We're using cookies to make this site more secure, featureful and efficient.

Dance The Duchess of Buccleuch's Favourite 1774

Reel · 32 bars · 3 couples · Longwise - 4   (Progression: 213)

Devised by
444 888 822 800 = 58% (1 turn), 44% (whole dance)
  • Pas-de-Basque, Skip-Change
Published in
Recommended Music
Extra Info
Dalkeith's Strathspey

Dalkeith, a pleasant country town between the North and South Esk Rivers some seven miles to the southeast of Edinburgh, grew up around Dalkeith Palace, once a home of the Dukes of Buccleuch.

Originally a Border family, the ducal Scotts descended from Richard le Scott (1249–1285). Sir Walter Scott of Kirkurd and Buccleuch prudently and foresightedly joined James II in the stuggle for sovereignty against William, 8th Earl of Douglas and his brother, James, 9th Earl. (See “Brechin Fancy”) After the battle of Arkinholm near Langholm in 1455, Sir Walter was rewarded with vast lands forfeited by the once powerful Douglases. The Scotts prospered with the downfall of a rival family and it was they who in their turn became the power in the fiery, brutal Borders where bands of men rode at night against their foes, both Scottish and English.

A stark moss trooping Scott was he,
As e’er couched Border lance by knee;
Through Solway sands, through tarras moss,
Blindfolded, he knew the paths to cross; By wily turns, by desperate bound, Had baffled Percy’s best bloodhounds;
In Eske or Liddel, fords were none,
But he could ride them, one by one; Alike to him was time or tide.

December’s snow, or July’s pride;
Alike to him was tide or time,
Moonless midnight or matin prime;
Steady of heart and stout of hand,
As ever drove prey from Cumberland;
Five times outlawed had he been,
By England’s King and Scotland’s Queen. – From The Lay of the Last Minstrel

Thus wrote Sir Walter Scott (1771–1832), a descendent of William Scott of Harden, a cadet branch of the family, in reference to Sir Walter Scott of Branxholm and Buccleuch (1490–1552), known in some circles as “Wicked Wat”. This Sir Walter fought at Flodden, was Warden of the Middle Marches and was murdered by the Kerrs, another Border family sprung to power with the downfall of the Douglases. It is paradoxical that “Wicked Wat” was not killed, as would be expected, in a raid or ambush in the Border hills, but, instead, on the High Street of Edinburgh.

“The Bold Buccleuch”, another Sir Walter (1565–1611) led the daring raid that rescued “Kinmont Willie” Armstrong from Carlisle Castle where he had been taken by Lord Scroop, the Warden of the English West Marches. The old ballad is exceedingly long but selected verses tell the story.

O have ye na heard o the fause Sakelde?
  O have ye na heard o the keen Lord Scroop?
How they hae taen bauld Kinmont Willie,
  On Hairibee to hang him up?
They band his legs beneath his steed,
  They tied his hands behind his back;
They guarded him, fivesome on each side,
  And brought him ower the Liddel-rack.
“My hands are tied, but my tongue is free,
  And whae will dare this deed avow?
Or answer by the border law?
  Or answer to the bauld Buccleuch?”
“Now haud thy tongue, thou rank reiver!
  There’s never a Scot shall set ye free;
Before ye cross my castle-yate,
  I trow ye shall take farewell o me.”
Now word is gane to the bauld Keeper,
  In Branksome Ha where that he lay,
That Lord Scroope has taen the Kinmont Willie,
  Between the hours of night and day.
He has taen the table wi his hand,
  He garrd the red wine to spring on hie;
“Now Christ’s curse on my head,” he said,
  But avenged of Lord Scroop I’ll be!”
“And they have taen him Kinmont Willie,
  Against the truce of Border tide,
And forgotten that the bauld Bacleuch
  Is keeper here on the Scottish side?”
He has calld him forty marchmen bauld,
  Were kinsmen to the bauld Buccleuch,
With spur on heel, and splent on spauld,
  And gleaves of green, and feathers blue.
Then on we held for Carlisle toun,
  And at Staneshaw-bank the Eden we crossed;
The water was great, and meikle of spait,
  But nevir a horse nor man we lost.
We crept on knees and held our breath,
  Till we placed the ladders against the wa;
And sae ready was Buccleuch himsell
  To mount the wa before us a’.
Then speedilie to wark we gaed,
  And raised the slogan ane and a’,
And cut a hole thro a sheet of lead,
  And so we wan to the castel-ha.
And then we cam to the lower prison,
  Where Willie o Kinmonthe did lie,
“O sleep ye, wake ye, Kinmont Willie,
  Upon the morn that thou’s to die?”
Then shoulder high, with shout and cry,
  We bore him down the ladder lang;
At every stride Red Rowan made,
  I wot the Kinmont’s airns playd clang.
Buccleuch has turned to Eden Water,
  Even where it flowd frae bank to brim,
And he has plunged in wi a’ his band,
  And safely swam them thro the stream.
He turned him on the other side,
  And at Lord Scroope his glove flung he:
“If ye like na my visit in merry England,
  In fair Scotland come visit me!”

(The variants in spelling are those found in the manuscript.)

In 1606 this gread-grandson of “Wicked Wat” was raised to the peerage as Lord Scott of Buccleuch.

With the Union of the Crowns in 1603, the commando fighting across the Border, a traditional exercise of both English and Scots, was over, but in 1608 a royal order of James VI (I) commanded the Border lairds to quell the activities of the Scottish outlaws. This did not promise enough action for the Bold Buccleuch so he took some two hundred Scotts with him and went to fight in the Netherlands. While he and his son Walter (1587–1633), created 1st Earl of Buccleuch in 1619, were fighting on the Continent with their 2nd and 3rd Battalions of the Scots Regiment, their estates were left in the hands of the Scotts of Harden who did so well for their absent lords that in 1642 Dalkeith Palace was added to the Buccleuch holdings.

The 2nd Earl of Buccleuch, Francis Scott, died in 1651 at the age of twenty-five, leaving three young daughters. His widow, a Leslie and a sister of the Earl of Rothes, remarried, this time to David, 2nd Earl of Wemyss (1610–1679). Lady Wemyss was a remarkable woman, indeed. Lord Buccleuch had been a Covenanter, but his wife had other ideas. When General George Monck (1608–1670) was sent by Cromwell to subjugate the Scots as Governor of Scotland in 1654, he took Dalkeith Palace as his headquarters. It was while he was there that he was converted back to the Royalist cause by Lady Wemyss. Thus, General Monck welcomed Charles II at Dover when the monarchy was restored and for his efforts he was created Earl of Torrington and Duke of Albemarle.

Charles II then entered the fortunes of the Scotts of Buccleuch by becoming the father-in-law of Lady Wemyss’ youngest daughter. When the 2nd Earl died his eldest daughter, Mary, became Countess of Buccleuch at the age of five. When she was eleven years old she was married to Walter Scott, the fifteen year old Earl of Tarras. Mary died in 1661 at the age of thirteen and, as the second daughter was already deceased, the title passed to ten year old Anna (1651–1732). Then, Lady Wemyss, after her successful role in the restoration of Charles, really set her sights high. She took the young countess to London and in 1664 at the age of twelve she was married to the fifteen year old James Fitzroy, Duke of Monmouth, illegitimate son of Charles and Lucy Walters, a descendent of Edward I. Monmouth took the surname Scott upon his marriage and shortly thereafter he and his young wife were created Duke and Duchess of Buccleuch. The maternal hand must have been guiding the royal pen for Anna was granted the title of duchess independently of her husband so that the dukedom would remain in the Scott of Buccleuch family. This was a wise step for after the Monmouth Rebellion of 1685 in which the duke asserted forcefully his claim to the crown upon the death of Charles, an event in which the duchess took no part, he was beheaded on Tower Hill on 15 July, 1685.

Francis, the Earl of Dalkeith, grandson of Duchess Anna and Monmouth, succeeded as 2nd Duke of Buccleuch. He married Lady Jane Douglas, daughter of James, 2nd Duke of Queensberry. Henry Scott (1746–1812) succeeded as 3rd Duke of Buccleuch and, in 1810 when he was past sixty, he became 5th Duke of Queensberry through the Douglas line. The 3rd Duke’s wife was Elizabeth Montague and a painting of her as the Duchess of Buccleuch by Sir Joshua Reynolds hangs in Drumlanrig Castle in Dumfries-shire, the magnificent palace built by the 1st Duke of Queensberry. Part Second of the Complete Repository of Original Scots Tunes, Strathspeys, Jigs and Dances of 1802 was dedicated by Niel Gow to the Duchess of Buccleuch.

The Duchess of Buccleuch's Favourite 3/4L · R32
1W+2W+3W A&R ; 1M+2M+3M A&R
1c followed by 2c+3c cast behind own lines and up the middle ; 1c cast to face 1cnr, 2c dance to 1pl
Turn CPCP, 1c finish on opposite side.
1c set twice ; cross RH
The Duchess of Buccleuch's Favourite 3/4L · R32
1L+2L+3L Adv+Ret, 1M+2M+3M Adv+Ret
1s cast down to 3rd place own sides followed by 2s & 3s, lead up middle back up to places & 1s cast 1 place to face 1st corners
1s turn 1st corners RH, turn partner LH, turn 2nd corners RH & turn partner LH back to 2nd place opposite sides
1s set twice & cross RH to own sides

Sorry, this browser doesn't seem to do SVG graphics :^(

NameDateOwnerLast changed
9th Frankfurt Spring Ball 1977 1977-05-14 Anselm Lingnau Feb. 6, 2024, 2:22 p.m.
7th FSCDC/CGB Tea Dance “The Borders Revisited” 2011-01-22 Anselm Lingnau Jan. 25, 2019, 3:49 p.m.

SCDDB User Ratings

. 0 votes
. 0 votes
. 0 votes
. 0 votes
. 0 votes
. 0 votes

Rate this Dance

Sign in to rate this dance!

User Reviews

Sign in to review this dance!