Facts About "Annie Laurie"
“Annie Laurie,” also known as "Maxwelton Braes," is a Scottish folk song written by William Douglas (1682?–1748) of Dumfriesshire. Douglas wrote the song about his romance with Annie Laurie (1682-1764). The lyrics were edited and the tune was composed in 1834/5 by Alicia Scott.
William Douglas was a soldier in the Royal Scots, the oldest and most senior infantry regiment of the line of the British Army. He was sent to fight in Germany and Spain and later appointed as a captain. He has fought at least two duels during his time. In 1694, he returned to his home town at Fingland. He eloped with Elizabeth Clerk, a Lanarkshire heiress of Glenboig and in 1706, they got married in Edinburgh.
Anna “Annie” Laurie, the youngest daughter of Robert Laurie, was born on December 16, 1682, became the first baronet of Maxwellton in 1685. She was married on August 29, 1709, to Alexander Fergusson, 14th Laird of Craigdarroch. She lived at the mansion of Craigdarroch for 33 years and the design of the house that you see today being preserved was her taste and direction. On April 5, 1764, she died at Friars' Carse, Dumfriesshire, Scotland.
Before William and Annie found there lifetime partners, they were romantically connected. Douglas has an aggressive temperament and was said to be involved Jacobitism, a political movement in Great Britain to bring back Scotland, England, and Ireland the House of Stuart. These aspects made Annie’s father disapprove of their marriage. Annie was also too young at that time to get married.
The modern version of the poem that we have today is from Alicia Ann Spottiswoode (1810–1900). In February 1890, she claimed that she wrote the modern words and written the melody of the song. In 1850, she published the song with other songs for all the widows and orphans that were left by the soldiers killed during the Crimean War.