The Moidart Timewarp
by Tim Roberton

1676 - 1700
In which James II chose exile rather than death and William and Mary were proclaimed joint rulers, a Special Commission for Pacifying the Highlands was established, Ranald Macdonald (XIV) fled to France after Killiecrankie, Jacobite Clan chiefs were required to take the Oath of Alliegance and the Glencoe massacre took place.

1679 Charles II's brother was James, later James II. Whilst Administrator Of Scotland (where he succeeded his nephew Monmouth) James was the victor over the Covenanters at Bothwell Bridge. He had showed himself to be terrible to Presbyterian dissenters. Subsequently as King, he allowed Dame Alice Leslie, who had given shelter to a rebel, to be beheaded for treason. A New History of Great Britain, RB Mowat, page 394.

1683 Special Commission for pacifying Highlands goes on tour. Glencoe, John Prebble, page 304.

1684 "Ewan MacDougall VicInnes in Ulgary, died Nov 1684 and owned 51 'great cows' valued at 680, four entering cows, six two year olds, ten stirks, a stot, a mare with two followers, four bools of victual, sheep and goats worth four cows and utensils valued at 18" Glenmoidart Notes, Bonnalie/Impey Papers Ref 16

1684 "Finwell Nein Dugald VcIan VcRury in Inshrory died July 1684 and had 15 great cows, etc" Glenmoidart Notes, Bonnalie/Impey Papers Ref 16

1685 This was the last year of Charles II reign. He died without legitimate issue. He had hoped to keep his younger brother James from inheriting, believing he was a hothead lacking common sense. However duly James II took the throne, making no secret of his Catholicism. He only reigned for three years. Zierer/Mountfield History of England p70.

1688 Before 1688, some schools offered reading writing and religion; but unfortunately this was all done in an unknown tongue, instructing the children who did not understand English by teachers who did not know Gaelic. After this date, more effective measures were introduced to spread education to remote districts by the Society for the Propagation of Christian Knowledge. The Social Life of Scotland in the Eighteenth Century. H Grey Graham. Page 422.

Not only was James II Catholic, but he had just produced a son and heir, which greatly alarmed the people. He had for some time been breaking the Constitutional laws introduced after the Reformation and had been forcing institutions such as the army, the church and the great universities to accept Catholic heads and the country took fright, turning to his older daughter Mary, married already to William of Orange (since 1677). William landed at Torquay and marched virtually unopposed to London. He and Mary, both stout Protestants were persuaded to take the throne jointly and James went into exile in France. This is sometimes referred to as the Peaceful Revolution. This established constitutional monarchy in England and Scotland, and although one sovereign ruled over both, the two countries had retained their separate governments and the sovereign might have to accept one kind of advice from the Government of England and another sort from Scotland.Zierer/Mountfield History of England p70 and A New History of Great Britain, RB Mowat, page 406 and page 434.

1688 Establishment of the Church of Scotland. TC Smout, A History of the Scottish People 1560-1830, page212.

1688 Maighstear Alasdair graduated at Glasgow University in 1674 and came to Dalilea as Minister for Ardnamurchan in about 1688. His wife was a MacLachlan, probably from Glencrepiscule. Their son was the Bard. St Finan's Isle, Its Story by Alastair Cameron (North Argyll), page 9 - Jean Cameron and Bonnalie/Impey Papers, Ref 38

1689 Presbyterianism was re-established following the installation of William and Mary. This was instead of Episcopacy, which had been in its place since 1662. In practice however, only about two thirds of the clergy (600 out of 900) were replaced, the remaining Episcopalian incumbents continuing through "the affection of the people or the favour of the gentry". There were in reality few differences in worship between the two hostile persuasions. The Social Life of Scotland in the Eighteenth Century. H Grey Graham. Page 271.

William and Mary proclaimed King and Queen of Scotland, but Battle of Killicrankie saw Jacobite clan chiefs enter a bond to support James II as their true liege. James II then turned towards Ireland where he went from France to put himself at the head of the Catholic Irish. However after two years of skirmishing and seiging by Catholics of Protestant towns such as Londonderry (1689) and Enniskillen, the Irish were comprehensively defeated by William at Battle of the Boyne in 1690.This seemed to settle the question for the time being. Glencoe, John Prebble p305 and A New History of Great Britain, RB Mowat, page 407.

1689 After the defeat at Killicrankie, Alan Macdonald, chief of Clanranald, fled to France, where he remained until1696. Upon his return, he found his estates intact and not forfeited because his cousin, Donald of Benbecula had, through negotiations with friends who carried authority in government, been able to preserve Clanranald lands. Castle Tioram, Christian Aikman, page 16.

1690 Scottish population about one million (compared with over five million currently), of which 25% in the Highlands (compared with 7% currently). TC Smout, A History of the Scottish People 1560-1830, page 119.
Note: expressed in people rather than percentages, the Highland population seems to have been 250,000 in 1690 and 280,000 now.

1691 Jacobite clan chiefs required to take oath of allegiance to William. Glencoe, John Prebble p306.

1692 MacDonalds in Glencoe massacred for not complying with oath in time. Glencoe, John Prebble p309.  Captain Robert Campbell received written orders from Major Robert Duncanson instructing him "to fall upon the MacDonalds…..and to put all to the sword under seventy". The slaughter began at dawn on Saturday 13 February. Many escaped south over the hills to Appin. Glencoe and the Indians, James Hunter, page 63

1695 "Margaret MacLean at Kinlochuachdrach died leaving five cows, an old mare, a firlot of corn and was described as 'extraordinarily poor'" Glenmoidart Notes, Bonnalie/Impey Papers Ref 16

1696 Alan Macdonald returned from exile in France and went to live in South Uist (until he went in 1715 and met his death at Sherrifmuir). Castle Tioram, Christian Aikman, page 18.

1697 A series of poor harvests from 1695 to 1699, coupled with murrain among cattle caused perhaps the heaviest famine mortality for a century. TC Smout, A History of the Scottish People 1560-1830, page 154.

1698 Unsuccessful attempt by the Scottish Government to found a colony on the Isthmus of Darien was ascribed to a lack of sympathy on the part of the English Government.A New History of Great Britain, RB Mowat, page 434.

1700 Eilean-Fhionnan, for some time Clanranald land in Moidart had on it a family of sextons from about 1700 called Mc Gillivray. Moidart Among the Clanranalds p 102 Charles MacDonald, Ed John Watts.  At about this time the Minister for Moidart was the well known Rev Alexander Macdonald, father of the celebrated bard Alasdair MacMhaighstir Alasdair. He resided at Dalelea and walked prodigious distances to services at Kilchoan. Moidart Among the Clanranalds p 118 Charles MacDonald, Ed John Watts.

1700 By this date, cattle were a regular export from the Highlands. Crieff, Stirling and Beauly were the main markets. Cattle could make about ten miles a day and locally, taking Arisaig as the starting point (looked at another way, it was the end of the road), overnight stops would be Kinlochmoidart, Glenfinnan, Fassfern, Lochy etc. Gordon Barr, Comann Eachdraidh Muideart.


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