The Machiavelli of his Time – King William 2 – Ordered the Execution of the MacDonald’s at Glencoe and Allowed the Campbells to Carry the Blame – Westminster Plotting Against Scotland Then and Now – Fits the Profile




Machiavelli (1459-1527) “The Prince” and William of Orange

Just over a century before William arrived on the scene the arch manipulator Machiavelli wrote his guide for William’s political career, “The Prince” the content of which William practised as a monarch. Machiavelli wrote:

“a prudent ruler cannot, and must not, honour his word when it places him at a disadvantage … Because men are wretched creatures who would not keep their word to you, you need not keep your word to them”.

“one must know how to colour one’s actions and be a great liar and deceiver”.

“a prince who neglected what was actually done by people for what (by rights) should be done was doomed to self-destruction”.

“someone who acted virtuously would quickly come to a sticky end among the multitude who were not as virtuous. Hence the successful political statesman had to learn how and when to act in a dishonest and immoral way, and must be much better at acting dishonourably than those around him”.

“use guile and cunning in order to guarantee the success and prosperity of the kingdom and the people, although this will also mean the preservation of the resplendent riches of political office”.

“The conquest of other states and foreign lands is best achieved either by devastating them totally, and living there in person, or by creating a loyal local oligarchy”.

“Whoever is responsible for creating someone else’s system of power brings ruin upon himself, as the demonstrated mechanism of power creation elevates the assistant into a potential challenger to the new ruler”.

“Political support is transient and men are ungrateful, fickle, liars and deceivers who shun danger and are greedy for profit. They will risk their lives for a ruler when the perceived danger is remote, but when such dangers became much more real they will quickly defect. The solution to this problem is for a ruler to make himself feared (although not hated), so that there is always a psychological dread of punishment. Execution, if properly justified, is sometimes a necessity in this respect, although only when there was a genuine reason for it”.

“Principalities have family rulers and can be hereditary, composite, constitutional and ecclesiastical. Republics are excluded from discussion, since they are unlikely to be controlled by prince-like figures”.

“New principalities can be obtained by various means – one’s own arms and military prowess, fortune and foreign support, constitutional astuteness and criminal behaviour, which, if accompanied with audacity and courage, can bring success. The end justifies the means”.


William & Mary




Early Indication of William’s Duplicity – Johan De Witt V William of Orange – Intrigue in the Orange State

At the conclusion of yet another of a long series of short wars with England, in which the Dutch were on the losing side, William plotted to takeover control of government.

To achieve this he published a letter from King Charles 1, in which Charles stated that he had only waged war on Holland because of the aggression of the ruling Dutch, De Witt faction.

The Orangist group in parliament ensured that William would be installed as the government leader forcing his rival, Johan de Witt to resign as Treasurer.

William once in office, went on to announce that those responsible would be held to account for their actions.

One of the first to be charged was Johan’s brother, Cornelis who had been the head of police. He was arrested and imprisoned in The Hague on the charge of treason.

On hearing that his brother was in prison Johan made the worst mistake of his life and paid him a visit. While he was in the prison a crowd gathered around the building demanding the imprisonment of Johan.

At this point a small contingent of soldiers guarding the prison left their posts. Without this deterrent the mob stormed into the prison. Johan and his brother Cornelis were butchered. Reports recorded that, in their frenzy, they ate the bodies of the two brothers.

Though William’s complicity in the lynching was suspected it was never proved and he thwarted attempts to prosecute the ringleaders, and even rewarded some, like Hendrik rhoeff, with money, and others, like Johan van Banchem and Johan Kievit, with high offices. This damaged his reputation in the same fashion as his later actions at Glencoe.


MacDonalds escaping from Glencoe




William of Orange (1650-1702) (52y)

William, inherited Holland, Zeeland, Utrecht and Gelderland (the principality of Orange) from his father, William II, (who died a week before his birth). He extended his control in 1672 to include Overijssel in the Dutch Republic.

His mother Mary, Princess Royal, was the daughter of King Charles I of England. She died in 1660 in London from smallpox, while visiting her brother.

The ten year old became the responsibility of the House of Orange and in consequence, his upbringing, education and mentoring was strongly influenced by Calvanist statesmen who persuaded him to distance the state from England.

England had, for some time been a major force in world trade, but, under the William’s stewardship, the Dutch began to dominate the high seas and trade with the new world as nations competed in an ever widening market.

The English did not let the challenge of the Dutch go unanswered and the countries went to war on a number of occasions. the confrontations, designed to weaken the navies giving one side a numerical advantage were almost exclusively conducted at sea and the Dutch rarely won the day.

William and the house of Orange had long coveted the thrones of England, Ireland and Scotland. Forming part of his strategy he proposed to Charles 2nd that the nations would benefit from peace if he married his cousin Mary,(1662-1694) daughter of Prince James, Duke of York (Commander of the English fleet).

James, Charles brother and successor was not of a mind to marry his daughter off to her cousin due to the twelve year age gap and William’s religious beliefs but Mary, who had been baptised into, and raised in the English Anglican faith was content with the arrangements, unlike her Roman Catholic father James.

But, bowing to pressure from King Charles 2nd he eventually relented and gave the marriage his blessing. The couple were married in London in 1677 and returned to Holland.

Mary soon fell pregnant, but miscarried, a fate that was to befall her on a number of occasions. The couple remained childless throughout their marriage.


No Quarter at Glencoe




James 11 and V11 (1633-1701)

The second surviving son of Charles I, James ascended the throne upon the death of his brother, Charles II.

He was crowned King of England and Ireland as James II and King of Scotland as James VII, in 1685.

He was deposed 4 years later, in 1668, in the English Glorious Revolution.

He was the last Roman Catholic monarch of England, Scotland and Ireland.

He married twice. Daughters, Mary and Anne, born and raised in the Anglican faith were from of his first marriage.

His second marriage produced a Catholic heir, a son called James Francis Edward.

The divine right of Kings stipulated James Francis Edward to be next in line to the throne of England Ireland and Scotland.

William of Orange, concerned that his plans for the future would be at risk if James remained on the throne in England, Ireland and Scotland covertly sponsored two rebellions.

The first, in southern England was led by his nephew, the Duke of Monmouth, and the second, in Scotland was led by Archibald Campbell, the Earl of Argyll.

Both Argyll and Monmouth began their invasions from Holland.

The rebellions were defeated easily but they increased the English suspicion of the Dutch and their leader.

Monmouth proclaimed himself King at Lyme Regis on 11 June 1685 and attempted to raise recruits but was unable to gather enough rebels to defeat even James’s small standing army.

Monmouth’s rebellion attacked the King’s forces at night, in an attempt at surprise, but was defeated at the Battle of Sedgemoor.

The King’s forces, led by Feversham and Churchill, quickly dispersed the ill-prepared rebels.

Monmouth was captured and later executed at the Tower of London on 15 July 1685.

The King’s judges, most notably, George Jeffreys, condemned many of the rebels to transportation and indentured servitude in the West Indies in a series of trials that came to be known as the Bloody Assizes. Some 250 of the rebels were executed.

The Earl of Argyll sailed to Scotland and, on arrival, raised recruits mainly from his own clan, the Campbell’s.

The rebellion was quickly crushed, and Argyll was captured at Inchinnan on 18 June 1685.

Having arrived with fewer than 300 men and unable to convince many more to flock to his standard, he never posed a credible threat to James.

Argyll was taken as a prisoner to Edinburgh. A new trial was not needed because he had previously been tried and sentenced to death.

The King confirmed the earlier death sentence and ordered that it be carried out within three days of receiving the confirmation.

Members of the Protestant political elite had become uneasy about the “equal rights” content of some of his declarations and increasingly suspected him of being pro-French and pro-Catholic and of having designs on becoming an absolute monarch.

In April 1688, James re-issued the Declaration of Indulgence, ordering Anglican clergy to read it in their churches.

When seven Bishops, including the Archbishop of Canterbury, submitted a petition requesting the reconsideration of the King’s religious policies, they were arrested and tried for seditious libel.

Public alarm increased when Queen Mary gave birth to a Roman Catholic son and heir, James Francis Edward, on 10 June 1688.

When James’s only possible successors were his two Protestant daughters, Anglicans could see his pro-Catholic policies as a temporary phenomenon, but when the prince’s birth opened the possibility of a permanent Catholic dynasty, they had to reconsider their position.

Threatened by a Catholic dynasty, several influential Protestants claimed the child was “suppositious” and had been smuggled into the Queen’s bedchamber in a warming pan.

They had already entered into negotiations with William, Prince of Orange, when it became known the Queen was pregnant, and the birth of James’s son reinforced their convictions.

leading nobles called on his daughter Mary to return to England to become monarch of England, Ireland and Scotland.

She turned the offer down, stating she had no desire to rule but the nobles persisted and extended the invitation to include William who would be crowned King with herself in the supporting role as queen.

Louis XIV of France became aware of the threat to James from William of Orange and offered military support, but believing that his own army would be adequate, James refused the assistance, fearing that the English would oppose French intervention.

William of Orange accepted the invitation and landed a 15,000 strong invasion army from the Dutch Republic, on 5 November 1688.

Upon William’s arrival, many Protestant officers, defected and joined William, including his own daughter, Princess Anne.

James then lost his nerve and declined to attack the invading army, despite his own army’s numerical superiority.

On 11 December, James attempted to to flee to France, first throwing the Great Seal of the Realm into the River Thames.

He was captured in Kent. later, he was released and placed under Dutch protective guard.

Having no desire to make his father-in-law a martyr, William let him escape on 23 December 1688.

James was received by his cousin and ally, Louis XIV, who offered him a palace and a pension.

William convened a Convention Parliament to decide how to handle James’s flight.

While the Parliament refused to depose him, they declared that James, having fled to France and dropped the Great Seal into the Thames, had effectively abdicated the throne, and that the throne had thereby become vacant.

To fill the vacancy, James’s daughter Mary was declared Queen.

She was to rule jointly with her husband William, who would be king.

The Parliament of Scotland on 11 April 1689, declared James to have forfeited the throne.

The English Parliament passed a Bill of Rights that denounced James for abusing his power.

The abuses charged to James included the suspension of the Test Acts, the prosecution of Seven Bishops for merely petitioning the crown, the establishment of a standing army, and the imposition of cruel punishments.

The Bill also declared that, no Roman Catholic would be permitted to ascend the English throne, nor could any English monarch marry a Roman Catholic.

James made one serious attempt to recover his crowns from William and Mary when he landed in Ireland in 1689. William’s victory at the Battle of the Boyne in Derry in 1690, achieved by a large Dutch invasion force of professional troops and a fleet of Dutch warships commanded by Dutch generals, is still commemorated by the Orange Order.

James returned to France and lived out the rest of his life as a pretender at a court sponsored by his cousin and ally, King Louis XIV.

His short reign in Britain marked the beginning of the transition from the personal rule of the Stuarts to the more Parliament-centred rule of the House of Hanover.

William, retained a large Dutch military force in occupation in Ireland keeping it subdued.

Then, assisted by a large English army and navy he gave attention to defeating the troublesome Scots and in the case of Ireland ruling them by proxy, restricting their political freedom and curtailing their ability to trade.

He achieved this by blockading and raiding defenceless Scottish ports and surrounding areas greatly hindering the ability of Scots to trade with countries in Europe and the wider world. Scotland had no ships capable of fighting the English.

William also approved multiple attacks by English and Spanish fleets of warships and settlers on the “Scottish Darien mission” to the Americas resulting in its eventual very costly failure

He then quartered around 5,000 professional soldiers in Scotland on the pretext that a “standing army” was necessary for its defence.

Actions contrary to Scottish tradition which permitted the formation of an army only when the country was at war.

William overruled their objections and ordered the Scottish parliament to finance and feed the army.

This created an unwelcome drain on Scotland’s funds and coupled with poor harvests brought hardship and famine to large parts of the country.

The main force of the army was deployed to areas of Scotland north of Perth where they conducted a long campaign of terror on the clans.

Adding insult to injury William insisted that Scottish soldiers, in sufficient numbers should be conscripted to join with his English and Dutch armies in his long war against France.

The so called “Standing Army” in Scotland was in reality an army of occupation.

In retaliation, a number of clans conducted campaigns of disobedience.

In response William issued an instruction requiring Scottish leaders to sign an oath of loyalty the crown.

A deadline was set after which anyone who had failed to add their signature would be regarded as traitors and dealt with.

It was alleged that the MacDonald Clan of Glencoe had failed to meet the deadline and would suffer the consequences.





1 February 1692: Massacre at Glencoe

The Myth

The Massacre of Glencoe is one of the most talked about and least understood episodes in Scottish history.

For many it is wrongly perceived as just one more savage episode in an age-old blood feud between the Campbell’s and Macdonald,s.

This, it has to be stressed, is not just popular prejudice.

The authors of one of the standard works on the reign of William and Mary claim that the crime was the work of the Campbell,s of Glenlyon, the most bitter enemies of the people of Glencoe, and that hardly any Macdonald’s escaped the carnage.

If serious historians can get away with this kind of ill-informed nonsense, what hope do ordinary mortals have?


The Facts

King William, acting on the advice of the Secretary of State for Scotland, Sir John Dalrymple, the Master of Stair and Secretary of State for Scotland. gave orders that a highland community should be exterminated sending a lesson to the many highland clans who opposed his rule from England.

Implementation was to be completed by professional soldiers of a lowland regiment commanded by a Scottish officer of the line.

The operation was allocated to the Argyll Regiment, commanded by Lieutenant Colonel Hamilton, based at Fort William under the command of General John Hill, an old Cromwellian Englishman who had been in Scotland policing the highlands for many years.

The smallest branch of Clan Donald, residing in Glencoe, a narrow valley accessed by small passes to the South and East was selected.

On 1 February 1692 Captain Robert Campbell of Glenlyon (related to the Macdonald’s through marriage) took two companies of Argyll’s to Glencoe.

It should be noted that the soldiers commanded by Campbell of Glenlyon were not of the Campbell Clan. This explodes the first myth.

Once there they were given quarters in the little MacDonald communities scattered along the valley.

There they remained for nearly 2 weeks enjoying the hospitality of their hosts.

late afternoon, Friday 12 February Glenlyon received written orders from Major Robert Duncanson, his commanding officer who was camped with the rest of the regiment, a few miles away, to the south, at Ballachulish. The orders stated:

“You are hereby ordered to fall upon the rebels the Macdonald’s of Glencoe, and put all to the sword under 70. You are to have special care, that the old fox and his sons do upon no account escape your hands. You are to secure all the avenues, and let no man escape. This you are to put in execution at five a clock in the morning precisely, and by that time or very shortly after it, I will strive to be with you with a stronger party. If I do not come at five, you are not to tarry for me, but to press on. This is by the King’s SPECIAL COMMAND for the good and safety of the country, that these miscreants may be cut off, root and branch. See that this be put in execution without feud or favour, else you may be expected to be treated as not true to the King or government, nor a man fit to carry commission in the King’s service. Expecting that you will not fail in fulfilling hereby, as you love yourself.”

The instructions were brought to Glenlyon by Captain Thomas Drummond, yet another Lowlander. His company was one of the two already stationed in Glencoe, but although senior to Captain Robert Campbell of Glenlyon he was not given command of the operation.

Care was taken to ensure Glenlyon would carry full responsibility for the planned massacre.

Duncanson did not appear at five, or even shortly after. It was not until seven o’ clock, two hours later, that he began his march along the shores of Loch Leven to the mouth of Glencoe, by which time the whole ghastly business was largely over, as he knew it would be.

Even Lieutenant Colonel Hamilton, commanding officer of the Argyll regiment, advancing from Fort William with Garrison Commander Hill’s regiment to block off the eastern exit from Glencoe, did not appear until late in the day, although this was perhaps owing less to design than delays caused by bad weather.

Glenlyon acted on cue. But from beginning to end he botched the whole affair.

The southern passes were not blocked, allowing most of the people to escape. Similarly, the killings began with gunfire, alerting people up and down the valley.

Maciain was one of the first to die, butchered by a party led by two Lowland officers, Lieutenant Lindsay and Ensign Lundie.

In all some thirty-eight people were murdered, men mostly, but also some women and children.

Many escaped across the snowbound passes, including John and Alasdair, the fox’s cubs. .

Glenlyon was moved to mercy on two occasions: but both young men were promptly murdered by Drummond.

The stock was rounded up and driven off, after which a terrible silence descended on Glencoe.

Captain Robert Campbell of Glenlyon left, pursued by his own personal demons. In Edinburgh some time after, he was seen drunkenly defending his actions.

True to form, the Garrison Commander Hill at Fort William immediately claimed credit for the massacre, saying that he had ruined Glencoe.

However, after the search for scapegoats began, he was just as quick to distance himself, making the usual defence that he was only obeying orders.

Dalrymple was only ever to express regret that the matter had been so badly handled.

King William cared little for the growing mood of outrage in Scotland.

He judged the effects of the massacre not by the impact it had on Scottish public opinion, but how effective it had been in ending Highland resistance to his rule.

And, as a piece of political terrorism, it enjoyed quick but short term success.


William and mary




8 July 1695: Survivors Petition Parliament.

This is a petition presented to his majesty’s high commissioner and the estates of parliament by John McDonald of Glencoe, for himself and in name of Alexander McDonald of Achatrichatan and the poor remnant left of that family, showing that it being then evident to the conviction of the nation how inhumanely as well as unchristianly the deceased Alexander McDonald of Glencoe, the deceased John McDonald of Achatriechatan and too many more of the petitioner’s unfortunate family were murdered and butchered in February, 1692, against the laws of nature and nations, the laws of hospitality and the public faith, by a band of men quartered amongst them, pretending peace though they perpetrated the grossest cruelty under his majesty’s authority.

And seeing the evidence taken by the right honourable the lords and other members of the commission, which his majesty was most graciously pleased to grant for inquiring into that affair, has cleared to the parliament that after committing the aforesaid massacre the poor petitioners were most ravenously plundered of all that was necessary for the sustaining of their lives and all of their clothing, money, houses and food, all burned, destroyed or taken away, that the soldiers did drive away over five hundred horses, fourteen or fifteen hundred cows and many more sheep and goats, and that it was a proper occasion for his majesty and the estates assembled in parliament to give a full vindication of their justice and freeing the public from the least imputation which may be cast thereon by foreign enemies, on the account of so unexplained an action, and that it is worthy of that honour and justice which his majesty and said estates have been pleased to show to the world with relation to that affair, to relieve the necessity of the poor petitioners, and to save them and their exposed widows and orphans from starving, and all the misery of the extreme poverty forced upon them were inevitably liable, unless his majesty and said estates provide them a remedy.

And therefore, most humbly begging that his grace and the said estates would from the principles of humanity to their petitioners sad circumstances, as well as that of honour and justice, ordain such relief and redress to the petitioners as in their wisdom should be found most fit.


King William in his Finery




Whatever Happened to the Killers of Glencoe?

Three years after the massacre the king was forced by the Scottish parliament to agree that a “Commission of Inquiry” be set up.

Guided by James Johnston, the new joint Secretary of State for Scotland, the 1695 Commission was never a serious attempt to discover the truth. Its aim, rather, was to exonerate the king.

In the search for scapegoats, Dalrymple was the obvious choice, and stood condemned by his plentiful and public correspondence on the matter. He lost office, but suffered no other penalty.

The Scottish Parliament, seeking to bring an end to the matter agreed with the finding of “murder under trust” and asked King William to return Captain Robert Campbell of Glenlyon and the Lowland officers under his command, at the time of the massacre to Scotland, for trial.

No trials were ever held. Campbell never returned to Scotland. After a long illness, he died in Bruges in August 1696, debt ridden and buried in an unmarked grave.


MacDonald Memorial at Glencoe



10 Jul 1695 – The Scottish Parliament letter to King William in the unresolved matter of the slaughter of the Macdonald’s of Glencoe

We, your majesty’s most loyal subjects, the noblemen, barons and burghs assembled in Parliament, do humbly represent to your majesty that in the beginning of this session we thought for the more solemn and public vindication of the honour and justice of the government, to inquire into the barbarous slaughter committed in Glencoe in February, 1692, which has been the subject of much public discussion, in Scotland and in other countries.

But we, being informed by your majesty’s commissioner that we were prevented from completing any enquires since a commission would investigate the matter under the great seal for the same purpose, we did, upon the reading of the terms and conditions of said commission, unanimously acquiesced to your majesty’s pleasure, and returned our humble acknowledgements for your royal care in granting the same,

and we only desired that the discoveries to be made should be communicated to us to the end that wee might add our zeal to your majesty’s for prosecuting such discoveries, and that in so national a concern the vindication might be also be as public as the reproach and scandal has been, and principally, that we, for whom it was most proper, might testify to the world how clear your majesty’ justice is in all this matter.

And now your majesty’s commissioner having, upon our repeated instances, sent to us a copy of the report compiled by the commission to your majesty with your majesty’s instructions, the master of Stair’s letters, the orders given by the officers and the depositions of the witnesses relating to that report, and the same being read and compared, we could not but unanimously declare that your majesty’s instructions of the 11th and 16th of January, 1692, concerning the highlanders who had not accepted your rule within the due period gaining the benefit of indemnity, did contain a warrant for mercy to all without exception, who should offer to take the oath of allegiance, and come in upon mercy on the first of January, 1692

prefixed by the proclamation of indemnity, was past and that these instructions contain no warrant for the execution of the Glencoe-men made in February thereafter, and here we acknowledge your majesty’s clemency. For had your majesty without new offers of mercy given positive orders for the executing the law upon the highlanders that had already despised your repeated indemnities, they had but met with what they justly deserved.

But, it being your majesty’s mind according to your usual clemency still to offer them mercy, and the killing of the Glencoe-men being upon that account unwarrantable, also, as the manner of doing it being barbarous and inhumane, we proceeded to vote the killings a murder and to inquire who had given occasion to it, or were the actors in it.

We found that the master of Stair’s letters had exceeded your majesty’s instructions towards the killing and destruction of the Glencoe-men. This appeared by the comparing of the instructions and letters , the just attested duplicates are enclosed, in which letters the Glencoe-men are over and over again distinguished from the rest of the highlanders, not as the fittest subject of severity in case they continued to be obstinate and made severe methods necessary according to the meaning of the instructions, but as men absolutely and positively ordered to be destroyed without any further consideration than that of their not having taken the indemnity in due time, and there not having taken it is valued as a happy incident since it afforded an opportunity to destroy them, and the destroying of them is urged with a great deal of zeal as a thing acceptable and of public use, and this zeal is extended even to the giving of directions about the manner of cutting them off, from all which it is plain that, the instructions be for mercy to all that will submit to the day of indemnity was elapsed, yet the letters do exclude the Glencoe-men from this mercy.

In the next place, we examined the orders given by Sir Thomas Livingstoun in this matter and were unanimously of opinion that he had reason to give such orders for the cutting off of the Glencoe-men upon the supposition that they had rejected the indemnity and without making them new offers of mercy, being a thing in itself lawful, and which your majesty might have ordered. And it appearing that Sir Thomas was then ignorant of the peculiar circumstances of the Glencoe-men, he might very well understand your majesty’s instructions in the restricted sense which the master of Stair’s letters had given [them] or understand the master of Stair’s letters to be your majesty’s additional pleasure. And it is evident he did by the orders which he gave, where any addition that is to be found in them to your majesty’s instructions is given not only in the master of Stair’s sense but in his words.

We proceeded to examine Colonel Hill’s part of the business and were unanimous that he was clear and free of the slaughter of the Glencoe-men, for your majesty’s instructions and the master of Stair’s letters were sent straight from London to him also we as to Sir Thomas Livingstoun, yet he, knowing the peculiar circumstances of the Glencoe-men, shunned to execute them and gave no orders in the matter till such time as knowing that his Lieutenant Colonel had received orders to take with him four hundred men of his garrison and regiment for the expedition against Glencoe.

He, to save his own honour and authority gave a general order to his lieutenant colonel Hamilton, to take the four hundred men and to put to due execution the orders which others had given him.

Lieutenant Colonel Hamilton’s part came next to be considered and he, being required to be present and called and failing to appear, we ordered him to be an outlawed, to be seized wherever he could be found. And having considered the orders that he received and orders he said before the commission he gave, and his share in the execution, we agreed that from what appeared he was not clear of the murder of the Glencoe-men, and that there was ground to prosecute him for it.

Major Duncanson, who received orders from Hamilton, is in Flanders, as well as those to whom he gave orders, we could not see these orders, and therefore we only resolved about him that we should address to your majesty either to cause him be examined there in Flanders about the orders he received and his knowledge of the affair, or to order him home to be prosecuted.

therefore, as your majesty shall think fit in the last place the depositions of the witnesses being clear as to the share which Captain Campbell of Glenlyon, Captain Drummond, Lieutenant Lindsay, Ensign Lundy and Sergeant Barber had in the execution of the Glencoe-men upon whom they were quartered, we agreed that it appeared that the said persons were the actors in the slaughter of the Glencoe-men under trust, and that we should address your majesty to send them home to be prosecuted for the same according to law.

This being the state of the whole matter as it lies before us, and which, together with the report sent to your majesty by the commission (and which we saw verified), gives full light to it, we humbly beg that considering that the master of Stair’s excess in his letters against the Glencoe-men has been the original cause of this unhappy business and has given occasion in a great measure to so extraordinary an execution by the warm directions he gives about doing it by way of surprise.

And considering the high station and trust he is in and that he is absent, we do therefore beg that your majesty will give such orders about him for vindication of your government as you, in your royal wisdom shall think fit.

And likewise, considering that the actors were barbarously killed [by] men under trust, we humbly desire your majesty would be pleased to send the actors home and to give orders to your advocate to prosecute them according to law, there remaining nothing else to be done for the full vindication of your government of so foul and scandalous an aspersion as it has lies under upon this occasion.

We shall only add that the remains of the Glencoe-men who escaped the slaughter, being reduced to great poverty by the depredation and devastation that was then committed upon them, and having ever since lived peaceably under your majesty’s protection, have now applied to us that we might intercede with your majesty that some reparation may be made to them for their losses.

We do humbly lay their case before your majesty as worthy of your royal charity and compassion that such orders may be given for supplying them in their necessities as your majesty shall think fit.

And this is the most humble address of the estates of parliament, is by order and their warrant and in their name, subscribed by, may it please your majesty, your majesty’s most humble most obedient and most faithful subject and servant. Annandale, president of the parliament of Scotland – 10 July 1695 voted and approved in parliament.

A comprehensive essay documenting the massacre can be found at:



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