Scottish Country Dancing Dictionary

Haddington Assembly

Scottish Country Dance Instruction

HADDINGTON ASSEMBLY (J8x32) 3C (4C set) J Henderson

1- 8 1s lead down and cast up behind 3s, lead up between 2s and cast down to end facing 2L nearer hands joined
9-16 1s set to 2L, turn in to face 3M and set, 1s lead out between 2M and 3M and cast round 3M to face 2M
17-24 1s set to 2M, turn in to face 3L and set, 1s lead out between 2L and 3L and cast round 2L
25-32 1s dance reels of 3 on opposite sides and cross back to 2nd place

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

Keith Rose's Crib Diagrams

Dance Information

Haddington is a town and former Royal Burgh in East Lothian, Scotland.

It is the main administrative, cultural and geographical centre for East Lothian, which was known officially as Haddingtonshire before 1921 and lies approximately 20 miles (32 km) east of Edinburgh.

Visiting Edinburgh any time soon? Why not take the opportunity to travel east for about 20 miles on the Great North Road (a.k.a. the A1) to Haddington, the county town of East Lothian.

With a long and illustrious history extending back to the eleventh century, although less well known in modern times, Haddington is believed to be the birthplace of the founder of the Presbyterian Church of Scotland, John Knox, in or around the year 1510.

The word "Assembly" can of course be construed to mean any gathering of people for a range of purposes. Time was, however, when its connotation also meant a particular location where dancing would be held. In other words, a Ballroom! In my English home town of Derby (with very significant Jacobite connections around 1745), the premier ballroom was called The Assembly Rooms - but that is another story.

In the fourteenth century, Haddington's growth and importance made it the fourth largest city in Scotland after Edinburgh, Dundee, and Aberdeen. It still proudly maintains the largest parish church in Scotland, St. Mary's, which is not Presbyterian by affiliation, as one might have thought, but Church of Scotland.

A number of years ago, Jean Henderson, a deviser of Scottish country dances and resident of the East Lothian community of North Berwick, created what became a very popular leaflet dance called The Haddington Assembly and presented it to the East Lothian Branch of RSCDS. The Haddington Assembly, a 32-bar jig, leads off our March Monthly Dance program. I know we are sure to enjoy it.

Woe is me!
In my recent What's in a Name? article about The Haddington Assembly, I included the somewhat heretical comment that St. Mary's Church in Haddington was affiliated with the Church of Scotland and was therefore not a Presbyterian Church. Well of course it is! Apart from some break-away sects, the Church of Scotland is Presbyterian by polity. I was reminded of my error by Presbyterian friends. The shame of it! And me a mere Anglican! What would I know?

The Barry Pipes Canon 015- March, 2008.

(Dance information from set and link, RSCDS Toronto Newsletter - What's In A Name? The Barry Pipes Canon 2005-2018, reproduced here with kind permission. Copyright Barry Pipes. All rights reserved)

Haddington - Looking Towards The Town Centre

Dance information licensed under this Creative Commons Licence 3.0.
Text from this original Haddington, East Lothian article on Wikipedia.
Image copyright Richard Webb under this Creative Commons Licence 2.0.

Back to the top of this Scottish Country Dancing Instructions 'Haddington Assembly' page