General Reid and Daniel Dow

“The Elephant in the Room”

by Keith Sanger

title page of the Daniel Dow Collection.

Title page of the Daniel Dow Collection. (click on the image to be taken to a copy of this collection hosted in our Library)

The volume entitled ‘A collection of Ancient Scots music for the violin, harpsichord or German flute: Never before printed consisting of ports, salutations, marches and pibrachs & c.’ published by Daniel Dow circa 1778 is important as one of the earliest printed collections of Scottish music to contain some clearly identified harp tunes. Daniel (or Donald) Dow was a professional musician who first comes to notice in 1765 in Edinburgh where he advertised a concert of ‘Vocal and Instrumental Music’ to be given on the 30th March. From that year when he was living in Blackfriar’s Wynd through to 1774 by which time he was living at Todrick’s Wynd. His presence in Edinburgh can be traced initially through the adverts for his concerts, normally held in St Mary’s Hall, and then from his entries in the Edinburgh Directories.[1]

Apart from the volume mentioned above Dow published two other collections of music; unfortunately neither of them is dated.[2] He presumably relied entirely on subscriptions, as according to John Glen he never seems to have advertised his publications, although Glen notes that in the November and December 1773 copies of the Edinburgh Magazine and Review, which contained the tunes ‘Athol House and Ossian’s Hall,—a New Reel; in a footnote read ‘Inscribed to Sir James Clerk of Pennycuik, ‘Ossians’ Hall’ a new country dance composed by Mr Dow. This piece and the former by the same composer are inserted at his desire’. Glen goes on to suggest from this that Dow’s various publications probably did not appear until after his marriage in December 1774 to Susan Small from Kirkmichael, Perthshire.

Glen also suggests that Dow was believed to have been a native of Kirkmichael, in Strathardle, a claim which some later accounts have, with no additional evidence, turned into fact. The real evidence, in a negative sense, suggests not. The Kirkmichael Parish records survive in a continuous run from 1650 and although not all births or marriages were actually recorded, there is no–one of the name of Dow, until Daniel himself appears in 1774. Then only in an insertion relating to his marriage in Edinburgh; and later after his death in Edinburgh when his family returned to live in Strathardle. Likewise there is no evidence of anyone called Dow in the relevant Strathardle Estate records. However, the belief that he was a native of Perthshire is probably true.

Daniel Dow died in Edinburgh in January 1783 and according to the Canongate burial record he was aged 51.[3] This implies a birth date of 1732 and so he could be the Donald Dow who was baptized on the 10th September that year in the Parish of Monzie.[4] The question of his Christian name, whether Daniel or Donald was touched on by Glen, but is not a real problem. Many Gaelic forenames suffered the fate of being 'given' English equivalents, often as with Daniel culled from the Bible. Mostly, as in this case there was no connection between the two names other than some similarity of sound. It is though interesting to note that in Dow’s own publications and his Edinburgh listings he chooses to use Daniel, whereas in his more personal records, if that birth record is his and in his marriage record his forename is given as Donald.

Estimated dates of Dow’s three publications vary from source to source, although the general order of publication of the ‘Twenty minuets, and sixteen reels or country dances’ coming first followed by the ‘Collection of Ancient Scots music’ next and finally his ‘Thirty Seven New Reels & Strathspeys’ last seems consistent albeit with little in the way of real evidence. John Glen in his account which seems to have been the main source for all later biographical sketches of Dow, and his suggestion that these publications did not appear until after Dows marriage certainly seems probable for the Ancient Scots Music. The marriage connections would certainly explain Dow’s access to whatever sources he had for that collection as we will now show.

The marriage occurred in Edinburgh on the 18 December 1774 when Donald Dow, Musician in the TronKirk parish married Susanna Small, Daughter of Peter Small, indweller in the parish of Kirkmichael, Perthshire. As mentioned it was also recorded in the Kirkmichael Parish register where an entry which read ‘Dec 23 Mr Donald Dow in Edinburgh & Miss Susana Small in this parish contracted’ had been retrospectively squeezed into the original register entries at the end of one for the 5th August and before the next entry for the 24th December.[5] Susanna Small was born in 1724 and she was described as the daughter of Patrick Small of Leanoch and Magdalen Robertson his spouse.[6] This is the key to opening up the important connections that Donald Dow gained through his marriage.

Leanoch is situated at what is now better known as the Spittal of Glenshee, at the point where the route, (still used as a footpath), ran from Dirnanean on the Straloch Estate, some 5 miles South West of the Spittal and joined what is now the modern road leading eventually to Ballater. Dirnanean itself was also in the hands of Patrick Small’s family and seems to have been the larger of the two holdings and therefore held by the senior family member. This resulted in Patrick Small, presumably after the death of his father also appearing as ‘of Dirnanean’ in some records. The land was originally part of the estate held by the Robertsons of Straloch with whom there were marriage links. Daniel Dow’s mother in law Magdalen, (also apparently known as Isobel) Robertson was a daughter of Straloch, therefore Daniel’s wife was also a distant cousin of the Robertsons of Lude.[7]

Through these interconnecting relationships Daniel Dow would have had contact with many people like his wife’s parents, who would themselves have known some of the local harpers in that area who had survived into the early 1700’s, Strathardle was indeed part of the historic heartland of Scottish harping. One clarsair called Robert Stewart, heads the list of witnesses in an Instrument of Sasine granted in 1559 for the stretch of land starting from about two miles south of Kirkmichael and running a further four miles down the glen covering both sides of the river.[8] Since the order of witnessing documents normally gives an idea of status it would seem that this harper was of some local importance. It is also possible that he is the same person as the Robert clarsair Lude who appears in a name list in the Book of the Dean of Lismore, an early 16th century compilation of Gaelic verse and other material. The superiority of Lude had by that time passed to the Ogilvys of Inchmartine, and the most likely route between the two estates would have been from Lude via one of the old roads to Strathardle and Kirkmichael, which then led straight down through Rattray and Couper Angus to Inchmartine near Errol on the north side of the River Tay.

From one of the earliest harpers on record, Strathardle also had one of the last in Robert Robertson alias Clarsair, who died in 1713 and was described in his testament as ‘sometime in Straloch’ and certainly he would have been known to Daniel Dow’s in–law’s as they were old enough to have married in 1711.[9] Transmission of tunes through those who had heard the last harpers seems the most likely source of some of the material collected by Dow. Although as he was born in 1732 it is just conceivable that he may have come into contact with the few harpers who survived beyond that point. This means that the sources could have been vocal, (if it was a song associated with a harp tune, like Rory Dall Morison’s verse), via the fiddle or the often overlooked keyboard instruments. Contemporary household inventories and accounts provide evidence that virginals, spinets and then harpsichords were to be found in many highland households and were used for traditional as well as ‘classical’ music.[10]

As to the music itself, the tune titles are clearly orientated towards Gaelic Scotland which places them at variance with the overall balance of the subscribers list and the more encompassing implication of the titles use of ‘Scots music’. He also included some pipe music and this raises an interesting question, as it has been suggested that the notation points to them having come originally from a written source which had actually been noted down by a piper.[11] As far as we know the traditional pipers did not use written scores and the first attempt to write music down as played on the pipes was done by Joseph MacDonald, a musically literate gentleman piper. We will go on to suggest that this was another gentleman, our ‘the elephant in the room’ or to be more precise a man noticeably missing from the list of subscribers.

a clip from the subscribers pages of Daniel Dow.

An excerpt from page 3 of the subscribers to the collection showing the teachers of dancing.

The subscribers are mostly an even mix of gentry from Perthshire and gentry from elsewhere in Scotland whom Dow would have known while living and practising as a musician in Edinburgh. Being alphabetical the list starts with the Duke and Duchess of Athole but as Strathardle was part of the earldom of Atholl they were a natural choice for patrons in any case. It includes three professional musicians, Neil Stewart, and David Strange, both teachers of dancing, (although Stewart also kept a music shop in Edinburgh), and a Charles J. Scheneman, musician, all of whom were listed in the Edinburgh and Leith Post Directory from 1773 to 1776.

The list also includes Dow’s brother in law, Andrew Small, Esq of Dirnanean which points up the curious omission hinted at already. The Reid Robertson’s of Straloch were represented at that time by Alexander Robertson of Straloch, also known as Baron Reid, (c 1696–1781), and his son John, who later dropped the Robertson part and became simply John Reid. Born around 1722 John Reid had initially studied law in Edinburgh and also indulged his musical talents with flute lessons but seeing greater opportunity in the Army he was commissioned as a lieutenant in the Earl of Loudon’s Highland Regiment in 1745 just before the Jacobite Rising of that year. Having served with the regiment through that period and then afterwards in Flanders he was placed on half pay when Loudon’s Highlanders were disbanded in June 1748.

In June 1751 John Reid purchased a commission as a captain–lieutenant in the 42nd, the Black Watch who at that time were in Ireland. He was promoted to a full captain the following year. It was at this point that his musical skills came to the fore when he composed the march of the 42nd subsequently published as ‘The Highland March by Capt Reid’ in Robert Bremners collection of circa 1756. The tune subsequently had words written for it and under their title of ‘The Garb of Old Gaul’ became a slow march still used by all the Scottish regiments. Around the same time his set of ‘Six solos for a German flute or violin with a through bass’ were published initially anonymously, followed by ‘A second sett of six solos for a German flute or violin’ in 1762.[12]

In 1756 the 42nd which included as serving officers both Captain John Reid and his cousin Lieutenant John Small, (brother of Daniel Dow’s future wife)[13], were sent to America and remained in that area of operations until the regiment finally returned to Ireland in 1767. Both men had prospered and by the time of the regiments return Reid had achieved the rank of brevet Lieutenant Colonel while also acquiring a wife and the grant of a tract of land beside Lake Champlain in Vermont. John Small, had also stayed on in America, subsequently acquiring land in Nova Scotia and becoming a captain in the 21st regiment. He also continued to rise through the ranks and by the time of his death was a Major General and Lieutenant Governor of Guernsey.[14]

Reid left the 42nd in 1770 and went on to half pay and duly returned to his American estate but there were problems and by 1775 he was back in the UK where he was to find that due to his father’s mis–management of the Perthshire estate the various creditors were threatening to foreclose. Although he attempted to recover the financial situation his efforts merely staved off the end and Straloch was sold to pay off the debts in 1778. While back in the UK and able to visit Straloch, it seems unlikely that John Reid failed to contact the Small family, if only in the conventions of the time to give them news of John Small, who General Reid was later to describe as a childhood friend. Inverchroskie, the home of the Reid Robertsons of Straloch was only half a mile from the Small home at Dirnanean and even if Daniel Dow and his wife were in Edinburgh, Reid would probably have passed through Edinburgh on his way to his fathers estate.

While it is possible that as an experienced musician and being somewhat in difficult financial circumstances Reid felt no need of subscribing to a book of music. However, it seems unlikely that two musicians like Daniel Dow and John Reid, especially being connected by marriage through Dow’s wife would not have had some contact but that it was preferable to deliberately avoid bringing it into the limelight due to the social mores of that period and the nature of the collection.

Never the less for a gentleman, even an impoverished one, it would not be regarded as seemly to be too closely associated with the idea of being a professional musician. Reid had continued to compose throughout his army service, but his own compositions were published through people like Bremner and Oswald with initially a disguised authorship. Reid himself played the flute, an acceptable instrument for a gentleman amateur of the time, but if he did also play the pipes, it is even less likely to have been noticed. Throughout his military life he would have been in a position to familiarise himself with pipe–music especially as a musician himself and would also fit the picture of a musically literate player of a wind instrument with a knowledge of pipe–music and the ability to attempt its accurate notation.

While that alone might be enough in his social circles to want to distance himself from any connection with Dow’s work, the music itself provides an even greater political reason and one which does not seem to have attracted any previous comment.[15] If the titles of those airs which have some sort of geographical location are plotted over a map of Scotland they present an intriguing picture. For example ‘Seaforths salutations or Failte Mhic Caoinnich’, [recte. Failte MhicCoinnich], the vast estates of the Earl of Seaforth cover an area from the Isle of Lewis to large parts of the mainland of northern Scotland. Likewise the estate of the Earl of Breadalbane, Lord Bradalban’s march or Boddich na mbrigs, [recte. Bodaich nam Briogais] and the diocese of Argyle, Cumh Easbig Erraghaal or Bishop of Argyle’s lament, [recte. Cumh’ Easbaig Earra–Ghaidheal], between them covered all of Argyllshire and much of Western Perthshire.

Applying this logic Dow’s titles can be used to visualize a map of the Gaelic speaking parts of Scotland.[16] It can be argued that in a work compiled of music exactly from that area there is a likelihood of arriving at the same sort of geographical spread purely by chance, but what does raise the possibility that it is more than coincidence is the fact that it includes Cumh Joarla wigton Earl of Wigton’s lament, [recte. Cumh’ Iarla Baile Uige] Irrespective of the question of which earl the tune applies to and that most of those earls were probably not Gaelic speakers, the inclusion of that earldom effectively covers Galloway in the Southwest of Scotland, an area which had at one time been partially Gaelic speaking, at least up to shortly before 1700.[17]

There is a further coincidence in that if the titles are viewed simply as a ‘map’, in places where there is some geographical overlap within some of the more wide ranging titles, an additional title either defines the ‘inner edge’ of a hole in the map or just closes a gap. In the case of Port Gordon with its association with the Gordon Earldom of Huntly, the earldom’s lands ranged from Lowland Aberdeenshire on the east through to parts of Lochaber including some of those of the Camerons on the west. However the specific inclusion of the tune for Cameron of Lochiel, Failte Loch Ioall, [recte. Failte Loch Iall] fills the ‘gap’ between that part of Lochaber for which the Earl of Huntly was his feudal superior and the point where the remaining Cameron lands met those of Clanranald Piobrach Chlann Raonailt, [recte. Piobaireachd Chlann Raghnaill], further to the west.

Following the ‘map’ logic, the inclusion of the MacDonald of Keppoch tune (McDonald of Keppoch’s Lament), might seem unnecessary since the whole of Keppoch’s lands fell under the Earl of Huntly’s superiority. But together with Harlaw (Battle of Hara Law),[18] with both its historical and geographical associations they help to define a ‘hole’ in the map. This void might be described as a ‘greater Strathspey’ with not a single tune directly connected to the Grants, MacPhersons or MacIntoshes. A likely explanation being that Dow was avoiding clashing with Angus Cumming, another musician who was also preparing a collection of tunes.

The Cummings of Strathspey had served the Grant family as musicians for a considerable period of time. The earliest to appear in the Grant papers was an Alexander who was according to the records paid as a piper over the early part of the seventeenth century. Towards the end of his days he acquired the epithet ‘Dall’ suggesting he had gone blind in his old age. By 1653 the next in the ‘line’, also an Alexander was being paid as both piper and violer. He in turn was replaced by the William Cumming whose portrait was painted in 1714 and only seemed to have functioned as a piper. He was followed by his son John and there was also a William who between 1735 and 1738 received professional instruction on the French Horn from a music master before a fiddle was bought instead.[19] This episode was possibly the origin of Angus Cummings familiarity with reading and writing music although his exact relationship to William is at present unclear.

At the start of the ’45 the older John Cumming and the young Angus seem to have been the pipers to the two Independent Companies raised for the Government side by Grant of Grant. After 1746 Angus seems to have dropped the pipes and concentrated on the fiddle, at least he only appears as a ‘fiddler’ and when the Grants decided they wanted to have a piper again, John (probably the son of Angus), had to be sent to Donald MacArthur in Skye for tuition.

Compared with Dow’s ‘Ancient Scots music’, Angus Cumming’s collection which was published in 1780, just months before its author’s death, was a more conventional collection of dance music. However it is fairly certain that in the small musical world of Scotland, for example the plates for both works were engraved by Johnson of Edinburgh; that Daniel Dow was aware of Cumming’s intention to publish a collection. Following Angus Cumming’s death, which occurred between the 4th March 1780 when he signed a receipt for a subscription for a copy of his work[20] and the 11 July 1780 when his wife Christine was being described as his widow,[21] the Reverend Mr James Grant of Urquhart, who may have already been involved in the financial side of it compiled the final accounts. It is clear from these accounts that although no copy is currently known to have survived a prospectus for the ‘reels’ was first published in December 1775 at a printing cost of 11 shillings and 6 pence.[22]

The actual publication date for Dow’s Ancient Scots Music is currently unknown, although circa 1778 is often given in library catalogues based on no firm evidence.[23] However, that it was later than 1776 is strongly suggested by the fact that the Musical Society of Edinburgh subscribed for two copies. The society accounts, vouchers and receipts for salaries, fees, music, purchase of instruments and other sundries which have survived intact in a continuous run from 1746 to 1776 are among the Innes of Stow family papers. Although they contain the receipts signed by Daniel Dow for his salary there is no record of the purchase of two copies of his book. This suggests a post 1776 publication date.[24]

Returning to the the contents of the collection and a suggestion that Dow was working on behalf of others, apart from Highland solo―the variations by D Dow which almost seems to have been included to give Dow some degree of ‘ownership’,[25] the rest of music is quite unlike Dow’s other two publications. These like that of Angus Cumming’s collection contain fairly safe dance tunes. In fact while not exactly seditious the Ancient Scots Music with its firm emphasis on a wider Gaeldom could almost be described as ‘precocious’. Especially coming when it did some years before the repeal of the Act of Proscription in 1782, yet including a tune in praise of the still banned highland dress, Gillibh na fela―the lads with the kilt. It is noticeable that the other broadly comparable collection of Gaelic music edited by Patrick MacDonald, was only published two years after the act was repealed despite the fact that most of the music had actually been available prior to his brother Joseph departing to India in 1760.

a clip from the subscribers pages of Daniel Dow.

An excerpt from page 3 of the subscribers to the collection including the Robertson subscribers

If, with this particular publication, Daniel Dow was in fact working to an agenda set by others, the list of subscribers would seem a good place to identify them, as they must have had some idea of what they were about to financially support. But once again the question of coincidence or conspiracy theory raises its head since the subscribers are mainly the sort of politically solid citizens whose support would not have caused ripples in the established government. Others like John Reid-Robertson of Straloch, who might have been expected to have also subscribed for a work of this sort but who had their own reasons to avoid attracting attention, are also noticeably absent.

For example there were no subscribers from among the representatives of the senior Robertson line of Struan (or Strowan), but at that time they were in the process of convincing the government of their changed loyalty as part of their family’s attempts to have their estate which had been forfeited after the ’45 restored to them. This provides a direct comparison with James Robertson of Lude who was a subscriber, but as he had been a minor at the time of the ’45 he along with his estate were free of any political problems. Similarly there was only one subscriber from the principle representatives of the Clan Donald, ‘The Right Honourable Lord M’Donald’. This was Sir Alexander MacDonald who had in fact only been raised to that position on the 29 June 1776.[26] Which further reinforces the earlier suggestion that the publication date for A Collection of ancient Scots music was after 1776.

Despite there being tunes associated with both the Keppoch and Clanranald MacDonalds, neither branch subscribed. However with these too there were still sensitive political issues relating back to 1745. Both the Keppoch and Clanranald estates had been forfeited but in each case while the families remained under suspicion the estates were released from forfeiture. In the case of Keppoch because he did not actually own Keppoch but held it from the Marquis of Huntly while Clanranald had benefited from a clerical error by the Parliamentary scribes. Donald MacDonald of Clanranald who took no part in the rebellion was named in the Act of Attainder in mistake for Ranald MacDonald his son.[27]

While political expediency does explain the absence of a number of likely subscribers, John Reid Robertson of Stralloch does not fall into that category. Although his father’s actions during the ’45 had aroused some suspicions, neither he nor the estate had been affected and John Reid had already put some distance between himself and his father prior to 1745 during which he had been an officer in the government army. He had also as a career soldier further proved his loyalty during the American War of 1757–1763. However by the time of the preparation and publication of Dow’s work problems with his future income source were already evident.

His large American estate which he had been awarded following that war had already come under pressure from his tenants before the war of 1775 had commenced. Likewise the family estate of Stralloch was, due to his fathers mis–management, also under pressure from creditors. It must have been obvious to him that his future income was likely to be solely dependent on continuing in the army and that future promotion was dependent on maintaining an ‘establishment face’. Although he was successful with further promotion to lieutenant general, money was always tight and when war broke out with France in 1793 he successfully petitioned for colonelcy of a regiment not liable to be reduced after the war. He was given the command of an Irish regiment, the 88th Foot.

It is therefore understandable why despite a shared interest in music with Daniel Dow and his family connections with Dow’s wife, John Reid would have not wanted any visible trace of a connection to the Dow publication with its apparent political overtones. However, perhaps not all of his ‘fingerprints’ were quite removed. While it was common with all the music published around that time to claim they were ubiquitously suitable for more than one instrument, usually the violin, Harpsichord and German Flute, the latter being Reid’s own favourite instrument, the Ancient Scots Music is among the very few to actually contain the instruction in the title page that NB Where the Notes are below the compass of the German Flute the Octave above may be Played.

In 1796 John Reid’s first cousin and close friend Major General John Small died leaving his estate to his relative John Reid. Small like Reid had also acquired an estate in the New York colony, but had sold it and moved up to what later became Canada well before the American War of 1775 had begun. Therefore after the settlement of 1783, Small’s estate remained intact in his hands. So he bequeathed some 5000 acres in Nova Scotia to his cousin. Despite his new wealth, John Reid continued to live with the perforce frugality of his earlier years and at his death in 1806 left the bulk of his estate to go, after his daughters death, to establish a chair of music at the University of Edinburgh.

Daniel Dow on the other hand died in January 1783, less than a year after the Act of Proscription had been repealed. His widow Susan and the children returned to Strathardle but the children, four sons John, Peter, Alexander and James must have still been fairly young at that point since in 1787, by which time their mother Susan Small had also died; an application was made by her father to have her elder brother Andrew appointed the children’s tutor.[28] This suggests that there would not have been any continuity of family lore within Dow’s family regarding what he may have been party to before the more open post proscription era.

There remains one more ‘coincidence’ or connection which oddly concerns a military unit some considerable distance away from Scotland. With the outbreak of the American war in 1775 a Royal Warrant was issued to Colonel Allan MacLean, (of the Torloisk family), to raise a regiment of Royal Highland Emigrants, later to be numbered the 84th. In the event recruiting was successful enough to raise two battalions initially based in Nova Scotia. In 1776, around the time that Dow’s Collection of Ancient Scots Music was in preparation Captain MacLean an officer in the second battalion was despatched back to the UK to arrange with the War Department the supply of the battalions uniforms and equipment.

The officer was also keen to recruit a piper for the battalion and indeed found one, a young piper from the island of Mull. During the course of his visit Captain MacLean also commissioned a new pipe banner for the battalion which has survived. It is unique as pipe banners go since apart from the usual regimental numbers and badges it also has embroidered on it twelve lines of Gaelic verse extoling the martial prowess of the Gael.[29] It is true that the military were exempt from many aspects of the Act of Proscription but in the period before its repeal this was still pushing the boundaries and would certainly have needed the approval of the battalions commanding officer; who was Colonel John Small, General John Reid’s lifelong friend and Daniel Dow’s brother in law.

Although the arguments advanced above are by the nature of the subject based on a degree of circumstantial evidence, it does seem clear that at the time the Collection of Ancient Scots music was published by Daniel Dow it did have a politically inspired motivation. A testing perhaps of the establishments reaction, which was closely followed with the founding of the Highland Society of London and political lobbying to repeal of the Act of Proscription. That such a publication would in those very times have been conceived and promoted simply by a musician is very unlikely. The idea that there were others behind the scene using Dow as a cover who they could disown if there had been a major reaction to the publication does explain this curious collection of music.[30]

To view the subscribers' pages of the Daniel Dow Collection held in the Library of Congress (which includes the additional subscribers' page) please click on the thumbnails below:


I would like to thank both Roderick Cannon and William Lamb for reading a draft of this article and making a number of helpful comments.

[1] Glen, John, Biographical Sketches of Early Scottish Musicians and Music Sellers

[2] Dow, Daniel, Twenty minuets, and sixteen reels or country dances for the violin, harpsichord or German flute. Edinburgh: Printed for the Author [c 1774]. Thirty Seven New Reels & Strathspeys, for the Violin, Harpsichord, Piano Forte or German Flute.[c 1781].

[3] O.P.R. Deaths 685/030242 Canongate

[4] O.P.R. Births 382/00100014 Monzie [Perth]

[5] O.P.R Marriages 685/0105000178 Edinburgh; 370/0000200293 Kirkmichael [Perth]

[6] O.P.R. Births 370/0000100320 Kirkmichael [Perth]

[7] McNaughton, Duncan, The Last Baron Reid-Robertson of Straloch, Scottish Genealogist, volume 9, No 1, (1962) and volume 9, No 2, (1962). reprinted in the Clan Donnachaidh Annual, 1962, 19-31.

[8] National Archives of Scotland, Titles of lands belonging to the Maxwells of Telling in the Sheriffdom of Perth, GD190/3/80/2

[9] O.P.R. Marriages 384/0000300047 Moulin, Patrick Small and Magdalen Robertson

[10] The Lady Lude of the 45 Rebellion was said to have played the fiddle at her own wedding and subsequently entertained Prince Charles Stewart at Lude with dances played on her fiddle, whereas the more famous Flora Macdonald while not due to circumstances, being in a position to entertain the Prince in similar fashion was known for her keyboard skills.

[11] A suggestion made by the late Frans Buismen in an unfinished paper. My thanks to Roderick Cannon, who also holds a similar opinion, for a copy of that draft. In the paper entitled Transformations of Piobaireachd in 18th Century Music Collections- musical borrowing in a bi-cultural society, Frans analysed a number of piobaireachd which had been published in collections for other instruments and develops the argument that it is possible from the way they had been noted, to draw some conclusions about how the original pipe versions were actually played in the 18th C. In a wide ranging discussion he also drew a number of conclusions about the background to piobaireachd in general including in his ‘Recapitulation’ the opinion that ‘it [was] unlikely that there were a great many direct links between classical Highland music that was composed for the bagpipes and classical music that was composed for the harp or even popular tunes that were played on any instrument, including the bagpipes’.

[12] Johnson, David, Scottish Fiddle Music in the 18th Century, (1984). 253

[13] In his testament Major General John Small describes General Reid as the ‘eldest son of my mothers brother’. (Public Record Office. London. Catalogue Reference: Probate Wills 111/1275). According to his obituary in the General Evening Post (London), dated 19 March 1796, John Small was aged 70 when he died which would place his birth in 1726. He was therefore presumably the ‘John Small son of Patrick Small of Lianoch & Mrs Magdalen Robertson his Lady’ who was belatedly baptised on the 21 December 1730. (O.P.R Births 370/0000100365- Kirkmichael [Perth]).

[14] For the full military careers of both John Reid and John Small see; McCulloch, Ian MacPherson, Sons of the Mountains, The Highland regiments in the French and Indian War, 1756-1763, volume 2, (2006).

[15] It has been previously noted in reference to this collection that ‘there is not much else even remotely like it in eighteenth century Scottish music’. R D Cannon, A Bibliography of Bagpipe Music. (1980), p 18

[16] For an explanation of how such a map might be imagined see this ADDENDUM

[17] MacQueen, J, The Gaelic Speakers of Galloway and Carrick. Scottish Studies, volume 17 part one, (1973), 17-19.

[18] Harlaw’s place as a ‘highland/lowland boundary’ would have been well established in popular tradition by Dow’s time irrespective of the few real historical facts concerning the Battle which have recently been examined in depth. It is not clear how well known the Gaelic Brosnachadh, an incitement to battle, would have been at that time but it is no longer thought to have been composed contemporary to the battle and it is now considered to be a later ‘idealised account of what should have happened, it would seem to be another example of Gaelic ‘reconstructions of bygone battles’ — or even of totally imaginary battles’. (Olson I, Bludie Harlaw- Realities, Myths, Ballads. 2014. p 20); see also Olson I, The Battle of Harlaw, its Lowland Histories and their Balladry, Historical Confirmation or Confabulation, in Review Of Scottish Culture. 24 (2012), pp 25-26

[19] National Archives of Scotland GD248/101/1/38

[20] National Museums of Scotland. H.OG 89

[21] National Archives of Scotland GD248/235/11/2

[22] National Archives of Scotland GD248/235/11/1

[23] It seems to have been ‘published’ on at least two separate occasions. The first contains the list of subscribers arranged alphabetically over the three pages which preceed the music. But the edition held in the collection of the Library of Congress in Washington, U.S.A. (catalogued M218, D7. C6), has an additional twelve subscribers added to the previously blank page 4. My thanks to Cynthia Cathcart for drawing this to my attention.

[24] National Archives of Scotland. GD113/5/208

[25] In his unpublished draft paper Frans Buisman points out that the although the variations are clearly by Dow, the ground is similar to a late 19th century reel called Duntroon which was itself an adaption of the piobaireachd Fuaim na Tuinne re Duntroin/The Sound of the Waves against Duntroon.

[26] The London Gazette, From Saturday June 29 to Tuesday July 2, 1776. Oddly it was passed under the Great Seal of the Kingdom of Ireland as ‘Baron MacDonald of Slate in the County of Antrim’.

[27] On the 20 December 1751 the Court of Session sustained Donald’s objection to the forfeiture and released the estate while Ronald having not correctly been named in the Act of Attainder remained free from arrest but with good reason to not attract too much attention.

[28] National Archives of Scotland. CS97/110/141; Andrew Small younger of Dirnanean acting on a petition to the Lords Of Council submitted by his father Patrick Small of Dirnanean, to be appointed Factor Loco Tutoris for the pupils mentioned in forsaid petition. According to the original petition made by Patrick Small dated 7 July 1787 Susan Small had ‘died about six months ago’, it also stated that there were no relations by the fathers side to take charge of the children, (NAS CS220/252/2).

[29] Cannon R and Sanger K, The 84th s Pipe Banner. West Highland Notes & Queries. Series 3, No 21. (January 2013) and see Black R, The 84th’s Pipe Banner. West Highland Notes & Queries. Series 3, No 22 (May 2013)

[30] Through family connections and his own musical pedigree General Reid was a perfect link to Dow and it has already been suggested that he left behind a ‘finger print’ in the instruction on the music’s adaption for the flute. There is however another of the odd coincidences which may point to another of those involved. The inclusion of the tune Lord Dundee’s lamentation kill’d at the Battle of Killikrankie is another example of pushing the political boundaries. Killekrankie was the last battle conclusively won by a mainly Gaelic speaking Jacobite force. It was however distant enough in time from the more recent events of 1745-6 and any suggestion of triumphalism was removed by the fact it was a lament for the death of James Graham, Viscount Dundee. When in 1782, a few years after Dow’s book was published, the Act of Proscription was repealed, it was Dundee’s namesake James Graham, Marquis and later third Duke of Montrose and recently elected member of parliament for Richmond in Yorkshire, who without any opposition carried the Bill through Parliament. An act for which he was much praised by Gaelic Poets at the time.

Submitted by Keith Sanger, 27 October, 2014

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