Miss Henderson of Fordel

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MISS HENDERSON OF FORDEL. Scottish, Reel. A Mixolydian. Standard tuning (fiddle). AAB. John Glen (1891) finds the earliest appearance of this tune in print in Daniel Dow's Thirty Seven New Reels and Strathspeys (Edinburgh, c. 1775, p. 9). Fordell is a former estate colliery village in west Fife, Scotland (Fordel—with one ‘l’—is the old spelling_. The Hendersons were the baronets of Fordel (their seat was Fordell House), and the title refers possibly to a daughter of Sir Robert Henderson (d. 1781), the 4th Baronet Henderson of Fourdell, and his wife Isabella Stuart (d. 1796), who were married in 1748. They had two daughters, Jean, who married into the Mercer family, and Frances, who married a Lindsay. Both were born before 1781, although the dates are unknown. Sir Robert built the first private railway to transport ore from the Fordell mines to St. David’s Harbour on the Firth of Forth.

Source for notated version:

Printed sources: Glen (The Glen Collection of Scottish Dance Music), vol. 1, 1891; p. 2. S. Johnson (A Twenty Year Anniversary Collection), 2003; p. 28.

Recorded sources:




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