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Dance Duke of Hamilton's Reel 1790

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

Devised by
Unknown (1754)
880 800 844 844 = 58% (1 turn), 44% (whole dance)
  • Strathspey setting, Strathspey travel
Published in
Recommended Music
Extra Info
The Duke of Hamilton's Reel

James Douglas Hamilton (1724–1758), 6th Duke of Hamilton, was an admirer of beautiful women. According to William Stenhouse, his interest was caught by Miss Mary Lillias Scott, daughter of Walter Scott of Harden, in Roxburghshire, and a descendent of Mary Scott of Dryhope who was known as “The Flower of Yarrow”. Miss Scott, one of the greatest beauties in Scotland at the time and famed for her singing, was painted by Allan Ramsay (1713–1784), son of Allan Ramsay, the poet. The portrait was commissioned, states Stenhouse, by the Duke of Hamilton and for many years hung in Hamilton Palace. Thomas Pennant (1726–1798) in his Tours in Scotland referred to the portait as “irresistless beauty brings up the rear in form of Miss Mary Scott, a full length in white satin, a most elegant figure”.

In 1752 the duke married Elizabeth Gunning (1734–1790), a great beauty who, with her sister, was the rage of London. The Gunning sisters came from the town of Castle Coote, County Roscommon, in Ireland and though they came from rather humble origins they made splendid marriages, Elizabeth becoming the Duchess of Hamilton and Mary the Countess of Coventry. Samuel Johnson referred to Elizabeth as the duchess “with three tails”, Hamilton, Brandon and Argyll. She became Duchess of Hamilton and Brandon through her first marriage, and Duchess of Argyll through her second. After the death of the Duke of Hamilton in 1758, she married Colonel the Lord John Campbell (1723–1806) who became 5th Duke of Argyll in 1770. Of her children, George Campbell succeeded as 6th Duke of Argyll and his brother, John, became 7th Duke upon the death of his elder brothre in 1841. By the Duke of Hamilton she had several children. Her only daughter, Elizabeth, the Lady Betty referred to in Boswell’s Journal of a Tour of the Hebrides with Samuel Johnson (1773) married the Earl of Derby. The duchess’ most famous son, through no fault of his own, was James George Douglas Hamilton, 7th Duke of Hamilton, Marquess of Douglas and Earl of Angus. While still a minor the young duke became one of the principal actors in the celebrated “Douglas Cause”, a legal drama directed on one hand by the Duchess of Hamilton and on the other by the Dowager Duchess of Douglas. When Archibald, 1st Duke of Douglas, died in 1761 he left no direct heir and, although he had originally stipulated in his will that his estate should pass to the Hamiltons as male heirs, the duchess had brought sufficient pressure to bear upon her husband before he died that he altered his will in favour of his nephew, Archibald Stewart, son of his sister, Lady Jane Douglas, who had married John Stewart of Grandtully, who was regarded as a penniless Jacobite adventurer. The duke believed, as did many at the time, that the birth of Archibald and his twin brother, Sholto, in Paris was possibly irregular and thus he did not want to recognise Archibald, the surviving win, as his heir. However, upon the duke’s death and with the backing of his aunt, Archibald assumed the name Douglas and claimed the estate. Naturally, the Hamiltons hotly disputed the claim and in 1767 the Court of Session decreed that Archibald was not the son of Lady Jane and that the estate would go to the Duke of Hamilton. In 1769 the case was carried to the House of Lords and the original decision was reversed, although the marquessate remained with the Hamilton family. (See “Dumbarton’s Drums”)

Historically, the Hamilton family descended from Walter Fitz-Gilbert of Hameldone who, though he swore fealty to Edward I as overlord of Scotland, surrendered Bothwell Castle to Robert the Bruce after the battle of Bannockburn in 1314, for which act he was given the barony of Cadzow. HIs son, Sir David Fitz-Walter, a baron of David II’s parliament, was captured with his king at the battle of Neville’s Cross near Durham in 1346 and was only freed after the payment of a high ransom. Two more succeeding Hamiltons, Sir John and Sir James, were also made hostages of the English. Sir James Hamilton, 6th of Cadzow and 1st Baron Hamilton, the great-grandson of Sir David, allied himself by marriage with the Douglas family and he joined them in their struggle with the king in 1453, only to desert them a year later. (See “Brechin Fancy”) In 1474, then an elderly widower, he cemented his position by marrying the Princess Mary, daughter of James II and the divorced wife of Thomas Boyd, Earl of Arran. This marriage with the eldest sister of James III brought the Hamiltons into the very shadow of the throne. Since the Princess Mary’s son by Thomas Boyd had been murdered by the Montgomeries, Sir James Hamilton (1477–1529), her son by her second marriage, became Earl of Arran in 1503. The earl had an active career. He was a leader in the political activities against James Stewart, 4th Duke of Albany (1481–1536), grandson of James II, who after James IV’s death at Flodden contended bitterly for the regency of Scotland with the Dowager Queen Margaret, mother of the year old James V and sister of Henry VIII of England. It was during that time that the great feud began between the two most powerful families in Scotland, the Douglas Earl of Angus and the Hamilton Earl of Arran. Angus had married the Dowager Queen and Arran saw it as a threat to the Hamilton line to the throne. The feud culminated in a battle in the streets of Edinburgh called “Cleanse the Causeway” in which the Douglases succeeded in driving the Hamiltons out of the city. Of the Earl of Arran’s children, both legitimate and illegitimate, one of the best known was John Hamilton (1511–1571), the natural son who was made Archbishop of St. Andrews, the persecutor of Protestants and the creator of martyrs, who was hanged in his vestments for his complicity in the murders of both Henry Stewart, husband of Queen Mary, and of Lord James Stewart, the Earl of Moray and the queen’s natural half-brother. The earl’s legitimate heir by his second wife, Janet Beaton, was James Hamilton, 2nd Earl of Arran (1515–1575), then next in line to the throne after the infant Queen Mary, and who became Governor of Scotland in 1542 and was for at ime regent and tutor to the queen. In 1548, at the time of Mary’s betrothal to the Dauphin Francis and the beginning of her residence at the French court, the earl was created Duc de Chatelherault by Henry II of France. Because he had ambitions for his mad son, James, to marry the young queen when she returned a widow from France, he opposed her marriage with Henry Stewart, son of Matthew, 4th Earl of Lennox and long his political rival, and he was banished in 1566. James, 3rd Earl of Arran (1530–1609), succeeded to the tile upon the death of his father. James, who had been proposed as the husband for two queens, Elizabeth of England and Mary of Scotland, died insane and was succeeded before his death by his brother John (1532–1604), 1st Marquess of Hamilton, heir after James VI to the throne. Even so, he was a devoted partisan of the queen and he took part in her escape from the Loch Leven castle of Sir William Douglas. Since his life was in danger both for the part he played with his uncle in the murder of James Stewart and from the wrath of Sir William Douglas, he escaped to France in 1579. Five years later he returned to Scotland, was reconciled with James VI and was sent as envoy to negotiate the king’s marriage with Princess Anne of Denmark. His son, James, 2nd Marquess of Hamilton and 1st Earl of Cambridge in the English peerage (1589–1625), secured the enactment of the Five Articles of Perth in 1621, a religious bone of contention, and in 1623 negotiated unsuccessfully for the marriage of Charles I with the Infanta Maria of Spain. His wife was Lady Anne Cunningham, daughter of the Earl of Glencairn, whose mother had been a daughter of James II. The 3rd Marquess was James (1606–1649) who in 1643 was created Duke of Hamilton, heir to the throne after the descendents of James II. He commanded the British forces under Gustavus Adolphus of Sweden. A politician and miltary leader, he urged Charles I to consent to the election of a Scottish parliament. As leader of the Scottish army, he was defeated in 1648 at the battle of Preston and was condemned to death. After the execution of the 1st Duke, his brother, William (1616–1651), succeeded to the many titles of the Hamilton family. From 1640 to 1643 and again in 1646 the 2nd Duke was Secretary of State for Scotland. After having taken part in the Civil War he fled to the Netherlands, but returned with Charles in 1650 in the prince’s attempt to organize a Scottish army to defeat Cromwell. He was mortally wounded at the battle of Worcester in 1651, leaving no male heir. Thus, the title passed to his niece, Lady Anne Hamilton (1636–1716), the eldest daughter of the 1st Duke. In 1656 the duchess married William Douglas, 1st Earl of Selkirk (1635–1694) who became, upon the petition of his wife, 3rd Duke of Hamilton. The Hamiltons and the Douglases had come the full circle. From 1660 to 1676 the duke was a privy coucillor in Scotland and in England in 1687. Twice he was Royal Commissioner under William III. Their son, James (1658–1712), 4th Duke of Hamilton and Duke of Brandon, was a commander of horse for the king during the Monmouth Rebellion. (See “Dalkeith’s Strathspey”) He was privy councillor in 1710 and ambassador to France. He was killed in a duel with Charles, 4th Lord Mohun, in November , 1712, as the resultof a bitter law suit over property.

James, 5th Duke of Hamilton (1702–1743) initially espoused the Jacobite cause and was made a Knight of the Thistle as well as Knight of the Garter by James VIII (III), the Jacobite king in exile, the “Old Pretender”. In 1723 he married the first of his three wives, his cousin, Lady Anne Cochrane, daughter of the Earl of Dundonald. The young bride, who wore white velvet trimmed with silver to her wedding, died at the age of eighteen. It was the 5th Duke who commissioned William Adam to design Chatelherault Lodge near the old castle of Cadzow, outside of Hamilton in Lanarkshire.

Duke of Hamilton's Reel 3/4L · S32
1M+2W & 1W+2M turn RH 1½ to finish (2,1x,3) ; 2c turn LH to 1pl while{4} 1c turn LH 1½, to face up NHJ in middle
1c dance up to the top (2c down) | set ; cast off (2c up) | turn BH to face 1cnrs
1c set to and turn cnrs, (to 2,1x,3)
All A&R ; 1c Turn BH 1½ to 2pl.
Duke of Hamilton's Reel 3/4L · S32
1M+2L & 1L+2M turn RH 1.1/2 times end on sides with 1s in 2nd place opposite sides, 1s+2s turn LH 1s end on own sides in centre facing up
1s dance up, set, cast down 1 place & turn 2H to face 1st corners
1s set to & turn 1st corner; set to & turn 2nd corner ending in 2nd place opposite sides
2s+1s+3s Adv+Ret; 1s turn 2H 1.1/2 times to 2nd place own side

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Added on: 2013-08-18 (YouTube Automatic Downloader)
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'Duke of Hamilton's Reel' is a 32 bar …

Added on: 2022-07-16 (YouTube Automatic Downloader)
Quality: Animation

NameDateOwnerLast changed
2018-07 TCW taught antoine rousseau Aug. 8, 2018, 3:13 p.m.
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IdSubjectDateSubmitterAssigned toPriorityDisposition
3125 This dance (a Strathspey) refers to a reel as recommended tune May 13, 2023, 10:24 p.m. Nicolas “Niols” Jeannerod Viktor Lehmann Normal Fixed