The Massacre of Glencoe, pp.122-124.

[Scottish National Memorials Contents]

   ‘A PROCLAMATION, indemnifying such as have been in arms before the 1st of June last.’ [1691.] This Proclamation was printed at Edinburgh by the Heirs of Andrew Anderson; but this copy is one of those ‘reprinted for Richard Baldwin, near the Oxford Arms Inn, Warwick Lane.’ At the end of it there is another proclamation for adjourning Parliament from the 16th of September 1691 to the 14th of January 1692. The Proclamation of William and Mary offering an indemnity is dated the 27th of August 1691, and may be regarded as the necessary consequence of Breadalbane’s success in negotiating with the Highlanders. Its sole condition was that those who chose to take advantage of it should swear the Oath of Allegiance before the 1st of January 1692; and the alternative is held out, ‘that such as shall continow obstinat and incorrigible after this gracious offer of mercy, shall be punished as traitors and rebells, and otherwayes, to the outmost extremity of the law.’ A copy of it will be found in Papers Illustrative of the Political Condition of the Highlands, Mait. Club, pp. 35-37; and nearly all the other documents bearing on the Massacre are in that volume. MacDonald or Maclan of Glencoe, having at length resolved to take the Oath, offered to do so in presence of the commander of Fort William, who, however, was not empowered to administer it. He had therefore to cross the mountains to Inveraray in mid-winter; and there his oath was taken on the 6th of January, though reluctantly, because the day of grace was past; but his name was afterwards struck out of the roll. His delay was used as the technical excuse for the horrible and treacherous massacre that ensued. Hill Burton, in his History of Scotland, has given an admirable account of the whole matter, characterised by his usual perspicuity and impartiality. 

(348) Lent by MATTHEW SHIELDS. 

   NARRATIVE of Proceedings in Scottish Parliament of 1695, specially in relation to the Massacre of Glencoe. See Papers Illustrative of the Highlands, pp. 151-162. 

(349) Lent by MATTHEW SHIELDS. 

   MAJOR DUNCANSON’S ORDER, to Captain Campbell of Glenlyon, to carry out the massacre. (See Plate XVII.) It runs thus:- 

   ‘Yow are hereby ordered to fall upon ye McDonnalds of Glencoe, & putt all to ye sword under seventy. Yow are to have a speciall care that the old fox & his sones doe on no acct escape yor hands. Yow’re to secure all the avenues that none escape. This yow are to put in execution at 5 a cloack precisly. And by that time or verie shortly efter it, I’ll strive to be at yow wt a stronger party. If I doe not come to yow at 5, yow are not to tarie for me, but to fall on. This by the Kings speciall co[mm]and, for ye good & saftie of the countrie, that the[se miscrean]ts be cutt of root & branch. See that this be put in e[xecutione with]out feud or favour, else yow may expect to [be dealt with as on]e not true [to King nor] countrie, nor a man fitt to carie a [commissi]on in ye Kings service. Expecting yow will not faill in fulfilling hereof as yow love yor selfe, I subscrive this wt my hand at Ballechillis, feb: 12, 1692. 

Robert Duncanson.    

   ‘For their Maties service, to Captain Rob. Campbell of Glenlyon.’ 

   This has every appearance of being the original document. In the volume of Papers Illustrative of the Highlands, pp. 72, 73, there are two copies of it; and the second, which is said to be ‘from paper in General Register House, Edinr.,’ corresponds very closely with this, not only in the spelling, but in the words that have been worn out. That that was not the original is plain from the indorsation:- ‘A true coppie of Major Duncansons orders to Robert, Captaine Glenlyon. – 12 ffeb. 1692.’ As this one is now mounted on cardboard, it is impossible to see whether it is so indorsed or not, but it lacks the sic sub. which that copy had. As it is therefore probable that this is the original, and as it is of considerable importance, it is printed above without extending the contracted words. Parliament, in its address to the King, on the 10th of July 1695, stated that it could not see the orders Duncanson gave, as he and those to whom he gave orders were in Flanders. 

(350) Lent by MATTHEW SHIELDS. 

   PROTECTION, for the sons of McDonald of Glencoe, and others, granted by the Commission appointed to inquire into the Massacre. This is apparently the original. It is printed in the Papers Illustrative of the Highlands, p. 99, ‘from the Original in the Register House, Edinburgh’; but if each of the ten individuals to whom the Protection was granted received a copy, there may of course be still as many originals. 

(351) Lent by Matthew Shields 

   ACT OF RELIEF, by the Commissioners of the Treasury, freeing the inhabitants of Glencoe from paying cess due by them, until the King’s pleasure is known. The first part of this document is an extract from the Record of the Privy Council, signed by Gilbert Eliot the clerk, concerning the petition of McDonald’s son and the rest of the inhabitants of Glencoe, craving relief from the payment of cess, as their goods had been seized and disposed of after ‘the unhappy murder.’ On the 25th of July 1695, the Privy Council recommended the Commissioners of the Treasury to give orders for sisting execution. The latter part of the document, bearing that, on the 10th of August 1695, the Lords Commissioners had considered the reference and given effect to it, is signed by Tweeddale in a very tremulous hand. 

(352) Lent by MATTHEW SHIELDS. 

ANDREA FERRARA SWORD, which belonged to Captain Campbell of Glenlyon. One of Glencoe’s sons was married to a niece of Glenlyon’s, the sister of Rob Roy. The single-edged blade is 32 ¾ inches long, and 1 ⅜ broad at the junction with the basket-hilt. The grip is 3 ½ inches long, mounted with wood and leather, and bound by a spirally twisted wire. 



   LIFE-SIZE PORTRAIT, three-quarters length, of the second Marquis of Tweeddale, who was born in 1645, married the only daughter of the Duke of Lauderdale, was for a few months (1704-1705) Chancellor of Scotland, supported the Union, was chosen as one of the representative peers, and died in 1713. 

(334) Lent by the MARQUIS OF TWEEDDALE. 

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