Mrs. James Duff
X:1 T:Mrs. James Duff C:Isaac Cooper N:Cooper (c. 1755-1820) was fiddler, composer and dancing-master in Banff N:Perhas Mrs. James Duff of Delgaty, Aberdeenshire M:C L:1/8 R:Strathspey S:Glen Collection, vol. 2 (1895) Z:AK/Fiddler’s Companion K:A A,>CE>A c>de>c|d/f/B c>A B/B/B B2|A,>CE>A c>d e/f/g/a/|e<c e>B [C2A2] [C2A2]:| e>ae>c d>fc>A|B/f/d c>A B/B/B B2|e>ae>c d>fc>A|E>GB>G A/A/A A2| e>ae>c d>fc>A|d/fd c>A B>eg>b|(3agf (3edc (3fed (3cBA|E>GB>G A/A/A [C2A2]||
MRS. JAMES DUFF. Scottish, Strathspey. A Major. Standard tuning (fiddle). AAB. The melody was composed by Isaac Cooper of Banff (b. 1755-d. 1810 or 1811, although sometimes the year is given as 1820), a music teacher and dancing master. It appears in his Collection of Strathspeys, Reels and Irish Jigs for the Piano-Forte & Violin to which are added Scots, Irish & Welch Airs Composed and Selected by I. Cooper at Banff (London, Edinburgh, c. 1806), one of his two collections (along with Thirty New Strathspey Reels for the Violin).
James Duff, 2nd Earl of Fife (1729-1809), one of the most powerful and influential men in Aberdeenshire, was acquisitive of property in the north of Scotland. In 1798 he added to his estates by purchasing Delgaty Castle, near Turiff, Aberdeenshire, from the Garden-Campbell family (for whom fiddler-composer William Christie had composed a number of tunes). He let General Sir Alexander Duff (1777-1851), a relative and successful British army officer and M.P., occupy it as his tenant for a considerable period of time. James Duff married Lady Dorothea Sinclair, the only child of Alexander, 9th Earl of Caithness, although as a titled person she would hardly be referred to as "Mrs." Perhaps Cooper composed the tune for another resident of Duff House, the Georgian estate house in Banff, designed by William Adam and built around 1740 for William Duff of Braco.