The title of
Duke of Montrose (named after Montrose,
Angus) was created twice in the peerage of
Scotland, firstly in 1488 for David Lindsay, 5th
Earl of Crawford. It was forfeited and then
returned, but only for the period of the
holder's lifetime. Thus, it was not inherited.
The title was bestowed anew in 1707, again in
the peerage of Scotland, on the fourth Marquess
of Montrose, and has since been in the Graham
family. The title is also tied as the
chieftainship of Clan Graham.
The family seat
is Auchmar, near Loch Lomond. It was previously
Buchanan Castle, Stirlingshire. The wife of the
Duke was titled the Duchess of Montrose.
The tune comes
from a collection compiled in 1939 by P/M
William Fergusson. By then, the last Duke and
Dowager Duchess of Montrose (Lady Caroline
Montagu, 1790–1847) were dead.
wrote the majority of his tunes during WWI, a
more likely candidate for the subject of the
tune is a paddle steamer named the Duchess of
was a paddle steamer launched in 1902 and
operated by the Caledonian Steam Packet Company
as a River Clyde excursion steamer. She saw
active service during the First World War after
being requisitioned by the Admiralty and
converted into a minesweeper.
Duchess of Montrose
during the First World War (Picture taken
sometime between February and May 1915)
On the morning
of Sunday 18 March 1917, Duchess of Montrose
left Dunkirk harbor and at 9am began sweeping
close to the Gravelines Buoy. She recovered five
mines (from Barrage 248 laid by the U-Boat
UB-12) before stopping for low water.
Around an hour after she resumed sweeping,
Duchess of Montrose hit a mine amidships,
broke in two and sank in less than a minute.
the crew of Duchess of Montrose are
reported to have been rescued, but twelve men
were lost in the sinking.