massacred by their guests during the night. It was remarkable
not for the number of dead but for the appalling manner in which it was carried
Word got out by way of some survivors of the "most wicked
and execrable design," and the result was outrage throughout Scotland
as well a notable political disaster for the government in Edinburgh.9 Some
anger was directed at the Scottish government and William himself, but it
is clear that most Scots at the time did not hold William personally responsible
for the massacre and instead blamed his ministers in Scotland.10 The main significance
of this event was to harden the sense of Scottish nationality in the Highlands,
and particularly to further endear them to the Stuart line of James VII of
Scotland. This sentiment would play out over the next several decades until
it was brutally snuffed out in the Highland Clearances after the Battle of
Culloden in 1745.
Aside from issues of the revolution, the 1690's were still a decade that had a huge impact on how the Scots viewed their nation. To the Scottish at the time their nation seemed on the verge of economic collapse.11 Its commerce was crippled by England's Navigation Acts, which severely hampered any trade Scotland might have with England or any of England's colonies. Furthermore, England barred on any trade with France during the periodic wars between the two.12 Scotland's merchant fleet was thus totally at the will of England's navy.13 Scotland was particularly irritated by this factor contributing to their economic problems, because they felt their own king was supporting policies that hurt his Scottish subjects gravely in favor of the English.14
8. Schama, The Wars of the British: 1603-1776, 329.
9. To the King's Most Excellent Majesty, the humble Address of the General Assembly of the Church of Scotland, 1692.
10. Gallienus redivivus, or, Murther will out: being a True Account of the Dewiting of Glencoe, (Edinburgh, 1695), 6-7.
11. T.C. Smoot, "The Anglo-Scottish Union of 1707. I. The Economic Background," The Economic History Review 16, no.3 (1964).
12. T.M. Devine, The Scottish Nation, (New York: Viking Penguin, 1999), 5.
13. Murray Pittock, Scottish Nationality, (Palgrave: New York, 2001), 53.
14. Colin Kidd, "Protestantism, Constitutionalism, and British Identity under the later Stuarts," British Consciousness and Identity, ed. Brendan Bradshaw and Peter Roberts, (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1998), 331.