General John Reid

John Reid  b. Straloch, Perthshire, 1722; d. London 1807

 [Although most references to John Reid give the birth year as 1721 Dr Christopher Field’s research identifies that Reid was born probably around 2 February 1722 and baptized four days later on 6 February and suggests that the 11-day difference between 2 February and 13 February may be related to the change in the system of calendars in 1752. Field notes that in accepting the year 1721 instead of 1722 the Professors and others were following a tradition that can be traced from Kirby’s Wonderful and Eccentric Museum of 1813 to recent editions of New Grove].

General in the British Army and Founder of the Reid Chair of Music, University of Edinburgh
The following text was printed in the programme of the first concert in 1841:
General Reid, who died in 1807, left the reversion of all his property, in the event of his daughter dying without issue, to the Principal and Professors of the University of Edinburgh, on condition that a Professorship of Music should be founded in the University, and endowed out of the Fund accruing from his Bequest.  Among other instructions contained in his will, he directs that a Concert shall be held annually on his Birth-day, under the superintendence of the Professor of Music, at which certain of his own compositions should be performed, "with a view to keep his memory in remembrance," as well as "to shew the taste of music about the middle of last century."  In compliance with the Testator's instructions, and in order to give full effect to the general purport of them, - namely, the encouragement and improvement of the musical taste of his countrymen, - the Senatus Academicus, as soon as the administration of the Reid Fund was transferred into their hands by the General's Executors, directed Mr Thomson, the Professor of Music, to take steps for celebrating General Reid's Birth-day, in the present year, according to the terms of the Bequest; and being desirous, that upon this, the first occasion of fulfilling his wishes, the Concert should be conducted on a scale worthy of his munificence to the University, they determined that is should be opened amply to the Public of Edinburgh, and at the same time they placed a sum of £200 at the disposal of the Professor, in addition to the proceeds of the sale of tickets at the usual price for ordinary Concerts.*
The Senatus, in conformity with the recommendation of the Professor of Music, were of opinion, that the declared wishes of the Testator, and the approbation of the Public, would be best secured by combining, with one act of the usual style of Concert Music, a selection from some of the noblest productions of the great Masters of Sacred harmony, who flourished during last century, along with those of an earlier as well as later date.
*The Professors desire it to be understood, that the whole amount of these sums is to be expended on the Concert; and that in order to apply as large a fund as possible for the purpose, they have not reserved any right of entry for their families or friends.