Mrs. Pryce Gordon's Reel
X:1 T:Mrs. Pryce Gordon’s Reel C:Robert Mackintosh M:C| L:1/8 R:Reel B:Robert Mackintosh – “A Fourth Collection of New Strathspey Reels, also some Famous old Reels” (1804, p. 10) N:Dedicated to the Dutchess [sic] of Manchester N:Robert “Red Rob” Mackintosh (c. 1745-1808) was a Scottish violinist and N:composer active in Edinburgh at the end of the 18th century. Originally from N:Tullymet, near Pitlochry, Perthshire. He moved to London in the last decade N:of his life. Z:AK/Fiddler’s Companion K:F A|f3e d/d/d df|g3f e/e/e eg|a2 ag fgaf|bagf egce| f3e d/d/d df|g3f e/e/e eg|agaf bagf|ecde f3|| c|AFFA BGGB|Acde fgfc|AFFA BGGB|Ad^ce d/d/d df| AFFA BGGB|Acde fgfc|AFcA BGdB|Aaeg fdd||
MRS. PRYCE GORDON'S REEL. Scottish, Reel (cut time). F Major. Standard tuning (fiddle). AB. "Mrs. Pryce Gordon's Reel" was composed by Edinburgh fiddler-composer Robert Mackintosh (c. 1745-1808). The reel is titled for the spouse of Pryse Lockhart Gordon (1762-1845), writer of A Companion to Italy (1823) and Personal Memoirs (1830), and an acquaintance of Walter Scott. Gordon had been an army officer in the Duke of Gordon's regiment, but had been given leave to accompany Lord Montgomery, an invalid, to Italy, where he remained until 1801, when he returned to Scotland to find his regiment disbanded. He was about to embark for employment overseas, when (as he writes) "my good fortune threw in my way an amiable young widow", whom he married in autumn 1801. Apparently she provided him with an income to allow him to live independently of employment.
In Personal Memoirs he writes that his wife was having a run of good luck in her autograph collecting, and managed to get Sir Walter Scott to inscribe a few lines from The Field of Waterloo. Lord Byron (a boyhood friend of Pryce's) was cajoled by the Gordon's to read them out loud when taking an ice with the couple after dinner:
The sound of Cressy none shall own,
And Agincourt shall be unknown,
And Blenheim be a nameless spot
Long ere the glories are forgot.
Scott thought Waterloo the battle to end battles, to be long remembered after the memory of others had faded. Byron strongly disagreed that night, struck the page with his hand and exclaimed "I'll be damned if they will, Mr. Scott, be forgot!"