To many Scots, Glencoe is a foreboding place. The weather often makes the area inhospitable and I have visited with my camera a number of times to find grim, appalling weather to say the least! On this one occasion, I was lucky enough to be there on a beautiful, balmy afternoon! I hope you like the photographs!
Glencoe is also the site of one of the most shameful episodes in Scottish history, the Massacre of Glencoe! It is the place where 38 men, women and children of the Clan MacDonald were murdered by troops of Clan Campbell, under the orders of Captain Robert Campbell of Glenlyon! Many more members of Clan MacDonald died of exposure as they tried to escape across the mountains in the dead of winter!
The story goes that following the Jacobite rising, the English King, William of Orange, offered the Highland clans a pardon if they would take an oath to him which had to be signed in front of a sheriff by 1st January 1692. The chief of the MacDonalds, through no fault of his own, was late in signing the oath! The Master of Stair in Edinburgh, who was looking for an excuse to ‘make an example’ of one of the Highland clans, declined the late delivered oath and used it as an excuse to order the slaughter of Clan MacDonald! The English King signed the order for the massacre!
One of the sickening aspects of the whole episode is that the Campbells arrived at Glen Coe as friends of the MacDonalds, and were given hospitality for 12 days before the massacre took place! Another is that as word of the massacre spread, the Government tried to cover up what had happened. In 1695, King William found himself in the position of having to launch an enquiry. Believe it or not, the Master of Stair resigned his position and was granted a Government pension. Captain Robert Campbell of Glenlyon died a year later and no-one was ever brought to trial for the massacre!
I understand how wars come about, and I understand fighting to defend your country, your beliefs or your way of life against an aggressor! I understand soldier fighting soldier! Where diplomacy has failed, there is no other viable option available to human beings to defend themselves against an aggressor! Sociologists would argue that for the human race, change and advancement always comes through conflict, whether it be through simple debate of opposing views or through violent conflict. However, I do not understand or comprehend the mindset of individuals, or groups of people, who can order and take part in massacre/genocide. The episode at Glencoe took place 320 years ago and history is littered with such events, right up to modern times. It is a damning indictment on the human race that when law and order either changes to make this form of behaviour acceptable, or breaks down altogether, there are still people who will ‘crawl out of the woodwork’ prepared to mass murder innocent men, women and children on utterly indefensible justifications! Whew! Got that one off my chest! It’s amazing what sparks off a good rant!
To end this post, I have an admission to make! I have to admit that four fellow bloggers have nominated me for the Versatile Bloggers Award since September 2011 and I have only just started a post to nominate my choices for that award! I have also recently been nominated for the Liebster Blog Award and the HUG Award! As a result, I have decided that the post will be published as ‘John’s Award Ceremony’ (What an original title!) that covers all three awards together! What is that I hear you say? All in one post? Yes, all in one post!! It is turning out to be quite a task, so I decided to take time out to publish this post, with photographs of Glencoe, Scotland! I hope you have enjoyed it!
See you next time!