Ness House

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X:1 T:Ness House C:Joseph Lowe M:C L:1/8 R:Reel B: Joseph Lowe - Lowe's Collection of Reels, Strathspeys and Jigs, B:book 4 (1844–1845, p. 14) Z:AK/Fiddler’s Companion K:G f|g2 dB {d}(cA)Ac|BGBd g2 dg|(eg)dB aAAc|1 BG (B/c/d) g2g:|2 BGAF G2 G|| D|(B,G,)DB, C-A,A,C|B,-G,DF G2 GD|EGDB, CA,A,C|B,G, (B,/C/D) G2 Gc| BGdB cAAc|BGBd g2 dg|(eg)dB aAAc|BG (B/c/d) g2g||



NESS HOUSE. Scottish, Reel (whole time). G Major. Standard tuning (fiddle). AA'B. "Ness House" was composed by Inverness bandleader, dancing master and fiddler-composer Joseph Lowe and titled for the country estate on the west side of the River Ness of John MacKenzie (1787-1854), a banker of Inverness, Scotland. He is mentioned in Isabel Anderson's book Inverness before Railways (1885, p. 9):

In those days, when everyone was more or less hospitable, and the set of fine-looking courtly bankers, for whom Inverness was at that time noted, vied with each other in keeping open house, there was no one who dispensed hospitality with a more lavish hand, no one who was more generous to all who needed help, than Mr Mackenzie, Ness House, agent for the Bank of Scotland. Not only did his birth and connections, his singularly aristocratic appearance and exquisite courtesy secure for him the undoubted precedence, but he was about the last to maintain in Inverness the manners and customs of a former generation, and was even in those days considered the beau ideal of a Highland gentleman of the olden time.

Lowe is mentioned in the context of Ness House in Inverness writer John Fraser's Reminiscences of Inverness, Its People and Places ( , p. 138):

Let us wander slowly up the riverside. What crowd is that in front of Ness House, the residence of banker John MacKenzie? Oh, I see; this is the day of the marriage of Miss Mackenzie, the banker's beautiful daughter, to Captain Grogan. Here they come. In that carriage, drawn by a pair of beautiful greys, are the newly-wedded pair, and as they drive past, list to the huzzas of the bystanders. Look, there is something interesting going on inside the gate on the lawn. Mr. Mackenzie has brought all the guests out, and to the music of that excellent reel and strathspey band, supplied by Mr. Lowe, they "trip the light fantastic toe", with their host in the middle of them enjoying himself to his heart's content. It would, I think, be very difficult to imagine a more charming picture than that now presented to us.

Marianne, John's 2nd daughter was the one who wed George Grogan that day. Some years later the eldest daughter, Charlotte, also married at Ness House.

See also Lowe's "Miss MacKenzie of Ness House."


Additional notes



Printed sources : - Joseph Lowe (Lowe's Collection of Reels, Strathspeys and Jigs, book 4), 1844–1845; p. 14.






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