The Fiddler’s Companion
Of Early Scottish
(by John Glen, from a forward to The Glen Collection of
BREMNER. Robert Bremner is stated to
have been born about the year 1720, although it is more likely that the event
took place seven years previously. The
place of his birth is unknown. He is the earliest Scottish musicseller of whom
we have any knowledge, and was probably a musician or teacher of music before
starting in business. The first mention
of his name is in connection with a concert which he gave on
Grove’s Dictionary and other sources
have given earlier dates, which have been frequently copied by booksellers in
their catalogues, and by many others.
These dates appear to be founded upon an assertion by W. Stenhouse, who
says, “Bremner’s Thirty Scots Songs circa
1749. This is genuine copy of the first impression before
Bremner went to
That the date assigned by Stenhouse to the issue of the Thirty Scots Songs already alluded to is incorrect, may be proved from the following excerpt, taken from an advertisement which appeared on 23rd April 1757:--“In the Press, and speedily will be published Thirty Scots Songs some of which are for two voices, with a thorough Bass for the Harpsichord or Spinnet, the music taken from the most authentic sets extant. The words from Allan Ramsay except a few never before printed. Edinburgh, Robt. Bremner at the Harp and Hautboy.” Subsequent advertisements announce the appearance of these songs by the beginning of July of that year.
NEIL STEWART. Is the next musicseller and dealer in
musical instruments in Ediburgh, regarding whom there is any information. The earliest notice observed of him, is in an
advertisement, dated 14th November 1759, his place of business being
then in the Exchange, as appears by an advertisement in February 1765, his shop
then bearing the sign of the Violin and Guitar.
In July 1770, we find “Neil Stewart junior at his shop within the entry
leading to Miln’s Square facing the Tron Church Edinburgh,” but whether this
was the same individual using junior to distinguish him from another of the
same name in Miln’s Square, or a son and successor of the Neil Stewart of 1759,
is not certain. There is no reference to
a “senior” carrying on in the music line either immediately before or after
1770, nor so far as known has “junior” been appended to any music published by
Neil Stewart. The conjecture therefore
is that they may be either one and the same person, or, what is more likely,
father and son. In May 1773, “Neil
Stewart” removes to the Parliament Close, as the following announcement
intimates:--“This is to inform the public that Neil Stewart has removed from
his shop from Miln’s Square to the Parliament Close,” &c.: and from what
follows it is apparent he was a teacher of dancing, “N.B. Neil Stewart who taught dancing in Newcastle upon Tyne for
eight years &c has now opened school in partnership with Mr. M’Lean,”
&c. The partnership was dissolved in
May 1775 having lasted two years only.
In another advertisement, November 1787, the business is announced as
being carried on under the style of Neil Stewart & Company, and it is
stated that one of the partners has lately been in
Robert Ross now follows as the third
AND SUTHERLAND. The writer has not been able to trace any
additions to the music selling trade in
John Bryson, the successor of Robert Bremner, who died in London in May
1789, probably purchased Bremner’s Edinburgh stock, as he carried on business
in the same premises at the head of Old Assembly Close, behind the Cross
Well. Bryson was probably twenty-three
years of age when he became manager of Bremner’s
The earliest name that has come down to us as a composer of Scottish
Dance Music, is that of “John Riddell of Air,” as the name is spelt in the
second edition of his collection, which was published by James Aird, Glasgow,
in 1782. The late Dr. David Laing, in
his Introduction to Blackwood’s edition of Johnson’s “
On computing the difference between the Old and the New Style, and comparing the dates, we may plainly see that both of these entries refer to the same individual. When Robert Bremner published in his Collection of 1757 “The Merry Lads of Air,” John Riddell was 39 years of age, a circumstance which strengthens the supposition that the first edition of Riddell’s “Collection” must have been issued considerably before 1776. Riddell’s name appears among the list of subscribers to the first and third Collections of Niel Gow’s “Strathspey Reels,” &c. John M’Gill, another Ayrshire muscian, born in 1707, and said to have composed the tune bearing his name (now known as “Come Under my Plaidie”), is said to have been associated with Riddell.
Daniel or Donald Dow first comes under our notice in connection with a
series of concerts (probably annual) which he was in the habit of giving. The earliest advertisement discovered appears
Dow appears to have been a man of considerable energy and attainments. His concerts were usually held in St. Mary’s Hall, Niddry’s Wynd, Edinburgh.
Of the several books which he published no advertisements appear in the newspapers, but a notice appears in the November and December numbers of the Edinburgh Magazine and Review for 1773, which contains the tunes “Athol House and Ossian’s Hall,--a New Reel,” In a foot note appended to this reel is found, “Inscribed to Sir James Clerk of Pennycuick ‘Ossian’s Hall’ a new country dance composed by Mr. Dow. This piece and the former by the same composer are inserted at his desire.” His various publications of Strathspeys, Reels, Jigs, and Minuets. &c., probably did not appear until after his marriage, which took place in December 1774, to Susanna Small, from Kirkmichael, Perthshire, of which place he himself is believed to have been a native. Dow died from fever, at the age of 51, in January 1783, and is buried in the Canongate Churchyard, Edinburgh. He was survived by his widow and four children, for whose benefit a concert was given, shortly after his death, in St. Cecelia’s Hall.
dubiety attaching to his Christian name, it may be pointed out that in the
Marriage Register for 1774 he is called “Donald,” but on all his books, as well
as in the Recorder’s entry relating to his death, he is named “Daniel.” Many of his tunes are excellent and great
favourites, such as “Athol House,” “Bonnie Annie,” “
CAMPBELL. Joshua Campbell, musician
in Glasgow, who published three collections, two of which are of dance music,
is brought into notice through his advertisement in 1762, which is as
follows:--“Joshua Campbell Musician proposes to teach the guitar having been at
some expense at
In 1788, James
What are Campbell’s own compositions can only be surmised from their titles, or from the fact of their having first appeared in his collection, as he never put his name to any of them.
In the first
Senex in his Reminiscences (p. 145) says, “They (the bells) consisted originally of twenty-eight in number, and in my younger days were played upon by old Joshua Campbell.” The information about Joshua’s salary was kindly afforded the Editor by Mr. Nicol, the City Chamberlin of Glasgow.
M’GLASHAN. Alexander M’Glashan, who from his stately and
dressy appearance acquired the name of “King M’Glashan,” was long connected
with the musical professions in
ANGUS CUMMING. The only information obtained regarding this musician is contained (1) in an advertisement,—issued in March 1780—which runs as follows:--“Strathspey Reels.—On Wednesday next the 22nd instant will be published, price Five Shillings—A Collection of Strathspey or Old Highland Reels, with a Bass for the Violincello and Harpsichord by Angus Cumming, Musician at Grantown in Strathspey. The Publisher flatters himself, from the advantage he has enjoyed of being in that country where this species of Scots Music is preserved in the greatest purity, and by cultivating in with the greatest care and assiduity from his earliest years, that this Collection will not be found altogether unworthy of the approbation of the Public.—To be had at the Shop of Mr. Donaldson, bookseller, and at the house of Mr. McDonald, Musician, Castlehill, to either of which places such Subscribers as have not yet received their copies will please to send:” and (2) in the preface to the first edition of his collection, where it is stated that “The Publisher follows the profession of his forefathers; who have been for many generations Musicians in Strathspey;” and he mentions that he had spent several years in forming this collection.
James Aird followed the
occupation of Music Seller in
announcement, which appears in December 1779, is in the following
terms:--“James Aird at his Shop, the
corner of Gibson’s Wynd, New Street, Glasgow, &c.—At the same Shop may be
had, &c.,--also the following Musical Instruments, Spinets, Violins, German
Flutes, fifes, hautboys, Clarionets with books of instructions and a great
choice of Songs, &c.—N.B. J. Aird
removes at Whitsunday next to the Shop presently possessed by Mr. Alexander
Givan, Mr. M’Nair’s Land,
MACINTOSH. The earliest notice of Robert Mackintosh,
alias “Red Rob,” is to be found in Peter Williamson’s Directory ofr 1773-74, where
his profession and address are given as “Musician, Skinner’s Close.” He removed in 1774 to Trunk Close. In February 1775, in conjunction with Mr.
Muschet, he gave a concert of vocal and instrumental music. In 1780, he announces a concert, for which
tickets were to be had at his house in Barranger’s Close. Shortly afterwards, he advertises a public
class for the violin, stating his terms, &c., as follows:—“Admittance to
the public class one guinea per quarter only.
Any gentleman may have a private hour, either at his own lodging or at
Mr. Mackintosh’s house in Barranger’s Close, at one guinea per month.” His residence in 1782 is in Burnet’s
Close. In 1783 he gave a concert of
vocal and instrumental music, at which Mr. Salomon, a celebrated musician of
his time, performed several favourite pieces.
“Tickets 3/- each at Mr. Mackintosh’s lodgings Advocate’s Close.” Before the close of the year he published his
first book, which, along with airs, minuets, and gavottes, contains some
excellent reels. In December 1788, he
advertises as follows:--“Music Teaching, Robert Mackintosh begs leave most
respectfully to inform his friends and the public, that he has again taken up
his residence in Edinburgh after an absence of three years during which period
he led the band in the Gentlemen’s Concerts at Aberdeen.” “Apply at Bremner and Stewart’s Music
Shops.” It was probably while residing
In his Memoir of Nathaniel Gow, prefixed to the posthumous collection of Niel Gow, Junior, issued in 1837, Joseph M’Gregor has seriously erred regarding certain of his dates: these inaccuracies we desire to set to rights. To quote M’Gregor’s own words:--“At an early age he (i.e. Nathaniel Gow) was sent to Edinburgh, where he continued the study of the violin, first under Robert M’Intosh, or Red Rob, as he was called, until the latter, from his celebrity, was called up to London. He next took lessons from M’Glashan….who was in high estimation as an excellent composer of Scottish airs, and an able and spirited leader of the fashionable bands…Gow’s first professional appearance, it is believed, was in the band conducted by King M’Glashan, in which he played the violincello. After the death of M’Glashan, he continued under his elder brother William Gow, who succeeded as leader,--a situation for which he was well fitted by his bold and spirited style.”
previously stated, left
That Gow could have taken lessons from M’Glashan after 1803 was an impossibility, as the latter died in 1797; neither could William Gow have succeeded M’Glashan after his death as William Gow died in 1791, but it is probable that M’Glashan retired from the leadership about the last mentioned date, and that William Gow held it for a short time.
Instead of Nathaniel Gow being taught my M’Glashan after Mackintosh went to London, it is more than likely to have been after he went to Aberdeen.
By his wife, Margaret Mill, Mackintosh had 13 children, born between 1767 and 1797. Three of these were named Robert, the first being born in 1771, the second in 1774, and the third in 1797. The second and third Roberts were alive at the same time. The former (who followed the musical profession) married an “Edward” Johnston, and on 18th January 1799 a son was born to them, named James.
The Editor ascertains from Mr. James M’Intosh, of Boatlands, near Coupar-Angus, Forfarshire, that he is the great-grandson of James M’Intosh (a brother of Red Rob), who followed the vocation of blacksmith at Tinereoch, in the Vale of Athole (near Tullymet), and had five sons, all of whom were violin players. Of these, John was at one time bandmaster to the 42nd Highlanders (Black Watch), and afterwards settled as a musicseller in Dublin. Another, David, was pipe-major to the 93rd Highlanders; he died in Portugal. The other three nephews did not follow the profession of music.
PATRICK MACDONALD. Patrick MacDonald was born in the Manse of Durness, Sutherlandshire, on 22nd April 1729. His grandfather and father were musically inclined. The latter, the Rev. Murdo Macdonald, to whose memory Rob Donn composed an elegy, was a man of wonderful talents, and he taught his children the principles of music, besides encouraging them in that art.
Mr. Murdo’s career is worthy of notice. He was born on 3rd May 1696, educated at St. Andrews, licensed to preach the Gospel of 25th September 1725, and ordained minister of Durness on 28th September 1726. On 23rd May 1728, he married Agnes, daughter of the Rev. Patrick Cooper of Pittenweem, by whom he had four sons and seven daughters. He dept a Diary extending to 7 volumes, and which contains numerous entries of remarkable interest. It was during his ministry that Robert Calder, usually called Rob Donn, the bard of the Reay country, composed his songs; and the poet’s intercourse with the family was, no doubt, of mutual advantage.
Patrick and his brother Joseph (who was born on 26th February 1739) were at an early age the pupils of Kenneth Sutherland of Cnocbreac, who was known for his remarkable skill in violin-playing. Joseph was the more apt pupil, however, and in addition to being a good violinist, he had some ability as a vocalist. His father relates that, at the age of eight, Joseph led the psalmody in church.
Their sister Flora, afterwards married to Dr. Touch, minister of St. Cuthbert’s Chapel of Ease, equaled, if she did not excel, her brothers as an instrumentalist; and the father not infrequently held a musical evening, when the musicians of his family competed with one antoher, not only in playing airs, but also in composing them. Joseph excelled in composition, and not a few of his airs enjoyed the distinction of having the songs of the local poet made to suit them.
Joseph was educated at the Grammar School of Haddington, the master of which was a friend of his father’s. Receiving an appointment in India, he proceeded thither in 1760, leaving a collection of airs,—compositions of his youth—as a parting gift to one of his sisters. In Persia he got the natives to make for him two or three whistles (Feadain meaghra) on which he practised, and thereby revived and sustained his recollections of the airs he used to play. His career in India, however, was destined to be short; for in 1762 he was seized with a malignant fever, from which he did not recover. A Treatise on the Theory of the Scots Highland Bagpipe written by him, was discovered in Bengal by Sir John Murray Macgregor, Bart., and delivered by him to Patrick, who published it in 1803. From the preface to the collection of Patrick Macdonald, published in 1784 (which is referred to in the Chronological List appended to this work), it may be inferred that the whole of the North Highland Airs—eighty-six in number—were those given by Joseph to his sister.
Patrick (the subject of this article) was in 1737 sent to his grandfather’s at Pittenweem, where he spent some time. On his return home, his father took charge of his education, and in 1747 sent him to the University of Aberdeen. He was duly licensed a preacher, and on 12th October 1756 was presented to Kilmore, where he laboured as a minister of the parish for the long space of sixty-nine years. He was married to Barbara M’Donald, bu whom he had a family of nine sons and four daughters. He died father of the Church, on the 25th of September 1824. His ministerial office appears to have deterred him from becoming a bagpipe player like his brother Joseph, but in his handling of the violin, he is acknowledged to have been unexcelled among his presbyterial brethren. An anecdote is related of him, that being in Ediburgh on the one occasion as a member of the General Assembly of the Church, he was urged by Stabilini (who was indisposed) to act as his substitute for the evening. He agreed to do so, and it is said that he executed his part so well that his audience were charmed and delighted. It is also said that there was some talk of his clerical brethren taking him to task for this performance in a playhouse, but that the general esteem in which he was held saved him from being brought to book.
ROBERT RIDDEL of Glenriddel. Robert Riddel of Glenriddel was a gentleman of antiquarian tastes, and a musical amateur. He was a descendant of the famous Sir Robert Lawrie of Maxwelton, the successful opponent of the Dane who brought over the whistle and challenged the Bacchanalians of his time to contest the same over their wine; and at his house at Friars Carse the whistle was last contended for, as celebrated by our National Bard, Robert Burns, in his well-known poem of “The Whistle.” Riddel was an intimate and esteemed friend of Burns.
In 1787, Riddel published “New Music for the Piano Forte or Harpsichord, composed by a gentleman,"—which was advertised as follows by James Johnson on the same day on which the first volume of the Scots Musical Museum made its appearance:--“Where also may be had a Collection of Reels, Minuets, Marches, and Scots Songs with variations for the Harpsichord by a Gentleman—Price 4/.” He also published a “Collection of Scotch, Galwegian, and Border tunes for the Violin, &c., Selected by Robert Riddell of Glenriddell Esq. Price 7 sh.”:--a work which Johnson advertised in May 1794, about a month after Riddel’s death (which occurred on 21st April). For three songs written by Burns he composed the airs,--“The Blue-eyed Lassie”; “Nithdale’s Welcome Hame”; and “The Day returns, my bosom burns.” Mr. David Laing in his introduction to Johnson’s Scots Musical Museum, states that “Mr. Riddell was an excellent man but no musician, as I have been assured by a competent judge whose partiality to the Author would have made him very sensible of any merit his compositions might possess.” Mr. Sharpe, in addition to this note, says with reference to a poem, “The Bedesman of Nithside,” 1792, 4to, with a vignette, by Captain Grose—“Sir Walter Scott told me that this production puzzled him—it was much too good for the one, and much too bad for the other.” Whether the above be or be not a true estimate of Riddel’s musical abilities, his reels and other dances which the Editor has seen in various Collections have little or no merit.
MALCOLM M’DONALD. Malcom M’Donald published four collections of Strathspey Reels, &c. The first of these, as its title-page indicates, was entirely made up of his own exclusive compositions; but the subsequent three contain a number of tunes which are unquestionably the productions of other musicians. Many of the tunes composed by, or attributed to M’Donald, are of that strange wild nature so characteristic of the compositions of Daniel Dow.
Of M’Donald’s personal history little or no authentic information can be obtained. The place of his birth is unknown. His second and subsequent collections, however, bear on them that, at the time of their appearance, he resided “at Dunkeld.” The present editor has been informed that his residence was at Inver, in the Parish of Little Dunkeld; and in the list of Subscribers to Niel Gow’s Second Collection, we find the entry “Mr. Malcolm Macdonald, Inver.”
In a footnote appended to M’Donald’s Reel “Lady Haddo,” in Part II of “The Beauties of Niel Gow” (a work published by Nathaniel Gow), we are informed that M’Donald played the violoncello to Niel after the death of the latter’s brother Donald Gow.
M’Donald is said to have died at Inver, but we can find no record of the date of his death. He is supposed, however, to have predeceased Niel Gow by a few years. The Parish Registers of the locality were burned or otherwise destroyed about the beginning of the present century, for the supposed purpose of preventing information being procured regarding the ages of persons required to join the Volunteers, Fencibles, or Militia of that period.
JOHN BOWIE. John Bowie, Musician, Perth, and for some time musicseller there, is first found advertising in July 1785 as follows:--“John Bowie, Musician, Perth, tunes Harpsichords, Piano Fortes &c.” Nothing more appears until he advertised his collection four years later; and then again, in 1797, he announces a single sheet containing “Four new Tunes composed by John Bowie, Huntingtower, near Perth, one of which is the much admired new Strathspey called the Loyal Farmers, with addition of the Slow Set of the Braes of Mar &c.” In 1801 he issued another single sheet—“Just published and Sold at the Music Shops A New Strathspey called the Perthshire Yeomanry and Lady Herriot Hay’s Reel composed by John Bowie, Author of Miss Murray of Ochtertyre’s Strathspey, and others so much danced of late, to which is added three Favourite New Tunes &c.”
John Bowie commenced business as a Musicseller in 1803, as the following advertisement shews—“Music Shop Perth J. Bowie Musician having entered into Partnership with T. Hill George Street begs leave to inform the Nobility, Gentry and Public, that he and his partner will constantly have on hand an assortment of all kinds of Music and Musical Instruments &c.” The Mr. T. Hill here referred to was the father of Mr. D.O. Hill, R.S.A. Bowie appears also to have been in the habit of giving balls in conjunction with this brother; they advertise on March 16th 1807 “J. & P. Bowie’s Annual Ball on Thursday the 26th current. Tickets 3s each from Mr. Thomas Hill Stationer George Street,” &c. The music shop of Bowie & Hill was next door to that occupied by Thomas Hill (Bowie’s partner), who carried on therein a separate business as a bookseller and stationer. Other advertisements show that the music business was continued by Mr. Hill after Bowie’s death. An advertisement of th date 3rd October 1816 runs as follows:--“T. Hill Bookseller Stationer & Music Seller Perth…a Large assortment of Piano Fortes from the best London Makers, and other Musical Instruments, with Sheet Music in its greatest variety at the lowest prices &c. P.S. Piano Fortes lent out by the month.” Peter Bowie, the brother of John, in the preceding month announces that he “Commences teaching on Monday the 16th current, and that he devotes his whole time to teaching the Piano Forte (having declined to perform at balls &c)…Orders left at his house Atholl Street or at Mr. John Ross junior grocer, &c. N.B. Musical Instruments tuned on reasonable terms.” Peter’s resolution to give up ball playing was doubtless owing to his brother’s death. Bowie died in 1815, in his 56th year, and was buried in Tibber More (his native place), near Perth.
JOHN ANDERSON. John Anderson, who published two books of Highland strathspeys, country dances, English and French dances, &c., the first of which he dedicated to the gentlemen of the Musical Society of Greenock, cannot be traced either by advertisements or otherwise; and whether he is the same person who started a music warehouse in Perth about 1793, and continued there till 1798, is very doubtful, from the fact that no copy of either of his two collections has been seen bearing a Perth address. Nor can he be identified with the Anderson who was associated with James Johnson the engraver, afterwards as a partner of the firm of Walker & Anderson, engravers. That Anderson composed much cannot be said, as in his earliest book there are only four tunes, and the variations to the Marquis of Huntly’s Farewell, to which he has adhibited his name, and seven others in his second publication, which was probably issued between 1790 and 1794, as one of the tunes therein contained—“Buff and Blue,”—was composed by Captain Riddell, who died early in the latter year. This work bears the names of only two Edinburgh musicsellers on the title page, viz., Johnson & Co., and Bryson. A copy of the Second Collection is in the British Museum.
CHARLES DUFF. Charles Duff, who published his Collection bearing his name, was a Musician. He is stated to have been the leader of the Musical Dociety in Dendee fro some time. As to whether he combined the teaching of dancing with music at any time, there is no information. His brother Archibald, however, was a dancing master in Montrose and Aberdeen. For reasons deduced from the title page of his Collection, it may be presumed that the work was published in 1792, or perhaps a short time before that date, though no advertisement has been discovered relating to it. Duff includes in his Collection a number of tunes composed by John M’Donald, late dancing master, Dundee, which were probably given to him by that individual, or purchased at the sale of M’Donald’s effects, which took place on Thursday, the 22nd October 1789. Prolonged search has failed to make known where Duff was born, whether in Dundee or about that locality. The John M’Donald above referred to, advertised in June 1782 for a person properly qualified in playing ball music on the violin &c., and it is believed that Duff obtained that situation. In 1798, there appears the advertisement, that “Charles Duff, Musician, begs to inform the public that he will remove at Whitsunday next from Dundee to Montrose.” When he again returned to Dundee is not ascertained, but about ten years afterwards (January 1808), the following announcement appears:--“Charles Duff Musician and James Chalmers Bookseller No. 3 Castle Street Dundee have commenced business jointly in the music line.” The firm’s name is to be found in the Dundee Directory for 1809, as Duff and Chalmers, Music shop, Castle Street. In March 1810, Duff and Chalmers opened a new shop near the bottom of Castle Street, Dundee, and towards the end of that year the following advertisement appears:—“New Music—Speedily will be published, A Selection of Minuets, Slow Scottish Tunes, &c., Dedicated to Miss Russel of Blackhall,” &c., &c., a work which Duff states to have been the result of his professional efforts during twenty-five years. He advertised in July 1811, that he leaves town to tune pianos in the districts of Montrose, Aberdeen, Brechin, and Forfor. Four years later, he informs us that he has begun business on his own account:—“Music warehouse—Charles Duff Musician intimates that he has dissolved Partnership by mutual consent and that he has opened on his own account on the west side of Castle Street adjoining to the Theatrem: &c., and he also makes reference to the knowledge which Alexander Duff, his nephew, has attined in music and tuning, &c. Duff again advertises in August 1817, that he “will close his instructions in Music on Saturday the 8th and will resume teaching on Monday 14th September.” In the Dundee Directory for 1818, the entry “Charles Duff Music-Seller 30 High Street” appears, shewing that he has removed from Castle Street; and an advertisement, of date November 10th, indicates another change of address, “Charles Duff, Musician, Music-Saloon opposite the English Chapel, Nethergate, Dundee.” In March 1821 he makes this announcement, “Sale of Music and Musical Instruments. Charles Duff respectfully intimates to his numerous friends and the public. A Sale of his stock of musical instruments at a reduction of price, &c., and that the sale will continue till Whitsunday. Charles Duff will remove to the flat above Mrs. Wallace, Brewer, South side of the English Chapel.” Duff’s address appears in the Dundee Directory for 1822, and he probably died about that time, as all further trace of him has been lost. The editor has seen a bill granted to him in November 1821, and has been informed by one of his pupils that he died an old man in the twenties. Duff was frequently employed at concerts and balls.
ROBERT PETRIE. Robert Petrie was born at Kirkmichael, Perthshire, in February 1767. His father was named John Petrie, and his mother Elizabeth Read; and he was baptised as “Robertus.” There is little known of his early history; but he was regarded in and about his native place as an excellent violin player, although from his personal habits and propensities he has been described as a “ne’er-dae-weel.” He was much employed at balls, weddings, &c., and was associated with a partner, by name John Fleming, who played the violoncello on such occasions. Both Fleming and Petrie are said to have participated with the Hon. William Maule in one of thos mad freaks which were so characteristic of the latter. On this occasion a mock resurrection had been organized and was performed in the churchyard of Logie, Dundee. Fleming it is said afterwards regretted having been concerned in the frolic, and he declared that none of those who took part in it would die a natural death. To verify his prophecy, he kept a book, in which he might record the various deaths. So far as Maule and he himself were concerned, however, his prediction proved wrong; but (whatever had been the fate of the rest of their associates) we know that Petrie was found dead one morning in the end of August or beginning of September 1830 by the side of a small stream. He had suddenly expired when on his way home from a party.
Petrie is mentioned as having taken part in a competition for violin playing held in Aberdeen about 1822. Feeling himself somewhat handicapped in the course of it by his opponents, he expressed to his friend Flemming his doubts as to the final result. Fleming, however, reminded him that he had still one tune to play ere the final decision would be made—“The Ewie wi’ the crookit horn.” This Petrie performed so well that amid the plaudits of the audience he was declared the first prize-winner. The cup awarded him, however, never reached Kirkmichael—a fact probably to be attributed to the irregularity of his habits.
ABRAHAM MACINTOSH. Abraham Macintosh, a son of “Red Rob” and Margaret Mill, was born in Edinburgh on 15th June 1769. In early life he followed his father’s profession; and in December 1792, he published a collection of thirty new strathspey reels, &c., of which he was the composer. A few stray tunes bearing the name of Mackintosh, junior (But whether this refers to Abrham or to his brother Robert, it is impossible to say, as the latter never published any collection), are also to be found in other collections, one of these being “Buckingham House” or “Athole Brose,” which appears in his father’s third book. It is repeated almost note for note in Gow’s Collection, and it has sometimes been erroneously attributed to that composer (although he never claimed it), on account of its being styled “Neil Gow’s favourite.” From 1793 to 1797, Abraham Mackintosh, according to “Aitchison’s Directory,” resided in Todrick’s Wynd’ there is no trace of him after the latter year in Edinburgh, but he is subsequently found in Newcastle, where he was professionally employed as a teacher of dancing, though probably he also continued as a musician till the year 1807. In the beginning of this century, he published other two books or collections, and a sheet or two.