This tragedy began on 27th August 1691, when King William III in London offered a pardon to all Highland clans who had fought against him. But it was on the condition that they took the oath of allegiance before a magistrate by 1st January 1692. The alternative for failing to comply was death. MacDonald Clan Chief, MacIain of Glencoe, reluctantly agreed to take the oath, but mistakenly went to Inverlochy in Fort William instead of Inveraray near Oban. He finally reached Inveraray on January 6th, well after the deadline. MacDonald naivley believed that, despite this delay in taking the oath, he and his clan were now safe. But unknown to him, a force had already been assembled at Inveraray and given orders to exterminate the whole clan. The force left for Glencoe on 1st February, led by Captain Robert Campbell of Glen Lyon, a man with a grudge against the MacDonalds. Campbell asked for quarters for his 130 soldiers and, unaware of what was planned, the poor MacDonalds entertained them for 10 days. On the night of the 12th February, Campbell received orders to kill all MacDonalds under seventy years of age at 5 am the next morning. In the early hours of a cold winter's morning the soldiers rose from their beds and set about the massacre of their hosts, with whom they had been living on friendly terms. It was this act of treachery in response to hospitality that makes this massacre such a heinous crime.