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Dance The Ladies of Dingwall 3575

Reel · 48 bars · 3 couples · Longwise - 4   (Progression: 213)

Devised by
888/844/484/848/800/880 = 52% (whole dance)
  • Pas-de-Basque, Skip-Change
Published in
Recommended Music
Extra Info
The Ladies of Dingwall

Beyond the Black Isle, at the head of the Cromarty Firth and situated at the junction of two roads leading to the far north is Dingwall, the county town of Ross and Cromarty. The name, Dingwall, comes from the Norse thingvollr, the meeting place of the thing or parliament and it was the stronghold of Norse power in the north, stretching from Shetland and Orkney to the Hebrides and the northern mainland. The first wife of Malcolm III (Canmore), wo reigned from 1057 to 1093, was Ingibord, widow of Thorfin the Mighty who ruled over this far-flung territory from Dingwall.

Dingwall Castle, Castrum Dinkual on ancient maps, has been reduced to merely crumbling remains, a trace, really, of the castle where Macbeth is reputed to have been born.

With the end of Norse influence, local power came into the hands of the Earls of Ross. The first Earl of Ross was Malcolm MacBeth who received his title from Malcolm IV. As a result of a rebellion led by MacBeth in 1179, the title was revoked and was given by Alexander II in 1234 to Fearchar Mac a t-sagairt or Macintaggart (Farquhar, Son of the Priest), son of the hereditary abbot of Applecross. In 1314 William, 3rd Earl of Ross of the second creation, fought with Bruce at Bannockburn and Hugh, 4th Earl, was killed at the battle of Halidon Hill against the English in 1333. Euphemia, daughter of William, 5th Earl, married Sir Walter Leslie and inherited the title in her own right and with the marriage of Mary Leslie, daughter of Euphemia, to Donald, Lord of the Isles, the title passed to the MacDonalds in 1427. (See “Isle of Skye” and “Keppoch’s Rant”) The chiefs of the Clan Ross descended from Hugh of Balnagowan, younger brother of William, 5th Earl of Ross.

Dingwall was made a Royal Burgh in 1226 by Alexander II and the charter was renewed by James IV.

In 1819 Robert Southey, the English poet, visited Dingwall with Thomas Telford who had constructed the burgh’s harbour and he recorded in his diary that, “There is a ridiculous obelisk opposite the Kirk, considerably out of the perpendicular, and supported with numberless ironcramps and bars. The story is that an old woman being aggrieved by an Earl of Cromarty, said she should live to see the grass growing over his head. He died shortly after this prediction of enmity was uttered, and to disappoint its literal fulfilment, enjoined his heirs to erect this pillar exactly upon the spot where his head should be laid. The obelisk however is modern and seems to have been erected by some foolish person as an object.”

The Earl of Cromarty to whom Southey was referring was George MacKenzie, 1st Earl (1630–1714). MacKenzie had joined the Scottish rising for Charles II in 1654 and for his part was forced into exile until the Restoration. With the title of Lord Tarbat he became a Lord of Session and in 1678 he served as Lord Justice General. For six years he was chief minister in Scotland for both Charles II and James VII (II). MacKenzie managed to ingratiate himself with William II (III) after James was deposed and he continued to hold high office under William and Mary. He was made Earl of Cromarty by Queen Anne in 1703.

On a hill just south of Dingwall is a tower erected in 1907 to the memory of “Fighting Mac”, General Sir Hector Archibald MacDonald (1853–1903), one of the greatest soldiers of the Empire. Born into a crofting family at Muir of Allan Grange, MacDonald worked as a draper’s assistant until he ran off to join the 92nd Gordon Highlanders at the age of seventeen. He fought in Egypt, the Sudan and India and was a colour sergeant in the Afghan War. After less than ten years’ service he was given a battlefield commission. He fought in the first Boer War and in 1898 he was promoted colonel and made aide-de-camp to Queen Victoria. A year later he was promoted major-general and in 1901, after further service in India and Africa, he was knighted. On 25 March, 1903, General Sir Hector MacDonald, D.S.O., a national war hero, shot himself in a hotel room in Paris after having been accused of misconduct.

The Ladies of Dingwall 3/4L · R48
1s+2s+3s lead down the middle & back ending with 1s & 3s on Men’s side & 2s on Ladies side
1s+2s in prom hold cross passing RSh & set pivoting to right to face centre
1s+3s in prom hold cross passing RSh & set pivoting right to face centre
2s+3s repeat 9-12; 2s+1s repeat 13-16
3s+1s repeat 9-12; 1s+2s+3s turn partner RH to original places
1s cross RH, cast to 2nd place (2s step up), 1s turn LH 1.1/2 times, 2s step in ready for …
2s+1s Promenade

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NameDateOwnerLast changed
RSCDS Wirral Tuesday Class 28 Sep 2021 2021-09-28 Andrew Locke Sept. 25, 2021, 1:20 p.m.
21 01 19 Ewan Galloway Dance Hour 8.30pm 2021-01-19 Chris & Lee Pratt Jan. 18, 2021, 3:29 p.m.
Pawling 2022: Dances Taught 2022-05-26 Ken Saunders May 26, 2022, 5:50 p.m.

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