Miss Heron

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X:1 T:Miss Heron of Heron's Reel M:C L:1/8 B:The Calvert Collection (1799, page 7) Z:Nigel Gatherer K:F f|cFAF EGGB|A/B/c fc Td3f|cfcA BGEc|AFEC F3:|] f|a/g/f/e/ fd Te>f gb afcA Td3 f|cAfF EGGB|AFEC ~F3 f| a/g/f/e/ fd ~e>fgb|a/g/f/e/ fc ~d3 f|cacA BGEc|AFEC F3:|]



MISS HERON. AKA – “Miss Heron of Hernon’s Reel,” “Miss Herron of Heron’s Reel.” Scottish, Reel. F Major. Standard tuning (fiddle). AAB. The tune was published in 1799 by Thomas Calvert, a musician from Kelso, Scotland. A note with his collection states that Calvert supplied “a variety of music and instruments, instruments lent out, tun’d and repaired.” A year later the Gows published it in their Fourth Collection (1800) where the composition was attributed to Nathaniel Gow (1763-1831).

Miss Heron was presumably one of two daughters of Patrick Heron of Heron (1736-1803) and Lady Elizabeth Cochrane (1745-1811, daughter of the 8th Earl of Dundonald), whose estate of Kerroughtree was near Galloway, Ayr. Patrick [1] was an MP for Kirkcudbright in the decade before his death, and poet Robert Burns wrote some satirical campaign verses to aid his candidacies. A period geographical survey had this short note about the estate: “On the east side of the [River] Cree stands the ancient village of Minnigaff. Near it is Kirrochtree, the elegant seat of Mr. Heron of Heron. In this estate, and that of Mochramore adjoining, there are veins of lead, which have been worked for many years” (Robert Heron, Scotland Delineated: Or, a Geographical Description of Every Shire, 1799). Burns originally set a song (“Here is the Glen”) to one of Lady Elizabeth (Cochrane) Heron’s airs. Writing to his publisher, Thomson, Burns said, “I got an air, pretty enough, composed by Lady Elizabeth Heron of Heron, which she calls ‘The Banks of the Cree’. Cree is a beautiful, romantic stream, and, as her ladyship is a particular friend of mine, I have written the following song to it.” Thomson did not like the tune, however, and, after Burns’ death set the verses to “Flowers of Edinburgh (1).” Patrick and Elizabeth had only one daughter who lived past adolescence, the youngest having died at Madeira in 1800. The eldest, Stuart Mary (1777-1856), married Sir John-Shaw-Heron Maxwell of Springkell, Co. Dumfries, in 1802. Stuart-Mary was born and died in the family seat of Kerroughtree (various spellings exist). See also "Lady Betty Cochran's Strathspey" for another tune for the family.


Additional notes



Printed sources : - Anderson (Anderson's Budget of Strathspeys, Reels & Country Dances), c. 1820; p. 19. Carlin (The Gow Collection), 1986; No. 285. Gow (Fourth Collection of Niel Gow’s Reels), 2nd ed., originally 1800; p. 9. Joseph Lowe (Lowe's Collection of Reels, Strathspeys and Jigs, book 5), 1844-45; p. 18. Stewart-Robertson (The Athole Collection), 1884; p. 222.






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