Massacre at Glencoe remembered by clans


The massacre of Clan MacDonald of Glencoe on February 13, 1692 was remembered by Clan Donald members in Otago at a ceremony in Mosgiel on Sunday.
Clan Donald spokesman Bill McDonald said his wife, Annette, and the late Pam Campbell planted a rowan tree in Mosgiel in 1992 to mark the 300th anniversary of the massacre and Sunday’s event marked the 325th anniversary. The rowan tree was chosen because it was common in the Highlands to make a cross out of rowan branches. The cross was put above doorways to ward off evil spirits, Mr McDonald said.
A lunch, also attended by Otago members of the McLeod, McNichol and MacKenzie clans, was followed by a ceremony where piper Warwick Johnson played The Rowan Tree song and the South Island commissioner for Clan Donald, Elwyn Martin, spoke about the reasons for the meeting and keeping  alive the memory of those who died.
Clan MacDonald members were slaughtered as they slept by Captain Robert Campbell and his men. The day is imprinted in Scottish history, not only because of the number of people who lost their lives but because the killers had enjoyed their victims’ hospitality in the days leading up to the massacre. Glencoe had been home to the MacDonald clan (or MacIains as they were more specifically known) since the early 14th century, when they supported King Robert the Bruce. Mr McDonald told the Star there was a lot of incorrect information about the massacre which placed the blame completely on Clan Campbell.
“It was an act inspired by the then British Monarch and carried out by a unit of the British army under the command of a Campbell.” Highlanders were regarded by Lowlanders as an obstacle in the way of the complete political union between England and Scotland. Most importantly, Clan MacDonald was not in agreement with Clan Campbell over their growing support of the Government. Clan MacDonald eventually agreed to sign a pledge of loyalty to King William of Orange but arrived after the deadline and their oath was not accepted.
The orders were given to slaughter the MacDonalds to “cut off root and branch”, according to The Scotsman.
“No Campbells” signs can still be seen at places in the highlands.