SCOTLAND’S top historian has weighed in on the controversy surrounding the Redcoat Cafe at Edinburgh Castle.

Tom Devine, professor emeritus at Edinburgh University, has said it would be a “gross historical error” to assume that “only English soldiers were redcoats”.

But he said the name would “for many Scots” conjure up “bloody images of Culloden and the slaughter of the clans”.

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Edinburgh Castle has now said it will review the name of both the Redcoat Cafe and the Jacobite function room.

A petition calling on the castle to rename the cafe, which has had the name since 1992, has so far garnered more than 1100 signatures.

But Devine poured cold water onto the debate on Monday, pointing out that “many thousands” of Scots had served in the trademark red uniforms of the British Army.

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What's the verdict?

He told The National: “The controversy about the Redcoat Cafe at Edinburgh Castle probably reflects the fact that for many Scots the word ‘redcoat’ conjures up bloody images of Culloden and the slaughter of the clans both during the battle itself and even more brutally afterwards when the wounded were finished off in their final agonies by red-coated Hanoverian troops.

“There is however another important historical fact that needs to be borne in mind.

"From the Seven Years War (1756-63) many thousands of Highland and Lowland Scots were recruited into the British Army and fought in their red tunics throughout the empire until the uniforms for soldiers on active service changed in the later 19th century.

“Numerous paintings from the time depict both officers and men of the famous Highland regiments wearing the familiar red tunics together with kilts from the waist.”

One painting of the Battle of Waterloo shows Scottish soldiers in red coats and kilts charging at French troops before Cornet Charles Ewart of the Scots Greys seized the eagle emblem of the French 45th Ligne.

The eagle standard remains at the Scottish United Services Museum in Edinburgh Castle.

Devine added: “To assume that only English soldiers were ‘redcoats’, as some engaged in this controversy seem to do, is simply gross historical error.”