There are very few descriptions claiming to be of bagpipes in the Scottish Lowlands from the 18th century; perhaps the most remarkable is that contained in the mock heroic poem entitled “The Maid Of Gallowshiels" which appears in the manuscript collection of poems by William Hamilton of Bangour, written in 1726, when the poet was 22.1
The poem tells of a contest of musical skill between the piper and a fiddler for the love of the Maid of Gallowshiels. The piper proclaims his origins from Colin of Gallowshiels who bore the identical bagpipe at the Battle of Harlaw, with which he was resolved to maintain the glory of the piper race. There is also the description of the making of the bagpipe:

Old Glenderule, in Gallowshiels long famed,
For works of skill, the perfect wonder framed;
His shining steel first loped with dextrous toil,
From a tall spreading elm, the branching spoil;
The clouded wood he next divides in twain,
And smoothes them equal to an oval plane ;
Six leather folds in still connected rows ,
To either plank conformed, the sides compose ;
The wimble perforates the base with care ,
A destined passage opining to the air;
But once inclosed within the narrow space,
The opposing valve forbids the backward race;
Fast to the swelling bag, two reeds combined,
Receive the blasts of the melodious wind;
Round from the turning loom, with skill devine ,
Embossed, the joints in silver circles shine;
In secret prison pent, the accents lie,
Until his arm the lab'ring artist ply;
Then, duteous, they forsake their dark abode,
Fellows no more , and wing a separate road;
These upwards thro' the narrow channel glide,
In ways unseen, a solemn murmuring tide;
Those through the narrow path their journey bend,
Of sweeter sort, to the earth descend;
O'er the small pipe, at equal distance, lie,
Eight shining holes, o' er which his fingers fly ;
From side to side the aerial spirit bounds,
The flying fingers form the passing sounds;
That issuing gently through the polished door,
Mix with the common air and charm no more.
This gift long since old Glendarule consigned,
The lasting witness of his friendly mind,
To the famed author of the Piper’s line:
Himself appears high in the sculptur’d wood,
As bold in the Harlean field he stood,
Serene, amidst the the dangers of the day,
Full in the van you might behold him play;
There in the humbler wood of peace he stands,
Before him pleased are seen the dancing bands;
In many rounds the flying ring the blend,
So freely framed they seem from earth t’ascend.
Four gilded straps the artist’s arm surround,
Two knit by clasps and two by buckles bound
His artful elbow; now the youth essays
A tuneful squeeze to wake the sleeping lays.

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5 dewitt 16dce

The poem was apparently intended to extend to twelve books, though only two were drafted. The second book, quoted here, was left unfinished, but headed by an ‘Argument’ outlining the proposed content:
“The Piper takes his place to play. The several songs are particularly described. The Fiddler is entirely confounded with the dexterity of his antagonist and not being able to perform anything, gives it up. The Maid of Gallowshiels, however, gives him the preference, and retires with him. The Piper’s lamentation on his misfortune.”Whatever we may think of the poem’s qualities, it is clear that the pipes the poet describes are bellows-blown and have a single drone; unlikely as this seems it closely resembles those being played in the contemporary painting now in the Museum of Scotland titled ‘Lowland Dance’, ‘after De Witt, early 18th century’. The painting is very dark and it is difficult to discern the details, I previously thought that there was a single drone over the players left shoulder, on closer inspection there clearly isn’t; however there may be a downward pointing drone beside the chanter, which otherwise appears rather disjointed, and may even end in a bell, as the drone does.