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Lady D'Oyley's Salute - Part I


Lady D'Oyly, whose maiden name was Elizabeth (Eliza) Ross, was a niece of James MacLeod, XIIth Laird of Raasay. Orphaned young, she was raised by MacLeod. He sent her to Edinburgh to study music where she became an accomplished musician. She returned to Raasay where she transcribed several piobaireachd into pianoforte notation as she heard them played by John MacKay, piper to the Laird of Raasay and father of Angus MacKay.


It is a Raasay tradition that Eliza taught young Angus MacKay music theory. He learned so well that by the age of 12 he won a Highland Society prize for transcribing music “scientifically”, as it was put at that time. It is fair to suggest that, indirectly, Lady D'Oyly had a significant impact on the survival of Cèol Mor as we know it today.


While in India, Eliza married Sir Charles D'Oyly who was in the service of the East India Company. During her stay in India, Lady D’Oyly had an elegant set of pipes made for John MacKay.


Lady D'Oyley's Salute – Part II

Lady Doyle was a daughter of Major Ross, who married Isabella, sister of the late James MacLeod, Esq. of Rasay. Her father and mother having died when she was in infancy, the former in the East Indies, and the latter on her passage to Scotland, she was left under the guardianship of her uncle, who brought her up in his own family at Rasay.


She became a great favorite with all who knew her, being imbued with the finest feelings of the Highlander. Her musical taste was remarkably good, and she was so fond of Piobaireachd, that she acquired many of the longest pieces from the performance of the family Piper, and was accustomed to play them on the piano with much effect.


She accompanied her cousin, the Marchioness of Hastings, to the East Indies, where she married the Hon. Sir Charles Doyle. Here she did not forget MacKay, the Piper of Rasay, but had an elegant stand of Pipes, of peculiar native workmanship, prepared, which she presented to him, and which will be handed down as an heir-loom in the family.


This Piobaireachd was composed in gratitude for her Ladyship's liberality.


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