Biography:Robert Ross

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Robert Ross

 Given name:     Robert
 Middle name:     
 Family name:     Ross
 Place of birth:     
 Place of death:     Edinburgh
 Year of birth:     
 Year of death:     1808
 Profile:     Musician, Publisher
 Source of information:     

Biographical notes

John Glen writes in "Biographical Sketches of Early Scottish Musicians and Musicsellers," a forward to The Glen Collection of Scottish Dance Music, Edinburgh, 1891:

ROBERT ROSS. Robert Ross now follows as the third Edinburgh musicseller. The first notice of Mr. Ross (who was evidently a professional musician) is the following advertisement, of date 7th June 1769:--“New Music—Just published and to be had at the house of Mr. Ross Playhouse Close Cannongate—Two favourite airs sung by Mr. Tenducci in the Royal Shepherd viz Coming through the Broom &c (Bremner, page 25) and Thro’ heaven’s good pleasure &c—At the same place—Musick copied in the most correct manner.” On 31st January of the following year, Ross opened a music shop at the back of the Fountain Well, where he carried on business until 1785, when he moved to a more commodious shop at the head of Carrubber’s Close. There he remained until 1805. He probably retired in that year, but continued to follow the profession of musician, which he seemingly never abandoned when he went into business, as an advertisement in 1775 announces his concert, and tickets to be had at his shop back of Fountain Well. He resided at Shakespeare Square, where a Robert Ross under that designation is to be found until 1811. A Robert Ross died in 1808, aged 60, and he is believed to have been the same individual, although for some reason, possibly on account of a portion of his stock still remaining at his house unsold, his name was retained in the Directory. His widow died in December 1820, at the age of 80. Ross did not publish to any extent, but his name is associated frequently with others on the title pages of music announced for sale at his shop. He published, in 1780, a book of reels and country dances, which is noticed in its proper place. This work was subsequently reissued by John Hamilton, musicseller, North Bridge, Edinburgh.

HMH Scot informs that he was a practicing musician for the Edinburgh Musical Society (Alburger, 120), and possibly a guittar player (he issued A Select Collection of Lessons, Airs, Marches Minuets, Reels, Jiggs, &c. With the most favourite Songs, for the Guittar around the year 1780, also around the time he issued his A Choice Collection of Scots Reels and Country Dances, Strathspeys. As a music seller in Edinburgh he traded from his house in Playhouse Close Canongate, Edinburgh, in 1769, and later from the back of Fountain Well, 1770-1785 and Head of Carrubers Close 1785-1805 (Glen 1, viii; Humphries & Smith; MacKillop). HMS Scot suggests a possible connection with composer John Ross (born Newcastle upon Tyne) who spent his adult life as an organist in Aberdeen, noting they were both published by John Hamilton [1].