Dictionary of National Biography, 1885-1900/Marshall, William (1748-1833)

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MARSHALL, WILLIAM (1748–1833), violinist and composer, was born at Fochabers, Morayshire, on 27 Dec. 1748. For several years he occupied the position of house-steward and butler to the Duke of Richmond and Gordon, who in 1790 appointed him factor on his estate. From that year till 1817 Marshall lived on a farm of his own at Keithmore. He died at Newfield on 29 May 1833.

He published ‘Marshall's Scottish Airs, Melodies, Strathspeys, Reels, &c., for Pianoforte, Violin, and Violoncello,’ Edinburgh, 1821, second edition 1822; and a collection of strathspeys and reels, with a bass for violoncello or harpsichord. A second collection of Scottish melodies, reels, and strathspeys for pianoforte, violin, and violoncello was published posthumously in 1847. Several of his songs, of which ‘Of a' the airts the wind can blaw’ was the most popular, were Scottish dance tunes adapted to poetry. He is said to have ‘played his airs to the delight of all who ever heard him.’

[Brown's Biog. Dict. of Music, p. 415; Irving's Book of Scotsmen, p. 336; Brit. Mus. Cat. of Music.]

R. F. S.