(2 syl.). The massacre of Glencoe. The Edinburgh authorities exhorted the Jacobites to submit to William and Mary, and offered pardon to all who submitted on or before the 31st of December, 1691.
Mac-Ian, chief of the Macdonalds of Glencoe, was unable to do so before the 6th of January, and his excuse was sent to the Council at Edinburgh. The Master of Stair (Sir John Dalrymple) resolved to make an example of Mac-Ian, and obtained the king's permission “to extirpate the set of thieves.” Accordingly, on the 1st of February, 120 soldiers, led by a Captain Campbell, marched to Glencoe, told the clan they were come as friends, and lived peaceably among them for twelve days; but on the morning of the 13th, the glenmen, to the number of thirty-eight, were scandalously murdered, their huts set on fire, and their flocks and herds driven off as plunder. Campbell has written a poem, and Talfourd a play on the subject.
Source: Dictionary of Phrase and Fable, E. Cobham Brewer, 1894