Scottish Country Dancing Dictionary

Ecclefechan Feline

Scottish Country Dance Instruction

ECCLEFECHAN FELINE (J8x32) 3C (4C set) Bob McMurtry Le Petit Chat Celtique

1- 8 1s dance Fig of 8 on own sides (1s dance in/down to start), taking nearer hands where possible
9-16 1s+2s+3s mirror (reflection) reels on own sides (1s in/down, 2s out/up, 3s in/up to start)
17-24 1s lead down (3 bars), lead back up (3 bars) cast into 2nd place own sides
25-32 1M with 3s, 1L with 2s, dance RH across, 1s pass RSh to dance LH across other end (1M with 2s, 1L with 3s)

(MINICRIB. Dance crib compiled by Charles Upton, Deeside Caledonian Society, and his successors)

Keith Rose's Crib Diagrams

Dance Instruction Videos

Ecclefechan Feline - Scottish Country Dancing Instruction Video

Dance Information

Ecclefechan is a small village located in Dumfries and Galloway in the south of Scotland.

Ecclefechan lies in the valley of the Mein Water, a tributary of the River Annan, about 6 miles (10 kilometres) south of Lockerbie, five miles (8 kilometres) north of Annan and eight miles (13 kilometres) northwest of the English border.

The name Ecclefechan was recorded as Egilfeichane in 1507, and might be of Brittonic origin. The first element is eglẹ:s, meaning "a church" (c.f. Welsh eglwys). The second element is the equivalent of Welsh bechan, meaning "little". Comparable Welsh toponyms include Eglwysbach and Llanfechan.

The village is famous for being the birthplace of Thomas Carlyle. "The Arched House" is a tourist attraction and has been maintained by the National Trust for Scotland since 1936.

Thomas Carlyle (1795 - 1881) was a Scottish historian, philosopher and mathematician who expressed himself as an essayist and satirist. In 1826 Thomas Carlyle married Jane Welsh and here, I believe, is where the reference to the 'feline' (cat species) part of the dance name comes in.

As found in The Fireside Sphinx (1901) by Agnes Repplier, chapter 7, The Cat Triumphant, pages 172 to 174...

"Among a series of house cats, Mrs Jane Carlyle took in 'a kitten, black as soot, a most agile kitten, and wonderfully confiding'."

In a letter sent from Mrs Carlyle to her maid, Jessie, she implores Jessie to have everything in readiness for Mr. Carlyle's return...

"... There is one thing which you must attend to, and which you would not think of without being told. That cat! ... as long as she attends Mr. C. at his meals (and she doesn't care a sheaf of tobacco for him at any other time), so long will Mr. C. continue to give her bits of meat and driblets of milk, to the ruination of carpets and hearthrugs! I have over and over again pointed out to him the stains she has made, but he won't believe them her doings. And the dining-room carpet was so old and ugly that it wasn't worth rows with one's husband about. Now, however, that nice new cloth must be protected against the cat abuse. So what I wish is that you would shut up the creature when Mr. C. has breakfast, dinner, or tea; and, if he remarks on her absence, say it was my express wish. He has no idea what a selfish, immoral, improper beast she is, nor what mischief she does to the carpets...
Yours sincerely, Jane Carlyle."
The Birthplace Of Thomas Carlyle, Ecclefechan, Scotland

Dance information licensed under this Creative Commons Licence 3.0.
Text from this original Ecclefechan article on Wikipedia.
Text from this original Thomas Carlyle article on Wikipedia.
Text from this original The Cat Triumphant article on Wikisource.
Image copyright DeFacto, Creative Commons Licence 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons.

Back to the top of this Scottish Country Dancing Instructions 'Ecclefechan Feline' page