Oh cruel is the snow that sweeps Glencoe...
The Massacre of Glencoe - Murt Ghlinne Comhann
Converted into a typical MacDonald cottage on the night of the infamous massacre, our old Dairy - or 'Massacre Room' - gives the most in-depth information in the area about the infamous Massacre of Glencoe. Take a peek inside as the family settles in for the night, and listen as our haunting audio explains what happened on the 13th February 1692...
The Massacre of Glencoe, or Murt Ghlinne Comhann (the Murder of Glencoe), was an unprecedented act of treachery and grave breach of Highland hospitality. In the early hours of the morning on 13th February 1692, soldiers who had - for almost a fortnight - shared the MacDonald's homes, tables and company, turned on their hosts. 120 government soldiers under the command of Robert Campbell of Glenlyon were billeted to stay with the MacDonalds, under the pretext of collecting arrears of taxes from the local area. Once there, they were told to await further orders. The MacDonalds welcomed these men into their homes, giving them free lodgings throughout the glen, feeding them from their own scant winter supplies and sharing drinks with them.
Then, on the night of the 12th February, Glenlyon received his true orders:
"You are hereby ordered to fall upon the rebels, the MacDonalds of Glencoe, and put all to the sword under seventy. You are to have a special care that the old fox and his sons do upon no account escape your hands. You are to secure all the avenues that no man escape"
This order came "by the King's special command" and assured Campbell that he could "expect to be dealt with as one not true to King nor government" if he didn't obey.
The Massacre began simultaneously in three settlements - Invercoe, Inverigan and Achnacon - though the killing took place all over the glen as fleeing MacDonalds were pursued. Men were dragged from their beds and murdered, houses were torched, and women, children and the very elderly were cast out into the snow, where many died from exposure. 38 MacDonalds were murdered outright – including MacIain, the Chief of the MacDonalds - and countless more perished in the mountains.
Our Massacre Room explores the reasons behind this brutal act of betrayal and looks at the characters involved. Click 'play' below for a snippet of our Massacre audio and read more in our Massacre of Glencoe blog post.