The period at which
St. Cecilia concerts would be in the zenith of their success was
just about the time that Robert Burns paid his first visit to
Edinburgh upon the invitation of that genial man of letters, the
blind Dr. Blacklock, whose kindly letter to Burns on the eve of his
sailing for Jamaica was not only the first streak of light upon poor
Burnss horizon, but, all unconscious as it was to Blacklock, the
means also of preserving from premature extinction the brightest
light that ever glowed in the Temple of the Scottish Muses.
It was in the year 1786, upon November the 28th, in the evening,
that that bright particular star housed itself in Mrs. Carfraes
lodgings in Baxters Close on the north side of the Lawnmarket, on
the ground-floor of a house whose windows looked into Lady Stairs
Close. We like to be precise in such matters, for it was from this
particular spot on the earths surface that that lightfired by the
splendid enthusiasm iki of the warmth of unsophisticated naturewent
nightly forth to carry its healthy brilliance into the more
artificially illuminated circle of a society which was one of the
most cultured, critical, and philosophical to be found at that time
in any European capital.
From the Anchor Close and Creechs Land went forth much of the
best in literature and a very large proportion of all British
publication, while the Old Edinburgh drawing-rooms, filled with
cultured beauties, echoed to learned repartee and elegant wit.
Literary and academic as she was, Edinburgh was yet to experience
the honour of being made as famous in the wider world of letters as
ever Athens, Alexandria, or Paris had been; for was she not maturing
Scott that little lame boy of fourteen or fifteen, who was to meet
Burns, that famous once, at Professor Fergusons in Old Sciennes
House, and to receive from those wonderful eyes that smile of thanks
to be cherished for evermore?
From Mr. Martin Hardies picture, Burns reciting his Poem, A
Winters Night, at the Duchess of Gordons, we get an excellent
idea of one of these literary gatherings of which we are speaking.
The artist has represented the scene as taking place in the
beautiful wall-painted drawing-room of Lord Glenlees town house
(then 17 Brown Square, now 31 Chambers Street), although the
probability is it occurred in the
Gordon mansion on the Castle Hill. The group is quite typical, for
there are present:
Jane, fourth Duchess of Gordon (the hostess).
The Dowager-Countess of Glencairn, and her son the Earl of Glencairn.
Lord Monboddo (James Burnet)and Miss Elizabeth Burnet, his second
Miss Margaret Chalmers (Peggy).
The Rev. Dr. Blacklock.
Henry Mackenzie (The Man of Feeling).
The Rev. Dr. Hugh Blair, F.R.S.E.
Professor Dugald Stewart (Moral Philosophy).
The lion. Henry Erskine (third son of the tenth Earl of Buchan)
Old Professor Adam Ferguson.
William Tytler, William Creech (Provost and publisher), and
Alexander Nasmyth the painter.
About most of them Burns had something characteristic to say.
The owner of the house, 17 Brown Square, was made Lord President in
1788, and in 1789, the year of his death, was created a baronet, Sir
Thomas Miller of Glenlee. His wife, formerly Miss Chalmers of
Pittencrief, was one of the Edinburgh beauties to be seen at the St.
We shall begin with Miss Burnet of Monboddo, who must have been one
of the most lovely girls of her own or any other time, Burns,
shortly after his arrival in the city, and writing in that dark old
Lawnmarket house, recognises her as one of the features of Edina
itself, for he says in the Address to Edinburgh
Thy daughters bright thy walks
Gay as the gilded summer sky,
Sweet as the dewy milk-white thom,
Dear as the raptured thrill of joy!
Fair Burnet strikes th adoring eye,
Heavens beauties on my fancy shine;
I see the Sire of Love on high,
And own his work indeed divine
No small honour to
have been ranked by Scotlands greatest poet as one of the features
of beauty in a scene where all is beauty.
We make no apology whatever for considering that we shall best
describe the St. Cecilia audience by describing only its ladies, or
rather allowing Burns, so sympathetic an authority, to do so, seeing
that they it is who constitute society,' the gentlemen being merely
from an aesthetic point of viewthe background to show up the tones
and outlines of the picture.
The position of the gentlemen reminds us of a bridegroom on his
wedding-daya person so completely lost sight of that he might be
not unjustly defined as the indispensable but unimportant condition
without which the ceremony could not be legalised, or, if you will,
a mere accessory before the fact.
It is not that Burns has nothing to say upon the gentlemen: he has.
There are tw o poems on Glen-cairn, an address to William Tytler of
Woodhouselee, an exquisite piece of satire on Creech, and there are
lines on Harry Erskine; but we shall rather hear him on a themeThe
Ladiesa theme the celebration of which cost him much ink and too
often a sacrifice of his normal degree of both physical and mental
It being understood that most of the men of f light and leading of
their day patronised these concerts, we shall let Burns continue his
praise of 1 the heavenly Miss Burnet, to whom there has not been
anything nearly like ... in all the combinations of beauty, grace,
and goodness (which) the Great Creator has formed since Miltons Eve
on the first day of her existence. On hearing of her death, June
17th, 1790, Burns wrote one of the tenderest and intensest of ail
his elegies: it is all beautiful; we can quote but one stanza:
We saw thee shine in youth and
And virtue's light, that beams beyond the spheres;
But like the sun eclipsed at morning-tide,
Thou eftst us darkling in a world of tears.
creature did not long grace Edinas streets, for Old Scotlands wind
proving, in her case, much more unkind than man, she went out for
milder air to the Braid Farm on the southern uplands of that name,
and died there of the fell consumption at the early age of
Old Mrs. Cockburn, herself a poetess, of The Flowers of the Forest
fame, thus wrote of Burnss visit:He has seen (the) Duchess of
Gordon and all the gay world. His favourite for looks and manners is
Bess Burnetno bad judge indeed. This was the same old lady who had
been a friend of David Hume, and the same who was read to by young
Walter Scott, aged seven yearsa little boy in his fathers house at
25 George Square. It is curious that she and Dr. Blacklock lie
buried within a few yards of each other in the almost totally
forgotten little bury-ing-ground of the chapel-of-easc of St.
Cuthberts in Buccleuch Street.
The Duchess of Gordon was born Jane Maxwell, second daughter of Sir
James and Lady Maxwell of Monreith, Wigtonshire, and she and her
younger sister Eglantine (or Eglintoune, for her name was later on
changed to Eglintoune owing to her resemblance to the handsome
Susannah, Countess of Eglinton) were at this time two of the most
beautiful girls in all Scotland.
The family resided in Hyndfords Close (on the south side of the
High Street), and the ease of the girls manners is graphically
described by Robert Chambers in his Traditions of Edinburgh, in
which occurs the probably not apocryphal story of her future Grace
of Gordon riding on a sows back in the manner, we are to
understand, that is advocated by Lady Florence Dixie. This sow is as
integral a part of Old Edinburgh legend as is Balaams ass in its
own place. Jane became Duchess of Gordon in 1767; her elder sister,
Catherine, Mrs. Fordyce of Aytoun; while the youngest, Eglantine,
ere long found herself Lady Wallace of Craigie, whose repartee,
grace, abandon, bonne camaraderie, have almost passed into a proverb
in Edinburgh annals. These three Graces when in Edinburgh for the
season were fervent in their patronage of the St. Cecilia
This Duchess of Gordon, there can be no doubt whatever, was one of
the most brilliant, versatile, and socially charming women in the
gay throng over which she reigned. The late Professor Blackie in his
short Life of Bur ns^ thus speaks of her:The Duchess of Gordon,
who figures ... as an avowed patroness of the poet, seems to have
been a person peculiarly fitted for performing that function; . . .
with her good sense and her light heart she was ready to take the
lead in all the gaieties of the season.
Burns has not indeed left a poem dedicated to this lady, but he has
given us three very pretty stanzas in praise of her Graces northern
home, Castle Gordon. In bis Journal, under date September 7th,
1787, we find the following:. . . The Duke makes me happier than
ever great man didnoble, princely, yet mild, condescending and
affable gay and kind; the Duchess charming, witty, and sensible,God
bless them. It was meet that a gay Gordon should marry a still
Before passing on to allow Burns to describe the ladies in the
audience of St. Cecilias, we must nute his tribute to a nobleman to
whom he was probably more indebted than to any other person for his
kind reception in EdinburghJames Cunningham, fourteenth Earl of
Glencairn, himself also an Ayrshire man. Burns has two poemsone,
Verses intended to be written below a noble Earls Picture, which
opens with Whose is that noble, dauntless brow; the other a
peculiarly sad Lament for James, Earl of Glencairn, which closes
with the well known lines :
The mother may forget the child
That smiles sac sweetly on her knee,
But Ill remembei thee, Glencairn,
And a that, thou hast done for me.
The noble patron was
repaid in noble verse. Lord Glencairn died on 27th January 1791, and
Burns attended his funeral at Kilmaurs. He came of a race long
ennobled and famous in Scottish history, and was succeeded by his
only brother, the Rev. and Hon. John Cunningham, as fifteenth Earl,
with whom the title became extinct in 1796, the year Burns died.
Another beauty who attended these old concerts was Margaret Chalmers
(Peggy) who became Mrs. Lewis Hay, a cousin of Charlotte Hamilton
(afterwards Mrs. Adair), a sister of Gavin Hamilton of Mauchline, a
very early friend of Burns. While at Harvieston in Clackmannan,
Burns met both these girls, and in praise of Charlotte wrote the
song, The Banks of the Devon, while Peggy Chalmers was the
subject of two poems, one of which ends with the intense couplet:
But tearing Peggy from my soul
Must be a stronger death;
the other opening
My Peggys face, my Peggys form,
The frost of hermit age might warm;
My Peggys worth, my Peggys mind,
Might charm the first of human kind.
It is interesting to
know that, as a matter of fact, the last poem he wrote (dated 12th
July 1796he died on the 21 st) was to the Fairest Maid on Devon
Banks and although there were two Maids who might lay claim to the
superlative, there is indirect evidence to show that it was to the
lively Peggy rather than to the stately Charlotte that the poets
painfully sensitive soul was turning in its last hours on earth.
As a widow, Mrs. Hay is reported to have told the poet Campbell
during his Edinburgh visit that Burns made her a serious proposal of
marriage. Those best versed in the extensive subject of Burnss
amourology believe that, although he admired the divine Burnet,
praised the beautiful Charlotte Hamilton, it was Peggy Chalmers whom
he really loved.
In a poem of sixteen lines we have the pronoun of appropriation used
six times, thus:
'Face Form Worth Mind
My Peggy's Angel air, Heart
and the description
closes with immortal charms. We are thus justified in believing
that Margaret Chalmers had a very narrow escape from being Mrs.
Another well-known lady of the St. Cecilia concerts was Euphemia
Murray of Lintrose, known as the Flower of Strathmore, who
married David Smythe of Methven a Lord of Session, Lord Methven.1
Of her Burns says that she was
Blythe by the banks of Earn,
And blythe in Glenturrit glen,
which is quite
possible, seeing that she was a cousin of Sir William Murray of
Ochtertyrea lovely place 1 Both buried in the Canongate Churchyard.
covered with exquisite woods, lying between the River Earn and Loch
Turrit. Burns further declares that
Phemie was a bonnier lass
Than Braes o Yarrow ever saw.
Her looks were like a flower in May,
Her smile was like a simmer morn,
She tripped by the banks o' Earn
As lights a bird upon a thorn.
Mrs. Smythe, when an
old lady, told a friend of hers that she remembered Burns reciting
the poem Upon scaring Wild-fowl" one evening after supper, and that
he pronounced the concluding lines with great energy. In the
Thomson letter (No. xviii.), dated October 19th, 1794, Burns says of
the song, Andrew and his cutty gun:The song to which this is set
in the Museum is mine, and was composed on Miss Euphemia Murray of
Lintrose, commonly and deservedly called The Flower of Strathmore.
Another lady almost certainly present at the concerts in the Niddry
Wynd was Mrs. Riddell of Woodley Park, Dumfries. To her Burns writes
the Compl; mentary Epigram on Maria Riddell which has these
But thee, whom all my soul adores,
Een flattery cannot flatter;
Maria, all my thought and dream,
Inspires my voral shell:
The more I praise my lovely theme,
The more the truth I tell.
During Mr. Riddells
absence in the West Indies in 1794, Burns and Mrs. Riddell saw a
good deal of each other; but the friendship came to a sudden and
violent end in consequence of a drunken practical ioke perpetrated
upon the ladies of the party at Woodley Park after a dinner given on
Mr. Riddells return to the head of his house and the foot of his
table. The men, who were all more or less intoxicated, seem to have
agreed to invade the drawing-room in a body, and re-enact, on a
small scale, the classic scene of the Rape of the Sabines. Uurns,
on entering the drawing-room, staggered up to his hostess and kissed
her with all the sonorous energy of a bucolic lovera piece of
realism which was too much for Mr. Riddells philistinism, and far
too public a rehearsal of what might conceivably have been privately
permitted a year previously. It is almost certainly to Mrs. Riddell
that Burns writes the Remorseful Apology which concludes:
Mine was th insensate frenzied
Ah! why should I such scenes outlive?
Scenes so abhorrent to my heart!
Tis thine to pity and forgive-
which, but only after
a considerable time, she did.
Still another lady is known to have been at the St. Ceciiia
concertsanother of that fair band of whom old George Thomson wrote:
w hose lovely faces at the concerts gave us the sweetest zest for
music,Mrs. Richard A. Oswald of Auchencruive in Ayrshire, born
Lucy Johnston of Hilton, East Lothian. It is said that Burns wrote
in her honour the song whose chorus is
O, wat ye wha's in yon town,
Ye see the eenin sun upon?
The dearest maids in yon town
That eenin sun is shining on;
but thereby hangs a tale.
Since 1792 Burns had
been in correspondence with the now famous George Thomson, then the
head clerk in the office of the Board of Manufactures in Edinburgh,
who was devoting all his leisure to a life-work, the collecting,
editing, and publishing of as complete a set as possible of the
songs of Scotland set to music.
On 7th February 1795, Burns wrote to him from Ecclefechan thus:Do
you know an airI am sure you must know it We 11 gang nae mair to
yon toun ? I think in slowish time it would make an excellent
song. I am highly delighted with it. and if you should think it
worthy of your attention, I have a fair dame in my eye to whom I
would consecrate it.
Try it with this doggrel, till I give you a better:
O sweet to me yon spreading tree,
Where Jeanie wanders aft her lane,
The hawthorn flower that shades her bower,
O when shall I behold again!
Burns, a little
later, wrote a more elaborate version under the title, O, wat ye
whas in yon town, in which Jeanie again figures freely. This
Jeanie was probably Jean Lorimer, a farmers daughter and the
Chloris and Lassie wi the lint-white locks of other songs.
Desiring to compliment Mrs. Oswald of Auchencruive at the time she
was residing at Dumfries, Burns merely changed the Jeanie of this
song to 1 Lucy, and, hey presto !; twas done. If the Wandering
Minstrel in the Mikado had patriotic, so with equa' truth had
Burns complimentary, ballads cut and dried. C. K. Sharpe
attributes the music of the song, O Mary! dear departed shade, to
Miss Johnston of Hilton, and adds that she gave double charms to a
minuet and dignified a country dance. To this same lady was
dedicated a collection of no less than sixty-eight new reels and
strathspeys compiled and composed by Robert M'Intosh (1793).
We have very little doubt that another famouswe had almost said
notoriousbeauty of this time, Miss Burns (alias Matthews), would,
during the course of the winter, put in an appearance at the
concerts, for one of the few things we can gather about her is that
she was always dressed in the latest fashion. This lady, who had
come to Edinburgh from Durham, caused quite a sensation about the
time the poet Burns was in Edinburgh, her youth1 and beautit'ul
figure attracting notice wherever she went.
Now it happened that the windows of her rooms in Rose Street were
overlooked by those of Lord Swintons house, and in course of time
her jealous neighbours began to talk, and before many days were
past Miss Burns found herself in the presence of no less a man than
the well-known publisher, William Creech, at that time one of the
magistrates of Edinburgh.
Creech, as the stern censor of his citys morals, sentenced the
young lady to be banished furth of the city under penalty, if she
returned, of six months residence in the House of Correction.
Miss Burnss thoughts did not, however, naturally tend towards
correction, whether in the form of a house or other wise, and so
she entered an appeal in the Court of Session against this sentence,
and not without effect, fortell it not in Gaththe great Creechs
judgment was overturned. Creech was literally furious: Edinburgh had
not had for long so delightful a bit of scandal.
The newspapers now made fun freely at Creechs expense, publishing
bogus announcements of marriage between the literary celebrity of
Edinburgh and Miss Burns of Rose Street in that City. Miss Burns,
in short, became the most talked-about person of the 1 Twenty
years.-hour. It is this Miss Burns who is the subject of Robert
Burnss lines, Written underneath the picture of the celebrated
'Cease, ye prudes, your envious
Lovely Burns has charmsconfess;
True it is, she had one failing,
Had a woman ever less?
The poor girl appears
to have been attacked not long after by that fatal malady
euphemistically called the decline, for she died in 1792 in the
little village of Rosslyn, where she had gone for purer air: if
all tales be true, she needed more than purer air to cure her. A
stone in the churchyard of the little Pentland hamlet marks the spot
where death claimed what was his of her who, after all, was only too
Continuing our list of patronesses of these famous old concerts, we
may be safe in including Caroline Oliphant, the Baroness Nairne, for
she was born in 1766 and died in 1845. About the heyday of these
concerts, and at the time of Burnss visit, she would be just
twenty-one ; but it is in the highest degree probable that this
gifted, poetical, aristocratic lady would, while in Edinburgh for
the winter, attend one or two of the concerts in the Niddry Wyndthe
only place at that time in the metropolis where the Scottish songs
couid be heard sung by the best professional voices of the day. It
is inconceivable that the future authoress of The Auld Iloose,
The Rowan Tree, Caller Herrin, The Hundred Pipers, The Laird
o Cockpen, Will ye no come back again, and The Land o the
Leal, would not hear, if she possibly could, the finest renderings
of the older songs of her native land, to whose already rich stores
she was to add such treasures.
It amounts to a moral certainty that she who penned that exquisite
mixture of humour, pathos, and satire in rattling rhyme, Caller
Herrin, must have listened below the venerable cupola of St.
Cecilias to the pathetic Scottish songs of the earlier epoch, for
in Caroline Oliphant burned an intense love for Scotland, its
scenery, its history, its dynastythat same love which burned so
brightly in Allan Ramsay, her father, not indeed according to the
flesh, but after the inward law of the spirit of poetry.
We are not yet done with the belles who graced the Temple of the
Muses in Niddrys Wynd, for there is still to be mentioned Miss
Ferrier, a noted Edinburgh beauty. She was the eldest of the nine
daughters of James Ferrier, W.S. (one of Scotts brethren at the
table of the Clerks of Session), who lived for many years at 25
George Street, a few doors west of St. Andrews Church. Susan
Edmonston Ferrier, the authoress of Marriage, Destiny, and
Inheritance, was a younger sister of the Miss Ferrier to whom Burns
wrote the verses beginning
Nae heathen name shall I prefix
Frae Pindus or Parnassus;
Auld Reekie dings them a' to sticks,
For rhyme-inspiring lasses.
Burns had been, he
tells us in the poem, going moodily along George Street in a sea-fog
or haar, when suddenly, on turning a corner, he nearly ran into
Miss Ferrier, the fair sight of whom amid such gloom, both outside
and inside, inspired him to write the verses commencing as above
quoted, which conclude thus:
Ye turned a neukI saw your ee
She took the wing like fire!
(alluding to his own
melancholy). Miss Ferrier became the wife of General Graham of
Continuing our list, we note another lady, a friend of Burns, a Miss
Anne Stewart (daughter of John Stewart, Esq. of East Craig), who
became the wife of an Edinburgh surgeon, Forrest Dewar. She is the
Anna of two poems, in one of which occurs the verse :
Sweet Anna hath an aira grace
Divine, majestic, touching;
She talks, she
charms, but who can trace The process of bewitching?
That Mrs. MacLehoseBurnss Clarinda11attended these concerts we
have no direct evidence; but it is not at all 'unlikely that the
vivacious and sentimental young widowwidow in effect, for her
worthless husband had deserted herwould once or twice during the
winter have procured a ticket for the concert, and taken a chair
from the Potterrow, down the College Wynd, and along the Cowgate to
the old hall, to bathe, as Holmes would put it, her poetical soul in
the sea of sweet sounds created for her in that temple dedicated to
The afore-mentioned Miss Ferrier had a rival known as Miss Penzie
M'Donald, whose baptismal name was Penelope, and whose father was
Ronald MI)onald of Clanronald. Except in Miss Ferriers eyes, this
lady was acknowledged to be celebrated for the handsomeness of her
figure and for her many accomplishments. William Hamilton of Wishaw
concurred so heartily in the prevailing opinion, that in March 1789
Miss Penzie became Mrs. Hamilton, and, ten years later, Lady
Belhaven and Stenton, when the House of Lords had admitted her
husbands claim to that then lapsed peerage.
Miss Isabella Macleod, of the famous family of Macleod of Raasay,
must have been another patroness of the only concert in Edinburgh at
the time Burns wrote the poem, On the Death of John Macleod, Esq.,
brother to a young lady a particular friend of the author. Alluding
to her bereavement and to the scenes beyond the tomb, whither
brother John had departed, Burns says:
Virtues blossoms there shall blow
And fear no withering blast;
There Isabellas spotless worth
Shall happy be at last.
This lady was doomed
to know much family sorrow. Her elder sister Flora, married only in
1779 to Col. Mure-Campbell of Rowallan, died in 1780 at the birth of
her daughter. Miss Macleods brother-in-law, the Earl of Loudon,
shot himself; her father died at the comparatively early age of
sixty-nine; and thus Burns, remembering all these her recent griefs,
composed the song, Raving winds around her blowinga true lament
in words set to a true lament in music.
The list of ladies may close with Miss Betsy Home, married to
Captain Brown; Miss Cleghorn ; Miss Jessie Chalmers, who became Mrs.
Pringle of Ilaining, wife of Lord Haining; Miss Hay of Hayston,
later Lady Forbes of Pitsligo; Miss Jardine, later Mrs.
Home-Drummond of Blairdrummond; Miss Kinloch of Gil-merton, who
married Sir Foster Cunlifife of Acton, Bart.; and Miss Halket of
Pitferran, who became the wife of. Count Lally-Tolendal.
We must depart from ouv intention to make almost no mention of the
male section of the audience in favour of two visitors, Sir Walter
Scott and the Due de Berri, whose fame and rank respectively may
warrant their being admitted into the charmed circle of the dearer
We refuse for one moment to doubt that Walter Scott, as a young man
in Edinburgh, attended during the winter season some of the concerts
in St. Cecilias Hall. Apart altogether from his own interest in
music as evinced by his having taken singing-lessons from Alexander
Campbell of the Canongate, by his having been one of the directors
of the Festival of 1815, and by his liking nothing better at
Abbotsford than to listen to his daughters playingyoung Walter
Scott moved in the best Edinburgh society, and the best Edinburgh
society moved, one may say, in a body once a week to St. Cecilias.
In 1795 Walter Scott had already been acquainted with Miss Stuart of
Belches for five years; and as all readers of Lockharts Life of
Scott will recollect, they both attended the Edinburgh assemblies.
Now we know for a certainty that the same set that attended the
assemblies attended the St. Cecilia concerts, for there are frequent
announcements in the Courant that the hour of such-and-such a
concert would be so-and-so, in order to allow ladies and gentlemen
to attend the assembly afterwards. What more likely than that young
Scott would have ample opportunities for seeing, if not speaking to,
Miss Stuart during those intervals in the concert when the audience
were walking about in the area kept clear for that purpose?
Lord Balcarres. Walter Scott of Harden, a relative, and Sir William
Forbes of Pitsligo, father of Scotts life-long friend, were all
members of the Musical Society from 1790 onwards: as the guest of
any of these families young Scott could have been in St. Cecilias
even had there been no lady-love as an additional attraction there
at all. But possibly the strongest consideration of all to support
this most interesting suggestion is the fact that Scotts father,
Walter Scott, W.S., as his son himself tells us in that charming
autobiography, actually played in the orchestra in St. Cecilias.
Robert was the only one of our family who could sing, though my
father was musical, and a performer on the violoncello at the
gentlemens concerts (r826). The italics are Scotts own. Can we
dare to doubt that, even had young Walter no musical taste at all,
he would, either from curiosity or because other members of the
family were going to the concert, be certain to hear and to see his
father in the role of celloist ? But Alexander Campbell, his
singing-master, never would allow that Walter Scott had a bad ear
for music* and contended that if he did not understand music it was
only because he did not choose to learn it. Once more, amongst the
various friends of whom Scott in the autobiography gives us a list,
there occurs one name with considerable musical interest attaching
to itthe Honourable Thomas Douglas, now Earl of Selkirk. Scott is
writing in 1808: it was the father, therefore, of Scotts friend
the Earl of Selkirk who entertained Burnsat whose house Urbani was
a constant visitor, and used to get up little concerts with the
daughters of the house.
The Earl of Selkirk who entertained Burns and Urbani was a member of
the Musical Society, as may be seen by turning to Appendix III.
It is highly probable that his son, Scotts friend, on succeeding to
the title would be elected to fill his fathers place; at all
events, one of Scotts most intimate acquaintances was a member of a
musical family the head of which was a subscriber to the St. Cecilia
We have alluded to the fact that distinguished strangers were always
welcomed at the concerts of the Musical Society.
Mr. Vogel must ha\e been a proud man when he could send the
following to the Edinburgh Evening Courant of March 29th, 1798 :
Under Lhe patronage-of His Royal. Highness the Due de Berri, who
has given authority to say that he will honour the concert with his
presence. Mr. Vogel takes the liberty of informing the nobility and
others that his concert is fixed for Tuesday the 10th April in St.
The Due de Berri, bom 1778, died 1820, was the younger son of
Charles X. of France, at this time an exile at Holyrood as the Comte
dArtois. In 1831 Charles X. returned to his old apartments at
Holyrood, being accompanied by the Duchesse de Berri and her son
Henri, Due de Bordeaux.