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Saturday, June 21, 2014

Jacobite Scotland (Part 1) - Massacre at Glencoe 1692

Monument to the Chief of the MacDonalds of Glencoe and his clan

Looking toward Glen Coe  from the  banks of Loch Leven

I have studied the Jacobite era of Scotland for many years and, lest you think it all occurred in 1745-6, terminating at the Battle of Culloden, it actually began in 1688 with the British Parliament inviting Mary, the Protestant daughter of Catholic King James II of England, who was also James the VII of Scotland (having  recently produced a Catholic male heir), and her husband William of Orange to come from Holland and assume the throne of Great Britain, which included Scotland. The Scots fought the English at Killiecrankie and Dunkeld in 1689 without a victory.  James personally tried once to regain his throne, but his forces were defeated in 1689 at Boyne in Ireland. Still, many highlanders remained loyal to James - thus Jacobites.

Modern Glencoe Village at entrance of Glen Coe
The facts leading to the massacre at Glencoe are fascinating and you may want to read them on Wikipedia.
McIan, chief of Clan MacDonald, was ordered to pledge allegiance to William and Mary. He did his best to meet the requirements.  Troops loyal to the crown were then housed among Clan MacDonald in three settlements (Invercoe, Inverrigan and Achnacon) with the claim that there wasn't enough room at Fort William. Hospitality was given, but two weeks later, orders came and the killing of the clan began. Thirty-eight MacDonalds were killed outright; 40 women and children died of exposure in the February cold and deep snow after their homes were burned down.

How the clans homes might have looked at the time, probably without whitewash

Through the modern village of Glencoe, then turning left on a one lane track, we came to the monument, erected by a direct descendant in 1883. A peaceful site on a small hill surrounded by woods.

"Cruel is the snow that sweeps Glencoe" begins the popular ballad of the massacre.

Not a forgotten place, as the cards and withered flowers attest
On our way out, we stopped at another memorial - to those Glencoe who died in the Great War. Eleven names, including MacDonald, Buchanan, MacMillan, Mathieson. Later, one was added from World War II.

Dileas Gu Bas - "Faithful unto Death"

On our drive back to Inverness, we stopped at the Commando Memorial

This large monument stands to more than 25,000 men who trained as Commandos during World War II, not only British, but U.S. Rangers, Frenchmen, Belgians, Danes, Dutch, Norwegians and Poles. It overlooks the area in which they trained with stunning views of Ben Nevis and Aonach Mor.

Dedicated in 1951 by the Queen Mother, who had an affinity for Scotland.

1 comment:

  1. Great pictures. Chilling history… Of course I'm just thinking about Jamie.