Miss MacLeod of Delvey's Reel
X:1 T:Miss MacLeod of Delvey's Reel C:R. MacDonald M:C| L:1/8 R:Strathspey B:James Taylor – A Collection of Strathspeys & Reels, together B:with a Set of Scots Quadrilles (Elgin, c. 1835, p. 11) N:”Most respectfully dedicated to Lady Dunbar of Northfield.” Z:AK/Fiddler’s Companion K:Amin B,|A,AAB c2 cB/A/|FBBc d2 cB|FBBc dcdf|ecdB A2A:| ^g|aece fddf|eccA (BE)~E2|aece fddf|edcB A2 (A^g)| aece fddf|eccA BE ~E2|AcBd cedf|eab^g a2a||
MISS MACLEOD OF DELVEY'S REEL. Scottish, Reel (cut time). A Minor. Standard tuning (fiddle). AAB. "Miss MacLeod of Delvey's Reel" was attributed to "R. MacDonald" by Elgin musician, composer and music teacher James Taylor in his first collection (c. 1835). See also MacDonald's companion tune "Miss MacLeod of Delvey's Strathspey."
See also Cuminestown fiddler-composer William Christie's tunes for a Miss MacLeod of Delvey. 'Miss MacLeod' was a daughter of Captain Alexander MacLeod (1756-1821), 1st of Dalvey, Morayshire, who made his fortune serving in the Indian Army as Aide-de-Camp to his Kinsman, Major-General Norman MacLeod, the 23rd Chief (of Dunvegan). He married a distant relative, Marion MacLeod of Berneray, around the year 1796, shortly after which he acquired the Dalvey estate. Dalvey (formerly Grangehill) was a largely agricultural 1,500 acre estate located in the fertile coastal plain midway between Inverness and Elgin, near the market town of Forres. Dalvey House is still owned by the Dalvey family. The couple had eleven children (five or six of whom were daughters: Marion (f.?), Margaret, Flora, Isabella, Mary & Charlotte). The youngest, Charlotte, was born in 1795 and died in Portugal in 1822, probably from tuberculosis.
Captain Alexander MacLeod was succeeded by his son Norman William Cowper MacLeod, who was laird of Dalvey at the time James Taylor published his collection. While it is likely that William Christie had in mind one of Captain Alexander's daughters as his 'Miss MacLeod', it may transpire (with more information on the family) that is was a daughter of Norman's that R. MacDonald honored with his composition in Taylor's volume.