RESIDENTS of a Scottish town have been urged to tell their councillors to “erase” the name of a controversial redcoat general from their streets.

People living in Kirriemuir in Angus are to be consulted on changing the name of Cumberland Close, which is named after the British general William Augustus, duke of Cumberland.

The duke earned the nickname “Butcher Cumberland” due to the brutal suppression of Jacobite supporters during the 1745 rebellion and the Battle of Culloden in 1746.

At a meeting in December, Angus councillors voted by 13 to 10 to note “the strength of feeling in Kirriemuir around the issue” and agree in principle to a name change.

READ MORE: Edinburgh Castle responds to backlash over 'deeply offensive' Redcoat cafe

An amendment from SNP council leader Beth Whiteside was passed, and a consultation will open for locals in the near future.

Scott McFarlane, who has led the campaign to see the Cumberland name removed, had pushed councillors to back his proposal.

“I would urge you to do the right thing and vote to expunge any trace of this monster from our beautiful wee red town of Kirriemuir,” he told the full meeting in December.

The National:

Ahead of the launch of the consultation, McFarlane has called on the people of Kirriemuir to support his bid to change the name of Cumberland Close, drawing parallels to the outcry over Edinburgh Castle’s “redcoat cafe”.

“I would beg them to give me the support to erase this name from our little society here,” he said.

“How many more insults can the Scots take? It's deeply offensive. I think there's no other country in the world which would tolerate this.”

There are three proposed new names for the street – Visocchi Close, Lindsay Close, and Millar Lane – as well as an open fourth option.

McFarlane said he would “like to call it Visocchi Close, after an Italian immigrant family which arrived in town in 1930 and gave us the best part of the 20th century”.

“They brought happiness and joy to our town,” he added, “whereas the Duke of Cumberland (below)  brought nothing but wretched misery to our country.”

The National:

Lindsay Close and Millar Lane are both historic names of the street, according to research from the Angus Archives. It has been called Cumberland Close since 1910.

Some have argued for the name to stay in place. Local business owner Annie McLean told councillors that it will be an administrative challenge to change her registered address at Companies House and on other official documents.

McLean said at the council meeting in December: “I do believe we should be looking at history to inform our future. The objection I have is not based in history, it's in the here and now, it's in the practical.

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“As any small business will tell you, if you get your address wrong, it is always out there, especially in today's age. It is always out there, whether it's right or wrong.

“I used to have a gallery in the Glengate from 2014. That address still pops up every now and again. I don't want the same thing happening again because it looks as if the company is forever moving around and changing.”

McLean suggested leaving the street name of Cumberland Close while installing a board to inform people of its provenance.

But McFarlane says the sign is a reminder of a “horrendous” historical figure, not an appropriate memorial to his victims.

He believes that the more people are educated about the significance of the Cumberland name, the more they will want it changed.

McFarlane said: “I think there are quite a lot of people who are just blasé, who say, ‘Who cares? It's only a street name’. But when I have discussed it with people and when they’ve realised the history behind it, there is sympathy there.

“When I first started with my petition way back, I got a lot of positive feedback from the public then, and a lot of people didn't even know, they didn't know why it was called Cumberland Close.”

Cumberland is said to have stayed on the close which now bears his name, something McFarlane says is “absolutely” possible.

A spokesperson for Angus Council confirmed that preparations were under way for the consultation, adding: “We will provide information about when the consultation exercise will begin and how residents can participate in due course.”