Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Something New Every Day

You really do learn something new everyday. As any reader of this weblog knows, I'm very interested in Lady Mary Shepherd, the nineteenth-century philosopher. By sheer happenstance I happened to learn today that she has a fairly well-known piece of Scottish music named after her (well, fairly well-known for its niche): Lady Mary Primrose's Favourite. (Shepherd, of course, was her married name, from Sir Henry Shepherd. She was born Lady Mary Primrose, second daughter of Neil Primrose, the third Earl of Rosebery.) I'd never heard of it before, and cannot even imagine that I would ever be in a position to listen live to a 'slow strathspey and reel', but in this glorious multimedia age, of course, you can get CDs of it. In particular, I find that it is played on the fiddle by Hugh MacGilp in his Saft-Tongu'd Melody Volume 3.

Also, in researching this strathspey, I came across this website, which had a quotation from Lady Francis Jerningham to Lady Bedingfield (29 May 1800). Lady Charlotte was Lady Mary's older sister:

Lady Charlotte Primrose’s match was not sanctioned by her parents. He is a near relation of Lady Rosebery’s, and may become Earl of Effingham, but has at present only his pay, as Colonel in the Guards. Her Bands were mutter’d over in the Parish Church, and she walked out at the Half-Door, and met Col. Howard at the end of the street, from whence they proceeded to the altar of Hymen. Lady Mary will perhaps do the same, but she is a sensible girl, and has very good taste. I had a visit a few mornings since from Lady Rosebery and her three daughters; we were all seated when a pretty young man entered. Lady Mary Coloured as red as fire and I have since felt a partiality for her.

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