Clan Pringle History

Battle of Otterburn, 1388

Battle of Otterburn, 1388

The Pringle Clan has been recorded since 1270, an early form of the name being Hoppringill.  The family held many lands around Galashiels, where the name is first recorded in a charter granted during the reign of Alexander III.
The Hoppringles were allied to the Earls of Douglas, serving as squires – at the Battle of Otterburn, Robert Pringle was squire to James, Earl of Douglas.  Robert Pringle later received a charter to land at Smailholm near Kelso where the family built a tower, still standing and recently refurbished.

David Pringle, who was the son of the Laird of Smailholm, was killed at Flodden in 1513, alongside his four sons.
At the Convent in Coldstream during the late 15th and 16th centuries, many of the Prioresses were Pringles.
In 1622, Sir James Pringle was sheriff principle of Ettrick Forrest, selling off a large portion of the land in order to pay his debts.

In 1653 Robert Pringle died without issue, from which point representation of the family devolved on James Pringle of Whytbank.  James’s son was Alexander Pringle of Whytbank, who became sheriff principle of Selkirkshire and died without issue, being succeeded by George Pringle of Balmungo. George Pringle served with considerable reputation during the Thirty years war.

More recently, Alexander Pringle of Whytbank was elected MP for Selkirkshire in 1830 and went on to become a member of Sir Robert Peel’s government.

The Pringles of Torwoodlee were descended from William Pringle of Smailholm. They suffered frequent raids on their house near Selkirk due to their adherence to the Covenant.

In 1737 the Pringles of Stitchill became the principle family after the death of the last Pringle of that Ilk, and the name can also be found in many parts of the world, including Ireland and South Africa.

Today the name is best known as the Pringle knitwear company, the history of which can be traced back to 1540 when a Pringle was responsible for overseeing production of wool from the King’s sheep.

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