Duchess D. of Richmond's Strathspey (The)
DUCHESS D. OF RICHMOND'S STRATHSPEY, THE. AKA and see "Earl of Elgin (1)." Scottish, Strathspey. E Major. Standard tuning (fiddle). AAB. Composed by William Marshall (1748-1833). The Duchess of Richmond was Charlotte Gordon (1768-1842), eldest daughter of the Alexander, 4th Duke of Gordon (William Marshall's employer). In 1789 she wed Charles Lennox, who was, in 1806, to become the Duke of Richmond and later a British army commander at Waterloo. He died of rabies in Ontario, Canada, in 1818, leaving Charlotte a widow who outlived him by several decades. She was responsible for what has been called 'the most famous ball in history', an event held in Brussels just before the battle of Quatre Bras, in 1815, prior to Waterloo. Most of the ranking officers of the Dutch and British armies were in attendance, when they received word that Napoleon was on the march.
'Duchess D.' perhaps refers to a dowager duchess, the title of a widow of a duke, marquess, viscount, baron, baronet, or earl, which would date the composition of Marshall's strathspey sometime after 1818.
The Gows printed Marshall's tune under the title "Earl of Elgin (1)" with no attribution to Marshall for the composition.
Source for notated version:
Printed sources: Marshall, Fiddlecase Edition, 1978; 1822 Collection, p. 37.