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The Clan Pringle Association
A registered Scottish charity - SC043865
Pringle Clan Badge s
A compilation of Pringle Heraldry
The Clan Pringle Crest Badge20131019_230814
The Clan Pringle Cap Badge
In Scots law a coat of arms is the personal property of the person to whom it was granted to, and there is no such thing a clan or family coat of arms.
It is traditional for ordinary non-armigerous members of a clan to wear the clan chiefs crest badge in a belt and buckle with the chiefs motto upon it, as a symbol of their allegiance to the clan chief.
Further reference:
Wikipedia - Scottish Crest Badge & Wikipedia - Scottish Heraldry
The Heraldry of the House of Pringle
Old Hunting HornThe earliest Pringle to use a heraldic device was Elias De Hoppringill (Tenant of the bishop of St Andrews), who in 1296 attached his seal to the Ragman Roll. It was described as ‘oval, a hunting horn.’ - Source: Ragman Rolls, page 147.
escallopAfter the Scottish War of Independence was won by King Robert the Bruce, he sent his right-hand-man, the ‘Good’ Sir James Douglas to bury his heart in Jerusalem. Sir James died fighting the Moors in Spain at the battle of Teba. The Pringles were the squires and men-at-arms to the Douglases, and would have accompanied Sir James to the pilgrim site of Saint James of Compostela in northern Spain. It is believed that ever since this time the Pringles have used the badge of St James (a scallop shell) as their principal heraldic device. Seal of John Hoppringle of Smailholm
The chiefs of the clan, the Hoppringles of that ilk traditionally used three golden scallop shells on a black bend (a diagonal stripe), all upon a white/silver shield. The earliest cadet branch, the Hoppringles of Smailholm Arms of Sir James Pringle of Gala in 1611differenced these arms by having an engrailed bend (as per the picture in Laings Seals). However in 1583 Andrew Pringle of Smailholm and Gala had his arms carved on a stone block above the door of his new residence (what is now called ‘Old Gala House’) and these arms show five scallop shells upon a saltier. His son Sir James Pringle of Gala built an extention to the house in 1611 and had another panel carved with the same arms, and this can still be seen in the house. The reason why the Pringles of Smailholm changed their arms from three scallop shells on an engrailed bend to five scallop shells on an engrailed saltier, is not recorded.
The Workman’s Manuscript (Lyon Office, compiled about 1565-66) has the Pringle of Burnhouse Arms illustrated with a Buck and a Greyhound as supporters. This is because when William (2) Hoppringle of that ilk died in 1458, he had no sons, so his nephew Adam Hoppringle of Burnhouse became the next Hoppringle of that ilk and head of the name.Pringle of Torsonce
In 1672 the Scots Parliament passed a law requiring armigerous individuals to register their Arms within a year. In 1673 the Pringles of Stitchell, Greenknowe, Whytbank and Torwoodlee all duly registered their arms in the Public Register of the Lord Lyon. None of these four branches of the clan matriculated supporters to their arms. George Hoppringle of Torsonce (and that ilk) was a soldier and was away with the army so did not matriculate his coat of arms.
In 1722 Alexander Nisbet published his book ‘A System of Heraldry’ and he included the arms of the Pringles. He describes and illustrates the arms of Hoppringle of that ilk (as chiefs of the clan or heads of the name) as having supporters, a deer on the right and a greyhound on the left. His description and illustration of the arms of Stitchell and Whytbank do not include supporters.
John Hoppringle of that ilk (and Torsonce) died in 1737 without a male heir. His daughter had married Gilbert, a younger son of Pringle of Stitchell, after their deaths the lands passed into the Pringle of Stitchell family.
Alex Pringle of WytbankIn 1828 the Lord Lyon granted Alexander Pringle of Whytbank, as the representative of the Pringles of Smailholm and Gala, two Pilgrims as supporters. The Lord Lyon must have assumed that the Whytbank Pringles were now the heads of the name, since it has long been assumed that the Pringles of Stitchell were a cadet branch of the Smailholm Pringles. This is not the case, the Pringles of Stichell are cadets of the Pringles of that ilk.
John Burke in 1844 recorded in his ‘Encyclopaedia of Heraldry’ PSASthat the Pringles of Stitchell bore two greyhounds as supporters, along with the crest of Pringle of that ilk and their own crest. The 1893 version of Debretts shows the Pringles of Stitchell as bearing a buck and a greyhound as supporters, along with the double crests of that ilk and their own. The Pringles of Stitchell continued to use the crest and supporters of the Pringles of that ilk in correspondence at least until 1919. The last Pringle laird of Whytbank died in 2003, ending the rivalry between the Pringles of that ilk (and their cadets the Pringles of Stitchell) and the Pringles of Smailholm (and their representatives the Pringles of Whytbank).
According to the laws of Scottish heraldry only clan chiefs and nobles are entitled to use supporters.
The Clan Pringle Association is actively trying to trace the rightful clan chief, who will entitled to bear the undifferenced arms of the house of Pringle with supporters. Please join us in our efforts.
Contents:Clan Pringle Badge
  1. Pringle Heraldic Seals
  2. Pringle Arms in the Lyon Register
  3. Pringle Arms in the Mitchell Rolls of The Heraldry Society of Scotland
  4. Pringle Arms in the book The Science of Herauldry
  5. Pringle Arms in the book Nisbet’s A System of Heraldry
  6. Pringle Arms in Burkes General Armory
  7. Pringle Arms in Burkes Peerage & Baronetage
  8. Pringle Arms in Burkes Landed Gentry
  9. Pringle Arms in Debretts
  10. Pringle Arms in the book Stodart’s Scottish Arms
  11. Pringle Arms in other Heraldry Books
  12. Pringle Crest Badges and Mottos
  13. Pringle American Arms
  14. Pringle South African Arms
  15. Arms of French Pringles
  16. Pringle Coats of Arms on Buildings
  17. Pringle Bookplates and China
A family wrongly associated with the Pringles for a long time:
  1. Pyngle of Blackwater Arms
Other related families that have the arms of Pringles included in their arms:
  1. Scott of Gala Arms
  2. Fairholme of Greenknowe Arms
Further reading on Heraldry:

Coats of Arms of the House of Pringle

Pringle of that ilk and Torsonce Pringle of Burnhouse Archibald Pringle of Torquhan Pringle of Symington Pringle of Buckholm
Pringle of that ilk and Torsonce, P. of Burnhouse, Archibald P. of Torquhan, P. of Symington, P. of Buckholm
Pringle of Smailholm - Original Pringle of Smailholm and Gala and Whytbank Pringle of Torwoodlee Pringle of Blindlee
Pringle of Smailholm (original) P. of Smailholm & Galashiels (later P. of Whytbank & Yair), P. of Torwoodlee, Pringle of Blindlee
Pringle of Burnhouse or Stitchill Pringle of Stichel Pringle of Newhall Dr Sir John Pringle Pringle of Greenknowe
Pringle of Stitchill and Newhall Bt, Sir Walter P. of Newhall, Dr Sir John P. Bt., P. of Greenknowe
Pringle of Clifton Pringle of Haining Pringle of Crichton
Pringle of Clifton, P. of Haining, P. of Crichton

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