Mrs. Blair of Blair's Reel (2)

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X:1 T:Mrs. Blair of Blair's Reel [2] M:C L:1/8 R:Reel B:John French – Collection of New Strathspeys, Reels, etc. (1801) N:Dedicated to Mrs. Boswell of Auchinleck N:Published by Gow & Shepherd, “for behoof of Mr. French’s widow and children.” K:D A|d2 (fd) adfd|B(ee)d cABc|d2 (fd) adfd|B(ee)c d2D:| G|FAdF GBeg|fdAF GFEG|FAdF GBeg|fdec d2 DG| FAdF GBeg|fdAF GFEG|FAdA Bdgb|afge d2D||

Blair House
MRS. BLAIR OF BLAIR'S REEL. Scottish, Reel (whole time). D Major. Standard tuning (fiddle). AAB. Composed by fiddler-composer John French (1752–1803). It appears in his A Collection of Strathspeys, Reels &c. (c. 1801), dedicated to Mrs. Boswell of Auchinleck, and published by Gow & Shepherd, “for behoof of Mr. French’s widow and children.” The phrase may indicate that French was incapacitated, or perhaps dead, in which case either the dates of publication of the dates of his death are faulty.

One of two main branches of the Blair family lived at Blair House, Ayrshire, where French was from. Blair House was the seat of the Barony of Blair and the titular line of the Blairs of Blair family for about 24 generations. At the time French was active, Blair House was occupied by William Blair who was MP for Ayrshire and Colonel of the Ayrshire Regiment of Fencible Cavalry. William succeeded to the estate in 1782. He married Magdalene, daughter of John Fordyce, Esq. of Ayton, Berwickshire, and the couple had five sons and seven daughters. Magdalene, probably the person honored by French's title, died in 1817.

Additional notes

Printed sources : - French (Collection of New Strathspeys, Reels &c.), 1801.

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