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The Glen o' Weeping ©

THE MASSACRE OF GLENCOE
February 13th 1692

Josephine Duthie
Aberdeen, Scotland
2001



To Captain Robert Campbell of Glenlyon
'For Their Majesties' Service'
Ballacholis,
12th February 1692.

Sir,
You are hereby ordered to fall upon the rebels, the M'Donalds, of Glencoe, and putt all to the sword under seventy. You are to have special care that the old fox and his sons doe upon no account escape your hands. You are to secure all the avenues, that no man escape.

This you are to put in execution att five o'clock in the morning precisely, and by that time, or very shortly after it, I'll strive to be att you with a stronger party. If I do not come to you att five, you are not to tarry for me, but to fall on. This is by the king's special command, for the good and safety of the country, that these miscreants be cutt off root and branch.

See that this be putt in execution without feud or favour, else you may expect to be treated as not true to the king's government, nor a man fitt to carry a commission in the king's service.

Expecting you will not faill in the fulfilling hereof as you love yourself, I subscribe these with my hand.
( king was William, Prince of Orange )



Letter from Stair ( King William's Scottish Secretary)...
The winter time is the only season in which we are sure the Highlanders cannot escape and carry their wives, bairns and cattle to the hills... This is the proper time to mawl them in the long dark nights.



An' eerie hush is waitin'
fer the risin' o' the sun.
There's bluid aroon the hooses
an' a plaid steeps in the burn.
Nae bairnies' lauchter ringin'
in the wind that blaws ootside.
Nae smell o' bubblin' porridge
fer the men fa came tae bide.

The King had sent an order
fer the chiefs tae gither gear,
an' ging tae Inverary
wi' a pledge o' loyalty.
The auld McDonald chieftain
set aboot gye late that day,
an' didna mak the deidline
an' fer this his clan wid pay.

An' army fae Fort William
marched doon intae the glen.
They bade fer nigh a fortnicht,
those freenly Campbells men.
It wisna till the evenin'
o' their last remainin' day,
wir sodgers geen the reason
fit wye they'd come tae stay.

Tae mawl the wives an' bairnies
o' the men fa took them in,
wis deid agin' a' principles
o' mony heighlin' men.
An' jist afore the sunrise
fan the shout ran oot tae slay.
a puckle o' those sodgers
gart a few o' them tae flee.

An' since that day in Winter
in the Glen o' Weepin' still,
a chill hangs o'er the valley
an' a mist clings tae the hill.
An' eerie hush aye waiting
fer the risin' o' the sun
far the ghaists o' Clan McDonald
haunt anither day's return.

38 McDonalds were put to the sword on that cold morning.



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