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Chief of the Clan
Pringle of Torsonce
The Chief of Clan Pringle is unknown at present. The Hoppringles of that ilk, afterwards the Pringles of Torsonce, on Gala Water, were heads of the name, 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 21st December 1737. His only daughter, Margaret, married Gilbert Pringle, 2nd son of the 2nd Baronet of Stitchill, carried the estates into that branch of the family (which were sold by the 6th Baronet of Stitchill).
 
John Hoppringle of that ilk had a younger brother called James Pringle, who had two sons. The eldest called Thomas Pringle, and the younger called James Pringle, who was a wright and burgess of Edinburgh. However, both were dead by June 1756 with no issue. (Ref. -Records of the Pringles of the Scottish Border, pages 26-29. By Alex Pringle, Published 1933, Edinburgh.)
 
William Anderson in his ‘The Scottish Nation’ quotes Burke’s Landed Gentry (Supp. P. 262), stating that John Pringle of Lees then became heir male, but his family also became extinct in the male line in 1769. PSASBoth Burkes and Anderson were wrong, as the Pringles of Symington and the Pringles of Caledon were both closer relatives to the last clan chief.
 
Who the heir-male or heir-of-line of the Hoppringles of that ilk is has never been discovered. Gilbert Pringle, however became their heir general to the Pringles of that ilk, and in turn his brother and then nephew, who were Baronets of Stitchill, became heirs to the lands and Arms of Pringle of that ilk. The Pringles of Stitchill therefore became ‘Chiefs of the Name and Arms of Pringle’.
 
The Clan Pringle Association / Pringle DNA Surname Project actively encourages all Pringles to trace their roots by genealogical research and through DNA testing by following the instructions on our Pringle DNA Surname Project page.

 

The Lineage of the Hoppringills/Pringles of that ilk, Burnhouse and Torsonce.

  • Robert De Hoppryngil. Appears in a charter contained in the Chartulary of Soltre c.1265 in the reign of King Alexander III of Scots. - Source: Registrum Domus de Soltre, page 29 (dates from between 1265 and 1275).
  • Thomas Hoppringill. Appears in a charter of Robert de Lauder, miles, Dominus de Quarlewood in the reign of King Alexander III, according to Nisbet's System of Heraldry p.360.
  • Elias De Hoppringill, Tenant of the bishop of St Andrews. Appears as Elys de Obrinkel in the Ragman Roll on 28th Aug 1296, and  Helias De Hoprigkil on the attached seal. - Source: Ragman Rolls, page 147 (dates from 1296).
  • Thomas De Hoppryngel. Squire to William 1st Earl of Douglas from at least 1357.
  • Adam Hoppryngill. Squire to William 1st Earl of Douglas and James 2nd Earl of Douglas - he probably fell at Otterburn in 1388.
  • William (1) Hoppringill (1st laird) of that ilk. d. 1391. Mentioned in the Great Chamberlain's account for year ended 1390-1 and first to be designated Hoppringill of that Ilk, a contemporary of Adam. (It is believed that Robert Hoppringill the 1st of Smailholm was a younger son of William).
  • Adam (1) Hoppringill (2nd laird) of that ilk (and Yerlsyde, 4th part of Fans, Lauderdale). Received from Walter Haliburton of that Ilk a charter of all his lands (a quarter thereof) of Fans as a younger son of William of that Ilk. Sons: 1) William, 2) Archibald, 3) Sir Andrew.
  • William (2) Hoppringill (3rd laird) of that ilk. d. 1458. Appeared as William Hoppringill of that Ilk on an inquest in Lauder on 31 Oct 1440 under Laurence of Abethnethy re the lands of Samuelston (MSS Duke of Athol and Earl of Home). No sons but one daughter: Mariote Hoppringill.
  • Mariote Hoppringill. Heiress and a widow, she took Hoppringill, Glengelt, Kirktonhill and Muirhouse. Glengelt was given to Lord Borthwick and Hoppringill was later recovered by Adam of that Ilk.
  • Archibald de Pringil, d. 1479. Appeared in Lauder under Cranston of Corsbie on the retour of William, son of Lord Abernethy in the lands of Lyleston and Oxton on 30 Apr 1461 (RH6/361) He was never designated ‘of that Ilk’ either before nor after death. Archibald had issue with Elizabeth Hoppringill [thought to be the daughter of Robert Hoppringill 1st of Smailholm]: Adam (his heir) and, we believe, William of Craigleith, Constable of Cessford Castle who was the ancestor of the Pringles of Stitchill, Alexander of Trinlyknowe and David in Tynnes.
  • Adam (2) of Burnhouse and later (4th laird) of that ilk and Caverton, Roxburghshire (son of Archibald) d. 1494 , Royal Guardsman of King James III of Scots. Grandson of Adam (2) inherited Fans and received by charter the lands of Caverton forfeited by Robert, Lord Boyd and recovered Hoppringill in 1480. He was referred to as the late Adam Hoppringill of that Ilk in 1494.  Adam had issue: Alex (his heir), Elizabeth m. William Spottiswood of that Ilk, Margaret m. apparently Patrick Crichton of Luton, Isabella, Prioress of Coldstream Abbey.
  • Alexander Hoppringill (5th laird) of that ilk and Burnhouse. d. 1530. A minor in 1494 he witnessed a charter of the lands of Choicelee granted by William Cockburn of Langton to his brother Christopher in 1504. In 1526 he and his sons John, James and George are respited for art and part in a slaughter (P.S.). He died before 20 May 1530. Alexander had issue: John (his heir), James of Newbattle, George, household servant of the king, William (ancestor of the Pringles of Lees) household servant of the king, Robert prebender of Arniston, Margaret m. Christopher Cockburn of Choicelee, Agnes m. John Houston of that Ilk, Jonet Prioress of Coldstream Abbey.
  • John (1) Hoppringill (6th laird) of that ilk, Torsonce and Burnhouse. d. 1555.  In 1530 John gets a gift of the non-entry of the quarter lands of Fans and also the lands of Caverton. In 1540 he is confirmed in the lands of Caverton. In 1541 he receives a 5-year tack of Torsonce, Torsonce Mill and Crunzian; while his mother gets a similar tack of Cordlain. In 1544 Walter Ker of Cessford pays a grassum to the Cardinal for the feu of Torsonce, Crunzian, Plenploth, and Stow mill. In 1549 John appeared before the Lords of Council stating that his neighbours were encroaching on Hoppringill, Burnhouse, Langmuir and Kittyflat which were his by heritage and had belonged to his predecessors past memory knowing that the evidents of his bounds were burnt and destroyed by the English army after the battle of Pinkie. John's Will was registered on 14 Jun 1555. John had issue: Thomas (his heir), Michael, James in the Bow (Tutor), Archibald in Torquhan, Elizabeth Prioress of Coldstream, Margaret m. Clement Mauchen of Pilton, Cramond.
  • Thomas Hoppryngill (7th laird) of that ilk and Torsonce. d.1566. In 1555 a dispensation of marriage was granted in favour of Thomas and Isabella daughter of George of Torwoodlee within the fourth degree of consanguinity. In October 1555 Walter Ker of Cessford alienates to him the lands of Torsonce, Crunzian, Cordlain, Stow mill, free entry to the commons of Stow and Muirhouse for which John signs and delivers a Bond of Manrent; seal attached, on the shield a bend charged with 3 escallops, legend round the circumference S. THOME HOPPRINGILL (C.L.). Thomas died late in 1566. By his spouse Elizabeth Pringill of Torwoodlee he has issue: James (his heir) and George.
  • James Hoppringill (8th laird) of that ilk. d. 1606. In 1567 Robert Hoppringill (great uncle), prebendary in the College of Crichton gives James sasine on behalf of the Archbishop of St Andrews, Langmuir, Burnhouse, Kittyflat, Bow and Cathie (L.C. 824). In Dec 1580 James, as heir of Adam his abavus (great-great-grandfather) is retoured in Yerlsyde and Spencerland or the quarter of Fans and on sasine pays 845 to the Exchequer. In May 1581 James contracts to marry Elizabeth Edmonston, relict of Nicol Elphinston and daughter of Eupham Wauchope, Lady Edmonston, cautioner George Hoppringill of Newhall. In 1582, James now twenty registers an Interdiction prohibiting himself from entering a bond or obligation affecting his lands without the consent of Sir James Edmonston of that Ilk, John Ker of Littledean, James Hoppringill of Whytbank and John Hoppringill of Buckholm, or any two of them, Sir James Edmonston or John Ker being one: the 5-year tack of half Hoppringill  to James Hoppringill of Whytbank and his spouse Elizabeth Douglas to remain for reasons known to the surname: subscribed "James Hoppringill of that Ilk": Hoppringill witnesses, Malcolm of Cortleferry, George, brother to Whytbank, George of Newhall and James in Bow, [uncle to the subscriber] (A.D.). In Nov 1591, James of that Ilk, James of Whytbank, John of Buckholm, George of Blindlee, George of Newhall and Thomas of Trinlyknowe become caution for one another. On 26 Jul 1597 James subscribes to the Hoppringills mutual Bond of Manrent - to which the signatories were: James of Smailholm, George of Torwoodlee James of Whytbank, George of Blindlee, James of that Ilk, James, younger of Whytbank, George, younger of Newhall (S.W.). James died in Jun 1606. By his spouse Elizabeth Edmonston, he had issue: John (his heir), Robert, and Eupham, m. George son and heir of Patrick Brown of Coalston (G.S., 1614).
  • John (2) Pringill of Torsonce (9th laird). d. 1626. In Sep 1606 Robert, John's brother is one of twenty Pringills finding caution not to harm Sir Robert Stewart of Shillinglaw. In May 1607, John gets sasine to Torsonce, Cordlean with pasturage and entry to the commons of Stow and Muirhouse, Stow mill with its lands and astricted multures. And the lands and mill of Plenploth with pasturage in Lugate common all held of Lord Roxburgh, the superior and of the Archbishop of St Andrews. John gets from the Archbishop the lands of Hoppringill, Langmuir, Burnhouse, Kittyflat, Bow, Cathie and Torquhan. In 1614 John receives a royal feu charter of his Fans lands, called Spencerfield and Yerlsyde (G.S.). Anna Heriot, John's first wife died in Dec 1614. In Mar 1620, John was among the tenants of Gala Water put to the horn by the keeper of the waters but the keeper not compearing, the horning was annulled. (A.D.). In 1625, John was JP for the shire of Edinburgh. And in the same year he and his son James are infefted anew by the Archbishop to his lands (G.S.). In May 1631 a contract for marriages made between James, his eldest son, and Margaret, dau. of Sir George Ramsay of Wylliecleuch, bro. of the Earl of Holderness. John died on 27 Aug 1626. John had issue by Anna Heriot: James (his heir) and Elizabeth m. Sir Walter Murray of Livingstone, third son of Sir Gideon, first of Elibank (S.P.). And by Margaret Pringill of Whytbank he had Issue: Thomas of Symington, William, John in Watherston, who had issue, Eupham m. George, younger of Muirhouse, Jonet, Jeane m. (1st) William Scott in Linton, (2nd) Walter Scott of Satchells (A.D. 1667) and Margaret m. George Kier in Hatton Mains in 1635.
  • James (2) Hoppringle (10th laird) of that ilk and Torsonce. d. 1669. In Jul 1634, James had disponed to him for acting as cautioner to Sir George Ramsay the 12 husbandlands of Wylliecleuch. These lands were apprised by James from John Ramsay, grandson of Sir George and assigned by him to Patrick Brown of Coaltson. Litigation on the matter took place between the parties in 1654 (A.D. Scott). In 1648, James was appointed a commissioner for war for Edinburgh and Berwickshire (A.P.). James was a prisoner in the Tolbooth from Feb 1657 to Mar 1658 whilst his son George was soldiering in Prussia. In Jul 1659, George fear of Torsonce, now at home subscribed to a contract with the right worthy James Hoppringill of that Ilk, his father in which in consideration of his father having disponed to him all his lands and certain great sums owing to him he undertakes to keep his father skaithless reserving to his father the lands of Fans, Hoppringill, Langmuir and Kittyflat and the right to cut the woods of Torsonce, Bow and Torquhan (R.D.). In Jan 1664 James moves for suspension of a horning against him because he was a prisoner in the Tolbooth from Nov 1662 to Feb 1663 and could not attend (A.D., Durie). James died in 1669. James had issue by his first wife Margaret Ramsay of Wylliecleuch: George (his heir), William b 1637, James of Rowchester b. 1639, John factor of the Earl of Lauderdale (who went to Ireland and became the ancestor of the Pringles of Caledon), Margaret m. George Kier, tenant in Hatton Mains late in Ravelston, Elisabeth b. 1641 m. George Pringle of Halltree. And by his second wife, Elizabeth Scott, m 1658, he had no issue.
  • George Hoppringle (11th laird) of that ilk and Torsonce. d. 1684. Captain in the Royalist Army of Charles II, in May 1676 appointed Lieut.-Colonel of the Duke of Monmouths and Buccleuchs Militia Regiment of Foot. In 1667 George receives from Marion, spouse of Lord Cranston, sasine of four husbandlands in the East third of Smailholm. George died in Oct 1684. George and his wife, Agnes, dau of William Borthwick, 3rd of Soutra (S.P.) had issue: John (his heir) and James in Fans and later in Yair.
  • John (3) hoppringil (12th laird) of that ilk and Torsonce. d. 1737. In Sep 1681 a contract of marriage was made between John, younger, of Torsonce and Grissell, eldest daughter of Hugh Scott of Galashiels; witnesses, Patrick, Master of Polwarth, John Pringle, younger, of Stichill, Francis Scott of Mangerton, Walter Pringle, advocate, James, the young laird's brother, and others (S.E.). In 1696, John proved before the Lords that the whole barony was thirled and astricted to the mill of Stow, and the right thereto had been disponed to his ancestor in 1543 by Andrew Ker of Cessford who was the immediate vassal of the Bishop of St Andrews. In Jul 1698 he was appointed a commissioner of supply for Edinburgh and Berwick shires (A.P.). In Sep Hugh Scott acquired certain adjudicated lands and disponed them to John and John, now in possession of the whole, received a new Royal charter of them, paying the feu duties to King William instead of the Archbishop and in Dec he and his spouse got sasine of the same with delivery of earth and stone (S.E.). In Dec 1712 John Hoppringill of that Ilk nominates as Curators of Margaret, his only daughter during her minority Sir John Pringle of Stichill, Sir Walter Pringle and Robert Pringle, advocates, Thomas Pringle, W.S., George Pringle of Greenknowe and Thomas Scott, brother of Sir James Scott of Gala, her uncle. Between 1693 and 1704 John had eight children, all of whom were dead except Margaret, with whom, as his heiress, the long descended Hoppringills of that Ilk would come to an end - a fate that had already befallen the Pringles of Smailholm, Blindlee and Buckholm. In Aug 1732 an instrument of sasine certain lands were disponed to Thomas Pringle W.S. In 1733 a contract of marriage was made between Gilbert Pringle, merchant, burgess of Edinburgh (brother of Thomas and Robert of Stichill and Margaret Hoppringill (S.W.). John died on 21st Dec 1737.
  • Margaret Pringle, d.1738. Margaret, heiress , m. Gilbert Pringle of Stichill and survived her father only three months dying at Torsonce in Mar 1738 aged forty-two years. Gilbert survived Margaret many years and died at Torsonce on 3rd Sep 1765. He left a daughter Frances to whom his brother Sir Robert of Stichill, his sole executor and legatee, was to pay 300 sterling (T.E., 1766).
Lands held:     
  • Held in chief of the Crown:- Fans (Spencerfield and Yerlsyde) and Caverton, Rox.      
  • Held in chief of the Archbishop of St Andrews:-  Hoppringill, Burnhouse, Langmuir, Kittyflat, Bow, Cathie and Torquhan  
  • Held blench of Lord Roxburghe:- Torsonce, Cordlean, Crunzian, pasturage and entry to the commons of Stow and Muirhouse, Stow mill with its lands and astricted multures, the lands and mill of Plenploth with pasturage on Lugate common (note:- some of these lands had been held in chief from the Archbishop prior to 1544)    
 
Court of James III, IV and V
  • Wille: Mentioned in E.R. as an official in the household of James III in 1473
  • Thomas:  King grants Thomas the 10 lands of Ballencrieff following the battle of Sauchieburn on 11 Jun 1488. In Jan 1507 he was made bailie of Newhaven. He was k. at Flodden  
  • John: Trumpeter who appears in E.R. for the last time in 1504
  • Thomas: Son of the above. Thomas the trumpeter appears in the Rolls between 1502 and 1508
  • Besse:  Mentioned in 1512 as receiving 3 crowns of wecht
  • George:  Son of Alex of that Ilk mentioned a dozen times between 1529 and 1540 as Master Cook or Yeoman of the Pantry
  • William:  Son of Alexander of that Ilk was also attached to the Pantry. He died in 1547 and his testament was registered in 1574 by Archibald, burgess of Edin.     
 
Coldstream Abbey, Prioresses:   
  • Margaret 1489-1506: Widow of Rob. Bekirtoun de Lufnos, mother of Wil de Bekirtoun and sister of Dominis Arch. Pringill, capellano (G.S. 780/782 4 Feb 1463-64 & 1932 24 Jun 1489) 
  • Isabella, 1506-37: Elected before 6 Jun 1506 so could not be the wife of David Hume de Wedderburn (G.S. 3006, 1 Dec 1506). She died on 26 Jan 1536-37    
  • Jonet, 1537-66: Elected on 23 Feb 1536-7.sister of John of that Ilk and Robert prebender of Arniston   
  • Elizabeth, 1566-88:  On 26 Jun 1566 she receives the whole benefice and monastery. She was Jonet's niece. Elizabeth, last of the prioresses appears to have died in 1588
 
Notes by James Bruce Pringle
Who is a senior member of the Pringle of Stitchill family. He can be contacted via E-mail:
jbp email

UPDATE February 2012:

I want to correct the lineage of Hoppringill of that Ilk and in particular to remove Thomas as father of Mariote with her real father William.

What I am printing below can be seen from the Manuscripts of the Duke of Athole and the Earl of Home found in Electronic library, Great Britain. Royal Commission of Historical Manuscripts. It reads as follows:

256. Retour of Inquest held at Lauder before Laurence of Abernethy of Eothiemay bailie of the regality, by William Hoppringill of that Ilk, Alan Lauder, Gilbert Lauder, John Sinclair, Hector Lauder, Nicholas Foreman, David Chirnside, John Lauder of Burngrains, William Lauder, Adam Crosby, Thomas Lauder, William Nisbet, Robert Lorane, William Leis, William Wedall, and Alexander Learmonth, who being sworn declare that George Ker is nearest and lawful heir of his brother the late John Ker in the lands of Samuelston, valued at 40/- yearly, in time of peace only, held in chief of the Earl of Douglas, lord of the regality of Lauder, for a white rose at Midsummer, and now in the superior’s hands for the space of one month since the death of the late John Ker. Dated at Lauder, Monday 31 October 1440. Three seals remaining.

William of that Ilk obviously died in 1458 without a male heir and Mariote his eldest daughter inherited her father’s lands of Hoppringill, Glengelt, Kirktonhill and Muirhouse. There seems to have been a delay for the next Hoppringill of that Ilk to be confirmed but it was Alexander, father of Adam, who died in 1479. Adam, his son and heir, was confirmed as Hoppringill of that Ilk in 1480.

I believe that the Thomas previously stated to be Mariote’s father may have been Robert, Master Ranger’s successor to Wrangholm (north west part of Smailholm and quite separate from the main Smailholm lands and tower conveyed to Robert, Douglas squire – but I could be wrong.

Alexander Pringle was wrong to include George and Alexander, Douglas squires, and Robert who succeeded George as Master Ranger in his chapter on Smailholm because David of Pilmuir succeeded his father Robert, Douglas squire, to Smailholm (including the tower) as his son and heir. So the other three could not be his older brothers. I can’t remember whether I sent you the proof – David’s plea before the Earl of Douglas, as Robert’s son and heir, to which George was witness in 1432-3. George would not have agreed that David was Robert’s son and heir if he had not been.

Also William, constable of Cessford Castle and first of Craigleith was not a son of David but a son of either George, Robert or Alexander and Alexander, first of Trinlyknowe, was not a son of James of Smailholm but a a brother of William, constable of Cessford Castle.

UPDATE December 2013:

My long term quest to identify ‘the father of William, constable of Cessford Castle’ has been solved to my satisfaction at least. Over forty years I considered and have now eliminated David, second of Smailholm; George, Douglas squire; Alexander, Douglas squire; Robert of Wrangholm; and Thomas who resigned his share of Philiphaugh in 1461.

The evidence points to Archibald the father of Adam. In 1480, the Lords confirmed his son Adam in the lands of Hoppringill as against Mariote Hoppringill, heiress of William Hoppringill of that Ilk (who had successfully defeated Robert’s claim) but seemingly following the death of Archibald his father in 1479 and David of Smailholm who died before May 1480. Adam, royal guardsman, was elder brother to William of Craigleith and constable of Cessford Castle, Alexander of Trinlyknowe and David in Tynnes. The two older brothers held lands between the Gala and the Leader and in Teviotdale. The younger three held lands in Ettrick Forest and all four were active in Roxburghshire between 1465 and 1509. All were associated with the important families in their localities. Their father, Archibald, married Elizabeth Hoppringill, daughter of Robert Douglas squire and first of Smailholm. David second of Smailholm was their maternal uncle. This close relationship confused genealogists and the three younger brothers were erroneously thought to be of Smailholm; as were George, Alexander and Robert. In fact everyone except Adam. As a result family historians have significantly increased the status of Smailholm at the expense of Hoppringill of that Ilk and their later cadets.

UPDATE November 2014:

Archibald Pringill (of that ilk)

I think I have worked out why Adam’s father Archibald was never stated to be of that ilk. To have been of that ilk he would have had to have had possession of Hoppringill, which of course was held by Mariote, William’s heiress, until after the death of Archibald when the Lords granted Hoppringill to Alexander’s son and heir Adam in 1480. Archibald appeared as the senior juror in 1461 and his seal is still intact today. Archibald married Elizabeth Hoppringill, Robert first of Smailholm’s daughter and sister to David second of Smailholm

William, constable of Cessford Castle, was Archibald’s second son. Alexander of Trinlyknowe and David in Tynnes were his younger brothers. William was first recorded as a juror at the Jedburgh Assize in January 1465, at which assize his uncle David of Smailholm was a witness. Alexander deputised for his first cousin James ranger of the Tweed ward on three separate occasions. William first of Torwoodlee obtained Toftnes, Torwoodlee and the quarter share of the barony of Clifton through the good offices of David in Tynnes who was married to a Murray as was James third of Smailholm. The Murray’s and the Pringles were in partnership as well as being interrelated on both the male and female side.   

 

For more information about Clan Chiefs, see:

ClanChiefs.org.uk - The Standing Council of Scottish Chiefs - The search for clan chiefs

Lord Lyon: Guidance as regards the holding of a Derbhfine or Family Convention

Wikipedia - Scottish Clans

Wikipedia - Scottish Clan Chief

Wikipedia - List of Scottish Clans

Wikipedia - Armigerous Clans

Clans-Families.org - The Council of Scottish Armigerous Clans and Families.

ClanChiefs.org.uk - The Standing Council of Scottish Chiefs

Cosca.net - The Council of Scottish Clans and Associations

 

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