“Upon the 7th June 1646 year
The which day because of the great abuse at penny bridals by the multitude of people convened thereto, for restraining whereof there is an act of the general assembly, 1645, recommending the same to all presbyteries and kirk sessions within the kingdom and also because of the lascivious carriage of men and women by promiscuous dancing and playing of pipers; therefore it is ordained that every Bridegroom or Bride shall only have in all time coming every one of them three or four [Ness] at the most and that they have no pipers nor dancing and whosoever shall fail therein  shall forefeit eery one a dollar for pious uses ..."

“Abuse at Brydals"
Upon the 16th Jan 1648 year
The which day because of the great abuse at bridals of promiscuous dancing of men and women whereupon there doth arise pleas and tumults and many contumacious words and oaths often to the dishonour of and offence of good christians all which wickedness flows chiefly by the multitudes of people called to these bridals and the presence of Pipers; Therefore for removing hereof it is appointed that hereafter the persons married shall have every one of them at the most four or five mess under the pain of five pounds and there shall no pipers be suffered to play under pain of losing their pann [bann], which they shall lay down when they give up their names, and every parishioner that shall be found dancing shall pay for the first fault six shillings and eight pence for the second thirteen shillings and four pence and make their public repentance"

These two records were extracted from the records of the parish of Gargunnoch, Perthshire, by Keith Sanger. They show that despite the vast efforts of the kirk, people  continued to dance at weddings as they always had done, and that pipers were an essential part of the celebrations.. ‘Promiscuous dancing’ at the time meant, as it says here, men and women dancing together, sometimes described as ‘gynecandrical dancing’.
The parish of Gargunnoch contains the location of Ballinton House, where the piper described on page 28/29 appears to have begun life; it also contains within its bounds an area of land marked on early maps as ‘Piperland’; indeed, a house on the site retains that name. We hope to have more information about this location and its piper/s in a future issue.