Mrs. Stewart Kynnachans Strathspey

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MRS. STEWART KYNNACHANS STRATHSPEY. Scottish, Strathspey (whole time). D Major. Standard tuning (fiddle). AAB. Composed by Malcolm MacDonald, "Mrs. Stewart Kynnachan's Strathspey" appears in his first collection, a volume dedicated to Mrs. Baird of Newbyth. The estate of Kynnachan is near Loch Tummel, Perthshire, Tayside, Scotland, and was formerly known as Easter Kinnaird. Major David Stewart of Kynnachan was killed at Culloden in 1746 when he was burnt alive in a barn by Government troops after the battle where he and other wounded Jacobite soldiers had sought refuge. His widow continued to live on the estate with her three children; a boy who died in his minority and two daughters, Jessie and Euphemia. Jessie married Robert Stewart of Garth and was the mother of General David Stewart of Garth (see "Lieutenant Colonel David Stewart's Strathspey"), while Euphemia (Phemie) married Mungo Reid for love. They eloped in 1768, and a song was composed in celebration:

'Soraidh leat, a Mhunga Roid,
A Mhunga Roid, a Mhunga Roid,
Soraidh l'at, a Mhunga Roid,
Null gu Dun-Eudainn. Coinneachan,
Cha 'n e do bheatha Coinneachan,
Cha 'n e do bheatha Coinneachan,
Bho 'n ghoid thu leat a' bhaintighearn.

She and her husband settled in the farm of Pitkerril in the Braes of Foss, but she had to endure the loss of several of her eight children, six of whom died in youth. Two boys and a girl succumbed to a fever at the farm's summer shealing pasturage, memorialized in a long elegy poem. Although she was co-heiress of the Kynnachan estate, according to country report she "received scant justice from the astute and grasping laird of Drumcharry, who had married her sister"[1].

Source for notated version:

Printed sources: MacDonald (A Collection of Strathspey Reels, vol. 1); c. 1788; p. 8.

Recorded sources:




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