The Douglas Archives

A collection of historical and genalogical records

From time to time, I receive complaints that I should not be including the Pringles as a sept of the Douglases.

Whilst I like to leave the decision to others, I include the item as a reference.

Today, it is revealed that the problems facing the Pringles are deeper.

The village of Stichill lies in the historic territory of the Pringles, a notorious Riding family of Border Reivers. The Pringles of Stichill are a cadet branch of the Pringles of Smailholm. Robert Pringle of Bartingbush purchased the lands of Stichill in 1628, and his grandson, another Robert Pringle, was created 1st Pringle Baronet of Stichill, in the Baronetcy of Nova Scotia, in 1683. Most recently, the laird was Lt-Gen Sir Steuart Robert Pringle, KCB, 10th Baronet, who I met in the mid-1980s, and who died in 2013 and whose succession is disputed.

The Queen has asked senior judges to make decisions on the dispute under laws dating back more than 150 years.
Seven judges are analysing evidence at a hearing of the Judicial Committee of the Privy Council in London.

The 10th Baronet, Sir Steuart Pringle, a retired Royal Marine commander who survived an IRA bomb attack, died in 2013 aged 84, judges have heard, and his son Simon, and Murray - his second cousin - disagree over who should claim the title.

Lawyers for Murray Pringle, said Simon, should not become the 11th Baronet because there has been a "break in the line of paternity". They say tests have shown that Sir Steuart's DNA "did not match that of the Pringle lineage".

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Comment by William Douglas on June 21, 2016 at 11:25

Judges analysed evidence in the baronetcy case at a hearing of the Judicial Committee of the Privy Council in London in November.

They said, in a June 2016 ruling, that DNA evidence demonstrated to "a high degree of probability" that Norman was not the son of the 8th baronet - and they said there was no legal ground for excluding DNA evidence.

On that basis they had concluded that Simon Pringle was not the "heir male" of the 1st baronet.

They said Murray Pringle was the grandson of the 8th baronet and was therefore entitled to succeed.

Comment by Harold Edington on November 27, 2015 at 5:10

Part of the problem modern clans/families/houses have today is the use of the word sept.  I would rather see the term 'allied family' used instead.  If there is historical evidence that a family allied itself and supported a greater house, here is no refutation with that term; there is no argument. It is an allied family.  So many want to interpret 'sept' as being only blood relation but that negates the contributions of those who were willing to shed their blood in supporting the lord of a greater house.  If Shakespeare holds any weight, his St. Crispin's Day speech in Henry V sums up such a relationship -- "We happy few, we band of brothers; For he today that sheds his blood with me
Shall be my brother."  There is evidence that a part of the Pringle family supported the Douglas lords in such a fashion, dying for the right to be included as an allied family.  If this offends anyone today, then the argument should be with History itself.

Comment by James David Douglas on November 26, 2015 at 22:17

a "break in the line of paternity" ?  What's new about that ?  If that is to be the deciding factor as to who is entitled to succeed then perhaps HRH should just go ahead and step aside because the line of succession to the British throne has had it's share of NPE's. Instead of the Queen passing it on to senior judges let them decide it in the way royalty has always decided these kinds of conflicts.  But all that aside, most references I can find include Pringle as a sept of Clan Douglas because of their historical connection with the Earls of Douglas.  I think Pringle should be accepted as a sept of Douglas.  There is historical connection and after all the Douglases have always been fond of a good power struggle.

Making conections

The more information you can give about the people you mention, the more chance there is of someone else connecting with your family.

Dates and places of births, deaths and marriages all help to place families.

Professions also help.

'My great-grandmother mother was a Douglas from Montrose' does not give many clues to follow up! But a bit of flesh on the bones makes further research possible. But if we are told who she married, what his profession was and where the children were baptised, then we can get to work.

Maybe it is time to update the information in your profile?

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