« VorigeDoorgaan »
chief's submission having been concealed, the sanguinary orders for proceeding to military execution against his clan were in consequence obtained. The warrant was both signed and counter-signed by the king's own hand, and the secretary urged the officers who commanded in the Highlands to execute their orders with the utmost rigour. Campbell of Glenlyon, a captain in Argyll's regiment, and two subalterns, were ordered to repair to Glencoe on the first of February with a hundred and twenty men. Campbell, being uncle to young Macdonald's wife, was received by the father with all manner of friendship and hospitality. The men were lodged at free quarters in the houses of his tenants, and received the kindest entertainment. Till the 13th of the month the troops livedd in the utmost harmony and familiarity with the people; and on the very night of the massacre, the officers passed the evening at cards in Macdonald's house. In the night, Lieutenant Lindsay, with a party of soldiers, called in a friendly manner at his door, and was instantly admitted. Macdonald, while in the act of rising to receive his guest, was shot dead through the back with two bullets. His wife had already dressed, but she was stripped naked by the soldiers, who tore the rings off her fingers with their teeth. The slaughter now became general, and neither age nor infirmity was spared. Some women, in defending their children, were killed; boys, imploring mercy, were shot dead by officers, on whose knees they hung. In one place nine persons, as they sat enjoying themselves at table, were butchered by the soldiers. In Inveriggon, Campbell's own quarters, nine men were first bound by the soldiers, and then shot at intervals one by one. Nearly forty persons were massacred by the troops; and several, who fled to the mountains, perished by famine and the inclemency of the season. Those who escaped owed their lives to a tempestuous night. Lieutenant-Colonel Hamilton, who had received the charge of the execution from Dalrymple, was on his march with four hundred men, to guard all the passes from the valley of Glencoe; but he was obliged to stop by the severity of the weather, which proved the safety of the unfortunate clan. Next day he entered the valley, laid the houses in ashes, and carried away the cattle and spoil, which were divided among the officers and soldiers.'-Article 'BRITAIN', Encyc. Britannica-new edition.
NOTE 10. FIDELITY OF THE HIGHLANDERS, p. 115
Of the strong undeviating attachment of the Highlanders to the person, and their deference to the will or commands of their chiefs and superiorstheir rigid adherence to duty and principle-and their chivalrous acts of selfdevotion to these in the face of danger and death-there are many instances recorded in General Stewart of Garth's interesting Sketches of the Highlanders and Highland Regiments, which might not inaptly supply parallels to the deeds of the Romans themselves at the era when Rome was in her glory. The following instances of such are worthy of being here quoted :
In the year 1795, a serious disturbance broke out in Glasgow among the Breadalbane Fencibles. Several men having been confined and threatened with corporal punishment, considerable discontent and irritation were excited among their comrades, which increased to such violence that, when some men were confined in the guard-house, a great proportion of the regiment rushed out, and forcibly released the prisoners. This violation of military discipline was not to be passed over; and, accordingly, measures were immediately taken to secure the ringleaders. But so many were equally concerned, that it was difficult, if not impossible, to fix the crime on any, as being more prominently guilty. And here was shown a trait of character worthy of a better cause, and which originated from a feeling alive to the disgrace of a degrading punishment. The soldiers being made sensible of the nature of their misconduct, and the consequent necessity of public example, several men voluntarily offered themselves to stand trial, and suffer the sentence of the law, as an atonement for the whole. These men were accordingly marched to Edinburgh Castle, tried, and four condemned
to be shot. Three of them were afterwards reprieved, and the fourth, Alexander Sutherland, was shot on Musselburgh Sands.
"The following demi-official account of this unfortunate misunderstanding was published at the time :
During the afternoon of Monday, when a private of the light company of the Breadalbane Fencibles, who had been confined for a military offence, was released by that company and some other companies who had assembled in a tumultuous manner before the guard-house, no person whatever was hurt and no violence offered; and however unjustifiable the proceedings, it originated not from any disrespect or ill-will to their officers, but from a mistaken point of honour in a particular set of men in the battalion, who thought themselves disgraced by the impending punishment of one of their number. The men have, in every respect, since that period conducted themselves with the greatest regularity and strict subordination. The whole of the battalion seemed extremely sensible of the improper conduct of such as were concerned, whatever regret they might feel for the fate of the few individuals who had so readily given themselves up as prisoners to be tried for their own and others' misconduct."
'On the march to Edinburgh, a circumstance occurred, the more worthy of notice, as it shows a strong principle of honour and fidelity to his word and to his officer, in a common Highland soldier. One of the men stated to the officer commanding the party, that he knew what his fate would be, but that he had left business of the utmost importance to a friend in Glasgow, which he wished to transact before his death; that, as to himself, he was fully prepared to meet his fate; but with regard to his friend, he could not die in peace unless the business was settled; and that if the officer would suffer him to return to Glasgow, a few hours there would be sufficient, and he would join him before he reached Edinburgh, and march as a prisoner with the party. The soldier added, "You have known me since I was a child; you know my country and kindred; and you may believe I shall never bring you to any blame by a breach of the promise I now make, to be with you in full time to be delivered up in the castle." This was a startling proposal to the officer, who was a judicious, humane man, and knew perfectly his risk and responsibility in yielding to such an extraordinary application. However, his confidence was such that he complied with the request of the prisoner, who returned to Glasgow at night, settled his business, and left the town before daylight to redeem his pledge. He took a long circuit to avoid being seen, apprehended as a deserter, and sent back to Glasgow, as probably his account of his officer's indulgence would not have been credited. In consequence of this caution, and the lengthened march through woods and over hills by an unfrequented route, there was no appearance of him at the hour appointed. The perplexity of the officer when he reached the neighbourhood of Edinburgh may be easily imagined. He moved forward slowly indeed, but no soldier appeared; and unable to delay any longer, he marched up to the castle, and as he was delivering over the prisoners, but before any report was given in, Macmartin, the absent soldier, rushed in among his fellowprisoners, all pale with anxiety and fatigue, and breathless with apprehension of the consequences in which his delay might have involved his benefactor.
In whatever light the conduct of the officer (my respectable friend, Major Colin Campbell) may be considered, either by military men or others, in this memorable exemplification of the characteristic principle of his countrymen, fidelity to their word, it cannot but be wished that the soldier's magnanimous self-devotion had been taken as an atonement for his own misconduct and that of the whole, who also had made a high sacrifice in the voluntary offer of their lives for the conduct of their brother soldiers. Are these a people to be treated as malefactors, without regard to their feelings and principles ? and might not a discipline, somewhat different from the usual mode, be, with advantage, applied to them? '-Vol. ii, pp. 413-15, 3rd edit.
A soldier of this regiment (the Argyllshire Highlanders) deserted, and emigrated to America, where he settled. Several years after his desertion, a letter was received from him, with a sum of money, for the purpose of procuring one or two men to supply his place in the regiment, as the only recompense he could make for "breaking his oath to his God and his allegiance to his king, which preyed on his conscience in such a manner, that he had no rest night nor day".
This man had had good principles early instilled into his mind, and the disgrace which he had been originally taught to believe would attach to a breach of faith now operated with full effect. The soldier who deserted from the 42nd Regiment at Gibraltar, in 1797, exhibited the same remorse of conscience after he had violated his allegiance. In countries where such principles prevail, and regulate the character of a people, the mass of the population may, on occasions of trial, be reckoned on as sound and trustworthy.'-Vol. ii, p. 218, 3rd edit.
The late James Menzies of Culdares, having engaged in the rebellion of 1715, and been taken at Preston, in Lancashire, was carried to London, where he was tried and condemned, but afterwards reprieved. Grateful for this clemency, he remained at home in 1745, but, retaining a predilection for the old cause, he sent a handsome charger as a present to Prince Charles, when advancing through England. The servant who led and delivered the horse was taken prisoner, and carried to Carlisle, where he was tried and condemned. To extort a discovery of the person who sent the horse, threats of immediate execution in case of refusal, and offers of pardon on his giving information, were held out ineffectually to the faithful messenger. He knew, he said, what the consequence of a disclosure would be to his master, and his own life was nothing in the comparison; when brought out for execution, he was again pressed to inform on his master. He asked if they were serious in supposing him such a villain. If he did what they desired, and forgot his master and his trust, he could not return to his native country, for Glenlyon would be no home or country for him, as he would be despised and hunted out of the Glen. Accordingly he kept steady to his trust, and was executed. This trusty servant's name was John Macnaughton, from Glenlyon, in Perthshire; he deserves to be mentioned, both on account of his incorruptible fidelity, and of his testimony to the honourable principles of the people, and to their detestation of a breach of trust to a kind and honourable master, however great might be the risk, or however fatal the consequences, to the individual himself.'-Vol. i, pp. 52, 53, 3rd edit.
a' body's, anybody's. aboon, above.
formed by deposit in
alluvial, water. ane, a, one.
anglice, in English.
Arlechino, Harlequin in the old Italian drama.
Auld Reekie, Old Smoky,' a name for Edinburgh.
bannocks, flat, round cakes. barony, estate.
beau cousin, mon, my dear cousin. belle cousine, ma, my dear cousin. bien, frugal, comfortable. biggings, buildings. biggit, built.
birling, a boat with six or eight oars used on the west coast of Scotland.
bittock, little bit, short distance. blink, a little, a wink. Bobadil, Captain, a braggart, a character in Ben Jonson's Every Man in his Humour.
bodach, spectre, spirit.
bohea, inferior sort of tea.
brownie, spirit, fairy.
cairn, conical heap of stones anciently erected as a memorial over a grave. canny, lucky.
carline, hag, witch.
carried, applied to a person whose mind is so abstracted that he cannot attend to his own business.
castor, a beaver hat.
cateran, a Highland robber. chambering, licentious indulgence. chappit, struck.
chère exquise, exquisite cheer, fare. chield, child, fellow.
circumduce, declare elapsed. condescendence, agreement, specification.
coronach, a lament for the dead.
creagh, cattle-lifting raid, foray. croft-rig, land of superior value. curch, a kerchief for covering the head.
diapré, variegated. dinna, do not.
doch-an-dorroch, a parting cup. doer, steward. door-check, threshold.
dreid, dread, fear.
éclat, brilliancy. eheu! alas.
en bagatelle, lightly, as a joke. Epicurishnesse, luxuriousness.
ex capite lecti, from the head of the bed.
factor, agent, land steward.