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The MacDonalds of Glencoe


The MACDONALDS of GLENCOE are descended from John Og, surnamed Fraoch, natural son of Angus Og of Isla, and brother of John, first lord of the Isles. He settled in Glencoe, which is a wild and gloomy vale in the district of Lorn, Argyleshire, as a vassal under his brother, and some of his descendants still possess land there. This branch of the Macdonalds was known as the clan Ian Abrach, it is supposed from one of the family being fostered in Lochaber. After the revolution, MacIan or Alexander Macdonald of Glencoe, was one of the chiefs who supported the cause of King James, having joined Dundee in Lochaber at the head of his clan, and a mournful interest attaches to the history of this tribe from the dreadful massacre, by which it was attempted to exterminate it in February 1692. The story has often been told, but as full details have been given in the former part of this work, it is unnecessary to repeat them here.

The Macdonalds of Glencoe joined Prince Charles on the breaking out of the rebellion in 1745, and General Stewart, in his Sketches of the Highlanders, relates that when the insurgent army lay at Kirkliston, near the seat of the Earl of Stair grandson of Secretary Dalrymple, the prince, anxious to save his Lordship's house and property, and to remove from his followers all excitement and revenge, proposed that the Glencoe-men should be march to a distance, lest the remembrance of the share his grandfather had in the order for the massacre of the clan should rouse them to retaliate on his descendant. Indignant at being supposed capable of wreaking their vengeance on an innocent man, they declared their resolution of returning home, and it was not without much explanation and great persuasion that they were prevented from marching away the following morning.


Clan MacDonald Index