Queensbury House

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QUEENSBURY HOUSE. AKA and see “Welcome Charlie Stewart(, You're Welcome)," "Ye’re Welcome Charlie Stuart.” Scottish, March (2/4 time). F Major. Standard tuning (fiddle). AABB. Directions to the dance to this tune were written down in 1752 by John McGill, dancing master in Girvan, for his students; the tune itself appears first in print in Robert Bremner's 1757 collection, according to John Glen (1891). One of the "missing tunes" from William Vickers' 1770 Northumbrian dance tune manuscript was entitled "Queensbary House," and is perhaps the same tune. The melody appears in several latter 18th century American musicians' manuscripts, including those of Daniel Aborn (c. 1790), Ira Clark (Simsbury, Ct., c. 1801), Luther Kingsley (Mansfield, Ct., c. 1795), and George White (Cherry Valley, N.Y., c. 1790). Ensign Thomas Molyneaux also entered it into his music copybook in Shelburne, Nova Scotia, in 1788.

Queensberry House [1] is a manor house in the Canongate, Edinburgh, built in 1681. It was purchased a few years later by the 1st Duke of Queensbury for use as a town residence. His successor, the 2nd Duke, had a son, James Douglas [2], 3rd Marquess of Queensberry (1697-1715), known until 1711 as James Douglas, Earl of Drumlanrig, who was, as the eldest son to survive, the heir to his father's title. Unfortunately, James was homicidally insane, and, as he was a large boy of prodigious strength for his age, he needed to be kept under lock and key in one of the 1st floor rooms. When, in 1707, the Act of Union was adopted, Edinburgh erupted, both in celebration and rioting (depending on one's politics) over the event. Somehow in the commotion James managed to escape and to make his way through the sparsely inhabited house. In the kitchen, where he had probably gone to ease his hunger or thirst, he came upon a young scullion boy whom he slaughtered and then roasted on a spit. He was apprehended, but not before he consumed portions of the lad. James was spirited away to England, leaving the Scots to perform some legal maneuvering to strip him of his titles. He died in 1715, whereupon his younger brother assumed the title.

Source for notated version:

Printed sources: Aird (Selection of Scotch, English, Irish and Foreign Airs, vol. 1), 1782; 101, p. 35. Carlin (Master Collection), 1984; No. 184, p. 106.

Recorded sources:




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