Welcome to
the forums at bobdunsire.com
bobdunsire.com forums bobdunsire.com forums
You can reset your password by going here. Be sure to try your current email and any email addresses you may have had in the past.
Otherwise please use the Contact Us link at the bottom of the forums. In order to help you, please provide the following info: Your Display Name from the old forum and any possible email addresses you would have used before. Without that info we cannot locate your account.


Go Back   Bob Dunsire Bagpipe Forums > General Discussion > History, Tradition, Heritage
Register FAQ Members List Calendar Search Today's Posts Mark Forums Read

History, Tradition, Heritage As related to the subjects of piping, drumming and pipe bands.

Platinum Sponsors
Reply
 
Thread Tools
Old 11-05-2018, 05:15 AM   #1
CalumII
Holy smoking keyboard!
 
Join Date: Feb 2002
Location: London Town
Posts: 5,189
Default In search of Dr. James Bett

I'm interested to learn more about this chap. He seems to have been a fine player, held in some regard, and we know next to nothing about him. Can we do better?



What we know about James Bett can be written in a few sentences. In 1899, he published a collection of music with extremely up to date settings of many of the great competition tunes.



John MacDonald in a letter in 1940 mentioned in passing that he and MacLennan (which one is not clear) were responsible for the production of the modern version of Bonnie Ann (from John Shone's book of Archibald Campbell's letters).


There is a listing in Pekaar for a Dr Bett in Henderson's Collection (Canon 324, not 325 or 329!), as the arranger of Reel of Tulloch, and a tune in the same book called Dr Bett's Reel, by PM John MacCallum.



Glen has a tune in his book 12 called Dr. Bett's Supper.


I'm not quite clear from Canon's bibliography whether the dedication to Miss Elspeth Campbell mentioned was printed in the book or handwritten in a particular copy, but clearly he was a contemporary.



As I mentioned in Jim's thread about his 1894 photograph, I have a sneaking suspicion that the chap at the left could possibly be Dr Bett, but that is merely surmise and wishful thinking at the moment.
CalumII is offline   Reply With Quote
Gold Sponsor
Old 11-05-2018, 10:38 PM   #2
Roddy Livingstone
Forum Gold Medal
 
Join Date: Aug 2011
Location: United Kingdom
Posts: 607
Default Re: In search of Dr. James Bett

Calum

Im reliably informed that there will be an article published in the Piping Times in the next couple of months about Dr. Bett. The contributor is Jeannie Campbell so Im sure it will have been meticulously researched.

Roddy
Roddy Livingstone is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-06-2018, 02:01 AM   #3
CalumII
Holy smoking keyboard!
 
Join Date: Feb 2002
Location: London Town
Posts: 5,189
Default Re: In search of Dr. James Bett

Well, that's serendipity for you! Thanks Roddy.


I've suspected for a while there's a PhD thesis to be written on the "gentleman piper" and their influence on piping.
CalumII is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-06-2018, 02:54 PM   #4
LloydB
Forum Gold Medal
 
Join Date: Jun 2002
Location: La Crosse WI USA
Posts: 607
Default Re: In search of Dr. James Bett

While awaiting better and more complete information:

1899-Bett- A Collection of Pibrochs, Marches,
Strathspeys, and Reels, consisting of 198 tunes.
Edited and published by James Bett, Strathtay.

The image of a piper on the cover is presumably
of the author.

He was: Bett James, Beechwood,
Strathtay R.S.O (Railway Sub Office)
Perthshire

Someone with a good original copy might be able
to photograph and enhance the facial image.

I've found no reference to him as Dr. -- was his
a medical, religious, academic...vocation?

Additionally, from the
Perthshire Advertiser, Perthshire, Scotland 3 Nov 1915:

Commission for Strathtay Corporal.
LIEUT. F. J. HUNTER BETT, BLACK WATCH.
... son of and Mrs James Bett, of Beechwood,
Strathtay, has been gazetted as a Second- Lieutenant

Related ???
K. G. Bett, Australian Forces d. WW1
(He's Listed as killed) on the Strathtay monument.)
__________________
LloydB
*****
LloydB is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-07-2018, 03:40 AM   #5
CalumII
Holy smoking keyboard!
 
Join Date: Feb 2002
Location: London Town
Posts: 5,189
Default Re: In search of Dr. James Bett

As to the nature of his doctorate, everything I know is in my first post. John MacDonald refers to him as "the late Dr Bett", and the tunes I mentioned refer to a Dr Bett. Of course there's no guarantee these refer to the same person but I wouldn't Bett against it, either (sorry).
CalumII is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-07-2018, 04:52 PM   #6
LloydB
Forum Gold Medal
 
Join Date: Jun 2002
Location: La Crosse WI USA
Posts: 607
Default Re: In search of Dr. James Bett

Quote:
Originally Posted by CalumII View Post
As to the nature of his doctorate, everything I know is in my first post. John MacDonald refers to him as "the late Dr Bett", and the tunes I mentioned refer to a Dr Bett. Of course there's no guarantee these refer to the same person but I wouldn't Bett against it, either (sorry).
Another brief Reference:

From: The Oban Times, 17 October, 1903
Letter from Charles Bannatyne

The Passing of the Piobaireachd

"Men are wanted as judges who not only know the tunes,
who have a theoretical and practical knowledge of the bagpipe,
its intricate system of grace notes and peculiar technique.
A few more judges like the late Dr. Bett, of Coatbridge,
would at once raise the standard and number of players and
piobaireachd competitions."

*******************************
There are also listings for Dr. Bett in the
finishing scores of two Golf competitions.
(He, as a member of the Coatbridge Club.)

Also, several reports of highland games
(1880- thru earlier 1903) mention Dr. Bett
of Coatbridge.

I'm inclined to think: two different persons,
one from Coatbridge, the other from Strathtay.
__________________
LloydB
*****
LloydB is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-08-2018, 05:09 AM   #7
CalumII
Holy smoking keyboard!
 
Join Date: Feb 2002
Location: London Town
Posts: 5,189
Default Re: In search of Dr. James Bett

How interesting. A move from Coatbridge to Strathtay would make sense on several levels, though the dates don't quite match up.


Meanwhile, here's an intriguing glimpse from Google Streetview of what might could be the house pictured:


https://www.google.com/maps/@56.6599...7i13312!8i6656


(compare with http://www.ceolsean.net/content/Bett...Book01%201.pdf )
CalumII is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-10-2018, 10:24 AM   #8
LloydB
Forum Gold Medal
 
Join Date: Jun 2002
Location: La Crosse WI USA
Posts: 607
Default Re: In search of Dr. James Bett

Quote:
Originally Posted by CalumII View Post
How interesting. A move from Coatbridge to Strathtay would make sense on several levels, though the dates don't quite match up. [snipped]
A source provided the death notice for "Dr. Bett",
in The Glasgow Herald 19th September, 1903:

Bett. -- Suddenly, at Inverness, on 16th inst.,
Dr Bett of Coatbridge -- Funeral to-day
(Saturday), from Gowanbrae, Academy Street,
Coatbridge, at 2 p.m., to Old Monkland
Cemetery. -- Friends kindly accept of this in-
vitation.


Apparently Dr. Bettt's gravestone, if it exists,
was not located... so we haven't even his full
name. The forthcoming article should clarify
whether James and Dr. Bett might have been
the same person.
__________________
LloydB
*****
LloydB is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-10-2018, 11:52 AM   #9
CalumII
Holy smoking keyboard!
 
Join Date: Feb 2002
Location: London Town
Posts: 5,189
Default Re: In search of Dr. James Bett

It occurs to me that in those days professionals (doctors, lawyers, etc) did not advertise, which would be one explanation why Dr Bett would publish as plain James Bett. This was the same reason Alf Dwight published under the name James Herriot, and that was a generation later.
CalumII is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-10-2018, 10:42 PM   #10
LloydB
Forum Gold Medal
 
Join Date: Jun 2002
Location: La Crosse WI USA
Posts: 607
Default Re: In search of Dr. James Bett

Quote:
Originally Posted by CalumII View Post
It occurs to me that in those days professionals (doctors, lawyers, etc) did not advertise, which would be one explanation why Dr Bett would publish as plain James Bett. This was the same reason Alf Dwight published under the name James Herriot, and that was a generation later.
Slater's National Commercial Directory for 1903 lists both:
Bett, James StrathTay, (address as in earlier post)
Bett, P.H. >> M.B. CM ..... 22 Academy Street, Coatbridge
******** (Medical)

"Dr. P.H. Bett" was listed as
Captain of the Coatbridge Golf Club
in The Golfing Annual, 1900.
__________________
LloydB
*****

Last edited by LloydB; 11-10-2018 at 10:51 PM.
LloydB is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Thread Tools

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off


Silver Sponsor

All times are GMT -7. The time now is 05:04 AM.