THE announcement of the resignation of Nicola Sturgeon as First Minister and Leader of the SNP was undoubtedly a historic moment for Scotland, and has raised the question of how history will view her political career.

My answer to that question is that it’s far too early to say. If I’m spared, I will maybe consider the question 20 or 30 years or more down the line. That’s the point about the verdicts of history – conclusions should only be reached after the passage of time, and the judgements of history can also change as people and events are viewed through transformed prisms – as has happened with the ongoing re-examination of this country’s links to slavery.

In recent years it has become fashionable, indeed almost de rigeur, for there to be calls to topple statues and monuments celebrating people who were seen as heroes in the past but whose reputations are now tainted because of their links to slavery.

I have always maintained that no such toppling should take place. Instead there should be explanations about the other activities of people who are now seen as disreputable – the saga of Henry Dundas’s monument in St Andrews Square in Edinburgh is a case in point as many more people are now aware of his involvement in prolonging the slave trade.

It seems to me now that no sane person would deny that the centuries of atrocities perpetrated against slaves involved Scotland and Scottish people, and more must be done to correct the history. My point is simple – such statues and monuments were erected in bygone times to honour people, but now that we know so much more about them it is only correct that people be informed of the real nature of the honoured person.

I want to move on from slavery, however, to shed light on two people who are commemorated in Scotland and England and whose horrific activities against Scottish people should be highlighted on their monuments.

The first is probably well known to Sunday National readers. George Granville Leveson-Gower, the First Duke of Sutherland, was responsible for some of the worst of the Highland Clearances in the early 19th century. He is commemorated by a sandstone plinth and 100ft tall statue on top of Beinn a Bhragaigh near Golspie that was erected by public subscription in 1837, four years after his death.

The statue is known to local people as the Mannie and for many years now there has been controversy over whether it should be taken down, given the Duke’s instigation of the atrocious Clearances on his vast estate. I don’t think it should be removed, not least because it is a tourist attraction, but I definitely believe that there should be much more information available at the site on what the Duke did – his activities were well documented at the time and since. We should make more people canny about the Mannie.

There is one name, however, whose reputation is worse even than that of the Mannie – the Duke of Cumberland. We known him as the Butcher who ordered the slaughter of wounded Jacobites at the battle of Culloden in 1746, and who was the originator of the attempted genocide of Highlanders whose redcoat army killed innocent men, women and children across the North of Scotland.

READ MORE: Publishers to clamour for rights to publish Nicola Sturgeon's memoir

Prince William Augustus, the third son of King George II, lost his reputation when the truth emerged about Culloden and he died obese of a stroke at the age of 44. I was staggered recently to discover that near Richmond in Yorkshire there is a building called Culloden Tower, otherwise known as Cumberland Temple. It was built as a folly, a giant garden ornament. It is owned and operated as a holiday letting business by the Landmark Trust, the building conservation group whose patron is King Charles III with ambassadors including Kirsty Wark and Griff Rhys Jones.

Let me quote you from the Landmark Trust’s website: “Built in around 1746, it is thought that Culloden Tower was designed by architect Daniel Garrett. Whilst it is difficult to pin down the exact date, its purpose is far clearer. Originally called the Cumberland Temple, it was built by (local MP) John Yorke as a monument to celebrate the victory of the Duke of Cumberland’s army over Bonnie Prince Charlie near Inverness in April 1746.”

I was alerted to Culloden/Cumberland Tower by a reader who wishes to remain anonymous. He told me: “This place is a war memorial to glorify the slaughter of the Scottish by Cumberland, and it’s a holiday let. Unimaginable.

“I don’t think having the place destroyed is the answer, because then the vile history gets forgotten by so many in time. For the same reason the Nazi concentration camps have remained as a reminder of the evil should we, the Scots, demand the same for Culloden Tower? Why not a statue with a plaque placed at the tower to represent the Butcher’s genocidal slaughter of the innocents?”

Excellent points but what do I suggest we do? Ban every performance of See The Conquering Hero Comes, written by George Frederic Handel in Cumberland’s honour? No.

Or do we petition Edinburgh and Glasgow Councils to change the name of Cumberland Streets as they were named after him? I don’t think that would be useful, but maybe plaques could be erected on them to tell the truth about Butcher Cumberland.

Some will say it was all long ago and in any case he was defending the Protestant Union against the Catholic Jacobites, but just as I firmly believe that Black Lives Matter and we should call out slave trade links, so do I believe that Highlanders’ Lives Mattered. There is a strong case for much more information about the Butcher to be located at the various monuments to him.

I also suggest we ask the local MP for Richmond for his views on that suggestion of a counter-memorial at Culloden/Cumberland Tower. He is, of course, that mighty defender of the Union, Prime Minister Rishi Sunak.