The Banks of the Deveron


Scottish tunes from 18th-and 19th-century collections

arranged for piano and performed by Chris Harrison


Background to the Music


William Christie (1778-1849): dancing master, fiddler and composer from Cuminestown, Aberdeenshire. His collection: A Collection of Strathspeys, Reels, Hornpieps, Waltzes &c., arranged as medleys for the Harp, Piano Forte, Violin and Violoncello ... was published in 1820. As well as Christie's compositions, the traditional tunes on the CD come from this collection.

Isaac Cooper (c1755-1820): fiddler, composer and dancing-master in Banff. He published two collections: Thirty New Strathspey Reels for the Violin or Harpsichord (1783, Banff & Edinburgh); and A Collection of Strathspeys, Reels and Irish Jigs ... composed and selected by I Cooper at Banff (c1806/7). The two tunes on this CD come from the second collection.

Robert Mackintosh (c1745-1807): fiddler, teacher, born in Tulliemet, Perthshire, worked in Edinburgh and (briefly) Aberdeen before moving to London in 1803, where he died. He published four collections, in 1783, 1793, 1796 and 1803. The tunes on this CD come from the first three collections.


(Research still in progress)

Auchry (William Christie, 1820 Collection)

Auchry House

Auchry House, or the Castle of Auchry, was the home of Joseph Cumine (1711-1785), who founded Cuminestown (5 miles E of Turriff) in 1763 as a weaver's settlement and a place where he could build up a market in the parish for his own produce. Auchry House was demolished but a dovecot and a lodge still survive. The Cumine family had a number of links by marriage with the Garden family of Troup (see below).

Miss Garden Campbell of Troup's Hornpipe (William Christie, 1820 Collection)

The collection was published in the time of Francis Garden Campbell 7th (1793-1826) who married Christina Forbes Cumine of Auchry in 1815. He has no recorded sisters in the genealogy, so Miss Garden Campbell may be one of their two daughters, Fanny and Agnes.

Miss Sophia Campbell (of Saddell's) Reel (Robert Mackintosh, 1796 Collection)

Saddell is on the E side of the Kintyre peninsula, Argyllshire.

Miss Betty Kerr's Reel (Robert Mackintosh, 1796 Collection)

The Banks of the Deveron (William Christie, 1820 Collection)

The River Deveron rises in the West Aberdeenshire

hills, flows through Huntly and Turriff, and out to the sea at Banff Left: View of Banff with the bridge over the River Deveron

John Fleming (1792-1845) (National Galleries, Scotland)

Right: The River Deveron - The bridge at Rothiemay (1898)

Samuel John Lamorna Birch (1869-1955)

The album cover also shows a drawing of the river Deveron by Ruth Wharrier, from a photograph.

Miss Dunbar of Northfield's Hornpipe (William Christie, 1820 Collection)

Sir Archibald Dunbar - 6th Baronet (1772-1847) had a family home at Duffus, nr Elgin. Miss Dunbar of Northfield could be his daughter Jane (b c1800)

Mrs Blair of Blair's Strathspey (Robert Mackintosh, 1796 Collection)

Miss Ann Greig (Isaac Cooper, 1806/7 Collection)

Miss Ann Donaldson (Isaac Cooper, 1806/7 Collection)

My bonny laddie has my heart (Traditional; in William Christie's 1820 Collection)

Miss Jane Campbell of Monzies's Strathspey (Robert Mackintosh, 1796 Collection)

Monzie Castle nr Crieff, Perthshire, was a property of the Campbells until 1869

Sir Archibald Dunbar of Northfield's Strathspey (William Christie, 1820 Collection)

This is probably Sir Archibald Dunbar, 6th Baronet (1772-1847)

Mr F G Campbell of Troup and Glenlyon's Reel (William Christie, 1820 Collection)

The collection was published in the time of Francis Garden Campbell 7th (1793-1826)

Minuetto (Robert Mackintosh, 1783 Collection)

The Braes of Boyndlie (Traditional; in William Christie's 1820 Collection)

Boyndlie, 6m SW of Fraserburgh, was a seat of the Forbes family

Mr Menzies of Culdare's Strathspey (Robert Mackintosh, 1796 Collection)

Culdair is in Glenlyon, Perthshire

Pearlin Peggie's Bonny (or, The Laird of Foveran) (Traditional, in William Christie's 1820 Collection)

Foveran (Fobharan) is a village 11 miles N of Aberdeen. The hereditary baronetcy is held by the Turing family, of which the cryptographer Alan Turing (1912-1954) was a member.Miss Macleod of Dalvey's Favourite (William Christie, 1820 Collection)

Dalvey House, near Forres, was the home of the MacLeod family for 250 years

Miss Jane Douglas's Favourite (Robert Mackintosh, 1796 Collection)

Foveran_Cemetery By Alan Thomson

Mrs Oswald (of Auchincruive's) favourite Reel (Robert Mackintosh, 1793 Collection)

The most likely subject of this tune was born Lucy Johnston of Hilton and married Richard Alexander Oswald (1771-1841) who inherited the house of Auchincruive in 1788. Several tunes were written for her, including Nathaniel Gow's Lament (pub 1800); she was an amateur musician and composer herself, and died of tuberculosis in 1797. Auchincruive is a house 2.5m E of Ayr, built by Richard Oswald (1705-1784), largely to a design by Robert Adam, in 1767. Oswald was involved in the slave trade for many years, later becoming an advisor to the British government, in which capacity he was responsible for negotiating the Treaty of Paris (1783) which ended the American War of Independence.

When will ye wed me with a ring? (Traditional, in William Christie's 1820 Collection)

Mr Gillan's Strathspey & Reel (William Christie, 1820 Collection)

Miss Campbell (of Saddell's) Strathspey (Robert Mackintosh, 1796 Collection)

Saddell Castle

Saddell is on the E side of the Kintyre peninsula, Argyllshire