Back to Viscount Reidhaven
VISCOUNT REIDHAVEN. Scottish, Reel. F Major. Standard tuning (fiddle). AAB. Composed by William Marshall (1748-1833).
'Viscount Reidhaven' has, since 1701, been a courtesy title of the eldest sons of the Earls of Seafield. In Marshall’s time, the Viscount was James Ogilvy (1747-1811), 7th Earl of Findlater, 4th Earl of Seafield, Viscount of Reidhaven, Baron of Deskford and Cullen. Ogilvy, or Lord Findlater as he was known, was an unusual peer, to say the least, the heir to vast amounts of land and industrial properties. He was also a confirmed homosexual, and because of “certain unnatural transgressions” he was exiled from England and Scotland. Although he was not welcomed with open arms in Europe because of his proclivities, money talks, and Lord Findlater was able to develop his interest in wine into a burgeoning interest in vineyards near Dresden, Germany. He also invested in public works and gained influence in court, and by 1805 with his confident and secretary, the builder Johann Georg Fischer, he had acquired five out of the eight major vineyards of the region. Next, he employed the master builder Giese from Gotha to build a magnificent palace on Bredemannschen mountain, where today Castle Albrechtsberg rises into the sky. When it was completed it was instantly famous and was called ‘the most beautiful family palace in Dresden.’ Unfortunately, Lord Findlater died the year it was completed, and had little time to enjoy the magnificent views from the tower. His sole heir was the faithful Johann Fischer, to whom the Scotsman had already given Eckberg and the manor of Helfenberg. It was hardly possible to keep his relationship with Findlater secret, and the Scottish relatives vengefully descended upon him. Fischer’s wife, who lived with their children in Helfenberg, divorced him, but Fischer remained true to his friend and patron, and when he died at the age of 87 he was buried in Findlater’s tomb in front of Loschwitzer church. Their mountain palace was eventually taken over by a hotelier and was called ‘Findlaters’, a famous resort for many decades before the middle of the 19th century.
Source for notated version:
Printed sources: Marshall, Fiddlecase Edition, 1978; 1845 Collection, p. 6.