Grizel Baillie

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Lady
Grizel Baillie

Engraving by G. J. Stodart after a portrait by Maria Verelst at Mellerstain House
Born25 December 1665
Redbraes Castle, Berwickshire
Died6 December 1746 (aged 80)
London
NationalityScottish
Occupationsongwriter
Notable work(s)Were na my heart licht I wad die
 
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Lady
Grizel Baillie

Engraving by G. J. Stodart after a portrait by Maria Verelst at Mellerstain House
Born25 December 1665
Redbraes Castle, Berwickshire
Died6 December 1746 (aged 80)
London
NationalityScottish
Occupationsongwriter
Notable work(s)Were na my heart licht I wad die

Lady Grisell Baillie (25 December 1665 – 6 December 1746) was a Scottish songwriter.

Contents

Biography

The lantern Grizell used when visiting her father in hiding

The eldest daughter of Sir Patrick Hume of Polwarth, afterwards earl of Marchmont, Lady Grisell Baillie was born at Redbraes Castle, Berwickshire. When she was twelve years old, she carried letters from her father to Scottish patriot Robert Baillie of Jerviswood, who was then in prison. Home's friendship for Baillie made him a suspected man, and the king's troops occupied Redbraes Castle. He remained in hiding for some time in a kirkyard, where his daughter kept him supplied with food; but on hearing of the execution of Baillie (1684), he fled to the United Provinces, where his family soon after joined him. They returned to Scotland after the Glorious Revolution.[1]

In 1692, Lady Grisell married George Baillie, son of the patriot. The couple had first met when they were twelve, and supposedly fell in love at that point. What is known for certain is that after Lady Grisell was able to return to Scotland, she turned down the offer to be one of Queen Mary's maids-of-honour, and insisted to her parents on marrying George over a more advantageous match. The couple had two daughters: Grisell, who married Sir Alexander Murray of Stanhope; and Lady Rachel Binning.

Songs

Lady Murray had in her possession a manuscript in prose and verse of her mother's. Some of the songs had been printed in Allan Ramsay's Tea-Table Miscellany. "And werena my heart light I wad dee", the most famous of Lady Grisell's Scots songs, originally appeared in Orpheus Caledonius (1725).[1]

Account book

Lady Grisell Baillie's account books reveal information about social life in Scotland in the eighteenth-century. Her account books were meticulously kept from 1692 to 1746. Her entries begin late into her first year of marriage and finish just before her death, and consist of more than a thousand pages of entries.[2]

Legacy

The Scottish Historical Society published a four hundred page scholarly edition of the accounts in 1911. This edition was edited by Robert Scott-Moncrieff, and focused mainly on the entries from 1692 to 1718, which gives extensive details about the early years of the Baillies' marriage, the births and upbringing of their children and the marriages of their daughters. Historians have cited these accounts to demonstrate cost of goods and to provide evidence of what servants' caloric intake was during this period.

A great deal is known about George and Grisell Baillie's marriage and family thanks to the biography written by their daughter, Lady Grisell Murray of Stanhope. Although the biography was not intended for publication, it appeared in print in 1809 under the title, "Lady Murray's Narrative" in Observations on the Historical Work of the Right Honorable Charles James Fox.

Lady Grisell was also memorialized by Scottish poet Joanna Baillie, who claimed to be a distant relative, in a poem. The poem was first published in Metrical Legends of Exalted Characters in 1821.

Grisell died in London on 6 December 1746.

See also

Notes

  1. ^ a b  Chisholm, Hugh, ed. (1911). "Baillie, Lady Grizel". Encyclopædia Britannica (11th ed.). Cambridge University Press. 
  2. ^ House Book of Lady Grisell Baillie at Archive.org

References

  1. ^ a b  Chisholm, Hugh, ed. (1911). "Baillie, Lady Grizel". Encyclopædia Britannica (11th ed.). Cambridge University Press. 
  2. ^ House Book of Lady Grisell Baillie at Archive.org

Baillie, Grizel Lady. The Household Book of Lady Grisell Baillie, 1692-1733 (Edited with notes and Introduction by Robert Scott- Moncrieff). Edinburgh: Printed at the University Press by T. And A. Constable for the Scottish History Society, 1911.

MacDonald, Jasmine. The Baillies of Mellerstain: The Household Economy in an Eighteenth-Century Elite Household. Masters Thesis, University of Saskatchewan, 2010.