Skip to content Skip to footer

Pringle Family History & Ancestry

Family Crest Motto: AMICITIA REDDIT HONORES (Friendship gives honour)

Allow me to recount the storied history of your family, the Pringles. The emblem of your ancient lineage proudly displays three scallop shells, each shell symbolizing pilgrimage to the Holy Land. Now, here’s something intriguing: back in the 18th century, a heraldic expert named Alexander Nisbet suggested that your family name might have derived from ‘pelerin,’ which means pilgrim. Quite a noble beginning, wouldn’t you agree?

The earliest traces of your family name appear as ‘Hoppryngil’ in a charter from the time of Alexander III, around 1270. Throughout history, they were commonly referred to as ‘Hop Pringle.’ Fascinatingly, it’s believed that the Hop Pringles of Teviotdale could trace their roots to the offspring of a pilgrim who journeyed to the Holy Land, possibly a valiant crusader.

Your ancestors, the Hop Pringles of that Ilk, held extensive lands in the vicinity of Galashiels. Their alliance with the influential Douglas house was significant, and Robert Pringle served as squire to James, Earl of Douglas, during the Battle of Otterburn in 1388.

Jumping ahead a bit, let’s talk about David Pringle, who held the title of Laird from 1495 to 1535. This remarkable figure constructed the enduring tower of Smailholm, perched atop the rocky hills at Sandyknowe, just six miles west of Kelso. Sir Walter Scott, a famed writer, was closely familiar with this tower, as his grandfather owned the farm nearby.

Your family history is sprinkled with prominent names, like Sir James Pringle of Smailholme, who served as the sheriff principal of Ettrick Forest in 1622. Despite his notable standing, he faced financial challenges due to his extravagant lifestyle at James VI’s court and had to sell portions of his estates.

The Pringles of Stitchill earned the esteemed rank of baronet in 1682, showcasing your family’s continuous rise. Another branch, the Pringles of Torwoodlee, bore witness to tumultuous times during the Covenanters’ persecution. Their home near Selkirk became a sanctuary for those who hid from persecution due to their Presbyterian beliefs.

Your family’s impact reached further still. Names like Pringle of Haining, Newhall, and Lochton are all part of your lineage’s rich tapestry. And let’s not forget Thomas Pringle, a renowned Border poet and writer born in Teviotdale in 1789. He even played a pivotal role as Secretary to the Society for the Abolition of Slavery, seeing their goal achieved in 1834, shortly before his passing.

In a nod to preserving your legacy, the tower of Smailholm was entrusted to the care of the Ministry of Works (now Historic Scotland) in 1950. There are other ancestral towers peppered across Kelso, Melrose, and Galashiels regions, standing as a testament to your family’s enduring presence.

Your family’s name traveled far and wide through its connection to Scottish knitwear, making its mark across the globe. It’s truly remarkable how your family history is one of resilience, prominence, and meaningful contributions. Your heritage is something to take pride in and share with generations to come.


The Family Crest

Wherever in the world you live, embrace your family heritage and adorn your home with a timeless symbol of your family legacy with our crafted Family Crests.

(Friendship gives honour)



Copyright Notice: This artwork is protected by copyright law. Unauthorized reproduction, distribution, or usage of this artwork without explicit permission from is strictly prohibited.