Return to Misc Item Menu
History of the
'Pringle' family info
provided by Lew Pringle
A lot of what I believe to be the case is not known (at least by me) to be 100% true. The following is what I believe rather than what I know.
BELIEF: the Pringle name (also Pringel) was originally Hoppringle (or Hoppringel), the HOP representing Viking blood from the 11th or 12th Century.
KNOWN or BELIEVED: By the 14th (and certainly 15th) centuries the name was fixed as Pringle. The common point of origin was Smailholm, in the Borders (of Scotland), near Hawick, Jedborough etc. About 40 miles SSE of Edinburgh. I've been there many times. The Pringle home today is a National Trust Property, meaning there's someone there to give tours, sell brochures etc. The Pringles were "Rievers". These were the people who marauded back and forth across Hadrian's Wall into England. It was said of a Pringle, if you take his arm, he'll be back for both of your legs.
Our home was thick stone, 4 stories high, well defended and sat then (and still does) alone at the top of a large and generally unpopulated moor.
Lot's of sheep, beautiful Scottish views in all directions, little else. The Scotts (the family which later bred Sir Walter Scott) lay just south of us.
The Pringles never did have their own tartan (I was told we were too mean to have any friends). We fought for, on behalf of and with the Douglas Clan.
The Pringle's had land and some political connection for at least some time in the 1400s and 1500s. It appears that by the time of 1600,we lost it all. From that point on, there is no centralizing source or point of concentration for the Pringles. There was what appears to have been a 'Pringle Diaspora. For example, my Grandpa Pringle was a Cornish Tin Miner - in the tin mines of Cornwall 12 hours a day, 6 days a week from the time he was 8 years old. Pringle is a VERY non-Cornish name, yet at least his Grandfather was also a Cornishman (if you don't know, many of the Cornish were pirates and that is where Disney got his accent. The first time I saw a Disney movie about pirates I asked my Dad "gee, why does Long John Silver talk like Grandpa?"). So, somewhere between 1600 - when the Pringles fell on hard times - and 1800, when my Grandfather's Grandfather was born, MY part of the Pringles made its way south to Cornwall.
The same for every other Pringle. Most, I believe, tended to go somewhere. And, in those days, that often meant America, South Africa, New Zealand or Oz.
But, we all come together (looking back) somewhere around 1600 in the lowlands of Scotland.