The Massacre Of Glencoe: Our Music Historical Short On This Interesting And Sad Part From The History Of Scotland

The Industrious Family boasts of descent from the entire United Kingdom countries. We are definitely most proud of our Scottish and Irish heritage. Provided here are the most interesting things we like about the history of Scotland.

Below you will find a short film we made on the Massacre of Glencoe, a book review of our favorite novel about the history of Scotland, our full film which takes place in Scotland, great parties to throw that celebrate Scottish culture, and the interesting facts from the history of Scotland we find especially noteworthy.

Like I said, we love everything Scottish!

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1. Listen To The Sad Story Of The Massacre Of Glencoe While Watching A Short Film On The Tragedy

Story goes, the MacDonalds were a fierce highland clan whose favorite pastime was to raid and cattle rustle. They were sworn enemies of the Campbells. When the time came that an oath of alliance was demanded to the lowlander-supported King William of Orange, the Campbells did all in their power to see that it was not signed by the MacDonalds. 

After seeking permission from King James to take the oath and receiving it, the chief of the MacDonalds rushed to take it before the ascribed time, January 1st, 1692, arriving at Fort William on December 31st. The Campbell who had to be present for him to take the oath was not there.

The Macdonald chief was not able to take the oath until January 3rd. His lowlander enemies rejoiced at the opportunity to make an example of the highland clan.

With much stealth, they made their way into the MacDonald's homes. Their victims welcomed them with open arms, resting assured that their oath was binding. The sad words of the song tell the rest of what happened, whether it was solely Campbell fault or no. 

It is said that the Campbells, although definitely the villains of the song, were actually quite lenient on the MacDonalds during the massacre, giving the survivors hospitality. The leader of the massacre was a Campbell, but he was acting as a soldier of the king, not out of vengeance for personal wrongs.

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A Deeper Delve Into This Song About The History Of Scotland

The History of Scotland

The words of the letter that "King William had signed" are quite forceful and denote that he was fully convinced of the MacDonald's guilt and his permission and command to stamp the entire family out. 

Part of the orders read: "This is by the Kings special command, for the good & safety of the Country, that these miscreants be cut off root and branch. See that this be put in execution without feud or favor, else you may expect to be dealt with as one not true to King nor Government, nor a man fit to carry Commission in the Kings service."

We were able to find a copy of the document and print it to use in our movie on this very interesting chapter in the history of Scotland.

Read The Lyrics For The Massacre Of Glencoe That Tells The Whole Story In One Song

CHORUS: Oh cruel is the snow that sweeps Glencoe
And covers the grave o' Donald
And cruel was the foe that raped Glencoe
And murdered the house o' MacDonald

They came through the blizzard, we offered them heat
A roof ower their heads, dry shoes for their feet
We wined them and dined them, they ate o' our meat
And slept in the house O' MacDonald

They came from Fort William with murder mind
The Campbells had orders, King William had signed
Pit all tae the sword, these words underlined
And leave none alive called MacDonald

They came in the night when the men were asleep
That band of Argyles, through snow soft and deep
Like murdering foxes, among helpless sheep
They slaughtered the house o' MacDonald

Some died in their beds at the hands of the foe
Some fled in the night, were lost in the snow
Some lived to accuse him, what struck the first blow
But gone was the house of MacDonald.

Thank you scottishhistory.org, for your interpretation of the king's letter which, although I could read pieces here and there, I was unable to translate the whole of, and as a source for double checking my facts of the Massacre of Glencoe.

Outlaws of Ravenhurst the Movie

2. Though They Might Have Been Wrongly Blamed In This Instance, The Campbells Were Well Known In The History Of Scotland As Traitors To The Highlanders

Robert Louis Stevenson

I know nothing I would help a Campbell to, unless it was a leaden bullet. I would hunt all of that name like blackcocks. If I lay dying, I would crawl upon my knees to my chamber window for a shot at one.

These words spoken by Alan Breck Stewart to his young lowlander friend, David Balfour, in Robert Louis Stevenson's Kidnapped shows the bitter hatred of most highlanders toward the Campbell clan.

The Campbells are considered traitors who, although highlanders, support the lowlander kings and for "lying words, lying papers, tricks fit for a peddler, and the show of what's legal over all, to make a man more angry."

Alan's principle hatred is fixed on the "Red Fox", Collin Campbell. This man in particular has taken the lands of Alan's kinfolk and demanded rent from an already suffering people. 

The conflict between the two clans of Stewart and Campbell actually lays the basis down of the story as Collin's sudden murder throws the blame on both David and Alan and the two must take to the heather. Read the full Kidnapped review here...

Outlaws of Ravenhurst the Movie

3. Our Film Based On Our Favorite Book About The History Of Scotland, Outlaws Of Ravenhurst

We love Scottish culture! One of our favorite books, written by Sister M. Imelda Wallace, takes place in Scotland, Outlaws of Ravenhurst. In 2017, we made a film based on this engaging novel. This movie featured a first-time cast ranging from ages 3 months to 45 years old, mostly children. 

Introducing Becket Bowen as the Gordon, Jonah Lawrence as Sir Roger, James Phillips as Godfrey. This movie is full of adventure and fun.

Outlaws Of Ravenhurst takes place in 1641 in the wake of the bloody Protestant Reformation when Catholics in Scotland were denied the right to true worship of God.

Watch the full film here...

4. The Perfect Party Variations That Celebrate Scottish Culture: Burns Supper, Highland Games, And Scottish Dinner Party

burns supper

Hosting a Burns Supper is a super fun way to celebrate the Bard of Scotland's birthday on January 24th. Enjoy poetry, an authentic Scottish meal (yes, that's right Haggis served alongside neeps and tatties), and songs in the early evening or late into the night. 

An interesting Scottish fact is that Haggis was actually a personal favorite meal of Robert Burns, who popularized it with his poem "Address Tae A Haggis".

We went to our first Burns Supper years ago and have enjoyed hosting one ourselves on and off throughout the years. This is a great opportunity to get your kids to study a culture, memorize a poem/song, learn public speaking, or create a presentation.

Highland games party

Not as scholarly and more competitive in nature is the backyard Highland games party. This theme highlights physical accomplishments with the sheaf toss, hammer throw, caber toss, weight throw and shoot the English knight. 

And, of course, kids will love showing their Scotch spirit with Braveheart face painting! Also included at this fun party are fiddle-playing, drumming, piping (if you can find a piper), and dancing. This party is best celebrated as a summer or fall birthday so that all activities can be done outside. 

scottish dinner party

Very similar to a Burn Supper, a Scottish dinner party features a period of entertainment leading up to or immediately after a Scottish meal. The distinction between the two parties is that a Burns supper is very strictly only Burns songs or poems whereas a Scottish party embraces everything Scottish. 

The focus also changes a little with the food being the focus instead of the entertainment. We used this kind of party for our Outlaws of Ravenhurst premiere!

Outlaws of Ravenhurst the Movie

5. Did You Know? Some Interesting Tid Bits And Trivia About Scotland

famous Scottish characters
  1. St. Patrick is said to have originally been from Scotland before he was carried off as a slave to Ireland.
  2. Scooter is the name of the Scottish VeggieTale character and McLarry and the Stinky Cheese Battle takes place in a "strange land where Rome and Scotland are right next to each other".
  3. Rob Roy was one of the first live action Disney films.
  4. Robert Louis Stevenson is a Scottish author.
  5. The unicorn is the national animal of Scotland. The unicorn is, apparently, a symbol of masculinity and strength. It is shown in Scottish crests being wrapped in a golden chain to symbolize that the Scottish kings are the only ones strong enough to harness and capture the unicorn. Hildegard's Physica goes into great detail on the uses of unicorns and how to capture them. Happy unicorn chasing!
  6. The reason that the thistle is the flower of Scotland is because there is a legend about how this flower saved the Scots from a British invasion. Story goes, the British were planning a night attack on the Scots. In order to be particularly stealthy, the Brits removed their shoes and began to sneak across a field. Fortunately, they stumbled upon a field of thistle. The screams from the British army were so loud that the Scots awoke and were forewarned of the danger.
  7. Rome conquered the whole known world and then built a wall to keep the Scots out.
  8. There is a mystery about Loch Ness: either there is a monster lurking under the surface or excited "eye-witnesses" have only been excited by an empty illusion. Water Horse is a World War II movie that incorporates interesting facts about the loch and the pictures that have been taken of "Nessy". 
  9. Susan Peek's book, Saint Magnus The Last Viking, takes place in the Orkney Isles, a collection of islands just off the coast of Scotland. 

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