The manuscript in the National Library of Scotland known as the ‘Bowie’ manuscript [NLS MS 21741] marked ‘Geo. Bowie’ on the fly-leaf, dated 1705,  is a collection of fiddle music, which seems to have been compiled by the Edinburgh fiddler John McLachlan. His name also appears associated with many tunes in the Balcarres lute manuscript, and indeed, the two share a number of settings. McLachlan also seems to have been the source for Playford’s ‘Original Scots Tunes’, published in London in 1703. It is clear that he played a major role in the musical life of Edinburgh around 1695-1705. There is also a relationship between McLachlan’s tunes and those in the Henry Atkinson manuscript [1695]1 suggesting that there was a repertoire held in common across the border region at that time, though McLachlan’s settings, as seen here in the second tune, are usually much more extended.
The manuscript contains only three tunes which can confidently be said to be ‘bagpipe’ settings, though they are written out in G. Matt Seattle printed ‘Cutie Clat Her’ in the first editions of The Master Piper, but not in the third edition. The others are printed for the  first time here . ‘Hit her on the bum an[d] she come near me’ is currently the oldest known version of ‘Hoopers and Girders’, Dixon’s ‘Hit her between the legs’, Wm. Vickers’ ‘Rangers Frolick’. The title in the manuscript reads ‘and she come near me’; the intention appears to be ‘an she come near me’, ie. ‘an=if’. This is the tune that Walter Scott’s Wandering Willie said his grandsire Steenie Steenson was ‘famous at’, and Bowie’s version would be more or less contemporary with Steenie himself.2
I have edited bar 7 of strain 3; the original has 4 quavers of G[A as transposed] as notes i-iv and vi-ix - clearly a fiddle ornament. I have suggested a lowland bagpipe equivalent
‘Where Shall Our Goodman Ly’ appears for the first time in a B aeolian mode version in Henry Atkinson’s manuscript. A somewhat different setting, with the title ‘Torpichen’s Rant’ is in Riddell’s collection, and was printed in Common Stock in December 2010.
I have made one or two small amendments to the setting, replacing the low E at the opening note and the low D at strain 3 note i with B, and the last note, low D, in the penultimate bar with G. The final note in Bowie’s MS is G [A as transcribed]; I have suggested E in keeping with the other strains and the lowland/border tradition.


2  Scott, Walter, Redgauntlet, p.126

Hit her upon the bum an[d] she come near me

 Bowie MS tune 1

 Bowie MS tune 2

The tune as it appears in Geoghegan’s Tutor for the Pastoral or New  Bagpipe around 1746. The difference in style is remarkable.  Geoghegan’s setting may be the first  published in this style, though many were to follow. Bowie’s however is an example of an earlier style. But there are probably other ways of interpreting this difference.
Thanks to Ross Anderson for the image:

Wher will our Goodman Ly

 Bowie MS tune 3

wheir must our good man lye [Henry Atkinson’s MS c 1695]

 Bowie MS tune 4

Cutie Clat Her

 Bowie MS tune 5

The original is in G, with the penultimate bar and the first note of the last bar an octave lower. The tune first appears in the Balcarres lute manuscript as ‘Iokie leaped over the dyke’ where it is described as ‘mr maclachland’s way’ [one of many spellings of the name in the manuscript]: Playford’s Original Scots Tunes has the same version titled ‘And When She Came Ben She Bobed’ [which is the usual title of a different tune]. It seems likely that McLachlan was the source of all these versions. The heavy syncopation is typical of McLachlan’s setiings, revealing a rather different kind of invention to that of Wm Dixon’s version.