Mrs Gordon Of Knockespoch
A reel by William Marshall, from his 2nd collection of "Scottish Melodies", published posthumously in 1845.
Dedicated to yet another member of the Gordon clan (there are several tunes dedicated to Gordons, some submitted here), this one would not likely be too closely related to the Duke of Gordon who Marshall worked for.
Knockespoch, or Knockespock (Cnoc Easbuig - Hill of the Bishop - once the residence of the Bishops of Aberdeen) is in the Correen Hills, near the village of Clatt in Aberdeenshire. The house and lands can be seen quite dramatically from the Suie Hill which looks down over Clatt. All the lands through Tullynessle, Terpersie and Knockespock were owned by the Gordons, who were a "cadet branch" of the Gordons of Huntly.
There was a "Mrs Gordon" (Jean, née Leith) who, legend has it, saved her husband (George Gordon 8th Laird, who wasn’t a well man) from the "burning mansion of Knockespock", pulling him out of the building, and then returning "at the greatest danger to herself for plaids and other coverings to wrap him from the cold" and this inspired a poem by William Thom, of Inverurie (Knockespock’s Lady). However, this took place before Marshall’s time (around 1705, it is said). It would more likely have been Hannah, née Meredith (an American) who was the wife of Harry, the 10th Laird (son of George and Jean), or more probably Ann, née Carnegie, wife of Harry, 11th Laird. The house had been rebuilt after the fire. I pass by it frequently, and it would be interesting to know whether Marshall ever dropped by there for a "funcie piece" or two.
Anyway, all this might be of interest to some. An interesting tune too.
Second setting is as played by Howie MacDonald on Live! West Mabou Hall.