Sir Archibald Dunbar

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Sir Archibald Dunbar


 Given name:     Archibald
 Middle name:     
 Family name:     Dunbar
 Place of birth:     
 Place of death:     Northfield House, Eligin, Moray
 Year of birth:     1772
 Year of death:     1847
 Profile:     Composer, Musician
 Source of information:     

Biographical notes[edit]

SIR ARCHIBALD DUNBAR (1772-1847), Sixth Baronet Dunbar of Northfield, was Convener of the county of Elgin, and Lieutenant-Colonel of the Local Militia, and an important member of the Moray aristocracy of the time. Archibald was married twice, first to Helen Penuel Cumming (1777-1819) and latterly to Mary Brander (c. 1790-1869) of the large estate of Pitgaveny. They were patrons of Elgin music and dance teacher James Taylor, who published two smallish collections, the first, in Eligin, c. 1835, and about a decade later another in Edinburgh. The first collection was dedicated to Lady Dunbar (Mary Brander) and featured a dozen of her husband Archibald's compositions, primarily strathspeys named for members of his immediate and extended family, and for his aristocratic friends. Although there seems to be no surviving record of Sir Archibald's musicianship, he undoubtedly played as an amateur on the fiddle (his tunes, although pleasant, take no great technical skill to play).

Mary evidently brought money to the marriage, but since Pitgaveny was inherited to male heirs of the family it was not until 1854 that she regained control of the estate (on the death of her brother). She then (re-)assumed the name of Brander and was known as Lady Dunbar-Brander.