Massacre of Glencoe

Glencoe is one of the world renowned areas of Scotland, dreamed about by people globally. Tourists, Scots & nature enthusiasts are taken aback by the scenic & extraordinary views of Glencoe but its deep & dark history is often overlooked.

Despite this being one of the most loved & appreciated spots in Scotland, its heavy history is often not known and this blog will cover the massacre of Glencoe & its significance.

Massacre of glencoe

Where is Glencoe?-

Glencoe scotland

Glencoe is a scenic green hill /mountain valley in the Lochaber area that runs for approximately 10 miles.

It is located in the Bute & argyle area, the village is located near the western end of the valley between the banks of loch Leven & mouth of the glen.

The valley is surrounded with deep & high sided mountains & approximately 18 miles from Fort William.

Glencoe is approximately 2hrs 30 mins drive from Glasgow, or 2 hrs 45mins drive from Edinburgh.

Why is it so popular?-

glencoe history

People visit Glencoe for a multitude of reasons, but primarily Glencoe is a hotspot for its breath-taking views and landscape.

There is also a variety of outdoor activities around the area appealing to nature lovers, families & wildlife enthusiasts & outdoorsmen.

It is also a hotspot for photographers, hikers, rock climbers & skiers.

This area has been featured in the background of multiple hit tv shows & movies including harry potter & James Bond. the appeal of Glencoe comes not only from nature loving Scots but has gained a significant tourist appeal for its beauty & history.

The area lies just above the central belt of Scotland not too far from the capital & big cities its accessibility makes it a great spot for those looking to get out the city and explore Scotland’s beautiful terrain & wildlife.

glencoe tartan

What was the massacre of Glencoe?-

During this time, there were tensions between the clans in Scotland, particularly among those who supported different claims to the English and Scottish throne. To secure his power, King William III required all clan leaders to swear allegiance to him by January 1, 1692. The MacDonalds of Glencoe, one of these clans, faced difficulties in meeting this deadline. Their chief, Alastair MacIain, delayed swearing allegiance due to bad weather and confusion about where to go, finally taking the oath on January 6, 1692.

On February 12, Captain Campbell and his soldiers, who had been staying with the MacDonalds under the pretence of seeking shelter, received orders to kill their hosts. Early the next morning, they attacked, killing around 38 members of the clan, including women and children. Many others died of exposure after fleeing into the winter mountains.

Why did it happen?-

The massacre was prompted by the clan’s delayed oath of allegiance to the new monarchs, William and Mary, following the Glorious Revolution. Political, cultural, and religious tensions also played a role, as the MacDonalds were viewed with suspicion and prejudice.

massacre of Glencoe tragedy

The soldiers, initially welcomed under the pretence of collecting taxes, & received orders to attack their hosts, resulting in brutal killings and widespread outrage. The event remains a symbol of betrayal and violence in Scottish history, highlighting the complex interplay of loyalty, politics, and cultural identity during that era.

When did it happen?-

massacre of Glencoe aftermath

The Glencoe Massacre began in the early hours of February 13, 1692. Supposedly, the Scottish army killed 38 men, women, and children of the MacDonald clan of Glencoe. An additional 40 people died from exposure while trying to flee the glen in the snow.

Soldiers from the Earl of Argyll’s regiment had been stationed with the MacDonalds under the pretence of collecting unpaid taxes, a common practice at the time. The 120 soldiers were welcomed into the clan’s homes in accordance with the Highland tradition of hospitality.

Captain Robert Campbell of Glenlyon led the regiment, but only Captain Thomas Drummond was aware of the true mission when they arrived a couple of weeks earlier. The rest of the officers were informed of their orders the night before the massacre.

We hope this informational blog has been educational & interesting, you can find out more about highland wear & products on our website

For similar blogs you can read out history of the kilt blog here & where it began here & you can also browse other topics here.

We would love to welcome you into our traditional highland wear store or you can also enquire to us at [email protected] or call us on 0141 889 4879.

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