The Glencoe massacre was politically motivated against the MacDonald clan in Glencoe, Scotland. In the second half of the 17th century, the English Parliament rebelled against King James II of England. who ruled in Scotland as James VII. and was brought to power by William Oransky.
The clan leader, Alaistar MacDonald, did not want to swear an oath to the new king until the very last hour, and thus resented the new government. He also resented Robert Campbell’s earl when he destroyed his property after a battle, after which Campbell had to join the army to feed his family. The conspiracy against MacDonald was coined by the royal prosecutor and secretary, John Dalrymple, Scotland’s supreme military commander, Sir Thomas Livingston, and King William.
In early February 1692, about 120 Earl soldiers from Argyll were stationed at the MacDonald’s in Glencoe according to all Scottish hospitality rules. Their commander was Robert Campbell, a married affair with the MacDonalds. Captain Drummond arrived to convey information to Campbell, he stayed for dinner and card. The next morning, 2/13/1692. Captain Drummond killed the head of the clan, Alastair MacDonald. The sons and wife managed to escape. On the run, 38 men were killed and 40 women and children were killed in the fire. Some soldiers refused to obey the order while some alerted their hosts to the conspiracy.
A few years later a committee was set up to clarify what had happened. There is a special category of Scottish law in the law – homicide with abuse of trust. It was not easy to bring responsible justice because, for starters, the order was signed by the king. Furthermore, the company that committed the crime surrendered to the French in Flanders. Conspiracy leaders were not in the country. The commission found the King not guilty and all responsibility fell to Secretary of State John Dalrymple. Parliament asked the Commission and the King to punish the culprits and pay compensation to the surviving members of the MacDonald clan. No one was eventually convicted.
What shocked Scotland the most was not the death toll but the betrayal of the trust and Scottish welcome.