The Massacre of Glencoe
James VI’s grandson, James II of England and VII of Scotland, became king when his brother, Charles II, died childless. As a Catholic ruling a Protestant kingdom, he was wildly unpopular, and his policy of religious tolerance led to Protestant noblemen inviting his nephew, Prince William of Orange in the Netherlands, to invade and take the throne. William successfully deposed his uncle, but support for James from Catholics remained, and in Scotland this resulted in the Jacobite Movement, which aimed to win him the throne back. Inevitably, Jacobitism led to bloody civil war in Scotland, placing clan against clan.
The Jacobite Uprising of 1689-92 failed to reinstall the king. One family who had been heavily involved was Clan MacDonald. They lived high up in the mountains around Rannoch Moor, and had a reputation for thieving, arson, and general lawlessness. They were also suspected of being Catholics due to their Jacobitism. Clan Campbell had fought against the Jacobites in 1689-92, and held ancient grudges against the MacDonalds. Nevertheless, when Robert Campbell of Glenlyon arrived with 120 government soldiers at the MacDonald homestead at Glencoe in January 1692, Highland hospitality dictated that he and his men were warmly welcomed and accommodated.
On 13th February, the Campbells suddenly turned on their hosts, massacring 38 members of Clan MacDonald in their homes as they slept. The foul weather and soldiers surrounding the escape routes from Glencoe meant that flight was impossible. When news broke of the act, Scotland was appalled by the abuse of hospitality and cowardly nature of the massacre. This led to a resurgence in Jacobite support, as the Campbells were acting under direct orders from the pro-English Scottish Government. Once again, the neighbours that God warned Scotland about had struck. Some have never forgiven Clan Campbell to this day.