Clan Pringle

Clan Pringle is an Armigerous clan from the Scottish Borders.

Clan Pringle
Clan member crest badge - Clan Pringle
Crest: An escalop or
MottoAmicitia Reddit Honores (Friendship Gives Honour)
RegionScottish Borders
Pringle of Torsonse arms
Clan Pringle has no chief, and is an armigerous clan
Historic seatHoppringle
Last ChiefJohn Hoppringle of that Ilk and Torsonce
Died21 December 1737

Origin of the Name

According to the detailed book 'The Records of the Pringles',[1] the surname Hoppringill, or Pringle, dates from the reign of Alexander III of Scotland (1249–86) and is one of the oldest names of the Scottish Border region.

Pringle is a placename derived from a locale in the Parish of Stow on the right side of Gala Water, about ten miles North of Galashiels. Hoppringle lies about one half mile up from the bank of the river on the Southern slopes of a ridge separating the valleys of the rivers Armet and Todhole (now named Armet Water and Toddle Burn).

This ridge, with its level crest, abuts at its Western extremity on the Gala in a remarkably rounded knob some 300 ft above the level of the river, which winds around its base in a semi-circle. It is this ring-like boss which no doubt gives the place its name of Hoppringhill, as it is occasionally written in older records.

The first syllable is the name Hope, Hopp, Op orUp, derived from the Old Norse Hop - a haven, denoting a small enclosed valley branching off a larger one. The other syllables include ring (or rink ), and hill. As such names are always descriptive, Hoppringill means simply the small enclosed valley of the ring, or round hill.

The full name of Hoppringill was in use for 300 years. The last recorded usage in its full form is by a Chief of the Clan whose will, dated 1737, is in the name of John Hoppringle of that Ilk. Around 1590, however, Pringill, which had appeared rarely before, begins to become the dominant form, until around 1650, when it gave way to Pringle. This change closely follows similar changes in the spelling of words like Temple and Single, derived from Tempill and Singill. The final syllable was never actually pronounced gill.


In the 14th century the family were close allies of the Earls of Douglas, to whom they were squires, and about the end of that era they are first defined as Hoppringle of that Ilk, holding the lands of Earlside in Lauderdale. Descendants were much in evidence at the Courts of James IV and V, at least two being trumpeters in the tail of James IV and one falling at his side at Flodden in 1513. For 100 years, from about 1489, a succession of Pringle ladies, usually younger daughters, were Prioresses of the Convent at Coldstream. The association of Pringles with the woollen industry may be traced to 1540 when one of their name held the responsibility for overseeing the shearing, storage and transportation of the wool from the King’s sheep. In 1592 various Pringles appeared before the King, with other Border lairds, giving an oath to faithfully serve the Wardens of the East and Middle Marches, and evidence of their extended land-holdings is shown by no less than six cadet families standing surety, one for the other, in keeping the peace. Five years later, Pringle of that Ilk and Pringle of Smailholm subscribed to a Bond of Manrent, taking it upon themselves the burden of ensuring the good behavior of Pringles in general. The last Pringle of that Ilk died in 1737, after which the principal family became the Pringles of Stitchill, the lands of which were acquired c.1630. Of this latter house, Sir Robert was created a Baronet of Nova Scotia in 1683 and, although the lands have now been sold, the Baronetcy has survived into the 21st century.

Castles and Tower Houses

Smailholm Tower 22407 from E
Smailholm Tower

The original seat of the Chief of Clan Pringle was at Hoppringle and later at Torsonce on the Gala Water in Scotland.

The Pringles also built: Smailholm Tower, Buckholm Tower, Torwoodlee Tower and House, Old Gala House, Whytbank Tower, Yair House, Stichill House and the Haining House in Selkirk.

The Pringles also owned at various times: Greenknowe Tower and Craigcrook Castle.

Clan Chief

The Chief of Clan Pringle is unknown at present. The Hoppringles of that ilk, afterwards the Pringles of Torsonce, on Gala Water, were the Chiefs of the clan and the senior branch of the family. The last Clan Chief was John Hoppringle of that Ilk and Torsonce, who died on 21 December 1737. His only daughter, Margaret, married Gilbert Pringle, 2nd son of the 2nd Baronet of Stitchill, carried the estates and arms into that branch of the family.

The Clan Pringle Association is actively trying to trace the rightful Clan Chief.[2]

Pringle Baronets of Stitchill

There have been two Baronetcies created for members of the Scottish Pringle family. One for the Pringles of Stichill, in the Baronetage of Nova Scotia created in 1683, the current holder of which is Sir Norman Murray Pringle of Stitchill, 10th Baronet. The second was created for Dr Sir John Pringle of Pall Mall, in the Baronetage of Great Britain in 1766, though it is now extinct.

Pringle Senators of the College of Justice

Several Pringles have become Senators of the College of Justice in Scotland, which comes with the title and rank of Lord of Session.

See also


  1. ^ 'Records of the Pringles of the Scottish Border', by Alex Pringle, Published 1933, Edinburgh.
  2. ^

External links


Buckholm is a farm near to the A7, in the Scottish Borders, Galashiels area of Scotland.

Places nearby include Abbotsford, the Bow Castle Broch, Clovenfords, Darnick, Eildon, the Gala Water, the Lugate Water, and Stow.

Buckholm Tower was built in 1582 by the Pringle family and is at the foot of Buckholm Hill.

List of Scottish clans

The following is a list of Scottish clans with and without chiefs.

The crest badges used by members of Scottish clans are based upon armorial bearings recorded by the Lord Lyon King of Arms in the Public Register of All Arms and Bearings in Scotland. The blazon of the heraldic crest is given, and the heraldic motto with its translation into English. While all the crest badges of the clan names listed are recognised by the Lord Lyon King of Arms, only about one half of these (about 140) have a clan chief who is acknowledged by the Lord Lyon King of Arms as the rightful claimant of the undifferenced arms upon which the crest badges are based.

Scottish crest badges are heraldic badges used by members of Scottish clans to show their allegiance to a specific clan or clan chief. Even though they are commonly used by clan members, the heraldic crest and motto within the crest badge belong only to the clan chief – never the clan member. A Scottish clan member's crest badge is made up of a heraldic crest, encircled by a strap and buckle which contains a heraldic motto. In most cases, both crest and motto are derived from the crest and motto of the chief's coat of arms. Crest badges intended for wear as cap badges are commonly made of silver or some other metal such as pewter. In the case of armigers they wear their own crest within a plain circlet showing their own motto or slogan, not a belt and buckle showing the chief's. Women may wear a crest badge as a brooch to pin a sash of their clan tartan at the right shoulder of their gown or blouse. Female clan chiefs, chieftains, or the wives of clan chiefs normally wear a tartan sash pinned at their left shoulder.

Today, Scottish crest badges are commonly used by members of Scottish clans. However, much like clan tartans, Scottish crest badges do not have a long history, and owe much to Victorian era romanticism, and the dress of the Highland Regiments. Scottish crest badges have only been worn by clan members on the bonnet since the 19th century.

Moubray House

Moubray House, 51 and 53 High Street, is one of the oldest buildings on the Royal Mile, and one of the oldest occupied residential buildings in Edinburgh, Scotland. The façade dates from the early 17th century, built on foundations laid c.1477.

The tenement is noted for its interiors, including a Renaissance board-and-beam painted ceiling discovered in 1999, a plaster ceiling with exotic fruit and flower mouldings with the arms of Pringle of Galashiels (five escallops on a saltire) dated 1650 painted on the wall, and a wooden barrel-vaulted attic apartment which is expressed on the roofline.Notable people associated with the house include Scotland's first eminent portrait painter George Jamesone, the English spy and writer Daniel Defoe, who was instrumental in the passing of the 1707 Act of Union with England, and Archibald Constable, proprietor of the Encyclopædia Britannica.

Moubray House is designated a Category A listed building by Historic Scotland.

Of that Ilk

Of that Ilk is a term used in the Scottish nobility to denote a clan chieftain in some Scottish clans. The term "of that ilk" means of "of the same [name]", and is used to avoid repetition in a person's title.

Historically it was customary in the Scottish feudal system for the laird of a manor to include the name of his fief in his title; Thus, in Robert Louis Stevenson's novel Kidnapped the protagonist, after discovering he was the new laird of his (impoverished) manor, later introduced himself as "David Balfour, of Shaws".

However, a number of cases the clan name was derived from the name of the fief, creating a repetition (such as, "Lord Anstruther of Anstruther", or even "Lachlan Maclachlan of Maclachlan"), so for convenience this was eliminated with the term "of that Ilk", (therefore, "Anstruther of that Ilk", or "MacLachlan of that Ilk").Where a large clan of this type has one or more cadet branches, the leaders of those branches would have an estate name distinct from the clan name, leaving the term "of that Ilk" to denote the overall clan chieftain.

Thus Mackenzie, in his Observ. Laws & Customs of Nations, refers to a decision of James VI "betwixt Blair of that ilk, and Blair of Balthaiock", two lairds of the now-defunct Clan Blair.


Pringle is a Scottish surname which means "pilgrim." Notable people with the surname include:

Aileen Pringle (1895–1989), American stage and film actress

Alexander Pringle (1791–1857), Scottish Conservative politician

Alexandra Pringle (born 1952/1953), British publisher

Andrew Pringle:

Andrew Pringle (British Army officer) (born 1946), British Army officer

Andrew Pringle, Lord Alemoor (died 1776), Scottish judge

Andrew Seth Pringle-Pattison (1856–1931), Scottish philosopher

Andy Pringle (born c. 1949), Canadian bond trader and Conservative political activist in Ontario

Anne Pringle (born 1955), British diplomat

Benjamin Pringle (1807–1887), American politician

Bryan Pringle (1935–2002), British actor

Byron Pringle (born 1993), American football player

Charlie Pringle (born 1894), Scottish footballer

Charles K. Pringle (born 1931), Mississippi lawyer and politician

Chris Pringle (born 1968), New Zealand cricketer

Christine Pringle, Australian pastor

Cyrus Pringle (1838–1911), American botanist

Curt Pringle (born 1959), California politician

David Pringle (born 1950), Scottish science fiction editor

Denys Pringle (born 1951), British archaeologist and medievalist

Derek Pringle (born 1958), English cricketer

Donald Pringle (1932–1975), English cricketer

Eric Pringle, (1935-2017), British television and radio writer

Eunice Pringle (1912–1996), American actress

Harold Pringle (d. 1945), executed Canadian soldier

Harry Pringle (1900–65), English footballer

Harry Pringle (producer) (1903 – after 1959), radio and television producer who worked on light entertainment programmes in England and Australia

Heather Pringle, Canadian author and journalist

James Pringle:

James Alexander Pringle (1874–1935), British politician

James E. Pringle (born 1949), British astrophysicist

James Hogarth Pringle (1863–1941), Australian surgeon

Joan Pringle (born 1945), American actress

Joel R. P. Pringle (1873–1932), US naval officer

John Pringle:

John Pringle (1707–1782), Scottish physician

John Pringle (born 1938), Australian baritone

John Pringle, Lord Haining (c. 1674–1754), Scottish landowner, judge and politician, shire commissioner for Selkirk 1702–07, MP for Selkirkshire 1708–29, Lord of Session

John Pringle (MP, born 1716) (c. 1716–1792), son of the above, Scottish landowner and politician, MP for Selkirkshire 1765–86

John Pringle (1796–1831) of Haining, Scottish politician, MP for Lanark Burghs 1819–20

John James Pringle (1855–1922), British dermatologist

John Abbott Pringle, Ontario farmer, merchant and political figure

John Quinton Pringle (1864–1925), Scottish painter

John Wallace Pringle (1863–1938), Chief Inspecting Officer of the UK Railways Inspectorate

John William Sutton Pringle (1912–1982), British zoologist

Sir John Pringle, 2nd Baronet (1662–1721) of the Pringle Baronets

Sir John Pringle, 5th Baronet (1784–1869) of the Pringle Baronets

Mark Pringle, member of Hot House

Martin Pringle (born 1964), New Zealand cricketer

Martin Pringle (born 1970), Swedish soccer player

Mike Pringle:

Mike Pringle (politician) (born 1945), Scottish Member of Parliament

Mike Pringle (gridiron football) (born 1967), Canadian football player

Meyrick Pringle (born 1966), South African cricketer

Percy Pringle (1954–2013), American wrestling manager (better known by another ring name, Paul Bearer)

Phil Pringle (born 1952), Australian pastor

Ramona Pringle, Canadian actress

Richard Pringle, American psychologist and professor

Robert Pringle:

Robert Pringle (politician) (d. 1736), British politician

Robert Abercrombie Pringle (1855–1922), Canadian lawyer and politician

Robert Pringle (poet) (born 1940), American poet

Thomas Pringle:

Thomas Pringle (1789–1834), Scottish writer, poet and abolitionist

Thomas Pringle (politician) (born 1967), Irish politician

Thomas Pringle (Royal Navy officer) (d. 1803), admiral in the Royal Navy

Valerie Pringle (born 1953), Canadian journalist and television host

Walter Pringle, Lord Newhall (1664?–1736), Scottish lawyer and judge

Walter Pringle (rugby union) (1869–1945), New Zealand rugby union player

William Pringle:

William Henry Pringle (1772–1840), British soldier and Member of Parliament

William Henderson Pringle (1877-1967), Scottish politician

William Pringle (Liberal politician) (1874-1928), British Member of Parliament

Pringle baronets

There have been two baronetcies created for members of the Scottish Pringle family, one in the Baronetage of Nova Scotia and one in the Baronetage of Great Britain. As of 2019, one creation is extant.

The Pringle Baronetcy, of Stichill in the County of Roxburgh, was created in the Baronetage of Nova Scotia on 5 January 1683 for Robert Pringle. The fourth Baronet sat as Member of Parliament for Berwickshire.

The Pringle Baronetcy, of Pall Mall, was created in the Baronetage of Great Britain on 5 June 1766 for the physician John Pringle. He was the youngest son of the second Baronet of the 1673 creation. The title became extinct on his death in 1782.

Sir John Pringle, 1st Baronet

Sir John Pringle, 1st Baronet, PRS (10 April 1707 – 18 January 1782) was a British physician who has been called the "father of military medicine" (although Ambroise Paré and Jonathan Letterman have also been accorded this sobriquet).

Sir Murray Pringle, 10th Baronet

Sir Norman Murray Archibald MacGregor Pringle, 10th Baronet (born 3 August 1941) is a British accountant. In 2016, he won a legal case establishing that he was the rightful heir to the Pringle baronetcy, using DNA evidence that proved his cousin, who had been accepted as the 9th Baronet in 1919, was not the biological son of the 8th Baronet.

Smailholm Tower

Smailholm Tower is a peel tower at Smailholm, around five miles (8 km) west of Kelso in the Scottish Borders. Its dramatic situation, atop a crag of Lady Hill, commands wide views over the surrounding countryside. The tower is located at grid reference NT637346, just west of Sandyknowe farm, and is now a Scheduled Ancient Monument in the care of Historic Environment Scotland. In June, 2007 it was awarded the maximum "five-star" status as a tourist attraction from VisitScotland, a rating bestowed on only eight other sites in Scotland.

Steuart Pringle

Lieutenant General Sir Steuart Robert Pringle (21 July 1928 – 18 April 2013) was a Scottish Royal Marines officer who served as Commandant General Royal Marines from 1981 to 1985. He was seriously injured by an IRA car bomb in 1981, in which he lost his right leg.He was styled as the 10th Baronet of Stichill from 1961 to 2016, when a court accepted DNA evidence that established he was not the biological grandson of the 8th baronet. His cousin Murray Pringle inherited the baronetcy instead of Sir Steuart's eldest son and expected heir.

The Haining

The Haining is a country house and estate in Selkirk in the Scottish Borders. The present house dates from the 1790s, and was a property of the Pringle family. In 2009, the house and grounds were bequeathed to the people of Selkirkshire and the wider public, and a charitable trust is now working on developing the building as a centre for exhibitions and events, highlighting art, culture and history. The ground floor of the House has been refurbished and is now let out for various events and functions. The Old Coach House and Stable outbuildings have been refurbished and now offers 6 brand new artists studios. A 2-bedroom holiday apartment, The Ettrick, is also now available within the ground available for booking via Visit Scotland.

The house is protected as a category A listed building, and the grounds are included in the Inventory of Gardens and Designed Landscapes in Scotland, the national listing of significant gardens.

Yair, Scottish Borders

Yair, also known as The Yair, is an estate in the Scottish Borders. It stands by the River Tweed in the former county of Selkirkshire, 2.5 miles (4.0 km) north-west of Selkirk, and 28 miles (45 km) south of Edinburgh. The name comes from the old Scots word for a fish trap. The estate is centred on Yair House, which is protected as a category A listed building. The nearby Yair Bridge is also category A listed.

Clans with chiefs
Armigerous clans
Culture and society


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