Massacre of Glen Coe


An act of treachery by the Campbells committed against the MacDonalds of Glencoe. The Earl of Argyll's Regiment of Foot under Robert Campbell of Glenlyon had accepted the hospitality of the MacDonalds but turned on their hosts, murdering 38 men, burning their homes allowing a further forty women and children to die of exposure. The reason was the tardiness of the MacDonalds in pledging allegiance to the new monarchs William and Mary, although Campbell of Glenlyon held a grudge because the MacDonalds of Glengarry had stolen his cattle and impoverished his family, although the MacDonalds of Glencoe had no part in this act. There is no doubt that certain senior Scottish nobles had decided to teach the Highlanders a lesson owing to their sympathy for King James VII, who had been removed from the throne. The principal parties were John Campbell, 1st Earl of Breadalbane (1636 - 1717), his cousin Archibald Campbell, 10th Earl of Argyll (1658 - 1703), and John Dalrymple, Secretary of State who later became 1st Earl of Stair (1648 - 1707). Despite outrage at the injustice, the Government did little to punish the perpetrators, creating a 'cause celebre' for the Jacobites. The massacre is widely commemorated, including a monument in Glencoe village.

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