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Planet Earth 25: Glencoe, Scotland

Glencoe is a stunning highland landscape of Scotland which has not lost its wildness. Only two hours north west of Glasgow, Glencoe is a haven of windswept, rocky splendour. The dramatic landscape is well suited to its human history – a bloody tale of internecine clan warfare and brutal oppression by the English. Traditionally home to the MacDonald clan, the area’s most famous event was the Glencoe massacre of February 1692.

William III demanded that the clan chieftains swear an oath of allegiance to him. The MacDonalds were late in swearing it. A band of warriors, led by the rival chieftain Joseph Campbell and some of his clansmen, accepted the MacDonalds’ hospitality and then, under cover of darkness, murdered 35 men. They burned the homes as they went, leaving women and children to perish in the freezing cold. The attack caused outrage, as it was seen to violate long-standing traditions of clan hospitality.


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