Tuesday, 13 February 2007


THE PASS OF GLENCOE by Ernest W Hiscox

The Massacre of Glencoe occurred in Glen Coe, Scotland, early in the morning of 13 February 1692, during the era of the Glorious Revolution and Jacobitism. The massacre began simultaneously in three settlements along the glen - Invercoe, Inverrigan, and Achacon - although the killing took place all over the glen as fleeing MacDonalds were pursued.

Thirty-eight MacDonalds from the Clan MacDonald of Glencoe were killed by the guests who had accepted their hospitality, on the grounds that the MacDonalds had not been prompt in pledging allegiance to the new king, William of Orange. Another forty women and children died of exposure after their homes were burned.

Oh cruel is the snow that sweeps Glencoe
And covers the grave o' Donald
And cruel was the foe that raped Glencoe
And murdered the house o' MacDonald
This song is not, as widely believed a traditional song, but is the work of Jim Mclean of Duart Music Publishers, (1963)

They came in the night when the men were asleep
That band of Argyles, through snow soft and deep.
Like murdering foxes, among helpless sheep
They slaughtered the house o' MacDonald
They came through the blizzard, we offered them heat
A roof o'er their heads, dry shoes for their feet.
We wined them and dined them, they ate of our meat
And slept in the house O' MacDonald
They came from Fort William with murder mind
The Campbell's had orders, King William had signed
Put all to the sword, these words underlined
And leave none alive called MacDonald

Some died in their beds at the hands of the foe
Some fled in the night, and were lost in the snow.
Some lived to accuse him, that struck the first blow
But gone was the house of MacDonald