This text explores the turbulent history of the Highlands during the 17th century. The signing of the National Covenant in 1638 first challenged the powers of Charles I in Scotland, but it was only when Alasdair MacDonald joined Montrose in raising the Royalist clans that the country erupted into civil war. Central to the conflict was the ancient enmity between the MacDonalds and the Campbells, Earls of Argyll, as Clan Donald attempted to reclaim their ancestral lands in Argyll. Political and religious tension mounted with the accession of James VII of Scotland (James II of England) as a Catholic king ruling over a predominantly Prebysterian people. It reached a climax in the outbreak of the Highland War, when Viscount Dundee won a devastating victory at Killiecrankie on behalf of James VII over the Prebysterian forces of Lowland Scotland, but at the cost of his own life. Subsequently the Crown imposed an uneasy peace upon the Highlands, after the cold-blooded plotting of "murder under trust" culminated in the Glencoe Massacre.
Condoned by William of Orange, few events in the blood-stained history of the Highland clans have quite the dreadful resonance of this act, carried out so cynically as a matter of public policy.
John L Roberts is DECEASED - Jessie Roberts (wife) is his literary executor at the