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19 September 2014
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Restoration and Revolution (II)

Deliverance 1689-90
James VIIThe crunch came in 1685 when Charles II died and was succeeded by his brother James, a Catholic. Many Scots were extremely troubled over taking an oath which acknowledged a Catholic as the head of their Protestant Kirk. However, deliverance came for the Presbyterians in 1688 when William of Orange invaded England and King James fled to France. Many Scots exiles who had fled the Stuart regime returned with William from Holland, and a Scottish convention drafted the Claim of Right, which demanded a free Parliament and a Presbyterian Kirk. The exiled James VII ordered the convention to obey their rightful king, whilst the Scottish Parliament proclaimed William King of Scots and reclaimed their political power.

The Birth of Jacobitism 1689-90
The Jacobites were the supporters of the exiled Stewart dynasty, and, in particluar, the exiled James VII, his son James Francis Edward Stuart (The Old Pretender), and his grandson Charles Edward Stuart (Bonnie Prince Charlie or The Young Pretender). They believed that the natural order of Scottish society, with the rightful Stuart King at the top, was being destroyed by the Presbyterians. In 1689 John Graham of Claverhouse (Bonnie Dundee) led the first Jacobite rising - drawing most of his support from the Highlands, an area beyond the government’s control and a Jacobite hotbed. Claverhouse was victorious at the Battle of Killiecrankie, but was struck down by a stray bullet at the moment of victory and the rising collapsed.

William of Orange
William of Orange is the famed King Billy. He was a Dutchman and wasn’t particularly interested in Scotland; his life-long struggle was with Louis XIV of France and he relied on the money markets of London and Amsterdam to fund his war with the French. His invasion of England in 1688 was in many ways an indirect war effort against the French King. Scotland was either an irritation or a source of much needed troops to William. He left the governance of Scotland to his lieutenants, like Dalrymple of Stair, whose simple solution to the problem of the Jacobite highlanders was to threaten and violently suppress the Clans into submission. However, when it seemed genocide wasn’t a viable proposition, Dalrymple decided to make an John Graham of Claverhouseexample of one small clan instead: the MacDonalds of Glencoe.

The Massacre of Glencoe, 1692
On 13th Febuary 1692, a detachment of Government soldiers led by Captain Robert Campbell of Glenlyon marched into Glencoe. After accepting two weeks of MacDonald hospitality they butchered 38 of the clan. Glenlyon was acting on direct orders from Dalrymple of Stair, orders counter-signed twice by William of Orange. The massacre shocked Scotland and provided ample propaganda for the Jacobites, who published copies of the orders and conspired with greater urgency. The Scottish Parliament declared the whole affair an act of murder and Dalrymple lost his office, although William remained unimpeachable. The next 50 years of British history were characterised by Jacobite risings.


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Glencoe History Trail Media Museum

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