March 13, 2002 - Scottish Clans Revive Blood Feud 300 Years

From a Rueters London News Post

More than 300 years after dozens of people were slaughtered in one of Scotland's worst atrocities, a bitter feud between rival families has resurfaced.

Some 38 members of the MacDonald clan were murdered in their sleep by the rival Campbell clan in the notorious Glencoe Massacre of 1692 during a bloody power struggle.

Now the centuries-old hatred has resurfaced because a Campbell has been made the head of a visitor center in Glencoe in the remote Scottish Highlands.

"I honestly do not believe it," Highland historian Hector MacDonald told the Daily Telegraph newspaper. "I have nothing against the Campbells, but I would not stay a night in the company of one."

Local resident Rosalind MacDonald, whose ancestor Duncan Rankin was killed in the massacre, demanded a rethink. "Given the massive opposition to the National Trust plans in Glencoe it appears very insensitive indeed," MacDonald told the BBC Radio 4 Today program. "The Campbells are not to be trusted in these parts." The massacre, a landmark in Scottish history, followed a battle for supremacy among the powerful Highland families.

It came after England's King William III demanded the clans swear an oath of allegiance to the Crown.

When the MacDonalds failed to take the oath, the Campbells slaughtered men, women and children of the MacDonald clan as they slept.

The National Trust for Scotland, the heritage body which plans to open the Glencoe visitor center in May, played down the row and defended its appointment of Roddy Campbell.

"He was the best man for the job," National Trust spokesman Simon Walton told Reuters. "When we open in May, everyone is going to be welcome."