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Discrimination against Campbells at Clachaig Inn, Glencoe.

This evening, I am posting information on a memorial to one of the most infamous events in Scottish history.

The ostensible reason for the Massacre of Glencoe was an edict issued by King William III requiring all clan chieftains to sign an oath of allegiance by Jan 1st 1692. The MacDonald chief was 6 days late in signing the required oath.This was because he first went to North, to Fort William in error and was redirected South to Inveraray where the Sheriff received the required oath on January 6th.

However, long-running tensions between the MacDonalds and neighbouring Campbells combined with the Government’s irritation with the MacDonald chief resulted in a military force being billeted with the MacDonald community.On February 1st 1692, a 120 strong company of Argyll’s regiment under command of Robert Campbell of Glenlyon were billeted in the Glen with the local MacDonald community.Relations between the military force and the MacDonalds was initially amicable but on February 12th Glenlyon received instructions from Robert Duncanson, a major in the Argyll Regiment which required the force to “fall upon the rebels the MacDonalds of Glencoe, and to put all to the sword under seventy. You are to have special care that the old fox and his sonnes do not escape your hands.” (The “old fox” is a reference to the local clan chief, MacIain.)

In all 38 MacDonalds were shot on the day (February 13th.) but due to a policy of burning houses and driving off cattle, leaving neither shelter nor food, the actual number of dead is not certain but could have been as high as 127.

The Massacre shocked the people of the day, principally because the soldiers had previously accepted hospitality of the MacDonalds and breach of the Highland code of hospitality was taken very seriously.

Simple memorial at Inverigan where eleven MacDonalds were shot.

Ruins of a house at Inverigan which was built on site of a MacDonald house existing at time of Massacre.

A memorial was erected in 1883 to the murdered chief. This can be accessed (on foot) from the village of Glencoe.

Inscription on Massacre memorial

Glencoe today is a small Highland village close to the River Coe and Loch Leven, about 25 miles south of Fort William.

Cyclo-cross event at Rouken Glen, Scotland

This morning the Catswhiskers team attended a Cyclo-cross event at Rouken Glen Park, Glasgow, Scotland. This was a well-patronised event in one of Scotland’s most popular public parks. Participants were of both sexes and ages ranged from teenagers to forty years plus.

Winner of men’s event crosses the finishing line on foot.

As will be evident from the images and videos herein, the ground surface was wet and muddy although the event was not affected by rain.

Participants at Cyclo-cross event, Glasgow

Summary information on Cyclo-cross as sourced from the British Cycling website:

Races

Multi-lap events usually lasting for an hour for senior riders, with shorter distances for other categories. At the end of the set time, a bell is rung signifying the last lap, known as the ‘bell lap’. Racing seldom sees large bunches forming due to the nature of the terrain, with groups of two or three riders forming at the most. Cyclo-cross is often a personal battle between the rider and the course, making it engaging for riders of all abilities.

Cyclo-cross course at Rouken Glen

Navigating obstacles

Venues

Cyclo-cross takes place in off-road venues such as public parks and other open spaces. Surfaces can include grass, mud, gravel and sand. Courses are short and winding, enabling multiple laps to be completed within a set distance. Courses often feature obstacles such as hurdles and sand pits, forcing riders to dismount and carry or run with their bikes. Some courses are more ‘technical’ than others, featuring tight single-track trails, tree roots and other obstacles.

Uphill section

Bikes

Cyclo-cross bikes are from a distance, very similar to road bikes, with 700c wheels, rigid frames and forks and dropped handlebars. However, there are significant differences; Cyclo-cross bikes have wider knobbly tyres, slighter lower gearing, different frame geometry, more clearance for mud and either cantilever or disc brakes.

Video clips of the event are provided below.

Rowan Family burial Marker at Govan Old Church

Today, I am straying into the territory of my sister blog, GlasgowAncestry.

A few hours ago I was undertaking research at Govan Old Church near Glasgow and came across a very old grave-marker providing family records dating back to the early 1600s. From my experience this long chronology is extremely unusual and is aided by:

  • A high quality marker stone which has suffered little erosion notwithstanding lying recumbent (flat) and subject to the vagaries of the Scottish weather.
  • High quality, deep engraving.

The foregoing points to the Rowan family being of substance.

The inscription records the deaths of:

  • James Rowan, *Portioner of East End of Meikle, Govan. Died July 4th 1631.
  • Elizabeth Rowan died 1648.
  • Agnes Calquhoun, Dec. 1675.
  • John Rowan, Nov 1716.
  • John Rowan, May 1799.
  • James Rowan, June 1st 1770, age 67.

(*In Scotland, a Portioner is/was a person who receives a portion or share of something. The person would be the proprietor of a small portion of a larger piece of land.)

As James Rowan died 1631 it is likely this marker provides a link back to the 1500s when he was probably born.  Even so, by the 16th century the site at Govan had already been a Christian place of worship and burial ground for about 900 years.