. Dundas commissioned William Symington (1763-1831) to build a tug for his canal, which became the world's first steam-powered boat , which he named after his daughter.
However, as Dundas and his wife (the former Lady Charlotte FitzWilliam) had fourteen children, including seven daughters, the tune may also have referred to Anne (1767), Margaret (1772), Frances (1777), Dorothy (1785), Mary (1787) or Isabella (1790).