Newbyth House (2)

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NEWBYTH HOUSE [2]. Scottish, Jig. D Major. Standard tuning (fiddle). AAB. Composed by Malcolm MacDonald, the tune appears in his first collection which was dedicated to Mrs. Baird of Newbyth, wife of David Baird, an Edinburgh merchant who died fairly young, leaving his wife to raise seven sons and seven daughters, among them General Sir David Baird (1757-1829). Dean Ramsay, in Reminiscences, penned this oft-quoted annectode:—

Mrs. Baird of Newbyth, the mother of our distinguished countryman the late General Sir David Baird, was always spoken of as a grand specimen of the class. When the news arrived from India of the gallant but unfortunate action against Hyder All, in which her son, then Captain Baird, was engaged, it was stated that he and other officers had been taken prisoners and chained together two and two. The friends were careful in breaking such sad intelligence. When, however, she was made fully to understand the position of her son and his gallant com- panions, disdaining all weak and useless expression of her own grief, and knowing well the restless and athletic habits of her son, all she said was, 'Lord pity the chiel that's chained to our Davie.

Sir David Baird was eventually released, led a stellar military career, and retired to the Newbyth estate after the defeat of Napoleon. He had the old house demolished and replaced it in 1817 with a Gothic style, castle-like two-story house on the same site.

The 1817 Newbyth House, East Lothian

The original Newbyth House was designed by architect William Adam.



Compare the jig with the Irish "Malowney's Wife/Maloney's Wife."

Source for notated version:

Printed sources: MacDonald (A Collection of Strathspey Reels, vol. 1), c. 1788; p. 24.

Recorded sources:




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