Miss Stewart of Physgill’s Favorite

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MISS STEWART OF PHYSGILL’S FAVORITE. Scottish, Jig. D Major. Standard tuning (fiddle). AB. Composed by Nathaniel Gow (1763-1831). The melody probably honors one of two daughters of Robert Hathorn Stewart (d. 1818), who, in 1789, married Isabella, the only daughter of Sir Stair Agnew of Lochnaw, bart. The family seat was Physgil House. Robert and Isabella had two sons and two daughters: the eldest daughter, Agnes, married in 1816 to John MacCulloch, esq., of Kirkcudbrightshire; Mary (1801-1880) married in 1824 a naval officer, Rear-Adm. James Hay (1786-1857), R.N., of Belton, E. Lothian, 3rd son of Major James Hay of Belton. Given the dates of the marriages, the ‘Miss Stewart’ of the title was Mary Stewart. Two of their children were early Victorian-era military officers who died young: Lieutenant David Hay, of the 22nd Oude Regular Cavalry, one of the defenders of Lucknow, died in 1868 at age 25; his brother, Commander Hay, R.N., was killed in New Zealand in 1864 at age 29. Both were brought home to rest in the family crypt.

Source for notated version:

Printed sources: Gow (Sixth Collection of Strathspey Reels), 1822; p. 7.

Recorded sources:




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