It is a great pity if MacDonalds worldwide persist in the long-refuted account that the wretched 1692 “Massacre of Glencoe” was “Campbells against MacDonalds” — and which somehow supports the second amendment of the US Constitution (“A clan on a mission”, Life & Arts, August 31). A government force, whose company commander happened to be a Campbell, had been commanded by the evil Master of Stair in Kensington Palace “to maul in the long cold nights” the troublesome Glencoe MacDonalds; they had been deemed to have refused to sign an oath of loyalty to King William, despite the efforts of the local Campbell sheriff.

Clan MacDonald itself has been far from innocent of violence. The 40 or so Glencoe deaths pale in comparison with the 3,000 caused by their Donald, Lord of the Isles, when he undertook the greatest invasion of mainland Scotland with a massive, battle-hardened army in the summer of 1411, only checked by the bloodiest of Scottish battles, described by appalled medieval historians as “atrocious”.

Ian Olson
Aberdeen, UK

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